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Activist with Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon arrested in Galway yesterday

category galway | eu | news report author Sunday August 30, 2009 11:18author by Raymond Deane - Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon Report this post to the editors

"The Garda was clearly overstepping his authority in arresting him"

On Saturday 29th August, the indefatigable activist Tommy Donnellan of IFPAL (Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon) was arrested on the street in Galway while engaged in legitimate advocacy for the Palestinian cause, and against the Lisbon Treaty that will set in formaldehyde the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy that is so detrimental to that cause

Tommy was peacefully distributing leaflets and collecting signatures when he was approached by a couple of elderly and angry Israeli tourists. The man took exception to the IFPAL placard which displays the incontrovertible message that the Israeli Occupying Forces killed some 300 children when they invaded Gaza last December and January, a figure that the Zionist tourist claimed was false.

Tommy sought to engage the ranting gentleman in "democratic discussion", but to no avail. Eventually the Israeli summoned a youthful Garda who, without seeking to establish the facts of the matter, instructed Tommy to discontinue his legitimate advocacy and move away from the area. Tommy - who, to the great annoyance of the Garda, continued filming while arguing with him - refused on principle to move from the spot.

A polite and well-spoken American (or Canadian?) couple, who had witnessed the whole thing, sought to convince the Garda that Tommy was in fact the injured party, having been subjected to abuse and intimidation by the Israelis. The Garda was less interested in their evidence than in trying to prevent Tommy from filming this dialogue, and at last announced that he was arresting the intrepid activist "under Section 24 of the 1994 Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act for an Offence under Section 8 of the 1994 Criminal Justice Public Order Act."

A little research reveals that Section 24 of this Act allows a Garda to arrest without warrant a person (presumed male) who "fails or refuses to give his name and address when demanded, or gives a name or address which the member has reasonable grounds for believing is false or misleading." Section 8 deals with "failure to comply with direction of [a] member of Garda Siochana" if that member directs the person to desist from acting in such a manner as (according to Section 7 of the Act) "in a public place to distribute or display any writing, sign or visible representation which is threatening, abusive, insulting or obscene with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or being reckless as to whether a breach of the peace may be occasioned."

Clearly, however, Tommy's "writing, sign or visible representation" represented a truthful account of Israel's crimes, which constitute the real abuse, insult, and obscenity. Indeed this same material has been displayed in a number of Irish towns and cities over the last month without exciting hostility from the police. Furthermore, Tommy was not asked his name and address, hence didn't fail or refuse to give it. The Garda was clearly overstepping his authority in arresting him, and would have been better occupied in arresting the male Israeli tourist whose "intent to provoke a breach of the peace" was so obvious to the two visitors from North America!

That the police officer didn't have a leg to stand on was proved by Tommy's subsequent release without charge. What was involved here, in fact, was a piece of blatant harassment of a political activist engaged in legitimate advocacy of a cause perceived as just by the majority of Irish people, at the behest of a couple of irate tourists from the criminal Israeli state. No doubt the representative of the forces of "public order" was also eager to strike a blow against critics of the Lisbon Treaty, to which the Irish state is so bullishly committed.

Related Link: http://www.ifpal.ie

Caption: Arrest of IFPAL Activist in Galway


author by Robb~publication date Tue Jan 05, 2010 16:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yeah, sharia law is the real freedom the west needs!!
down with Hollywood and up with the mega-mosque,
that big bully (Israel) which dominates the middle-east is the cause of all human suffering and must be removed so that poor arabs can live in peace like islam teaches!!
but dont argue with me or the wrath of heaven / allah will come down on you and yours so quick and strong and muhammadans not you will receive the virgins but that is only for male muhammadans, good islamic women shut up and cover up!! as is only right and how to follow the true religion.
the islamic nations show the way to be with capital punishment making for better living conditions, less crime and only the true religion being adhered to.
so down with Israel, that ruin on mankind!!
and Israel is full of gays so is must be destroyed praise allah.

the keltic man~

author by jburnat - pwegpublication date Tue Jan 05, 2010 08:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indeed, the world is slave of capitalism, never is free, even is getting more and more dangerous, that’s all because of capitalism system. (Israel) is only one of its product.

author by Damoclespublication date Fri Sep 25, 2009 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You'll have fun calling every criticism of Israel a diatribe while you skulk behind your anonymity. Your comment bears out exactly what he says about Obama, which youd see if you read it over. Now he is getting ready for sanctions against Iran - none against Israel, which has even killed US citizens who protested against what they did to Palestinians and he does zilch. Wow! Great man! Protector of the free world! He can't even protect his own people against Israeli fire.

author by A Freemanpublication date Fri Sep 25, 2009 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fred Johnston describes President Obama as "That handsome man with the rehashed 'I have a dream' rhetoric, who never walked in a Civil Rights march in his life, never mind when black men all over America were being batoned, arrested and even murdered, is clearly canny enough to know that civil rights does not apply to Palestinians". This statement is clearly nonsense when you consider that the Civil Rights movement started in the mid 1950s and culminated in the enactment of civil rights legislation by the US Congress in 1965, at that time Barack Obama would have been 4 years old!

