USI Demo Dublin

Gardai clash with protesters outside the Department of Finance on Merrion Row in Dublin, today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

A number of observations should be made on the recorded violence involving protesters in Dublin at the USI march. It is a good thing to see the student body alive and active in defense of education. That the non-violent but effective approach of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King was ignored by some protesters who threw missiles at gardai and thus forced a determined physical defensive response by police was really stupid. It undermined the moral force of the protest in the eyes of the conservative majority. The filmed reaction of some gardai was inappropriate and excessive. U-tube and RTE video clips would attest to that. I listened and watched three students involved in the march in the studio at Newstalk Radio tonight. The coleges attended are NationalCollege of Art and design, DCU and Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education. Two were physically small girls. To have such a small girl battened by a Garda, ending up with a bruised head, and another being stood over by a horse having been knocked down by a falling comrade does nothing for my judgement of the humanity of the gardai who are merely citizens licenced to enforce the law not transgress the law as enacted by our democratic legislators. The reclaim the street demo a few years ago comes to mind.

Leadership and common sense are badly needed in the gardai.
Clashes follow Dublin protest

Gardai clash with protesters outside the Department of Finance on Merrion Row in Dublin, today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
Naming the Socialist Workers Party and eirigi as participants carried a certain obvious inference. It should not have an influence on an objective view of the violent scenes.