But seriously, this is an important topic, and it's high time more corporate journalists spoke out against this kind of so called journalism.
front page IoS
inside feature IoS
NB Texts below taken + adapted from Indymedia Ireland Editorial Feature:
Requiring Army Deployment? Was her Editor Drunk too?
Sozzled Scribe Scribbles Scurrilous Screed!!!!!!
by IMC Ireland Editorial Tuesday, Feb 10 2004, 6:18pm
Discussions about the role of corporate media usually end up being esoteric analyses of the subtle misdirection and bias exposed by Chomsky and Hermann.
Sometimes though the corporate media just lets it all hang out and tells such huge porkies that it's hard to believe. Perhaps the most "skilled" example of the art of complete and utter lies that has sullied our eyes is the work of "journalist" Deirdre Tynan and her editors and publishers at Ireland on Sunday.
Presenting herself in the article as an intrepid undercover journalist, and in the pub as an angst-ridden victim of greed, the sodden scribe managed to scribble together a "story" which would be laughable were it not published in a periodical which claims to report fact. This blatant lying is part of a larger trend of vilification of anarchists and other activists by the corporate media in the run-up to the EU Summit in Dublin.
Detailed rebuttals of the patent falsehoods told by this Grub Street hack have been contributed by Indymedia Ireland's reader-writers including a very detailed account by the Workers Solidarity Movement, and a personal report by one of the interviewees (whose gentle suggestion of ethical standards was dismissed as being "from the sixties").
But we shouldn't be so surprised because Ireland on Sunday belongs to the same group of newspapers (Associated Newspapers Ltd - UK Daily Mail / UK Evening Standard) that published scandalous stories about the badly beaten and tortured media activists in Genoa in 2001, and who have repeatedly published alarmist works of fantasy presented as fact about Mayday protests and other demonstrations, representing some of the lowest depths in British journalism ever plumbed. One of the more recent was the Daily Mail's "Anarchist Thugs Plot a Bush Demo BLOODBATH!" (14/11/03 - see: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/11/280525.html)
It has been suggested that Deirdre Tynan and Priscilla Lynch may have an incomplete control over the work published under their name, and that the editor-in-chief (Martin Clarke) is associated with a high turnover in staff who find the workplace ethically distateful. See: http://media.guardian.co.uk/presspublishing/story/0,7495,1105909,00.html
However, their names are on the piece and they bear responsibility for it.
In the case of Deirdre Tynan, she emailed the earrach/samhradh group contact address while doing her "research", saying the following:
"I've seen your website, I'm a freelance reporter working for an Irish Sunday paper. Before you stop reading, I'm a lot more supportive of of your politics than you might think, even though I work a newspaper...(snip)...there is a lot more support out there from people who wouldnt mention it because of where they work etc, than you think."
One Indymedia Ireland poster reports that following the articles publication people wrote to her to complain - in a reply she wrote back:
"If you're asking me to defend the article I can't and I won't. Again, if you're asking me to defend myself, I cant to do that either. All I would say, is never talk to a mainstream print reporter, the individual reporter may be sympathetic but their editor will never be so. At least on radio you can answer back."
So now you know.
THE IOS TEXTS:
We infiltrate the worldwide anarchist network targeting EU celebrations
PLOT TO WRECK DUBLIN SUMMIT
by Deirdre Tynan
Thousands of anarchist protesters plan to bring chaos to the streets of Ireland's capital on May 1 - the day that marks the high point of our six-month presidency of the EU
An Ireland on Sunday investigation has discovered that up to 15,000 so-called anti-globilisation demonstrators from around the world are poised to pack into Dublin's city centre on May day.
They have vowed to meet violence with violence should Gardai attempt to halt their "protest", which is intended to paralyse the city on what, ironically, is officially being called Ireland's 'Day of Welcomes'. A serious clash might even see the Defence Forces having to police the capital. The hate-filled protesters have in the past brought two major cities - Seattle and Genoa - to their knees when similiar protests turned into bloodbaths with riot police battling armed thugs to protect property. On May 1, Dublin will be the centre of the world stage, hosting no fewer than 25 heads of state for glittering celebrations to mark the accession of 10 new member countries to the EU. But instead of a carnival atmosphere, gardai now fear the city's streets could be transformed into a battleground. Ireland on Sunday has infiltrated the shadowy groups intent on causing violence and can today reveal details of their elaborate global conspiracy to smuggle known agitators into the country in advance of the protest.
