The Water Charges: After we win, what comes next?


The revolt against the water charges is of a size and militancy that if we stay on the streets we will certainly win. But the revolt has also exposed in plain view the level of co-operation between media, politicians, big businessmen like Denis O’Brien and the gardaí. All have acted together to cajole, bully and suppress protest and then to lie and distort events.

While we might defeat the water charges they come at the end of a long sequence of cuts in services and wages, a period of unemployment and emigration. all this takes place in a society where people are marginalised because of their gender, migration status, sexuality and whether they are settled or Traveller. Stepping back and looking at the whole picture, is this really the sort of society any of us would build for our children given a choice?

We don’t get to make that choice, we have never got to make that choice. Our ancestors may have won the right to vote but that has proven a fairly meaningless exercise where we only get to choose between parties that lie to us. They promise one thing and do the opposite when in power. Part of the reason for that being there isn’t actually much power in the Dail. What can be decided there is sharply limited by the dictatorship of the market, a dictatorship that saw the costs of the banking crisis being imposed on us despite the fact that in a referendum we would have voted no.

When we defeated the water charge in the 1990’s they simply waited a couple of decades and then tried to impose it again. That’s the way the system we live under works, even when we successfully resist one assault it looks for another way to make us pay. Which is why when we fight and win on single issues we also need to be thinking about creating a very different society and starting the process of organising for it.

The water charge resistors who produced this leaflet are anarchists. That means we want to replace this society of fear and greed that is divided into order givers and order takers with one where everyone, and not just the super rich, are free. Not just free in the sense of choosing to buy one phone rather than another but free of the fear of poverty removing our ability to live life as we choose, free of the way racism, sexism and homophobia shape our society into a grey, lifeless world where many cannot express their love or live their ambitions. Free of environmental degradation caused by the need for an endless, destructive economic growth that lines mainly the pockets of the rich.

Our vision is of a society where we can all come together as equals to collectively decide what our priorities are, what we will produce and how to create the space in which we all can live as we want. If that vision appeals to you and you want to organise with us let us know by registering at this link: 

WORDS Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )


This text is from the 4 page mini paper
we produced for the water charges campaign
December 2014.  

You can download and print out extra copies
from the PDF files we have included below
[Colour version] [Ink saving Black & White version]