At 10.00am on July 31st management from Thomas Cook arrived at shops in Dublin to enforce closure. Members refused and occupied the shops. The context to this dispute is a company that seeks to consolidate and increase profits through the closure of more than 100 shops, the closures in Dublin fly in the face of these shops making more than £400 million profit during 2008.
The following are video clips were taken during the Thomas Cook Occupations. It shows the ability of workeres and communities to take a stand against the greed to big business
Day 4- Mass picket outside Thomas Cook this morning to stop any attempt by the courts to evict the workers. Cllr Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit was there throughout to show the support and commitment of People Before Profit to defend workers rights and jobs.
Gardai Arrests of Thomas Cook Workers
At 5 AM Aug 5th, over 150 Garda took part in an operation to remove Thomas Cook workers who had occupied the building. They sealed off the street, dragged peaceful demonstrators away from the front door, and smashed their way in with a battering ram.
First, around 25 Gardaí marched up to the front door of the building. Over 150 Gardaí followed them on foot and in riot vans. The latter placed metal barriers across the street, from Trinity College to the bottom of Grafton Street and more across the top of the street affectively sealing off the area. It’s estimated 50 to 60 Gardaí manned each line of barriers.
About a dozen protesters huddled together at the front of the building. When the Gardaí arrived they immediately used force to remove the protesters even though all of them repeated the words ‘…this is a peaceful protest…’ Women were dragged along the ground by their feet, and put into arm and wrist locks by Gardaí twice their size. One man was punched as he sat on the ground by the front door.
Once the Gardaí had managed to force the handful of demonstrators back, they immediately produced a battering ram and proceeded to break the door down by breaking the glass and also the doorframe.
Before they arrived there were a number of people inside, sleeping on the floor. It’s believed at least one pregnant lady was inside, and she was taken to the Coombe Hospital as she went into labour early.
Many witnesses who saw the events unfold before their eyes were horrified at the amount of force and manpower that was used to gain entry to the building. The workers inside, and the supporters outside, had said from the start that it was a peaceful demonstration.