We are delighted to hear that water charges campaigner Steven Bennett has been released after spending 8 weeks in Cloverhill prison without trial.
The judge tried to make him accept bail conditions which would have banned him from protesting. Steven refused to accept these conditions and because of this stance has been in Cloverhill prison until his release after todays court appearance.
What happened to Steven exposes the extremely hollow nature of democracy and legal process. This was an internment without trial intended to prevent Steven taking part in protests. The media outlets that were outraged that Joan Burton was delayed in her car for a couple of hours in Jobstown were silent about his eight week detention. To them its wasn’t even a news story, never mind material for outraged editorials.
Steven released this statement while in prison
“To my Friends, Comrades and to the Irish Water movement
I send this message of solidarity from my cell in Cloverhill prison, where i have been since May 20th.
The Irish state prevents me from my right to protest. While the high court has granted me restrictive bail, it would be at the cost of surrendering my Fundamental, Political and Civil rights. I can not accept this as it would kill my revolutionary spirit, so i am forced to stay here in prison until i can appeal the bail, or until my hearing at the Criminal Court of Justice on the 22nd of July in Dublin City.
I also want to say loud and clear without hesitation that our struggle is morale, ethical and just and that our form of protest, non-violent Direct action is successful at preventing the Meter installations and drawing wider public attention and to our protest raising the profile of our opinions in the national debate, that has helped build our movement today.
I would encourage you all to continue to build on what has been achieved so far, people and communities standing shoulder to shoulder against the bullies and building a non-violent leaderless resistance movement that is capable of defeating not just the water charges, but winning any issue we choose to fight.
It is of absolute importance that this Movement stays in control of the people and is unaffiliated with any political party or to be used by cynically those who only want to gain your vote in the election. We need a Movement that will fight not just this government but any future government, all politicians should fear people.
Power to the People!”