Requiem For A Dream

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imageMercille

From top: Tanaiste Joan Burton during protests in Jobstown, Tallaght, last November, Dr Julien Mercille.

When defending civil disobedience and non-violent protests nothing trumps King.

Dr Julien Mercille writes:

Last week we learned that over 20 anti-water charges protesters are expected to be brought to court shortly in relation to the events in Jobstown last November. You will recall that this is when Joan Burton was held up in her car for about 2 hours and when someone threw a water balloon at her.

The police arrested 40 protesters in the wake of the events in Jobstown, including a number of teenagers and three public representatives. This means that about half of them will be charged with a range of offences, including “violent disorder”, “criminal damage”, and “false imprisonment”. A conviction on the latter charge almost always leads to a jail sentence, and possibly a life term in prison. Yes, you read that right: imprisonment for life for keeping Joan Burton in her car for two hours.

I’m currently traveling in the US South and visited the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta and related landmarks. The civil rights movement of the 1960s in one of the most important periods in US history as it indeed civilised the country. For example, black people gained important rights through sustained campaigns of organised civil disobedience.

One striking thing about progressive social protests is that the principles they embody don’t change that much historically. Basically, when facing an oppressive structure of power that denies them fundamental rights or opportunities, and when negotiations with the ruling class lead nowhere, people decide to take other means to pressurise political leaders to change.

Protesters are inevitably labeled as ‘deviant’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘radical’ by “respectable” and “very important” people. But well organised and united campaigns are often successful in securing rights that in later years are taken for granted, often forgetting, unfortunately, that they were won through struggle, not because ruling classes granted them out of generosity.

The history of the civil rights movement is fascinating and its lessons it provides for today are numerous.

For example, in 1963, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was thrown in jail for peacefully protesting. There, he wrote his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”, which explains some principles directly relevant to the anti-water charges movement and other campaigns. The Letter is a short read and is available here.

First, civil disobedience, or breaking the law nonviolently, is justified if the law is wrong. The law reflects the structure of power in a society and as such often benefits the powerful. After all, as King said, “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’”.

Similarly, legal codes in the US made slavery and segregation legal. In the 1950s and 1960s, blacks refused to yield their seats on public buses to whites even though this was what segregation laws ordered. They sat at restaurant counters reserved for whites, against the law. Activists organised ‘freedom rides’ on Greyhound buses through the South with whites and blacks sitting in seats normally reserved for whites only. For all this, they got arrested, beaten, jailed, and killed. They were doing things illegal, but right.

Second, the immediate enforcers of the law are the police. Although often depicted as preserving “order” and “preventing violence”, the police in fact serve power and often arrest those who attempt to win their rights or fight injustice. That’s one reason why our political leaders who have enabled the US military to use Shannon airport on its way to destroying Iraq have never been arrested or imprisoned, but water charges protesters have.

Third, nonviolent direct action seeks to force ruling classes to negotiate when they have refused to do so. Waiting passively for political leaders to change their ways is bound to fail. They know very well that what they are doing is wrong, because they benefit directly from it. Waiting passively only leads to delaying justice indefinitely, and “justice too long delayed is justice denied”.

Indeed, “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”. As King stated, “we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure”. Hence the need for organised, effective popular actions including boycotts, sit-ins, marches, etc.

Those principles have guided some of the direct action protests against water charges. Similarly, they may well lead to the imprisonment of a number of activists.

Paul Murphy TD said he hoped he would not be jailed. However, if he is, along with others, this may mark a positive turning point in the water campaign movement. My guess is that this would energise the anti-water charges campaign. Opposition parties would capitalise on the situation. Austerity parties—Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fáil—could lose some popular support. International media could cover the story critically, conveying the message that the Irish government can’t handle its domestic affairs. The government could thus shoot itself in the foot.

