Zac Lumely and Orla Murphy are facing charges of ‘serious criminal damage’ by the Irish state, for which they could face up to a year in prison.
What is the action that has caused this trial? Peacefully protesting against the inaction of the Irish government in the face of climate change by painting the words “No More Empty Promises” on the front of a government building.
In the case of Zac Lumley, a supporter of the Irish Marxists (the International Marxist Tendency in Ireland), he is facing trial for merely live-streaming the protest.
The trial was originally planned to be in March, but has been delayed and is now taking place on July 12th. The Marxist Student Federation stands in full solidarity with Zac & Orla.
On 19 March, Orla Murphy walked up to the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Dublin and splashed pink paint against the building before spray painting the words “No More Empty Promises” on the front of the building. Meanwhile, her friend, fellow activist, and supporter of the Irish Marxists (the IMT in Ireland), Zac Lumley, live-streamed her protest.
For this justified protest at the inaction of the Irish state, gardaí arrested both Orla and Zac, applying extremely harsh bail conditions amounting to €3,000. Zac was, naturally, unable to get this money at short notice, and as a result spent three nights in prison. Orla, meanwhile, refused to sign her bail conditions and was imprisoned for five weeks.
These charges are absolutely scandalous. The two are accused of wilfully destroying government property. They did no such thing – their protest merely resulted in paint being sprayed and thrown on a building wall. It was subsequently washed off. No property was destroyed.
In the case of Zac, the prosecutors intend to have him punished for merely recording this protest, by which logic any journalist could also be charged in the future.
Contrast these accusations of ‘destruction’ with the wanton destruction of our planet’s climate and ecosystems by the capitalist class in its pursuit of profit, against which these comrades were protesting.
What is the Irish government doing to prevent this? Nothing. It is aiding and abetting the crime of climate destruction, willingly serving the corporations in their pursuit of massive profits.
The Marxist Student Federation stands in full solidarity with Zac and Orla, and so do hundreds of students who came together and have signed a petition that we handed to the embassy. But did so again for this trial, as seen in the pictures below.
Post messages of solidarity and pictures of protests on social media under the hashtags #ProtestIsNotACrime and #NoMoreEmptyPromises
We say: Drop the charges! Protest is not a crime!