By Cillian Gillespie, Dublin Socialist Youth
At the end of November two UCD students – Socialist Party member Darren Cogavin and Enda Duffy – faced victimisation by UCD authorities for participating in a peaceful protest organised by the Shell to Sea campaign in UCD.
The protest took place in October when Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan paid a visit to UCD. This is the same minister who has stood over Shell’s criminal decision to build a potentially lethal and environmentally hazardous pipeline and refinery in Rossport, Co.Mayo.
Both students were summoned in front of a kangaroo court organised by the college authorities to face the possibility of being fined. This was undoubtedly part of a broader attempt to clamp down on the right to protest on campus.
However before this took place, much to their astonishment, the authorities were bombarded with over 100 emails and phone calls from members and supporters of the Socialist Party and Committee for a Workers International from across the world.
These included Greek trade unionists, American students and Socialist councillors from Sweden. Faced with this pressure the authorities were forced to back down and a victory for the right to protest was secured.