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Jobstown Not Guilty trial round-up
The trial of Jobstown protesters is an attack on the right to protest, but it is also an attack on the working class communities of Tallaght, Dublin. Prosecutors wanted to ban anyone from Tallaght and anyone opposed to water charges on social media from the jury. In her evidence, Joan Burton stated that she feared for her life. What exactly is she saying about the people of Jobstown? So on 6 May, hundreds marched in Tallaght in solidarity with the defendants.
In the trial itself the defence questioned Burton about video evidence taken from her phone where she tells her assistant Karen O'Connell to go on social media and say "that children were roaming the streets with no one minding them." After being asked several times if she meant what she said - and after avoiding answering the question - the judge instructed her to answer the question, and she finally admits that it was her suggestion. The defence asked: "Weren't you trying to paint a picture of the people there as uncaring, to smear them, and isn't it your default position to say whatever you think will gain you an advantage at that moment? Weren't you strategising in the back of that car?"
Under questioning from the defence O'Connell recounted that she herself had been involved in the 'Shell to Sea' protests in the past - including sit-down protests that blocked trucks and where people were arrested. These were, she claimed, "very different" to the Jobstown protest.
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