Julien Mercille is a lecturer at UCD. His new book, Deepening Neoliberalism, Austerity, and Crisis: Europe’s Treasure Ireland (Palgrave) is out now. Twitter: @JulienMercille

Top pic: The Irish Sun

131 thoughts on “Requiem For A Dream

  1. Mister Mister

    Julien, would ya ever go an shoite. You know full well that life imprisonment is the max permitted sentence, which would never be handed down, nor do I think it has ever been handed down in the past, even it IRA kidnappers.

    You’re just being an overdramatic tit and you’re making a fool of yourself these days.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      Issue is political policing and a conservative judiciary.

      Judges are political appointees are they not?

      Whilst the likelihood of getting a life sentence is slim the potential is still there

      It is a tad dramatic I admit but the potential is still there

      1. Cian

        The likelihood of getting a life sentence is zero.
        The likelihood of getting a jail sentence is very close to zero.
        *If* they end up in jail it will most likely be due to contempt of court – not because they blocked in the car for 2 hours.

      2. Just sayin'

        “Issue is political policing and a conservative judiciary.”

        Every judiciary is conservative.

        “Judges are political appointees are they not?”

        Would you prefer we elected them?

        “Whilst the likelihood of getting a life sentence is slim the potential is still there”

        The potential for life on Mars is still there. Your point is meaningless.

        “It is a tad dramatic I admit but the potential is still there”

        See above re: “the potential is still there.”

        1. timbot

          Actually, I disagree with the above. I think we can all see that the charge being bought against these protesters carries the threat (however unlikely) of a lifetime in prison and we can all agree that this is ridiculous.
          Whether or not they can actually receive that sentence is a separate point.

    2. bisted

      ‘…You’re just being an overdramatic tit and you’re making a fool of yourself these days.’
      – a wonderful summation that I think could apply to several people involved in the water debacle, but not Julien.

      1. Mister Mister

        In fairness, I don’t think he’s concerned at all. You’re also being over dramatic in your summation.

  2. oui

    More macadamia nut than academia. Am loving such toddler analysis;
    ” They know very well that what they are doing is wrong, because they benefit directly from it. “

      1. oui

        Am bending knee, back is straightened , toes pointed like a ballerina …. curtsey at standing ovation….:)

  3. Just sayin'

    “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’”.

    What utter nonsense. That betrays a complete ignorance of history.

    1. ollie

      THe Hitler quote is attributed to Martin Luther King, a man who didn’t “betray a complete ignorance of history”. I suggest that it is you Just sayin’ who is the ignorant one.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          King was wrong…. do go on…. but before we do…. it is estimated that between 12 million Africans were transported to the US during the yanks colourful past flirtation with slave trade. It is estimated that 10-20% of those died in the crossing… the 10million were enslaved for the rest of their lives, and their kids and grandkids….

          Now, what were you saying about Mr King being wrong. Yeah, I suppose, the holocaust only lasted a few years, not generations, and it was only half the number of Africans, so I guess the holocaust isn’t really up to a fair comparison…. good spot, fair point News Justin.

          1. True Kilcockian

            The 12 million estimate refers to those who arrived in the Americas as chattel ( approximately 2 million people died at sea) . However only about 600,000 people were brought to what became the United States.

  4. fosull

    You have got to be kidding me???

    You are genuinely seeking to compare the American Civil Rights Movement on the 1960s and all its attendant brutality, with a group of people who are unwilling to pay water charges?

    I don’t know who is the greater culprit here, Mercille for writing such offensive drivel, or Broadsheet for giving him a platform.

    1. ollie

      fosull,
      To assume that the protests are just about water charges is worng.
      Jobstwon, and many other areas like it, have been deciomated by this government. Youth unemployment around 80%, severe cuts in standard of living, and the Tanaiste rides into town in her free car and huge entourage to present a few diplomas?

      Imagine looking for a job with “jobstown” “mayfield” “ballymun” or “rathkeale” on your CV. While FG have done exactly what they always do (Thatcherite policies), Labour have betrayed the people who voted for them.

