The Sunday Independent is an attack on Democracy


The Sunday Independent hasn't changed one bit since William Martin Murphy used it to vilify Jim Larkin and the locked out workers of 1913. These days, the anti-working class rag, now owned by Denis O'Brien's Independent News and Media group, uses it's influence to attack anti-water charge protesters. 

Today's front page couldn't be topped for sensationalism, "Attack on democracy" screams the headline. Yesteryear, Jim Larkin was "Looking for Trouble". Both headlines legitimise state violence against protesters. Both headlines present opponents of the state and big business as a danger to society. 

The real attack on democracy however, is the implementation of a water charge that no government has a mandate to introduce; It is the ripping up of streets to install water meters against the wishes of communities; It is the use of state police and private security to threaten, intimidate and assault protesters; and it is the control of the means of mass communication by a small group of super wealthy individuals. 

In reality, the anti-water charge protests are a defence of and deepening of democracy. People power is only an attack on oligarchy, on the rule of the rich. The birth of any new democracy always involves some element of illegality. Next year, those who accuse us of attacking democracy will be part of the celebrations of one of this country's revolutions. The paper that called for James Connolly to be "dealt with", two days before his execution, will have colour spreads on the festivities. Let's honour our revolutionary past another way, by fighting for real democracy, for the ideals of liberty and equality, even if that means breaking the law and attacking the rule of oligarchy.


Words: Mark Hoskins  (Follow Mark on Twitter)