The AAA has been refused a permit for door to door collecting in Tallaght because, wait for it… “the proceeds of the collection….would be used in such a manner as to encourage…..the commission of an unlawful act.” In all our years of collecting (previously as the Socialist Party), we have never been refused on these grounds. Who refused it? The Chief Superintendent responsible for the Tallaght area, including the Jobstown protests, and arrests.
Political policing? Never – no way? Well, now we have dawn raids over 10 days arresting people for a participation in a peaceful protest. Then we have an incredible leak of information that they are going to be charged with false imprisonment! Add to that the revelations about the spying operation led by the Garda Commissioner’s husband against anti-water charges protesters (‘Operation Mizen’) and the almost daily arrests at anti-water charges protesters. And now, on top of that, they are saying we can’t collect money like other political parties, because the money will be used for an “unlawful act”.
Is that the boycott campaign they are referring to? Is it the participation in protests like at Jobstown and anti-water meter protests? Either way, it’s the Gardai acting in an overtly political manner to decide what the Anti-Austerity Alliance can and cannot campaign for. It would mean that if we are going to encourage people to protest against water charges, then they are going to remove our ability to fund raise to take part in the democratic process.