      1. fosull

        @ollie

        Whether that is true or not (and my own personal opinion is that you are giving the protesters a bit too much credit), it is still absurd to attempt any level of comparison with the actions of these people in Jobstown with the civil disobedience of the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King et al.

        It insults the true struggle they had and it reflects so poorly on the author that he cannot maintain any level of perspective on these two completely separate issues.

      2. Paulito

        Jobstown and the other places you mention were f***ed long before this government came into being.

  5. Jonotti

    If the law is wrong.

    So who decides if a law is wrong? The democratically elected government certainly have not. You’re supporting violent attacks on democracy. Dont give me that peaceful crap either. Do you want me to post up a picture of our friend with a cavity brick?

    1. J

      Mercille, stay away from the Shinners, they are not your comrades and you are clearly suffering from a severe case of Stockholm syndrome.

      1. ABM's Bloodied Underwear

        Absolutely sure it was later on in the day, after Joan had pissed off.
        Jonotti knows this of course, but doesn’t mind muddying the waters for his own self-righteousness.

    2. Weldoninhio

      1) I know the picture you are talking about and that is not a cavity brick.

      2) The aforementioned picture was taken, in Jobstown, on the same day as the water protests. However it was taken about 3-4 hours after the protest and had nothing to do with water charges/protests/Joan Burton. The picture was taken after police went into the area to execute an outstanding warrant and arrest someone.

      1. declan

        Who happen to be around the water protest – seriously worst miss-direction ever. At least the undercover Garda theory guys made an attempt to base theirs on conjecture

  6. Just sayin'

    Let’s see Julian Mercille abandon his guise as an academic and stand for election for the socialists next year. Its time he stopped hiding behind his PhD.

      1. Dόn Pídgéόní

        People always get huffy about his qualifications. The same people who also probably demand citations from academic works for everything.

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Maybe he has a PhD but only 1 international cap so doesn’t qualify as being THAT smart

    1. Medium Sized C

      What you said there was silly.

      Geography is a very broad science, which often involves very political topics.

      1. pardon

        So you think his posts are worthy of the title “academia”? The department of Geography has never attracted the brightest in any land.

        1. Medium Sized C

          You need to find some self-awareness here.
          Your own odd little bias against geography undergrads is not relevant at all.
          And nothing I posted here suggests any position from me on his posts.

          But here:

          “PhD in 2007 from UCLA (Los Angeles, USA) in geography (geopolitics and US foreign policy). ” [1]

          ” BA from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) in International Development Studies and Political Science” [1]

          [1] This is a citation. See the citation. Its from here: http://www.ucd.ie/gpep/people/drjulienmercille/

          1. pardon

            I am not impressed, he is not deserving of the title “academic”. I have watched his performance at the banking inquiry, on VB and have read his numerous BS posts. I think Mercille is the one lacking in any self awareness, his posts lack thought and smack of the arrogance of someone who neither doubts himself nor questions what he is saying. More doughy than doughty.

        2. noncanonicalpokemon

          Some of the most astute and important thinkers in the world at the minute come from a background in geography. David Harvey is a particularly striking example. Geography takes in the study of geopolitics etc. It’s not about learning capital cities off by heart. And no, I didn’t do geography.

  7. Owen C

    #Slavery
    #Hitler
    #CivilRights
    #LifeSentence

    If we were playing the Merceille Water Charges Drinking Game, we would all be drunk as skunks right now. Ridiculous as ever. And the last paragraph also lets us know that all of those people complaining about the potential for a long custodial sentence on foot of “political policing” are the ones who actually want a custodial sentence for political reasons. They are eagerly hoping for martyrs for their cause.

  8. eamonn moran

    My first reaction was that what happened in Jobstown went too far.
    Simple question for Mr Mercille.
    Did King ever take part in surrounding and entrapping a member of government?
    Im Sure Malcolm X would have had no problem but King knew that there was a difference between civil disobedience and surrounding someone and preventing them from leaving.
    Boycotts, marches, sit down protests (where people have the ability to leave the other way) and even hunger strikes are legitimate form of civil disobedience. Aggressively trapping someone in a car using a Mob is not in my opinion. As a legal graduate Murphy should have known that.
    If Murphy and the others had prevented Joan entering the ceremony by sit down protest I would not have had a problem.