For President Obama to have taken part in large scale civil rights marches he'd have had to been marching before he could walk! Maybe Fred Johnston could check his facts before posting more of his anti-Israel diatribes, I won't hold my breath on that score!

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Sep 25, 2009 14:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A JTA report from Washington today quotes from an off-the-record telephone conversation between US administration officials and Jewish groups' leaders that the Goldstone Report, which reflects badly on Israel's IDF behaviour in Gaza, will not be allowed to reach the International Criminal Court. The US veto will deal with what the White House official described as 'any other difficulties' that arise regarding the report at the UN.

So now we know what Obama really means when he rabbits on about peace in the Middle East. Washington has further had the arrogance to tell the Palestinian Authority that they are not pleased with a PA 'petition to bring the report's allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.'

The teeth-grinding bullying arrogance of Obama's administration, never mind their utter hypocrisy, should tell the rest of the world in no uncertain terms that Israel will always be backed, no matter what crimes she commits against the Palestinians, and that in world terms, the Palestinians do not count. So one must ask whether the US also 'off the record' supports hard-line Israelis who want the bantustans in which the Palestinians exist to be degraded further and 'disappeared' altogether. Any excuse can be found.

That handsome man with the rehashed 'I have a dream' rhetoric, who never walked in a Civil Rights march in his life, never mind when black men all over America were being batoned, arrested and even murdered, is clearly canny enough to know that civil rights does not apply to Palestinians. One more kow-towing US president for the Israeli trophy cabinet.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Sep 25, 2009 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can't understand any of that, Seán. What is your point?

author by Sean Ogpublication date Thu Sep 24, 2009 21:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The 'impoverished' Gaza Strip
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2009/09/impoverished-g....html

This is a picture of 'Palestinians' in a Gaza City coffee shop watching coverage of Wednesday's meeting between President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Abu Mazen.

I trust that your local coffee shop has a giant flat screen TV like the one in the picture, since there is no way you could be as impoverished as the 'Palestinians' of Gaza.

Fred --this is what it is all about is nt it ? Not Lisbon or Galway

Wasted resources and priorities

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Sep 24, 2009 19:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Friday, 13 March 2009, Ni’lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni’lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister."

So reports the website of the International Solidarity Movement - the Israelis having used high-velocity gas canisters on civilian demonstrations. There has been talk about this in the US but little mention, save for The Guardian and The Independent (that I have seen) on this side of the pond, and one must ask why, after this length of time. Clearly Obama will not bring this awkwardness up when he moves in to create 'peace' between the ghettoised Palestinians and the nuclear-armed Israelis, who can now shoot Americans (and anyone else) without any fear of the United States.

"The Israeli army began to use the Ruger rifle and a high velocity tear gas canister in December 2008. The black canister, labeled in Hebrew as “40mm bullet special/long range,” can shoot over 400 meters and weighs 130 grams without the propeller. The gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail and has a propeller to accelerate the weapon mid-air. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous and has caused numerous injuries, including a Palestinian male whose leg was broken in January 2009."

A statement was quoted in The Guardian newspaper: "Israel regrets that the Israeli and foreign nationals co-operate with violent rioters against the building of the security fence, whose purpose is saving the lives of Israeli citizens,” it said. “As such, any Israeli, Palestinian, or foreign national who illegally participates in a violent demonstration takes upon himself the risk of personal harm during the dispersal of these disturbances.”

Related Link: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5324
author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Sep 24, 2009 16:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can't argue with any of that. I still believe in the small groups who demonstrate, who may with luck grow into big groups; the stall-keepers, the leaflet-pushers, the poster-putter-uppers! I still believe that it's an old and parochial tactic to deem as ridiculous those who say something in opposition to the perceived status quo. There isn't a shadow of doubt that there are also individuals with personal axes a-grinding who mask it all under personal attacks on local politicians. Their exposure is important.

