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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Arrest: Banners are 'Litter' at Dublin Church Protest

"The Garda confronted me with different Acts," a protester said of his arrest Sunday at pro-Cathedral in Dublin. "By the time he got to the 'Pollution and Litter Act,' where it is within his powers to demand a name and address, he arrested me for not giving my name and address."

"We've had a complaint," said the arresting officer about the clergy abuse protest. "These banners are here. Regardless of what's on them, I have a right to demand your name and address."

First video of the incident here shows the arrest, second shows minutes leading up to arrest, Sunday Aug 5, outside Pro-Cathedral church in Dublin:

Dialogue from video:

GARDA: Are these your banners?
PROTESTER: They are my banners, yes.
GARDA: I'm now demanding your name and address under the Litter and Pollution act of 1997. Failure to give your name and address is an offense and I can arrest you for same.
PROTESTER: This is art, it's not litter.
GARDA: It's deemed litter under the act.

In this video the Garda (police) approach protester:

GARDA: I've no problem with the protest, just the banners.
PROTESTER: That's a civil manner.
GARDA: You're protesting outside the church, take the banners away from the railings.

2nd PROTESTER: The banners are beautiful and they are the truth, so what's the problem with the banners?
GARDA: I've gotten a complaint, that's why I'm here.

PROTESTER: This is a civil matter, not a criminal matter, the Garda cannot intervene.
GARDA: I'm not here to stop you but fair is fair, you are protesting at the church. Take the banners away from the rails.
PROTESTER: I can't do that.
GARDA: My issue is not what's written on the banners, it's the banners themselves. I'm completely impartial. It's the fact that the banners are on the railings themselves. 

Then he arrested the protester and took him off to Dublin jail.

"No criminal offence took place," the protester wrote to City of Angels the following Monday. "Nor was there a criminal act or offence intended."

Protester was arrested for refusing to give his name to the Garda.

-Posted by Kay Ebeling, producer, City of Angels Blog
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