At a media conference at the Dáil today, People Before Profit said that they would be opposing the proposed extension of the emergency powers legislation.
The legislation, which is to be debated in the Dáil this week, allows for further 3-month extensions by Oireachtas resolution and for the powers to be potentially extended indefinitely.
People Before Profit said that they will be opposing the legislation on a number of grounds.
They pointed out that the indefinite nature of the legislation and lack of sunset clause; the effective ban on outdoor protest; discriminatory Garda enforcement and that the emergency powers are set to long outlive the Covid supports are clear and justified reasons to vote against the legislation.
Gino Kenny TD said: “We will be opposing the extension of these repressive powers for a number of reasons. On the one hand the government tells us that the Covid crisis is easing and that the economy can begin to open up, which is good news. However, on the other hand they are looking to indefinitely extend the emergency powers legislation- which has no sunset clause and can be extended indefinitely. These powers have meant there is an effective ban on outdoor protest, whilst up to 60 people can be on a bus at the same time, for example, which is convenient for the government which is facing huge public anger over the housing crisis.
“It is important to note that it is clear these powers have been used disproportionately on working class communities and young people and the Gardaí have not given any ethinic breakdown of fines or arrests. Far more fines have been handed out in working class areas and to young people.
“It is also extremely alarming that these repressive powers are set to outlive the Covid supports, which have been vital in dealing with the crisis. The government cannot have its cake and eat it. If the crisis is easing, then there is no need for the indefinite extension of these powers without a sunset clause.”