Yes, there are splits where there shouldn't be. The shock of Labour effectively deserting the Left has caused many people to undergo a kind of ideological hangover. I would welcome a combined 'Left' effort to produce a solid party that would get back to basic Socialist roots: the working man and woman, the real effort of struggle against what we now can see clearly is a privileged and protected Right-wing clique which believes it can run everything from a village festival to a country and can do so by right. We live, basically, in a one-party State. How to change that? Create a Left that has a voice in media as well as on the corner. Start, at least, to think about it.

author by Somewhat Disillusioned Galway Activistpublication date Thu Sep 24, 2009 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I actually agree with you on the necessity of international solidarity Fred but I think it works hand in hand with activism on local issues. I also appreciate the work that you do so don't misinterpret this as an argumentum ad personam. But...

"We are not doing anything to solve our own problems save theorising and arguing amongst ourselves."

If this is the truth then we really do have a major issue here. We should be doing more than just this. Theory is necessary but so is action. Local activism cannot degenerate into a mere talking shop. As regards the arguing I believe it's one of the major checks on the growth of the left, in Galway at any rate. The process of struggle must reflect the ends we wish to achieve. If we want a peaceful, democratic, equal and inclusive society then we must organise our movements to epitomise those values. That means mutual respect and not endless polemic, structures that curb authoritarian ego-trippers, cooperation and solidarity between those who seek progressive change and proper constructive debate which is not just dominated by those who shout the loudest. In my experience these values are lacking in much of the Galway left.

More power to Tommy, who does great work.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Sep 24, 2009 01:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's not that simple. We are part of the world. We are not doing anything to solve our own problems save theorising and arguing amongst ourselves. So rather than engage with that, it's no harm to look at injustice outside our own parish. Besides, we are owned by the US, so what they do in the world, such as support the Israelis, is part of our business now.

author by Sean Ogpublication date Mon Sep 21, 2009 22:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fred J - we all know you are a great writer and internationalist but shouldnt we sort our own problems first ?
In view of the mess we are in -maybe have a rest from solving the world s crises !

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Sep 21, 2009 13:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Galway is never proud of its dissenters, which is rather a shame. Anyone who will give up their time, as Tommy does regularly, to reminding us in our cosiness of the horrors perpetrated against the Palestinians deserves our support. Well done!

author by Eamonpublication date Fri Sep 18, 2009 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What gives these people who are guests in this country the right to tell us what to do and what not to do? What's worse is to see the Gardai kowtowing to their demands. Keep up the good work Tommy, you're a credit to Galway.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Sep 18, 2009 14:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Parochialism, whether in culture or politics, is a sad thing to see in a new Ireland. Sean óg seems to think that watching over our own small acre is sufficient; it isn't, we are involved in the greater world. Yes we should strive to ensure a 'No' vote on October 2nd; but that does not prevent us also from tackling, or endeavouring to tackle, the great injustice perpetrated - while the US makes noises and shapes - by the Israeli government on the Palestinians. They are not mutually exclusive issues.

author by Sean Ogpublication date Fri Sep 18, 2009 00:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What has Lisbon to do with Israel any way ?

Really dont you think all the money spent on all these signs which I F PAL

have put all over the country could be better used .

Am I stupid or is the world mad when so much effort is spent on propaganda which to this day has not effected any changes in the Middle East

Let us concentrate on 2 Oct and whether Lisbon is good for US here and

sort our selves out and let other people sort themselves out

All this righteous indignation is tiring and boring

author by Marthapublication date Tue Sep 08, 2009 08:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tomy, I am sorry to hear what happened to you. I am looking forward to seeing you on Saturday again at Woodys!!
Love to you.

author by Margaret D.publication date Sat Sep 05, 2009 15:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Meanwhile, protests continue in Galway. At one part of the street a 'No to Lisbon' desk was set up - outside the Bank of Ireland at Lynch's Castle, though there are plans to do controversial restruction of the mediaeval building - and the Green Party were at the very end of Shop Street being filmed. Lots going on besides shopping in The City of the Vibes, though the local media don't bother much to take a peek, it being the weekend and all.

Galway Protests Continue . . . .
Galway Protests Continue . . . .

author by Margaret D.publication date Sat Sep 05, 2009 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will approve more construction in West Bank settlements before considering a halt to building work, officials say. The prime minister is expected to back work on hundreds of new homes next week in addition to 2,500 units already being built, a senior aide said.
He will then consider a temporary halt to settlement building, as requested by the US in a bid to restart peace talks."
So reports the BBC News online today. Had any other country in the world defied the US in a similar war, sanctions would have been put in place immediately. It's hard, however, to think that Netanyahu is not working at least to some covert extent with the US in a sort of nod-and-wink strategy. The settlement building continues. Israeli's administration raises two fingers to Europe, Britain, the US. Or does it? This kind of politics is a game of smoke and mirrors.