    1. ollie

      “surrounding and entrapping a member of government?”
      A stage managed incident which the Gardai could have ended peacefully at any time.
      Burton had to sit in her taxpayer funded car and read her taxpayer funded newspaper for 2 hours while making calls on her taxpayer funded phone, boo hoo
      €300 a week in expenses for what exactly? Burton and her ilk are parasites, but us Irish don’t give a siht who gets the large slice of the cake once they leave us some crumbs.

        1. declan

          By stage mange I presume he means the gardai didn’t whip out the battons and pepper spray to clear the crowd – it’s called not escalation the situation. They waited till they had numbers to move her.

          As an example of the wrong type of escalation – look at the women who committed sucide in police custody in texas, she was pepper sprayed at a traffic stop for not producing her documents, crazy

          1. italia'90

            Do you mean Sandra Bland?
            The woman who didn’t use her indicator and was violently assaulted, by a state trooper, which was captured on a dashcam in the police cruiser?
            That Sandra Bland?
            The same woman who’s “jailhouse death is being handled in the manner of a murder investigation”

            http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/21/us/texas-sandra-bland-jail-death-explain/

            I love Mercile for one reason.
            He seems to get right up the nose of austerity cheerleaders, Thatcherites and the many Jonotti personas on here.

          2. declan

            Yes Sandra Bland. The death of anybody should be (and is in this case) investigated. The corner has already investigated it and the family are having a second one carried out:

            http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/23/sandra-bland-autopsy-homicide-texas

            My point been that the Gardai didn’t escalate the situation. They police with the consent of the public and generally don’t have to resort to strong arm tactics. If you really believe they don’t then your view of the world is clearly an ideological one.

          3. italia'90

            With respect declan, to believe the gardai, the press and politicians aren’t in cahoots to take advantage of every possible situation to perpetuate the mantra that all protesters are mindless, lazy, scummy criminals is quite frankly naive at best or wilfully ignorant and disingenuous at worst.

    1. J

      @ Italia 90 …or just right up the noses of those who think that a self proclaimed “expert” should live up to his well-oiled hype machine.

  9. fluffybiscuits

    The point being missed is that they are two civil rights movements, once fought for emancipation for Black Americans and the other one is fight for emancipation from austerity for the working class. Whilst the aims are different the methods are similar. Quite why they have to be lesser because of their aims is missing the point completely. Where is the solidarity? Most of you should just stick to posting selfies and laughing at kitty photos…

    1. Just sayin'

      You’re talking nonsense. Do you not understand what slavery entailed? Putting it on a par with some spending cutbacks is grotesque. I don’t mind people who don’t agree with me, as long as they can put forward a proper rational argument.

      1. J

        …and therein lies the problem with Mercille’s posts, they are so lacking in rational thought or any thought at all. As F Scott Fitzgerald said “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

      2. paul m

        It might help your point if you realised emancipation wasnt just about liberation from slavery (which came long before MLKs time). Fluffybiscuits is comparing the much later fight for better/equal politically and social rights for black americans with the IW/anti austerity movement that is being driven by the working class also looking for better treatment socially and representation from the political class. There can be many parallels drawn between the more well off white american middleclass back then with their political representatives (and that of the police) trying to surpress any fight against the status quo with the austerity measures here that have predominantly targetted the working class at the benefit of wealthy friends of the establishment.

    2. Owen C

      “emancipation from austerity for the working class”

      Can the rest of us get emancipation from Merceille and Paul Murphy?

      1. paul m

        Yes. Petition your local FG / Labour representative to tell government to stop squeezing the working class and they’ll go away. Murphy has a mandate (just like our inglourious leader Kenny does) so as long as he’s seen to be doing his duty by those who elected him he’ll keep on wrecking your head.

