Cox, Laurence and Ní Dhorchaigh, Ealáir
When is an assembly riotous, and who decides? The success and failure of police attempts to criminalise protest.
Mercier Press, pp. 241-261.
This chapter explores the sensitive topic of police violence at political
protests in Ireland in more recent times and in particular
the question of when and how it is legitimised. Long experience
of discussing the matter with students, colleagues, journalists and
members of the public makes it clear that many people see police
acts using force as per se legitimate and therefore not ‘violent’, a
term thus reserved for illegitimate acts. Yet police behaviour can
be contested publicly and on occasion found to be illegitimate
(by expert opinion, by media commentators, by internal inquiries
or indeed by courts of law). The question of how the use of force
is legitimised – and what conditions make this achievement of
legitimacy more or less likely – is then an interesting one, as is the
broader question of why a police decision is made to use force in
the first place, and at what level.
Repository Staff Only(login required)
||Item control page