RSYM: Activists Assaulted and Racially Abused as Anti-Fee Group See Great Success
Monday 2nd February
Comrades from Sligo RSYM and Galway RSYM were assaulted and racially abused by members of the Gardai as the group ‘FEE’ scored a great success which saw the cancellation of a planned event at the National University of Ireland, Galway, honouring Bertie Ahern. FEE (who exemplify the idea that education is a right, not a privilege) organized this protest in accordance with their stance that as long as fees are being introduced for 3rd level educational institutions no Fianna Fáil TD shall gain entry to NUIG.
The energetic Galway branch of the group (which boasts a membership comprising of individuals from several political organisations), conducted themselves superbly in the form of a peaceful protest at the gates of the college which was brutally disrupted by members of the Gardai. A number of the protesters were assaulted by the Gardai including several female members of FEE. Luckily the behaviour of the Gardai was captured on film with one video indeed showing a member of the RSYM being racially abused. A member of FEE was then arrested and in the ensuing melee where the Gardai again showed their penchant for unnecessary force, a female member of the group was struck in the face and required medical attention.
An RSYM spokesperson said: “The behaviour of the Gardai tonight was nothing short of a disgrace. It was completely unacceptable and further demonstrates the nature of this partitionist police force. The legal system in the 26 counties, as in all capitalist societies, is set up to defend bourgeois interests, something which was clearly on show tonight.”
On the attacks and arrest:
“The activist who was arrested is an excellent republican socialist and is a friend of our movement. He is being made a scapegoat by the Gardai who were no doubt fuming at being revealed as a complete shambles. He is a fine republican and I hope he is out and working with FEE again soon. He was involved in a completely peaceful protest and it is clear (noting video footage) who instigated any escalation, the Gardai.
In regard to the assault on our member, he was dragged to the ground and struck twice in the face. I’m not too sure yet all that the video footage will reveal as I haven’t viewed it in its entirety, but a member of the Gardai was definately caught on camera racially abusing another of our members. I personally witnessed this incident and luckily another RSYM member caught the incident on his mobile where the remark can be clearly heard. Tonight was a hugely successful event despite these incidents(which included branch men wielding batons) and I would like to congratulate all the members of FEE who as always stood so passionately behind the right of everyone to free education.”