  10. Supercrazyprices

    So everyone who is on here for the sole purpose of criticizing Mercille focussed only on his life in prison comment and ignores the point of the piece.

    This IS political and it IS suppression of a class of Irish all over the country who the establishment want to keep oppressed and out of the political system. And most of the middle class don’t care about that and silently back it. They are backing the oppressed of a whole swathe of their fellow citizens.

    It will lead to serious civil unrest. And in Fine Gael get into government again in 2016, Ireland will explode.

    1. sendog

      finally some sense in this discussion!

      i see the blueshirt bots above have a serious hardon for dear Julien
      I wonder if they would be more interest in the protest if it was directly affecting their middle class love in!

      And the fact is we already pay for water thru general taxation. Why couldnt tax have been raised to cover the badly needed investment?
      Why has over 1 billion been spent creating this nonsense?

      No one has answered these two questions!

      But the same commenters here are quick to fire jibes at [REDACTED]!

      Ireland; a nation of hypocrites!

      1. classter

        When you strip out the crap about ‘Blueshirts’ & ‘hypocrites’ you have a couple of reasonable questions.

        ‘And the fact is we already pay for water thru general taxation. Why couldnt tax have been raised to cover the badly needed investment?’
        Answers
        It has long been the case that funding water infrastructure out of general taxation has not worked in Ireland (or indeed elsewhere). It is put on the long finger and the money is spent on other, more ‘urgent’ items.
        We already have THE MOST PROGRESSIVE tax system in the OECD, according to the OECD. Water is a commodity and past a certain baseline, we choose how much we use or how much we conserve. Until recently, we have been rather blase about conserving this resource because it was buried under general taxation.

        ‘Why has over 1 billion been spent creating this nonsense?’
        Because it makes sense to have an overarching body for the plannign of water resources and a single home for the technical expertise involved rather than having a whole series of different councils of varying standards and abilities – consider the NRA compared to county councils with the motorway programme.
        Because having a single body allows water policy top be set, discussed & implemented nationwide, Consider the level of scrutiny upon Irish Water compared to the complete lack of attention on how water services have been provided by councils over the last few decades.
        Because metering the network makes an awful lot of sense – it will help us figure out when & how water is being used. It will help to prioritise the fixing of leaks.
        It may well be that this could have been done more efficiently (and with Phil Hogan involved, I can well believe it) but the basic idea is a sound one.

        1. sendog

          You cannot deny there is a hypocritical nature to the Irish.

          The middle class will scorn on the working class protesters but will be quietly happy when this Irish water nonsense is finally shelved.

        2. ollie

          classter, your arguement doesn’t stand up.
          classter August 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm
          When you strip out the crap about ‘Blueshirts’ & ‘hypocrites’ you have a couple of reasonable questions.

          ‘And the fact is we already pay for water thru general taxation. Why couldnt tax have been raised to cover the badly needed investment?’
          Answers
          It has long been the case that funding water infrastructure out of general taxation has not worked in Ireland (or indeed elsewhere). It is put on the long finger and the money is spent on other, more ‘urgent’ items.
          We already have THE MOST PROGRESSIVE tax system in the OECD, according to the OECD. Water is a commodity and past a certain baseline, we choose how much we use or how much we conserve. Until recently, we have been rather blase about conserving this resource because it was buried under general taxation.

          ‘Why has over 1 billion been spent creating this nonsense?’
          ” Because it makes sense to have an overarching body for the plannign of water resources and a single home for the technical expertise involved rather than having a whole series of different councils of varying standards and abilities – consider the NRA compared to county councils with the motorway programme”

          Yet IW has been established with local authories still providing the workforce, so no change there.
          If you look at senior management they have absolutley no expertise in water delivery.

          Because having a single body allows water policy top be set, discussed & implemented nationwide, Consider the level of scrutiny upon Irish Water compared to the complete lack of attention on how water services have been provided by councils over the last few decades.