A British extremist group called the Wombles, which has strong links with the PKK - Turkish Kurd communists who have been placed on the EU's list of international terror organisations - will be among the demostrators. But the event is being advertised worldwide on anarchist and subversive websites. The Wombles have a chilling track record of violence and vandalism. They are dedicated, hard-core anarchists who earned their stripes dodging tear gas and plastic bullets on the streets of Seattle at the World Trade Organisation summit in 1999. The resulting chaos saw a state of emergency imposed on the city. Gardai are taking the matter so seriously that they have begun liaising with security forces around the world, including the PSNI, the Metropolitan Police, Europol and Interpol. Officers from the Garda's public order units have been undergoing riot training for 18 months. They have also been given the names of known international agitators. But with little or no experience of riot situations and fewer than 1,000 officers specially trained for it, gardai will be seriously outnumbered by the seasoned protesters, who have jammed internet sites with advice on how to get into Ireland without detection. Gardai may be forced to call for back-up from the Defence Forces, who plan to have 11,500 men on standby. One sinister website advises demonstrators to stagger their arrival in Ireland over a number of days, to travel in small groups through airports in Dublin, Cork and Belfast, and to use ferry services. In some chatrooms, they are calling on protesters to descend on Dublin for May Day rather than London because the Metropolitan Police have become expert in counteracting their violence. ' In no other British city is it as hard as London,' said one activist. 'We managed it for a while between 1994 and 1999 but now we have to face the fact that the cops have caught up with us. Personally, I am more attracted to the Dublin EU summit.'
Green MEP Patricia McKenna last night voiced her fears that gardai did not have the necessary resources to cope with the sheer scale of the event, which will also see the Government throw a fireworks extravaganza, street parties and a concert in Dublin. 'I hope the gardai know what may hit them. If they go in with a heavy-handed attitude, there will be trouble. I just hope the whole scale of the event will not be too much for the gardai to handle.'
LOTS OF FIGHTING TALK ABOUT GIVING POWER BACK TO THE PEOPLE,
AND SMASHING THE STATE - THEN TIME FOR A PINT
By Deirdre Tynan and Priscilla Lynch
They were young, idealistic, committed to destroying the State... and very middle-class. Despite the shaved heads and scruffy combats, there was a distinct air of educated privilege in the smoke-filled bar on Hawkins Street where anarchists held an extraordinary meeting last week to fine-tune plans to bring chaos to the streets of Dublin on May 1.
Ireland on Sunday infiltrated the meeting and, for more than four hours, heard speaker after speaker calmly discuss how to maximise the impact of the deliberately disruptive protest. Ireland's anarchists were not brought up on the streets but that's where they believe the battle should be fought. And while other students and young workers were busy drinking themselves into a pre-weekend stupor on Thursday night, the gathering in Chaplin's Bar had more specific issues on their minds.
In the large, dimly-lit bar room, where nearly everyone was smoking roll-up cigarettes and drinking pints of cider or Guinness, revolution was in the air. The meeting , which started punctually at 8pm and was attended largely by young men, opened with a spine-chilling talk on 'black bloc' tactics - masked protesters forming blockades, a tried and tested technique that has been used by anarchists the world over. It was a mixed crowd of students, academics, unemployed activists, two or three feminists and one pacifist, whose nationalities ranged from Irish and British to Australian and Spanish, brought together by the same strongly held beliefs. Some were dishevelled, some were neatly dressed. One man in his mid-30's had long, dreadlocked hair to rival Bob Marley. But most were nondescript. The bar is by no means Dublin's trendiest haunt but it's comfortable. The low chairs and worn wooden stools made for an almost intimate atmosphere. The night had been advertised as an 'Anarchists Social Evening/Bad Thoughts Discussion'. The light-hearted notice posted on A-infos said it would be an evening of 'increasingly slurred discussion for anarchists, 8pm til late'. The 'anarcho djs' set promised for the end the night (sic) never materialised but the meeting ran on into the small hours - it is a passion that consumes the lives of these people and they have the ability to talk on the subject for hours.