Galway Protests Continue . . .
Galway Protests Continue . . .

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Sep 03, 2009 14:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Very good to see some action being taken on this matter. It wasn't on from a whole host of points of view.

author by Sean Clinton - IFPALpublication date Thu Sep 03, 2009 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Superintendent Tom Curley,
Mill Street Garda Station
Mill Street,
Galway

Re: Wrongful arrest of IFPAL campaigner
Mr. Tommy Donnellan on the 29th August

Dear Superintendent Curley,

On Saturday 29th August Mr. Tommy Donnellan, a member of IFPAL (Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon), was arrested on Shop Street in Galway while engaged in legitimate advocacy for the Palestinian cause, and against the Lisbon Treaty.

Mr Donnellan was peacefully distributing leaflets and collecting signatures when he was approached by a couple of angry Israeli tourists. The Israeli man took exception to an IFPAL placard displaying the message that Israel killed more than 300 Palestinian children in January. The tourists claimed that this figure was false, although it has been confirmed by several independent sources. Their behaviour was provocative and abusive.

Instead of engaging in the civilised discussion to which Mr Donnellan invited these tourists, one of them summoned a Garda, Garda Paul Mc Nulty, who, without seeking to establish the facts of the matter, instructed Mr Donnellan to discontinue his legitimate advocacy and move away from the area. Mr Donnellan stood his ground, as is his democratic right, and after several minutes of fruitless argument - during which two North American visitors who had witnessed the altercation sought in vain to convince Garda Mc Nulty that the aggressive tourists were at fault - Mr Donnellan was arrested "under Section 24 of the 1994 Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act for an Offence under Section 8 of the 1994 Criminal Justice Public Order Act."

It is our understanding that this Act allows the arrest of a person who "fails or refuses to give his name and address when demanded", which was not the case here, or who "in a public place... distribute[s] or display[s] any writing, sign or visible representation which is threatening, abusive, insulting or obscene with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or being reckless as to whether a breach of the peace may be occasioned", something which again was not the case. Mr Donnellan's placard and leaflets presented a truthful account of Israel's action during its genocidal assault on the people of Gaza, and indeed this same material has been displayed in a number of Irish towns and cities over the last month without exciting hostility from the Gardai, or indeed from the public at large.

It is IFPAL's belief that Garda Mc Nulty overstepped his authority in arresting Mr Donnellan, and we believe that his subsequent release without charge constitutes proof of this. We demand that the Gardai issue a public apology to Mr. Donnellan for the harassment he had to endure from a member of the Gardai who acted without due cause or any evidence other that the word of Israeli visitors who sought to prevent the exposure of uncomfortable truths about the behaviour of the Israeli state, for the public humiliation caused to Mr. Donnellan in one of the busiest street of his home town and for the considerable personal distress suffered by Mr. Donellan as a result of Garda Mc Nulty’s actions which were such as to suggest that henceforth the democratic right to advocacy and protest is to be curtailed in Galway City.

Yours sincerely,

______________
Sean Clinton
Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon

author by Madgepublication date Wed Sep 02, 2009 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An Irish citizen exercises his civil right to protest in the street and he is abused and shouted at by a tourist who then pushes for his arrest. What is wrong with that picture? Why wasn't the Israeli tourist apprehended on suspicion of a breach of the peace, or some-such? And why the adolescent vindictiveness illustrated by some of the false names above to the whole notion of Mr Donnellan's protest? If there is someone trying to stir it by attempting to create division in the Left in Galway, let he or she have the courage to come out, identify themselves, and present their argument. It is not Mr Johnson's job to make up for their cowardice on the matter. There has always been a tension between those who act and those who yap from under the table. So no more psuedonyms in this argument, please. And the nasty, schoolboy's remark about Mr Johnson's house, true or not, is typical of something from someone deeply frustrated by their own circumstances and has no place in decent discussion. One suspects it comes from someone of comfortable circumstances for whom the real world of struggle is a remote thing. Shame on you.

author by Liampublication date Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As has already been stated in these comments, and publicised by Tommy in the past, the Gardai are all too keen to come and have their time wasted by Woodies, reciting the same tired lines about Private Property and abuse of customers. No valid witnesses are ever found.

We are so detached from the notion that it is our right to protest in this country, that we do have a responsibility beyond the career, the car and the spouse. This civic duty is beyond forgotten by these drones, it was never learned in the first place. No accident.

author by TD - IFPALpublication date Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon

IFPAL (Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon) call on Gardai in Galway to issue an apology for the wrongful arrest of IFPAL activist Mr. Tommy Donnellan who was arrested following a malicious complaint made by Israeli tourists. The Israeli tourists heckled and abused Mr. Donnellan as he manned a stall in Shop Street dispensing information about the Israeli genocide in Gaza and calling for a NO vote in the Lisbon referendum. When they got no satisfaction and failed to gain any sympathy from passers-by they feigned injury and complained to the Gardai.

IFPAL are campaigning for a No vote in the forthcoming Lisbon referendum as EU foreign policy facilitates Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity including genocide against the Palestinian people. The Lisbon Treaty would allow the EU Council to change the manner in which CFSP is decided from unanimity to qualified majority vote, thus giving even greater control of EU foreign policy to larger EU states, Britain, Germany and France – states where an embedded and well-funded Zionist lobby holds sway.

A spokesperson for IFPAL, Michael Youlton stated “We believe that the actions of the Gardai in Galway were unfounded. Mr. Donnellan was perfectly entitled to be on the street dispensing information about the Israeli genocide in Gaza and calling for a No vote in the Lisbon referendum. He was not engaged in any breach of the peace but was himself subjected to abuse from Israel tourists who sought to deny him the right to free speech as enshrined in the Irish constitution. Unfortunately the Gardai, rather than protecting the rights of an Irish citizen, chose instead to heed the ranting of the Israeli tourists. They did so despite evidence from an impartial observer who defended Mr. Donnellan and informed the Gardai the he was in fact the injured party.

We in IFPAL hope that there will be no further abuse of power by state authorities in the run-up to referendum day when the Irish public shall have their say.

End of Statement

Not included in the IFPAL Statement/Press Release is that a complaint is being lodged with the head honcho of Mill Street Garda Station on my false arrest

author by unseenfootagepublication date Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I picket with TD and others outside woodies, tescos, aldi, M&S and dunnes on most Saturdays, weather permitting.Our protests are always peaceful. We make sure that customers have right of way and we never abuse them.

Woodies management always calls the gardi complainning that our protests are illegal but the gardi always leave when we tell them that our protest IS legal. So woodies upped the ante and started making false and malevolent accusations against us, saying that we are swearing at and abusing the customers. Neither they nor the guards have been able to produce a single complainant to date and they never will. Our team is a small one but we are well organised and disciplined and we understand that they key to our long term success is to "win hearts and minds," especially of those who disagree with us, so we do not abuse anyone, we only take defensive measures against those who in our faces like that redneck zionist.

Well done TD. Wish I was there. :)

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Aug 31, 2009 19:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indeed serious questions should be asked around how a young member of the Gardaí is so enthusiastic about arresting a man without first verifying the facts of the case. It is clear from watching the video that Tommy was abused by a man using a tactic well-known to anyone who has attempted to interview or argue with the more aggressive pro-Zionist Israelis - a constant stream of shouted, ranted verbal abuse. Clearly neither the man nor the woman who was quick to accuse Tommy of things he did not do felt 'passionate' enough about their case to press charges, even though she at least was willing to lie. It might have been interesting to see whether she would have committed perjury to drive home her point.

In fact both she and her male companion should have been arrested and charged with a breach of the peace, especially once the evidence from the Canadian witness had been heard. They forgot, clearly, that they were in a country which permitted freedom of protest: no doubt at home an IDFsoldier might have pressed their point more forcefully and called it self-defence. Must be very frustrating not to be able to call on a friendly soldier to shut protestors up.

Our government has sold out to the United States and now, if this case is anything to go by, is towing the usual timorous official line around the Israelis.

So which of our City Councillors will be making a formal statement condemning this action against an Irish citizen at the next Council meeting? Is anyone making a protest to the Israeli Ambassador? Once again, well done, Tommy.

author by hitchpublication date Mon Aug 31, 2009 17:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Garda Professional Standards Unit
gpsu@garda.ie

National Crime Prevention Office
crime_prevention@garda.ie

Garda National Immigration Bureau
gnib_dv@garda.ie

Galway Garda Station,
Mill Street,
Galway City.

Tel: +353 91 538000
Fax: +353 91 538083 (Public Office)
Fax: +353 91 538049 (District Office)

District HQ: Mill Street, Galway
District HQ Tel: +353 91 538016
District Officer: Superintendent Tom Curley

