This Saturday at 2pm, Right2Water has called a national anti-water charges protest through Dublin city starting at Connolly and Heuston Station. Many are seeing this as the final shot of the long war against the water charges, they have been suspended for the last year because a mass boycott made them impossible to collect.
That boycott was part of a massive decentralised campaign that also saw hundreds of direct actions as communites around the country blocked water meter installations, leading to hundreds of arrests and dozens of ongoing prosecutions. And Saturday is just one of many huge mobilisations that have brought as many as 80,000 onto the streets on multiple occasions.
As it stands an Oireachtas committee guided by the EU Commision is researching “the complex nature of water charges in Ireland”. It’s their job to make recommendations to the government about the future of Irish Water. It’s our job to tell the government what we think about Irish Water and we need you with us.
Through protests and direct action we have seen the water charges shift from the average household paying 500 euro to it being temporarily suspended. Resistance to Irish Water has pressured certain politicians into a position where they must publicly call for scrapping Irish Water and most importantly helped to develop a huge amount of popular support from people to completely scrap Irish Water.
From its announcement, the installation of water meters, the massive non-payment of bills (around 70% boycotted the last bill), to these current stalling tactics, continual active resistance is the only way we can prevent the theft of our water.
It should not come as a surprise that the government continues to look for some way to quietly maintain Irish Water, allowing for future governments to steadily increase metering and charges - currently working under the guise of charging “water abusers” while the state has already wasted millions of taxpayers’ money on consultants alone.
It is only through flexing our collective muscle that we can force the government to scrap Irish Water and the privatisation plan once and for all.