James McBarron

Further momentum gathers in Cork household tax campaign

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Following on the successful meeting in the Imperial hotel in January the CAHWT in Cork has been running a series of local meetings around the city and county. Turnout has been positive at the these meetings and local groups have got up and running distributing literature, running stalls and organising for protests.  On Tuesday 7th meetings saw over 80 people attending in Blarney, 70 plus in Carrigtwohill and 30 in Passage West. On Wednesday 80 people packed a meeting in Ballyvolane on Corks' northside, on thursday over 60 people gathered in Ballyphehane Community centre and 90 in Glanmire.  Every meeting saw dozens sign up as members and pledge support for activity.

Over 500 at Cork city meeting Against the Household tax

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Arriving at 6.45 to help set up the room Mick informs me there have been 22 phone calls to the hotel to ask what time the meeting is starting. The room has capacity for 290 sitting. We know there is going to be a problem. By 8 the room is full beyond capacity, people are all along the aisles, backed against the walls and spilling into the corridor, an overflow room is full. 500 at least. Campaign activists are collecting names and distributing literature.  Almost 200 people sign up for membership, over 100 for activity in local groups and another 300 put themselves on the contact list. Hundreds of window posters, car stickers and newsletters are taken.

CCTU Unemployed Centre, Vita Cortex and a NAMA building - Cork's three occupations

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Three occupations in Cork highlight the ideas of direct action, self-organisation and solidarity

 

At a time when Ireland's rich class and their government are relying on passivity and apathy from the country's working class to push through their austerity agenda with the minimum of resistance, the presence of three separate occupations of workplaces and vacant NAMA commercial property in Cork is a hopeful sign that 'the powers that be' are not going to have it all their own way, as they attempt to make everyone else pick up the tab for the economic carnage their actions have unleashed upon this society. Although each occupation is separate and different in origin and potential outcome, each one shows that people do understand the necessity and the effectiveness of direct action in this time when bosses and property owners are trying every trick in the book to slough off their debts and evade public accountability while doing so.

Landlords pass household tax onto tenants

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The association representing Irish Landlords have urged their members to pass on the new Household Tax and the Second Homes Tax to their tenants (see statement below). This will amount to an increase of 25 euro per month. No doubt this is part of the "sharing the burden" that the government go on about so much. It gives the lie of course to the government claim that the less well off will be exempt from the household tax.

Vita Cortex Workers continue occupation

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Workers are continuing their occupation of the Vita Cortex plant in Cork city today.  The workers began their sit in on Friday, the day the doors were due to close.  The workers are protesting over the non-payment of redundancy monies due.  With over 800 years service between them there is an outstanding entitlement to €1.2m in redundancy payments.  The reason given for the non-payment is a stand off between the company and NAMA.  The money is in accounts of a sister firm frozen by NAMA.

Cork mobilises against the household tax

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The past two weeks have seen growing momentum in the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes in Cork city and county. A further 6 public meetings have been held to initiate local organising groups to build the campaign: Dunmanway and Skibbereen in West Cork , Bishopstown and Gurranabraher in the city, and Ballincollig and Blarney. They join Cobh in East Cork, Ballyphehane, Mahon and South Parish/Greenmount on the citys southside and Ballyvolane, Farranree and Mayfield on the northside.

Some unemployed workers 432 euro worse off after budget

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Reading all that budget analysis you'd be forgiven for thinking that the unemployed were unaffected by the budget by and large; and you'd be wrong.  None of our news commentators in the mainstream media made much of the dramatic cut to the circumstances of the unemployed. A single person on the dole in rented accomodation is going to be €432 worse off this coming year.

Occupy Cork Marches Against Austerity

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Occupy Cork staged a "Parade of Defiance" against the austerity programme of the government on Saturday December 3rd in Cork. Cork Community artlink provided many props and floats for the march , a samba band gave the march an noisy and energetic flavour beyond the usual sloganeering. 

Poll supporting IMF/ECB austerity deal shows need for left to offer alternative vision

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An opinion poll in todays' Irish Examiner newspaper shows the depth of resignation and pessimism that has engulfed a large section of the population.  The Red C poll found "almost half the country believes Ireland should continue complying with the terms and conditions of the EU/IMF bailout, which is one year old today. A smaller but still sizeable number are against compliance, believing the bailout agreement represents a bad deal".  48% of those polled favoured continuing on the current path; 33% opposed, even though some 45% think the new government is doing a bad job of managing the economy.

Mayfield meeting pledges to fight Household Tax

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A meeting in St.Joesphs' Community Centre in Mayfield, Cork, on Monday night, pledged determined opposition to the coming household tax.  The meeting was addressed by campaign members Dave Keating and James McBarron who outlined the reasons for opposition and the plan to organise in every community in a mass non payment campaign.

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