Divisional HQ: Mill Street, Galway
Divisional HQ Tel: +353 91 538011
Divisional Officer: Chief Superintend. Donall O’Cualain

author by Maureen Gallagher - Permanent Revolutionpublication date Mon Aug 31, 2009 17:02author email maureengall at eircom dot netauthor address 31 Friars hill, Rahoon, Galway.author phone 35391587024Report this post to the editors

i have stood alongside Tommy at protests outside Atlantic Homecare and Woodies, urging people to boycott Israeli goods on the basis of the Zionist state's murderous campaigns against the Palestinians in particular the massacre in the Gaza strip last January. On all occasions we have been peaceful simply explaining the situation to people who passed by. Nevertheless the gardai have on every occasion arrived telling us we were on private property despite our repeated assertions we were on public grounds. The last time I picketed at Woodies the Garda told us the Woodies management said we were abusing people as they went in. We responded that we were not, that this was a lie. How would it have made any sense? Now the Gardai have arrested a human rights activist on the word of a passing Israeli tourist.
We should ask why the Gardai take the word of an Israeli and not the word of the other eye-witness who testified to screaming harrassment of Tommy?
If we join all the dots together we find there is a link between the Irish Government's craven servitude to US foreign policy (i.e. allowing the re-fuelling at Shannon) and the Gardai actions on Saturday. The US administration is 100% behind the Zionist attacks on Palestine, as they see the Zionist state as their gendarme in the middle east. The Irish government are abject supporters of US foreign policy, hoping to garner the crumbs from the investment table. Every thinking person must speak out against the type of harrassment that Tommy was subjected to on Saturday. And condemn Zionist actions in Palestine.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is an outrage that, after Israeli citizens have been allowed to harass a peaceful Irish protestor on Irish soil, the same Israeli citizens can persuade Gardaî, solely on their own word, to arrest the Irish citizen who has been harassed by them.

This is not the first time that Israeli tourists have attacked peaceful Palestinian protestors in Ireland. The following is a personal account of what I witnessed once at the GPO, published in "Three Little Dogs" (excerpt from Letter to US Senator Tom Harkin):

"I noticed an altercation between a pro-Palestinian group and a lone young Israeli who had pulled the table cloth from under their leaflets, I heard him say as he walked away: 'That's all you can do - abuse people, not engage in dialogue.'

As he passed by me I said to him quietly 'I will engage in dialogue with you'

He then told me that he had been in the IDF, had killed 'Arabs', was proud of it and was going back to kill more. He said that God and Abraham had given all of Israel to his people. When I countered some of these points, he stood back and said:

'I am superior to you because I am a Jew and you are only a Gentile' "

The arrogance of the State of Israel and the people whom it has brainwashed is unbelievable.

It is an outrage that Gardaí in Galway arrested Tommy Donnellan on foot of a complaint by two Israeli-connected tourists but paid no heed to the counter complaint made by a North American tourist, Mr Geoffrey V. Gray, against the same Israelis.

Related Link: http://threelittledogs.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2009-03-21T11%3A36%3A00Z&max-results=5
author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Aug 31, 2009 02:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kathleen M. People here may not know -certainly I don't - what 'BDS' actually means. Can you elucidate upon this? I really don't think, as a side issue, that any Irish person will tolerate being bullied and verbally abused (and lied about) to their face in an Irish street by a representative of a foreign government which lies blatantly about the number of Palestinian civilians it kills. We have police to protect us from from breaches of the peace. . . allegedly (except in Rossport, where the policing is decidedly anti-Irish)The Israeli Ambassador should apologise.

author by TD - IFPALpublication date Mon Aug 31, 2009 00:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As evidenced 7 minutes and 19 seconds into this video, it turns out that Galway, Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon/Free Palestine Campaign had a previous close encounter with my arresting Garda; Paul McNulty, on 4th July last: This encounter was an ad nauseam series of the malodorous kind with Gardai from Mill Street station who were at the beck and call, it seemed at the time and still appears so, of Big Business in Galway who for their in-house boys in blue to harass and worry us, particularly in the case of Woodie's DIY store, off the Headford Road was to allege alarming tall dark tales of ne'er-do-wells swearing, cursing and abusing their customers, deliberately and sacrilegiously blocking their temple to Mammon and generally behaving like ... er ... Zionists.

McNulty, as evidenced by the two relevant videos cannot be accused of stealing King Solomon's clothes and judgement, not for him to reason why, to employ his intuitive judgement, as behoves any Garda worth his or her salt to wear the uniform, to divine between competing claims and err on the side of common sense if no burning bush atop Mt. Horeb speaks to illuminate the dark way, sufficient for him to prate the malicious claims of the Zionists last Saturday and Woodie's last July and shamefully act on them; for after all he's just "doing his job" and his forensic intuition doesn't and cannot, it appears, transcend such Kafkaesque questioning such as, putatively; So, when did you start beating your wife and children and, factually; "Many people went up to management complaining (about us) and they in turn have called us... well, I ask that you don't obstruct people as they go into the shop ... that you don't abuse anyone going into the shop, etc," not for him the luxury of acknowledging the elephant in the parlour, that we were, back then and now, impelled by conscience to inform and appeal to peoples consciences to do the right thing; to boycott Israeli goods and do whatever it takes in reasonable measure to force genocidal, rogue state Israel, to give up its egregious criminality and to otherwise as last Saturday's Zionists and Woodies malevolently allege is, to put it mildly, suicidal.?


Caption: Day of Action in Galway to mark the 5th anniversary of the ICJ ruling that Israel

author by Kathleen M.publication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 21:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At the moment, there are 18 comments to Geoffrey Gray's article in mondoweiss.net some quite interesting such as "Sin Nombre's" : In U.S. First Amendment law the idea that a speaker can be silenced because of the reaction he or she creates is called a “heckler’s veto” and the Supreme Court has pretty much said that such vetos ought not be recognized ... and some weak minded ones such as "syvanen's": Anyone willing to stand on a street corner pushing the BDS movement should be prepared to face the consequences. It is inflamatory. The other side will not sit back quietly. It should be expected that someone will try to provoke an incident. This is the politics of the street. I am unwilling to publicly support BDS for the simple reason I am not willing to take on a street fight for doing so. That should be simple. Who ever said that life is fair.

Related Link: http://mondoweiss.net/2009/08/suppression-of-free-speech-in-galway-ireland.html#comments
author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 18:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tommy - Do you intend to post what you managed to video today?

author by Alanpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 18:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You can register your complaint against the treatment of Tommy to Sgt Brendan Moore at Milstreet Gardai Station 091 538000.

Or write to Superintendent Tom Curley at Milstreet Garda Station.

author by Paul o toolepublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 18:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish police always support the criminals.......Well done Tommy boy.

author by TD - IFPALpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Following the successful launch of IFPAL 1 on the Liffey near the Ha'penny Bridge, IFPAL 2 on the Claddagh Quay in Galway, IFPAL 3, after a brief tussle with strong winds and a seething Shannon, curtesy of the tail end of a hurricane ended with its arse in the air, its superstructure ripped off and signs heading pell-mell towards the sanctuary of the Atlantic - no doubt, in its prescience to escape the attentions of Galway City Councils Quaystone Cops. See http://politube.org/show/1929 No Room at the Inn, No Anchorage at Claddagh Quay

ifpalthree_1.jpg

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Caption: IFPAL 3 Comes a Cropper on the Wild Waters of the Shannon


Related Link: http://www.ifpal.ie
author by Hugh Brispublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 17:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Geoffrey V. Gray writes:

My wife and I were walking down the street in Galway, Ireland, and passed a white-haired human rights worker standing behind a table. Above him were banners calling for the boycotting of Israeli products by the EU. A pamphlet listed stores in Galway that sold Israeli goods and how to spot them. A banner above his table read "Israel kills 300 children in Gaza." A crowd was gathering and my wife and I stood watching.

A woman started screaming that the man behind the table had harassed her and had called her a murderer. Another man, who said that he was a Jewish theology professor from France, was also screaming that the posters were lies. The man behind the table had a video camera pointing at the screamers. He said only, Stop harassing me.

The woman (who I later learned was married to an Israeli) went off and got a garda (cop). He spoke to the man behind the table and said he had to leave or he would be arrested for disturbing the peace. The man said he wouldn’t leave.

I went up to the cop and told him what I had seen: two individuals verbally abusing the human rights worker. A short time later a handful of gardae took the man away in a paddy wagon.

What had happened: the pro-Israel screamers successfully used emotional blackmail—presenting the intensity of their rage as evidence of horrible mistreatment–to elicit protection from the police. Does this MO sound familiar?

Related Link: http://mondoweiss.net/2009/08/suppression-of-free-speech-in-galway-ireland.html
author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 16:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have written a letter to Al-Haaretz newspaper and would suggest, since it can be accessed easily on the Web, that others do so to protest against the attitudes of some Israeli tourists in Ireland, who clearly believe, with impunity, that they can behave here as they would at a checkpoint back home. Naturally, our relevant Minister should protest to his Israeli counterpart, but he wouldn't have the courage since our government couldn't even find its mouth when Irish citizens were kidnapped by Israelis. Good man, Tommy. No doubt our writers will be penning letters to the local and national newspapers protesting about this affair.

