The Workers Solidarity Movement has decided to withdraw from the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes. Please see statement below. We have made a donation of €1,000 towards paying off the debts of CAHWT.
1. It is now clear that the boycott of the property tax has collapsed and with it, any chance of defeating it in the coming period. The tactic of boycott was enough to defeat the household tax, but with draconian powers handed over to revenue to collect the property tax, much more was required.
The first direct actions of the Erris struggle against Shell took place 8 years ago when 6 locals were injuncted and then 5 of them jailed for refusing to allow Shell onto their lands. In the 8 years that have passed there have been countless direct actions, dozens of arrests, about two dozen jailings and hundreds of people attacked by Garda or Shell's security company IRMS. But as the first two days of the week of action demonstrated that intense level of repression over so many years has yet to end effective resistance.
This article is a plea to campaign members and activists to vote down proposals that have been put in to this Saturday's CAHWT conference to endorse a slate of candidates in elections and to instead concentrate our collective energies on building the mood of political protest that is necessary to defeat the property tax in the immediate future. The WSM will be distributing this text as a leaflet on Saturday, let us know if you would like to help.
One of the final acts of the last Fianna Fail government was to award licences to a number of companies to explore for commercial gas in the Northwest Carboniferous Basin (more commonly known as the Lough Allen basin). The Lough Allen Basin is a huge area that covers parts of counties Cavan, Donegal, Fermanagh, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo and Tyrone. It is an area of 8000 square kilometres in total.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about participatory and direct democracy. Renewed interest in alternative forms of organising society has arisen from increasing dissatisfaction with mainstream politics and the domination of the economy by a few corporations. This dissatisfaction has found its expression in the Arab spring, the May 15th movement in Spain and the Occupy movement in the English-speaking world. Where the anti-capitalist movement of the last decade focussed almost exclusively on the power of the corporations and finance capital, this current tendency is to also focus on politics and the state.
The National Conference of the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes in May made some key decisions. The ultimate objective of our campaign should be to ensure that everyone who gets involved in it can have an equal input into our decision-making. This will make for a more democratic and far more efficient Campaign which large numbers of people will feel direct ownership of. That will mean a far stronger Campaign and one capable of winning. On Saturday we distributed this text which explains the case for direct democracy as a leaflet to those attending the conference.
Local Participation - Get involved with your local campaign group, ensure that it meets up regularly and that decisions are made democratically and through discussion, so that people really have a sense of ownership of the campaign. This method of organising actually encourages participation, as people being asked to carry out tasks such as leafleting through an email or text message is disempowering and feels much like being given orders as opposed to a group of people working towards a common goal to benefit themselves.
WSM policy in opposition to the Household & Water Tax and how we think the campaign in opposition to it must be built.
The new year brings a new tax from the Irish government and a new fight in the shape of the campaign against this household tax. Although we have beaten such taxes in the past, past victories are no guarantee of future success. In the light of the current low level of organisation and self-confidence amongst our class, we need to re-assess our methods of organisation if we aim to achieve the levels of mass participation needed for a victory. The argument of this article is that the existing traditional models of building local campaigns are not sufficient to the task and that we need to look to a new model of organising - the organiser model.
The EU and IMF, enabled and supported by our Fine Gael/Labour Government, are imposing a new regressive tax on all of our homes. This tax will take no account of the ability to pay and will almost certainly move in only one direction (upwards) over the years once it is introduced.