Jailing of water campaigners is a scandal - Dessie Ellis TD
Dublin Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis described the jailing of water charge protesters as a scandal and has called for their immediate release.
Addressing the thousands strong crowd at the march in Dublin City centre today Deputy Ellis said:
“The detention of water charge protesters is wrong. They have been jailed for peaceful protest and for exercising their democratic rights as citizens.
"This jail where we gather today has seen thousands of people locked up for political reasons in the past 150 years - republicans, women's rights campaigners, trade unionists, Concerned Parents Against Drugs, the Rossport Five and now campaigners against water charges and austerity.
"As well as these jailings we equally condemn the dawn raids on citizens in Tallaght.
"What we are now witnessing is an effort by the political establishment in this country to put the movement against water charges and austerity in general off the streets.
"The corrupt politicians, bankers and developers who destroyed the Irish economy have not spent a day in jail. But Irish citizens who take a stand against austerity are locked up.
"Our message is very clear - this Government will not succeed in putting people off the streets, it will not succeed in forcing unwanted water meters on communities and it will not succeed in imposing the double taxation of water charges.
"Today we say release the prisoners, stop the metering and scrap the charges. Scrap this austerity regime, vote this toxic Government out of office and claim this country back for our people.”