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Direct Action Gets Result!
worker & community struggles and protests |
Sunday July 19, 2009 07:33 by Fintán - Workers Solidarity Movement
Jarveys in Killarney Strike to Win
Jarvey's in Killarney have had recent success after a row with the National Park and Wildlife services over them refusing to get dung-catchers attached to their horses, which saw them being prevented from entering the park. Following a strike and picket which began on Tuesday morning the 14/07/2009, the Jarvey's received an interim injunction after a high court hearing on Friday last, which has suspended the wearing of the dung-catchers and has seen the Jarvey's returning to work as normal.
Resist to win, Roll over and Lose!! Jarveys show the way..
Over the past week in Killarney a dispute occurred between the local Jarvey's and the NPWS (National Park and Wildlife Service), where the authorities had prevented the Jarvey's from entering into the park if they did not wear "Dung-catchers" attached to their horses. Barriers were placed in front of the national park, preventing the Jarveys from entering until they had all fully agreed with the NPWS's orders. The outraged Jarveys, whose livelihood was put under threat, came out in numbers picketing the entrance to the National park beginning last Tuesday morning, once they discovered bollards preventing them from entering their place of work. Following 3 days of picketing by the Jarveys and supporters they managed to force the NPWS to remove the Barriers and work to continue as usual. The case was heard in the High Court on Friday, where 27 Jarveys were granted an interim injunction preventing the NPWS from obstructing their entrance into the National Park. Following the strike, their work was permitted to continue operating as normal until October, according to one of the Jarveys. At the same time the NPWS are pushing for a sooner hearing date.
The Jarvey's argue that these equine nappies, as they are so-called, cause problems for the horse as they lead to rubbing against the animal's hind legs which would cause the Horse to bolt and lead to accidents. The men, whose trade has endured one-hundred years in the National Park, have voiced this concern amongst others to these authorities, but has been dismissed on the grounds that the Horse crap is unhygienic, unsightly and not good for local tourism. The NPWS also ridiculously claim that the removal of the dung from the roads is also a waste of Tax-Payers money, but the employment of Security and rangers who persistently hassle young people in particular "loitering" in some areas of the park, and the recent instalment of the advanced CCTV system equipped with nightvision and a loudspeaker isn't??!! The Jarveys also argue that even with the use of the bags the disposal of the horse crap is still an issue, as the designated collectors will not be able to accumulate and dispose of all of the dung.
For decades the Jarvey's have worked in the Park, drawing many tourists to the Killarney region by providing guided tours around the vast park and the Lakes. Being one of the main tourist activities in the town, the Jarveys have added greatly to the level of tourism in the area from which the local Capitalist elite has benefited from greatly. The fact that the livelihood of these people had been threatened over a petty issue such as horse sh*t, (which is a natural occurrence anyway, and could be in fact simply used to fertilise some of the many plants and trees by the roadside in the park), and attempting to restrain the Jarvey's from working during their most busiest time of the year, is a typical example of the level of apathy and uncaring nature expressed by the authorities towards the livelihood of those people whom they exploit. The impression that can be drawn of the attitudes of those whom oppose the Jarvey's on this issue can be reduced in the simplest form to " oh, we like your horses for our tourists, but we don't want any of that unsightly horse dung that comes with it. It damages the artificial image we wish to sell our clients, so no-more on the roads or else..."
In the face of losing their jobs, the Jarvey's bravely stood up against the authority who wished to impose something on them, which they did not want. They refused to lower their position to meet the wishes of some nose-pinching group of individuals and did not concede against their wishes. This level of determination and example of people power by collective "disobedience" as a means of making an authority seriously reconsider, is something we should all take note of, especially with the current state of affairs in Ireland, where we have a vicious assault on ordinary people at the hands of the Irish state, making people, especially those who can't afford it, to pay for their mistakes, and bail out their accomplices. The Jarvey's did not write letters or sign petitions begging the NPWS to take their concerns into account, instead they came out in numbers, refused to work and voiced clearly their disapproval. And Guess what! The authorities had no option but to listen.
Direct action gets RESULTS!!