          Yet water policy is still set by government, as eurostat has proved.

          Because metering the network makes an awful lot of sense – it will help us figure out when & how water is being used. It will help to prioritise the fixing of leaks.

          Leaks can be detected without installation of meters, and district metering can be used.
          Most leaks are in the main pipelines as most of the local pipes were installed in the last 30 years and are made of modern materials.

          1. classter

            Perhaps my argument doesn’t stand up, Ollie, but you haven’t rebutted any of my points. You have made counter arguments to about half my points.

            There is now a central water body which is a central repository for technical expertise in this field. This is true even if county councils carry out much of the work.

            I didn’t claim that IW alone would set policy but that it would more easily facilitate the setting & implementing of a national water policy. This is hardly arguable?

            Leaks can be detected without installation of meters & district meters can be used. Clearly however, local metering gives a means to get information on a regular basis at a fairly fine level of granularity, You have made an assumption about where the majority of the leaks are. This may be true but the truth is that nobody knows right now. They will do in a couple of years – thanks to IW & its metering programme.

      2. ollie

        “Why couldnt tax have been raised to cover the badly needed investment?”
        Water charges are a new source of revenue so that we continue to make our interest payments on our private bank debt.
        RTE morning ireland presenter recently blamed the 15% cut in property tax as the cause of homelessness while totally ignoring the fact that 80% of property tax has been diverted to IW.

        Why has over 1 billion been spent creating this nonsense?
        Because there’s a clique of consultants, overpaid local authority workers and failed city managers that have to be kept fattened.
        Irish Water has twice the UK average salary and twice the UK average workforce. Anyone who defends it is either a blueshirt or a retard.

        1. classter

          ”Water charges are a new source of revenue so that we continue to make our interest payments on our private bank debt.’

          Believe it or not, bailout debt is quite a small proportion of our overall interest payments.

          ‘Irish Water has twice the UK average salary and twice the UK average workforce.’
          What does this mean? You have quoted this stat a few times now without explaining what it means or providing a source.

          1. Kieran NYC

            This is the point where ollie disappears from the conversation so it resets back to zero on a new post.

          2. New Person A

            Kieran In the NYC
            Biggin it large
            On the Xyz
            Mouthin and toutin
            For the FnG
            Is you real or is you PD?

          3. Kieran NYC

            Ha! Thank you – I quite enjoyed that.

            Can cross ‘Having poetry written about me’ off my lifegoals list!

    2. Bob

      No it won’t. It’ll tick along as normal. But FG don’t want to get into government again. They need FF back in to take the blame for all the bad decisions that need to be made to fix the mess that FG created. Then everyone will be back to hating FF and forget all about FG. And FG will be reelected in the following election, because the electorate have short memories.

      1. classter

        What are you on about Bob?
        I’m guessing you’re a tribal FF-er but what you are saying makes no sense, nor has it ever happened in the past.

    3. Mister Mister

      There’s something super crazy about you, and it’s not your prices.

      “Ireland will explode”. guffaw.

      1. Continuity Jay-Z

        Paddy will not protest. Paddy loves the yoke of oppression. trow on more dere, shur I’m well able for it.

        Moronic lemmings.

  11. doncolleone

    they just don’t want to pay for their water, come off the high horse, plenty of people paying already with far more civic sense than this lot. Far more important issues than this.

  12. Terri

    Broadsheet comments section appears to have been taken over by FG youth on Irish water related articles.

    1. classter

      Except that from what I can see the majority of commenters (Maybe 70:30 or 60:40 at least) are opposed to water charges.

      Even those who agree with Merceille often find it difficult to swallow these pieces. He may even be essentially correct but these are lazy, unthinking jeremiads with little sign of academic rigour.

    2. classter

      BTW labelling anybody who holds a different opinion to you as YFG or FG Youth etc. isn;t particularly clever, insightful or funny.

      1. fluffybiscuits

        a) He has an opinion who said it must be academically rigorous

        b) If you agree with water charges it does align people with FG/Lab so its easy to see why people might think you might be blueshirt/blueshirt lite

        1. classter

          a) Of course Merceille does not HAVE to be academically rigorous but he is being given credence here BECAUSE he is an academic. Us commenters (myself included) are well able to come up with weak arguments and non-sequiturs on our own. His pieces would be far more effective if they were edited and rigorous.

          b) I support the principle of water charges (although I want them to be based almost purely on usage) but am not nor have never been associated with YFG in any way. It is a tiresome & useless contribution to continue (on almost every post) to label those who have a different opinion as lackeys etc.

          As an aside, the ‘Blueshirt’ tag and the insinuations arising are fairly tenuous and unfair from a historical perspective & the constant use of the term is part of the stupid tribalism of Irish politics. Equally offensively stupid is the constant labelling of everyone on the left as ‘loonie lefties’ or ‘pinko commies’.

          1. New Person A

            Cluster classter bluster blaster
            Deeper harder thicker faster
            Knocks and rocks and socks all cocks
            And slippy,slimey, slandering jocks

        2. bisted

          ‘…unthinking jeremaids’…like it…I’ve written it down but you seem to have mixed Julien Mercille up with Dan Boyle.

          1. classter

            Personally I find Dan Boyle’s pieces more thought-provoking and balanced than Merceille’s.

            This is despite the fact that I never seem to agree with Boyle and I sometimes agree with Merceille,

          2. bisted

            Dear Admin…please don’t edit my comments…just delete them if you find them offensive.
            ps ..in the context it was used, ‘bungling’ could be taken by some as complimentary.

        3. Cian

          but the whole water change thing was instigated by the last FF/Green government…. so doesn’t it align you with FF/Green too?

  13. JD

    On this issue, JM appears a little plein de merde, un petit peu perhaps. The right to protest is clear. There have been 100s of protests big and small on this issue and the govt has softened its position. The right to water is clear but no where in the UN charter does it say the right to free water. Paul Elmo Murphy seems to regard protest as an umbrella for a range of activities but seems unwilling to define how far that stretches.

    1. paul m

      no different than our governments regard of protest as a form of subversion and terrorism that must be stamped out as well as disregard for the Dail in railroading through poorly devised legislation that also has no definition into how far that stretches and is backfiring on them spectacularly.

      i would hardly call offering people 100quid to register for IW and putting a delay on taking people to court for unpaid bills until after the election as government softening their position. Its the usual panicked political stunt of parking the mess for someone else to deal with later on. nice cup of HSE anyone?

      1. JD

        I think the response of the state to terrorism as practiced by the IRA highlights what the state does with terrorists. This includes the special criminal court which focused on the IRA and organised crime like the shooting of Veronica Guerin as well as the Garda Emergency Response Unit. It seems inappropriate to bandy the terrorism word around in the context of Irish Water Protests although there has been some heavy handed tactics on both sides. The reason the Dail is by passed is because we continue to elect politicians of low competence on a short term agenda of me feinism.

  14. Idiot

    Congrats Julia at the Village, looks like you really nailed it with your little piece “Julien Mercille, conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, Maître Mitty on a Monday. Worse still – and alien to the “get that state out of my life readership, this is a leftie. “Beef cake”, ” boffin”, “egghead”, “the man they all want to marry”: all bouffant hair and sallow skin, his clean-cut just-bathed Canadian earnestness, an embodiment of dissent for Broadsheet’s hirsute, lycra-clad, hashtag revolutionaries. Julienne, You tease us with your threat of taser-flashing Gardaí; whip us into a frenzy with your regurgitation of pertinent surveys, poke us with your boring quotes from the eminent King and Thoreau. I applaud your refusal to succumb to what you describe as the media’s “propaganda of silence”, as you buzz around, flogging your book on every show in town. May I be so bold as to suggest you partake in the donning of a trench coat, a suitable accoutrement, a worthy homage to your mots”

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