Wednesday, 12 September 2018
UCD STUDENTS’ UNION CONDEMNS THE VIOLENCE USED AGAINST TAKE BACK THE CITY ACTIVISTS
UCD Students’ Union condemns the treatment of activists and our fellow youth as they attempted to peacefully protest last night on North Frederick Street. Three of the five people arrested are student activists.
UCD student and member of Take back Education group, Sadhbh McLochlainn was present at the scene during the eviction. She said;
‘We were peacefully protesting the entire time of the occupation. Even when the masked men started breaking down the door with huge machinery, we were standing on the other side of the street chanting. Gardaí came with big dogs and were wearing masks and balaclavas. Any time a person tried to cross the street towards the occupation they were forcibly pushed back. One man was pepper sprayed, a lad got dragged away, beaten. Some of my friends got batons in the legs.
The Gardaí were there to protect the masked men and the peaceful protestors were beaten by those masked men. It was horrible to watch.
They were simply peacefully protesting. It is absolutely disgraceful. We marched to the Garda station afterwards and chanted and protested peacefully again until all four activists held at Store Street Garda station were released.’
Barry Murphy, UCD Students’ Union President responded;
‘The events that took place last night are a disgrace. This began with an ongoing housing crisis. Students are frustrated, they are being priced out of accommodation in Dublin and around the country. This issue has been growing for years. The Irish government has known about it and watched the situation worsen.
Like in any societal circumstance where a government's’ actions are non-existent or insufficient, citizens and often, in particular students, are forced to take action. The peaceful protest by Take Back the City was an example of this.
The same government who have been sitting on their hands, waiting for the housing crisis to solve itself, have in last night’s events, allowed the beating and harassment of peaceful protestors to occur. They responded to a situation they have caused with violence. How can we stand for this?’
UCD Students’ Union stands in strong solidarity with all activists peacefully protesting against the lack of action taken by the government to combat the housing crisis and in particular, with the activists who suffered the violent eviction last night. UCD Students’ Union will be marching with you in solidarity on 3 October. #RaisetheRoof #HousingCrisis #TakeBacktheCity #UCDSU