1500 protest cult of Scientology in Ireland

From the Friends of Odhran Fortune...

The Fortune family have asked us to express their sincere thanks to the
people who picketed on Odhrans behalf in Brighton, Las Vegas, Phoenix,
and San Jose. Thanks also to the ghost picketers in Toronto.
It had an effect.

In Ireland we had two protests on Saturday. The main protest was held in
Odhrans home town of Gorey, Co. Wexford. A smaller protest was held in
the centre of Dublin City.

The Gorey protest was a huge success with more than 1,500 people on the
streets supporting the Fortune family. The protest included a march up
and down the main street of Gorey (1 mile), which lasted an hour.
Apologies to all motorists who were delayed because of the march.

The protest was attended by a number of senior politicians, including
one Government Minister, and a number of trade union officials.

The Xemu leaflet was handed out, and led to much hilarity among the
crowds. We are told that a local DJ made quite a laugh of the whole
concept at a disco that night. This is actually quite helpful because a
significant number of the patrons were middle class kids from Dublins
suburbs who are in the area on holidays.

The Scientologists did not show an overt presence in Gorey, but plain
clothes policemen did keep one or two suspicious individuals under
surveillance during the protest.

The Dublin protest only involved a dozen protesters and passed off
peacefully. It generated a lot of support from members of the public who
are very curious about the issue. A small number of Scientologists
turned up for a while but did not have much of an effect. Again, their
activities were monitored by plain clothes policemen.

One of the main benefits of the Gorey protest was the number of people
who came forward and offered to help the campaign. As a result of this a
meeting was held and a number of ideas were discussed as to how we
should proceed from here.

The main points agreed are as follows,

The Irish Government are continuing to discuss the issues with
representatives of other European Countries who have similar problems.

Trade Union officials have undertaken to make their members aware of the
activities of the Cult. They will also be lobbying the Government on
behalf of their members to ensure that action is taken to regulate the
activities of the Cult.

A fact-pack is being prepared for distribution to second level schools
(high schools) outlining the problems associated with membership of the
Cult.

Copies of the petition have been distributed in almost every town and
village, factory and office in Ireland. This petition calls on the
Government to investigate the activities of the Cult. So far nearly
60,000 signatures have been collected and returned.

A current affairs programme on Irish TV will deal with the issues on
Thursday night (postponed from last Thursday because of coverage of a
Government debate). Letters are being sent to all elected
representatives to coincide with this programme.

A new leaflet is currently being reviewed by legal advisors and it is
intended to distribute this among the tens of thousands of holiday
makers who come to the Gorey area during the Summer. Posters will also
be put up in Pubs and Discos in the area, and in a number of other
locations around Ireland.

The content of a Web Site has been put together and will be on-line by
the weekend. This will include photographs of Odhran and photos from the
previous pickets, background to the story, and transcripts of Newspaper
articles (Including the famous "personalities To Let" article
http://www.irish-times.com/irish-times/paper/1997/0115/opt4.html ).

A number of other actions are under consideration, including one very
interesting legal avenue.

The picketing of Film Premieres which are associated with Scientology
has also been discussed, as has the idea of putting stickers and posters
in video shops. Because this would have a negative effect on Video Shop
owners, it is being put on hold for the moment. An alternative approach
would be to send letters to video shop owners asking them to refrain
from buying new stock of such films in case we have to invoke this
campaign later.

Contrary to the telepathic communications that Tilman received from his
BT's, violence is not an option. Rolands assertion about a bloodbath was
wide of the mark as well. There were a number of police on hand to
"handle" any counter-demonstrators.

We are not, in the main, large, muscled or violent. We are however, very
family orientated, and the, "all for one, one for all", maxim is very
prevalent, as it has been throughout our history.

This campaign continues to gather momentum and will continue for as long
as is necessary. We have backing from senior politicians, law
enforcement agencies, trade union officials and educationalists. They
are all very concerned about the activities of the Cult, and the longer
this drags on, the more people will become aware of the ridiculous
beliefs of this pseudo religion.

If the Scientologists want this to go away, they know what they have to
do. They made a serious error when they lifted Odhran on June 1st.
Tomorrow is July 1st. In one month, more than 60,000 people have become
aware of the activities of the Cult. Give us another month and it will
be 500,000, have no doubt.

We would rather be getting on with our own lives, but until Anne Fortune
gets her son back we are prepared to do whatever is required of us.

Thanks again to all who have helped us in any way.

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