The Jobstown protests have been through rough times recently after they were sanctioned to appear in court over the false imprisonment of the former Tánaiste Joan Burton during water charges protests last year, however the group have reason to feel proud after they received a message of support from British actor Ricky Tomlinson.
The actor best known for his role as foul mouthed family man Jim Royale from ‘The Royale Family’ gave his backing to the group when he sent an open letter in which he commended them for their actions and drew comparison with his own struggles when he fought for builders rights with the British government.
Tomlinson who was sent to jail during the 70s with his friend Dessie Warren, said he fully supported the Irish people in their stance against water charges and praised them for their actions saying, “It is better to break the law than to break the poor.”
The letter reads as follows:
Brothers and Sisters,
40 years ago myself and Dessie Warren were sentenced to 2 years and 3 years in jail.
We were guilty for organising building workers; we were guilty for organising for better pay and for better health and safety; but most of all we were guilty of saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Working conditions on building sites were second only to coal mines for fatalities and serious injuries. Facilities were non existent, no toilets or wash basins. Pay was terrible £20 per week for a skilled worker and £17 for labourers, this for a 40 hour week.
Me and Dessie organised workers to strike, we organised workers for better pay and conditions and we won! But the bosses and the Tories came after us and used the law to punish us and to punish other building workers – but we stood strong.
It is an absolute insult to find that a politician trapped in the comfort of (a) car is deemed to be in prison. As Jim Royle would say – “Imprisonment my arse!”
Dublin is a great city – Liverpool is a great city – but solidarity and unity of the working class is the most important.
I want to send greetings to the people of Jobstown for standing up against water charges – it is better to break the law than to break the poor.
You’ll Never Walk Alone,