Water charge

News & Analysis of the resistance to the attempt to introduce a Water Charge from 2014, By late 2014 regular demonstrations of tens of thousands against the charge were taking place and confrontations were taking place in estates across the country as GMC Sierra crews tried to install meters in the face of community resistance. For the successful campaign against the water tax in the 1990s see our archive at http://www.wsm.ie/water-tax

Water Charges: Resistance is the Real Irish Exemption

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There has been much discussion of the 'Irish Exemption' to the EU Water Framework directive, with some suggesting that 'this changes everything', but it's important to note that the Real Irish Exemption is our widespread and continuing resistance.

Background
Despite assertions from the government that Ireland is required by the EU directive to impose water charges, there is actually a unique exclusion of Ireland in article 9.4, negotiated in 2000 - which former MEP Kathy Sinnott brought to light 2 weeks ago. Therefore the imposition of domestic water charges is, unsurprisingly, a choice made by the Irish government.

This legal exemption, however, is under threat as Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly – who continues to deny the existence of the exemption – intends to rescind it on the 1st of January. The exemption can only be rescinded by the Irish government, and must be renewed (or cancelled) every 7 years in Ireland's River Basin Management Plan which is submitted to the EU Commission.

The Real Exemption

Although this is significant, it is most important to note that the huge anti-water charges movement was in full swing before many were aware of this legal exemption. We are opposed to the water charges because they are unfair and an assault on our living standards, not because they aren't really required by some EU directive. 

Protest at Irish Water HQ ends with singing of the Auld Triangle - 29 Nov 2014

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Hundreds of people took part in an anti water charges rally at the Irish Water HQ in Talbot street Dublin Nov 29th.

It was clear that many protesters are deeply suspicious of the Irish Water company, and who can blame them. Quite apart from their arrogance and eagerness to get our PPS numbers a principal motivating factor behind the imposition of the water charge is to line the water service up for privatisation.

The Fight in Detroit and the Cost of Water

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In the spring of this year, Detroit started to disconnect people who were behind with their water bills.

GMC Sierra injunctions fail to intimidate water charge campaigners

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The water meter installation company GMC Sierra  obtained court injunctions that basically banned water charge campaigners from coming within 20m of an installation.  The Edenmore 9 were initally brought to court with this injunction, the case againt 4 of them is detailed below.

Local water charge protests roll out across November

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"Sit down my arse" - the opening words of a Garda inspector at a Drogheda water charges protest. A mob of Gardai went on to single out one young man and strip him out of his clothes as they drag him along the ground before arresting him.

Media go on the smear in response to vibrant water charge movement

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The Irish Times ( 24 Nov ) has added its weight to the voices from the establishment demanding that anarchist access to social media be limited. The article is hidden away in the business pages under the headline "Social media causes grave damage and must become regulated" and ends with a call for internet companies to avoid "confrontation with authority" by censoring before ordered to do so by the government.

Burton tries to pinkwash Jobstown

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Joan Burton has seized upon her brief inconvenience in being faced with the people in Jobstown last week to try and smear water charge resistance in general.

Now the Phone is already notorious for inventing quotes from random people she claims to meet about how they just love austerity so perhaps you’ll forgive us some cynicism. In any case, according to the Irish Times:
"Joan Burton has accused Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy of “smirking” while protesters threw missiles and taunted gardaí with homophobic and misogynistic remarks during the water chargers protest."

Enda Kenny received an angry welcome in Roscommon from water charge campaigners

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On Friday 20 Nov Enda Kenny received an angry welcome in Roscommon which Fine Gaelers have been whining about in the media. The statement below explains how protesters " began to sing the anthem of the anti water charges protesters in Dublin in solidarity with them: 'You can stick your water meters up your arse / you can stick your 100 euro up your arse'. Some of us also repeatedly told him that we did not want our water supply privatised and that it was time for him to go as his mandate to govern has disappeared. We were surrounded by Gardai and asked to leave and did so without any fuss."


A wave of womens vigils against Garda violence at water charges protests

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Over 200 women demonstrated tonight outside of Coolock Garda station against the wave of Garda violence at water meter installation protests.

Panicking government grants concession on Water Charges - too little, too late

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The government are in full panic mode as the media scare stories they pushed so hard about 'dissidents', 'sinister fringes' and 'violent' sit down protesters have failed to divide the movement. Neither has the increased level of Garda violence frightened people off the streets.

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