3,000 March in Cork against Household Taxes and Austerity


On Saturday lunchtime about 3,000 citizens marched through the streets of Cork in support of the continuing boycott of the Household Tax and in protest at the sixth straight austerity budget to be imposed on the Irish working class, which was unveiled this week by the Labour/Fine Gael coalition government.

This march was organised by the Cork region of the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes, and was supported by the Independent Workers Union, which called off a post-budget protest march it had planned itself earlier this week to support this one and mobilise for greater numbers.

Assembling outside Connolly Hall on Lapps Quay at 2 pm, the 3,000-strong march took the best part of an hour to make its way via Patrick St. to the rally point at Daunt Square. Such were the number of people who waited on to hear the speeches that the Gardaí had to close the junction of Patrick St. and the Grand Parade to through traffic because of the overspill from the square, which hasn't happened at similar protests there in several years.

The rally was compered by city councillor Mick Barry of the Socialist Party and CAHWT, and the speakers were three from Cork city and county branches of the CAHWT campaign, Margaret Healy of the Home Helps section of the IWU, and a speaker from the 'Ballyhea Bondholders' protest group, who have been marching in their home village for over 130+ Sundays now. The speeches were simple and heartfelt for the most part, reflecting on the injustice of cabinet ministers escaping cuts while wielding the austerity axe, calling for more manifestations of people power like the ongoing boycott of the Household Charge, and condemnation of the goverment parties, particularly Labour.

The number of people on the street today sent a message to Phil Hogan and his cabinet colleagues that not only is the anti-Household Tax campaign still going strong down Leeside way, there is also mounting anger among working class people over the continuing austerity agenda. While 2013 promises not to be a Happy New Year for Corkonian workers, such protests as todays show that determined mass resistance to austerity is still out there fighting, six budgets on.