Bin Tax struggle reaches peak in Dublin


The campaign against the bin-tax in Dublin has seen an upsurge of community resistance to the government. The mainstream media is usually hostile to the campaign and doesn't bother reporting many actions. Below is a summary of activity in two areas, activity which is being replicated right across the city.

In Stoneybatter and Cabra, where a number of WSM members are active, there have been a mixture of meetings, protests and blockades. Events in Stoneybatter got moving with a public meeting on the 17th of September. The mood was militant and supportive of action to defeat the government's attempts to ride roughshod over public opinion and enforce the double tax. In Stoneybatter we had two short blockades of bin trucks in the estates, one on Swords Street, the other in Drumalee. It became apparent that local blockades in isolation from other areas were capable of only putting limited pressure on the Corporation so the mood in Stoneybatter swung towards arguing for co-ordinated city-wide disruption in order to put a lot of pressure on the state. This was illustrated at one blockade where the choice was democratically made to call it off with no arrests or names taken and to fight another day.

The first step in this process was an evening picket of Grangegorman depot, an idea suggested from the floor at a public meeting and called with the Cabra campaign and supported by people all over the city area. This was a heartening protest as the turnout over the three hours was well over a hundred and no bin lorry got out while the protesters were at the gates.

In Cabra there have been a number of large meetings, at one over 500 turned up. In a very real sense the local meetings are a great improvement in democratic practice than the farce we see in the Dail.

In Cabra there have also been blockades and a number of well attended marches to events in the city centre, for example a march to Mountjoy on Thursday 16th in support of imprisoned protesters drew a crowd numbering hundreds.

In addition there have been pickets of Grangegorman (and other depots) which began at short notice on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th October. Numbers were obviously lower due to the short notice, but the Council workers were very sympathetic to the campaign and their reluctance to break the blockades ensured their success. And, as we go to press, 48 people closed down Grangegorman depot for an evening (Oct 28th) and further blockades were held at depots around South County Dublin on October 29th.

Moving forward, we need improved co-ordination in causing disruption between local areas right across the 4 County Council districts. Decisions which emanate from below are much more likely to have the support of the communities as they participated in making them in the first place. Though the state has come down heavily by jailing protesters, our weapon continues to be solidarity in numbers, and if we can co-ordinate this we have a good chance of success.

James O'Brien

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.

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This edition is No78 published in November 2003