Saturday, 19 September 2009

"Offensive" No-to-Lisbon sign - two arrested

The "offensive and abusive" sign

Among the groups against acceptance are Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon who have created the above poster. The imaginative logo has also, in the form of a boat been sailing on two Irish rivers over the past weeks.

But in Galway a human rights activist, Tommy Donnelan, who was displaying the poster on the public street, was arrested by Gardaí after two Israeli tourists lodged complaints. Yesterday in Dublin, another human rights activist, Seán Clinton was arrested, handcuffed, detained and photographed while in detention, because he had first displayed the poster outside the Israeli Embassy and later, after a compromise with Dublin City Council tried to erect a smaller version of the same poster in its place.

It emerged that the instigator of the complaint this time was the Israeli Embassy in Dublin and both Gardaí and DCC had to bend to the Embassy's will.

It appears that the powerful message on the poster reminding people of the slaughter by Israel of 300 children in Gaza , and the European Union's lack of back-bone in failing to take Israel to task for this atrocity by imposing sanctions, was too much for the Ambassador of Israel to stomach.

It was easier for Ambassador Dr Zion Evrony to stomach the IDF killing of children in Gaza than the poster recalling the killings outside his Embassy in Dublin.

But what can be said of the Irish State that disallows freedom of expression in Ireland in the run-up to a referendum but engages in active repression and arrest of citizens who exercise their right to that freedom? A disgraced State (Ireland) is hell-bent on forcing Lisbon on its citizens whether we like it or not.

(The logo on the poster states: "Israel killed over 300 children in January - yet the EU will not impose sanctions EU policy facilitates Israeli genocide Vote NO to Lisbon"

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