In the face of massive opposition to the water charges, the government have made several clumsy attempts to placate us, while their partners in the media seek to frighten us off the streets. The latest attempt, delivered by Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government in the Dáil on the 19th of November, is the plan to charge us €160 per year for our water and to give ‘eligible households’ a water conservation grant of €100.
We want to clearly state that attacks on migrants have no place in the fight against water charges. Those who sow such divisions are not our allies, they are pursuing the agenda of the government and big business.
Garda assaulting community protesters and the media not reporting? Politicians spinning greater and greater lies about 'sinister fringes' and dissidents? What's happening now to Water Charge resistors happened to the people of Rossport a few years back and we can learn from their determined resistance.
Scenes of Garda violence being used against water charge resistors have come as a shock to many people. Ten years ago if this had happened most people elsewhere might only have heard rumours and assumed that something must have been done to deserve the response. Today however the prevalence of camera phones and the ease of sharing photos and video on Facebook has meant one video after another showing disproportionate violence from the Garda has ‘gone viral’.
This piece of work is undertaken from the viewpoint of the seemingly invisible struggles of women against authoritarian rule, the historical erasing of women as being part of the wider social struggles for liberation against oppression, and indeed, providing a different type of revolutionary struggle in their own right instead of examining the effects of social reproduction and labour of women.
One of the key principles underpinning anarchist politics and philosophy is that of self-organisation. And one of the key principles underpinning self-organisation is the belief that it is by doing that people learn.
Very few people come to radical politics through what they read or through ‘education’ in the traditional sense. It is usually through becoming involved in a struggle that directly affects themselves and their neighbours/work colleagues that most people come to see the power structures of society and begin a process of analysis of how society operates and how it needs to change if the needs of ordinary people are to be met.
Here in Ireland over the past eighteen months asylum seekers have been organising protests against the conditions they are compelled to live in, including blockading the ‘hostels’ (effectively for-profit open prisons) where they are forced to live in appalling conditions, which some have been made to endure for over a decade.
For the past several years, Anti-Deportation Ireland, a political campaign run by both asylum seekers themselves and by their supporters has been pushing for three demands:
1/ An immediate end to deportations.
2/The immediate abolition of direct provision
3/The rights to work and to access 3rd-level education
Over 2000 people marched in Newbridge, Co. Kildare in the lashing rain today to protest the government's plans to force us to pay twice for our water. The march gathered at 2pm at the top of the town, near the hotel Keadeen and then proceeded to make its way down towards the town hall.
This water charge FAQ answers your questions about the water charge and the growing resistance to it. If there is a question you want to ask that is not here or if you think one of the answers could be improved contact us via Twitter or Facebook with your suggestions.
There is massive opposition across the country to the government’s attempt to impose water charges on us. Not least because we already pay for water through our taxes. This is simply yet another austerity tax. We have put up with years of austerity, cutbacks and extra taxes – all imposed on us to pay off the gambling debts of bankers and financial speculators. Hundreds of thousands of people are now saying ‘No More!’.
People also realise that this is an attempt to prepare our water service for privatisation, which will ultimately end in multinational companies owning it, charging us exorbitant prices and making super profits.
But we don’t have to accept this new charge. We CAN defeat it. To achieve that, there are a few things which we will all have to do: