To: Taoiseach Varadkar, Minister Flanagan & Labour Party
Drop ALL charges against Jobstown protesters
Support the campaign to drop the charges against all Jobstown protesters
Why is this important?
The finding of all defendants to be not guilty today is a victory for the #JobstownNotGuilty campaign. These seven people have had this hanging over them for over two years and have spent nine weeks in court. They are now vindicated and walk out of court proven to be protesters rather than the kidnappers Joan Burton and the Gardai said they were.
What was exposed in court was as Sean Guerin SC said 'a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice'. It involved high-ranking Gardai telling lies in an attempt to present a protest as a kidnapping. This was a politically driven investigation vindictively designed to punish those who fought against water charges and wounded the political vanity of Joan Burton. It was an attempt to criminalise the largest movement of people power in decades, by presenting sit-down protests as false imprisonment.
This is not over for any of us. Millions of euros were spent by the state in attempting to stand up the false charges of false imprisonment. A 17-year old was found guilty of false imprisonment on the same evidence in a judge-only court. That conviction should be overturned.
Our fellow defendants face further charges including trumped-up charges of violent disorder in the coming months. Millions more will be wasted on pursuing them. All of these charges should now immediately be dropped and the attempts to criminalise protest should be stopped.
Serious questions now need to be asked about the Garda conspiracy which saw Garda after Garda take the stand and tell blatant lies designed to incriminate protesters. Numerous Gardai took the stand to say they heard things that they couldn't possibly have heard, because they weren't said. The same Gardai failed to see things that did happen. It so happened that every false recollection served to bolster the prosecution case. Some of the lies were only shown up because of the existence of video footage that the Gardai didn't uncover. How high did this conspiracy go in Noirin O'Sullivan's Gardai?
Large sections of the media effectively convicted us before our trial. Biased coverage against us continued in the course of the trial. Will those commentators who said we were guilty of false imprisonment now apologise and correct the record? Will the Labour Party apologise for its former leader attempting to criminalise a working class community and protest?