The anarchists unwittingly told IoS that they were used to being infiltrated by reporters but that the Garda did not pose a problem: 'All those Special Branch guys are fat, over 50 and close to retirement. They'd stick out like a sore thumb at any meeting,/ said one activist. He added that the muscle needed for dealing with a confrontation with gardai would come from abroad. 'The guys coming over from Italy and Greece will show us what to do. They're more physical.' Chekov Feeney, 27, the son of the late Evening Herald journalist John Feeney, cautioned the crowd that the use of black masks would have different connotations in Ireland. 'People will associate it with an IRA gunman.' That sparked a debate about what colour the Irish bloc should wear. 'It would have to be something that everyone has in their wardrobe,' said one. 'What about green?' asked another. The question was eventually left open until another night.
But Feeney's point about black masks and their place in the Irish psyche was agreed upon even though the possibility of a bloc of Ireland football jersey-wearing anarchists mobilising on Dublin's Dame Street was shot down because nobody wanted it to look like as if Eircom was sponsoring the protest. The discussions lasted for two-and-a-half-hours and, after that, the socialising began - but they never strayed from the subject closest to their hearts. Feeney, the main organiser, has been an anarchist for a decade and has spoken about the cause in cities such as Quebec, Montreal, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Not invited to the party was the Socialist Workers Party's Richard Boyd Barrett, 'a legend in his own lunchtime'. The group giggled as they recalled how he had commandeered the crowd at the Shannon anti-war protest. The anarchists by their very nature oppose hierarchy and leadership. Anyone with a penchant for the limelight is frowned upon. Also absent was ex-Trinity College student union president Rory Hearne. The 25-year -old from Tramore, Co. Waterford, is busy with Global Resistance, an international activist group. Hearne and the anarchists 'wouldn't associate' according to one left-wing source, proving as ever the radical left is prone to splits. He dismissed Hearne as 'fluffy'. Irish anarchists will never get it,' he added. 'There is no anarchist tradition in Ireland. It's anathema to say to Irish citizens, "Don't use your vote; smash the system". It doesn't register with the ordinary Irish man or woman.'
Regardless of the inter-group rivalry, one thing is clear - come May 1, they will provide one massive headache for the powers that be.
MAY DAY MADNESS
WE INFILTRATE THE ANARCHIST GROUPS WHICH HAVE ALREADY BROUGHT TWO CITIES TO THEIR KNEES AND ARE NOW DETERMINED TO SPOIL EU ACCESSION DAY
ON THE face of it, it looks like just another of the thousands of pompous but otherwise' harmless messages that circulate among left-wing agitators and other disaffected groups on the world wide web every day of the year. But, looking closely at this e-mail, you find that what appears to be a call for peaceful protests in Dublin on May Day is, in fact, an alarming advertisement that has been placed on Internet links around the world.
The e-mail calling for a 'European day of action in Dublin on Saturday, May 1st' has been translated into at least 13 languages and has appeared on anarchist websites and internet links connected to terrorists in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, America and Britain.
The plan is as simple as it is frightening... to hijack the highpoint of Ireland's six-month EU presidency, when hundreds of dignatories and thousands of visitors will be in Dublin to mark the accession of 10 new countries to the EU.
On May 1, people from all over Ireland and Europe are expected to pour into the capital for a day of festivities that has been dubbed the 'Day of Welcomes' and will be launched with an elaborate fireworks extravaganza. It is this very carnival-type atmosphere that campaigners from across Europe, some with links to extremist groups, are intent on hijacking to bring the capital to its knees to highlight their objections to EU policies - knowing that the eyes of the world will be focused on Dublin.
The anarchists have even drawn up contingency plans, to use violence if the gardai adopt heavy-handed tactics similar to those used to curtail angry protesters at the G8 summit in the Italian city of Genoa in July 2001.
And Ireland on Sunday can reveal there has been no shortage of willing volunteers prepared to jump on this particular bandwagon in their pursuit of adrenaline-fuelled violence.
The word is out that Ireland is the place to be on May 1 and a series of meetings have already been held in Dublin and more are scheduled to take place in London at the end of the month.
IoS has penetrated the inner sanctums of some of these groups and our investigations have discovered that anarchists in Ireland have been in contact with a notorious London-based group called the Wombles who have a history of violence that has been used at a series of major summits.
Their Innocent sounding name, which conjures up images of the fictional characters who lived in Wimbledon Common, is a million miles away from the radical Ideology of the Wombles, a vicious British anarchist group with links to listed terror organisations.
History of violence at major summits
The Wombles is headed by London-based Alessio Lunghi, a 25 year old university dropout, who is just one of thousands of people who responded to the internet invite for a 'mobilisation to Dublin for May 1st against the EU bosses' posted in the Urban 75 electronic bulletin board and forum.
Lunghi (well known to London's Metropolitan Police) and his group are holding a meeting on February 28 in Kentish Town, London, to discuss their game plan.
The Wombles have a chilling track record of violence and vandalism. They are dedicated hard-core anarchists who earned their stripes dodging tear gas and plastic bullets in Seattle at the World Trade Organisation summit in 1999. The resulting chaos saw a state of emergency imposed on the city.
In 2000, the Wombles were said to be responsible for the chaos which paralysed London. About 95 people were arrested and nine police officers were injured. The Cenotaph, a World War I memorial and a statue of Winston Churchill were defaced with graffiti and a fast-food restaurant was ransacked.
But the IMF and World Bank meeting in Prague in 2000 was the turning point for the radical group.
It's here that Lunghi, who has fluent Italian thanks to his wine-importing father, hooked up with Ya Basta, a group of Italian anarchists with links to South American rebel groups and the PKK, Turkish, Kurd communists who have been placed on the EU's list of International terror organisations.
Amid the water cannons and police marksmen, Lunghi formed the alliance. It was a meeting of minds and tactics: violent disorder targeted action, anarchy. Lunghi took what he learned to London. In 2001, rioters went on the rampage as the protest escalated into violence. As darkness fell, a group of hard-core demonstrators turned their attention to the busy and unguarded Tottenham Court Road area. Militant anarchists intent on violence broke away from peaceful demonstrators and left a trail of destruction.
More than 20 shopfront windows were smashed with rocks including those of several banks, Coffee Republic and Habitat. The rioters also attempted to set fire to a Tesco store,
And the man coordinating the Irish operation - Chekov Feeney - has confirmed he has been in contact with the Wombles.
His group, the Workers Solidarity Movement, may be trying to muster support to protest against 'all that is wrong with the EU as it currently stands: militarism, neo-liberalism, fortress Europe and the EU police state'. But the Wombles will have an altogether more sinister strategy.
Chekov told IoS: "There will be a significant number of international activists. And I can confirm that we have been in contact with the Wombles. We don't support violence but there are a small number of people already in Dublin who would be that way inclined."
The 27-year-old has put the ball in the Gardai's court and warns that the mood of the day will be dictated by their reaction.
"How the day turns out will depend on the Gardai. It's becoming more and more clear that the police often instigate the violence in the first place," he said.
A South American activist and a colleague of Chekov Feeney who attended the strategy meeting in a Dublin city centre bar on Thursday night, which IoS penetrated, said: "If the cops hit you, of course you have a right to hit back. If they attack, you just can't stand there."
The meeting, sometimes heated, which was attended by up to 30 activists, was called to discuss the use of 'black bloc tactics', adopted for protests in Genoa, Geneva and Seattle, where campaigners wear a mask to conceal their identity and form blockades.
Gardai have conceded that thousands of demonstrators will descend on Dublin and although publically they claim they are ready for any eventuality, secretly there are concerns that with their already overstretched resources, they will struggle to cope. One source said: "Not only do we have all the normal duties to deal with but we have to provide the security for 25 heads of state, cope with the tens of thousands of people who will be in Dublin for the celebrations plus the additional headache of protestors, some who will be hell-bent on causing trouble.
"If violence erupts as it tends to do at these events, things could get hairy. We do not have the experience of other forces, such as the PSNI, in dealing with riots and, although we have received thorough training, there is a big difference between theory and practice."
A source in the PSNI, a force with years of riot experience garnered from the sectarian conflict in the North, also doubts the Garda's ability to cope with the situation.
GARDAI ADMIT THEY WILL STRUGGLE
"I know the PSNI have offered assistance and advice but there is no comparison between an actual riot and a simulated one. You have to think on your feet and be able to hold your nerve - that comes with experience, which the gardai do not have."
The handling of the "Reclaim the Streets" May Day protest four years ago was the subject of formal complaints (still unresolved) after videotape showed several members of the public being assaulted by police.
Gardai are liasing with police forces around the world to ensure that known trouble-makers are kept out of Ireland. And the Defence Forces, whose role is to support the Garda, have confirmed 11,500 soldiers have been placed on standby.