| Friday 9th May
2008 | Issue 631
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FIRE AND LIMESTONE
On Wednesday at the Hill Of Tara. Ireland, the solidarity vigil camp was evicted by an assortment of goons led by the Office of Public Works. The camp – on public land – was mostly destroyed, including a (newly made) wooden temple structure shredded by chainsaws, but the protesters managed to save the sacred fire, lit two years ago, within a tipi.
At 9.30am the camp was descended upon by 20 OPW workers plus fifteen private security and twenty Gardai (police) – and amongst the security was at least one known employee of Ferrovial, the Spanish construction company running the project which will put the M3 motorway through one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe.
This comes after the Direct Action camp at Rath Lugh was evicted on April 17th (See SchNEWS 624).
Since last July, when the European Commission declared that construction of the M3 broke 37 EU laws, the road build has continued, illegally – in fact it has been rushed through because of this.
The head of the OPW archaeologists have agreed to leave the fire until a meeting on May 19th, as they could not quote a law to use to extinguish it – just as they couldn’t offer a legal legitimation for the entire eviction. Protesters are arguing that the fire is part of their individual and collective religious belief, which apparently carries some weight in Ireland as ‘rights to religious expression’ is in the constitution.
It also looks like this whole road fiasco is being built on a financial sandcastle. Ferrovial haven’t paid any of the contractors yet for their work, leading many Irish firms to the brink of bankruptcy, and recently Howley Construction of Cork were repossessed. Several quarries are now refusing to supply the roadworks with hardcore until they’ve been paid, and landowners whose land was compulsory purchased have not seen the cash. Protesters say that Ferrovial – presumably (hopefully) suffering financially in the crunch - are forced to bring in their own employees as security because they have no doubt run up tabs with all the local security mobs and are running out of goons.
As always more people are needed at the Hill of Tara to continue the fight against this illegal and destructive road project.
* For more call (from Britain) 00353 (0) 86 1758557
* See www.tarataratara.net for updates and other Tara webpages.
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