They don’t get it – Shatter, Phil Hogan, Enda Kenny and the rest - We are not dupes We are a people in revolt


Below is the text of comments by Gregor Kerr introducing the 'Open mic' session at the Campaign Against Household And Water Taxes protest outside the Fine Gael Ard Fheis on Saturday 31st March.  Approx 25 people spoke - representing campaigns in Dublin West, Dun Laoghaire, Carlow, Ballyfermot, Wicklow, North Inner City Dublin, Finglas/Ballymun, Lucan, South East Inner City Dublin, Wexford, Newbridge, Connemara, Kilkenny, Edenderry, Cork and the East Wall area of Dublin.  

The rally was also addressed by Maura Harrington of Shell to Sea, Mick O'Reilly of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, Jean Monaghan - one of the GAME Shop workers currently in occupation of their workplaces fighting for proper redundancy payments and Jimmy Kelly of Unite Union.  

Music was provided by folk and ballad group from Ballyfermot 'The Beermats' and singer/songwriter Evelyn Campbell who sang two fantastic anti-austerity songs.  Follow this link tio get a free download of one of them - 'Robbing Peter to Pay Paul'

" I would like to welcome everyone to this fantastic protest – people have come from every corner of the country because this campaign exists in every corner of the country.  The hard work that we have put into building this campaign has resulted in a very clear message to government - over a million of us have said this tax is unacceptable.  As we arrived, delegates inside pulled down the blinds so that they didn't have to see us.  They're afraid of us - but they can't hide from the anger of people organising against this tax.  But let them hear us - 'Fine Gael you've got it wrong.  Look around we're a million strong'. 

Last night Alan Shatter told those of us refusing to register for this tax to  ‘get a life’.  But we've got a very clear message for Mr. Shatter and his colleagues - We all have lives.  We have very busy lives – we work, we rear our families, we struggle to make ends meet because of the policies you and your government are pursuing.

But we care about the type of society we live in, we care about the future of our kids and grandkids.  So we are here today and we have been busily working in our communities over the last number of months building this campaign because we are not going to allow this unfair tax to be imposed on us and we are no longer going to accept that we and our children should have to pay for the gambling debts of bankers, developers and international financiers.

So Mr. Shatter – we have lives.  But, having built a campaign that has established mass non-registration, we can promise you that for the next number of months we are going to dedicate part of our lives to organising to ensure that your government is forced to bow to the will of the people and abolish the household tax.  And we don’t care what the troika say, we don’t care what international bankers think.  We care about the type of society we live in and we care about the future of our kids and grandkids.

They don’t seem to get it do they – Shatter, Phil Hogan, Enda Kenny and the rest of them.  Over 1 million have rejected this tax but they keep going on about a campaign led by 9 TDs.  Well –  there are 9 TDs involved in the campaign and it’s great to have them as an integral part of the campaign.  But the rest of us aren’t some sort of dupes blindly following their lead and unable to think for ourselves.  Nor are there over a million of us who don’t know how to switch on a computer and register for this tax, or couldn’t find our way to our council office.

Guess what Phil – we can all think for ourselves and we have all made a conscious decision that we’re not registering.  This is a campaign that exists in every corner of Ireland and this is a campaign that is not going away.  So the people in there in the Convention Centre should be afraid – they should be very afraid.  We are a people in revolt, we have realised our strength, we know now that when we organise together we can resist any of your threats.  So go ahead do your worst – but you will be met by a determined, disciplined and controlled response that will show you that you cannot govern a people without their consent.

As I’ve said, our campaign is organised in every corner of Ireland.  For the next little while, we’re going to have an open mic sessions where we want people to come up here and tell us about why you are opposed to the household tax, tell us your experiences of organising locally, your own personal stories.  And I want to especially appeal to people who are getting involved for the first time, who have never spoken at a rally like this before, who might be nervous about coming up.  What you have to say is important, you’re among friends here so don’t be nervous, come up and have your say.  And in order to let as many people as possible in please keep your contributions as short as possible….."

Read : What YOU can do in your local Household tax campaign group to make it more effective

Coming soon:  We will be adding a photo slideshow and video to this article later today.  In the meantime check out the photos and video we posted to our Facebook page.