author by TD - Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbonpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What frenzied the Jewish professor (he identified himself as such) at the start of the video into redneck, rabid, denial mode was that the two IFPAL signs stated: Israel killed over 300 Palestinian children in January (and December). "It wasn't true" "I needed to be reeducated" according to the nasty US woman videoed pouring her lies into the ears of the, regrettably, compliant Garda. The denial was full blown, repellant and flew in the face of all bedrock evidence such as the report furnished by the delegation of eight American lawyers, members of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) in the United States who in the immediate aftermath of the Gaza "genocide" (Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann president of the UN General Assembly) spent five days in Gaza painstakingly gathering evidence of Israeli war crimes: We spoke to Ibtisam al-Samouni, 31, and a resident of al-Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City. On 4 January, the Israeli army forced approximately 110 of al-Zeitoun's residents into Ibtisam's home. At approximately 7am on 5 January, the Israeli military launched two tank shells at the house without warning, killing two of Ibtisam's children: Rizka, 14 and Faris, 12. When the survivors attempted to flee, Israeli forces shot at them. Her son Abdullah, seven, was injured in the shelling and remained in the home among his deceased siblings for four days before Israeli forces permitted medical personnel into al-Zeitoun to rescue them. After medical personnel removed the injured persons, an Israeli war plane destroyed the house and it crumbled over the lifeless bodies. The dead remained beneath the rubble for 17 days before the Israeli army permitted medical personnel to remove their bodies for burial http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10292.shtml

Flies in the face of the recent Human Rights Watch report: ‘White Flag Deaths: The Killings of Palestinian Civilians During Operation Cast Lead’ http://www.hrw.org/node/85113 which Democracy Now delves into and elaborates further.

Khaled Abed Rabbo: it was a Wednesday, the Israeli army ordered us over a megaphone to leave our houses. We came out holding white flags—my wife, my mother and my three daughters and I holding white flags. We exited our house from there and came to this very spot. We stood at the spot for seven minutes, waving flags, waiting to see if they would let us enter our house or go somewhere else. There was a tank there with two soldiers sitting on top of it. One was eating chips, and the other, chocolate. For seven minutes, we stood there without talking. Then, suddenly, one emerged from the tank and fired at the children. My daughter Amal, she was two years old, her intestines fell out. My daughter Suad, age seven, was also shot. My daughter Samar, age four, was shot in the back, chest and stomach; her spine was destroyed.

Anjali Kamat: Suad died almost instantly, and Amal died of her wounds a few hours later, because no ambulances were allowed into the area. Samar is paralyzed from the waist down. Khaled Abed Rabbo’s mother was also seriously injured. When the family returned home towards the end of Operation Cast Lead, their home was a pile of rubble. I asked Khaled Abed Rabbo whether Hamas had a presence in the area.

Khaled Abed Rabbo: This is a border area. There’s no resistance here at all. The soldiers were eating chips and chocolate. How ironic that as my child were shot dead, the Israeli soldiers were eating chocolate. They were sitting on top of the tank, not even inside the tank. I mean, there’s no resistance here (Related Link).

Children from the Samouni family lie in the morgue in the al-Zeitoun area of Gaza City. (Mohamed Al-Zanon/MaanImages)
Children from the Samouni family lie in the morgue in the al-Zeitoun area of Gaza City. (Mohamed Al-Zanon/MaanImages)

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Caption: Galway Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon urge electorate to Vote No


Related Link: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/17/human_rights_watch_calls_on_israel
author by Fergalpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good man Tommy fair play to ye for stickin to your principles .

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 13:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Several years ago I was involved in a similarly peaceful leafleting on the corner of Shop Street, Galway, and High Street, when a large group of Israeli tourists approached, shouting abuse and yelling; there were Arab women among us.

Throughout all of this they continued filming with video cameras. The abuse was direct, shouted, involved fingers being waved in our faces and totally lacking in the least respect or understanding that they were guests in our country and not masters of it, and that we had a right to protest in our own country. One could only guess at their attitude had we been Palestinians in Gaza at a crossing.

Now we have the above-mentioned incident. I do believe it is time our Department of Foreign Affairs had a polite conversation with the Israeli Ambassador, he who shouts so loudly about the miseries visited upon the Israelis in (for the most part) illegal settlements, and remind him to pass the word along that when in Ireland tourists are expected to behave themselves and if they do not, they could be subject to arrest and deportation on a charge of - if they are in a group - conspiring to disturb the peace.

Nor should members of the Gardaí be at all timorous about excercising such an arrest. As we can see from the above story, there would appear to be a little confusion as to the rights of Irish citizens to (1) excercise their right of public protest and (2) to be protected from the insults and verbal abuse of visiting non-nationals. If anything like this happens again, no argument should be entered into, but the nearest person with a mobile 'phone should call the Gardaí and make an official complaint.

Apart from anything else, Israeli tourists who carry on in this country as if they were manning checkpoints back home and we were unruly Arabs do not do the image of their own country any good.

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