Boylan reiterates support for Jobstown protesters
Speaking this afternoon on day one of the trial of the Jobstown protesters, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has reiterated her support to those on trial.
MEP Boylan said:
“At the time I said that the protest was blown out of proportion, but I never envisaged that those protesters would be put on trial for one of the most serious criminal offences in Ireland which carries the potential penalty of life imprisonment.
“Have no doubt about it, we are not only witnessing people being unjustly tried for ‘false imprisonment’ today; we are also witnessing the State putting the right to protest on trial.
“There is also a class element to this trial and the reporting around it. The protest in question was a reaction of activists in a working class community to the introduction of a regressive tax in the broader context of austerity.
“A cursory comparison of the fallout of the protest of the Minister for Agriculture’s car in 2009 in west Cork and that of Jobstown further highlights how this case is being used for political ends.
“The complicacy of the media in the fallout from the Jobstown protest should not be downplayed. They rightly criticise suppression of protest abroad; at home, they criticise and condemn protesters.
“This trial doesn’t just concern the Jobstown defendants. Regardless of your position on water charges, there is a need for these protesters to be supported. The result of this draconian trial will have a bearing for anyone who has ever attended a protest or who may attend a protest in the future.
“I stand with those on trial, I stand with the right to protest, I stand with Jobstown.”