Water Charges: 3 Reasons to March on June 20th


The next water charges march happens in Dublin June 20th. Here are 3 reasons why you should do your best to be on it.

1. Both the government and Irish Water are refusing to release figures about the number of people who have not paid the bills. The reason is clearly that so far this figure is very high - if it wasn’t they would be sure to have it plastered all over every newspaper front page. A large turnout for this demonstration is important so that isolated non-payers do not get a sense that non-payment is not flagging.

2. Meter installation blockades have continued all around the country but for four weeks one well known Dublin protester Steven Bennett has been held on remand in Cloverhill prison because he refused to accept stringent bail conditions that would have prevented him protesting. The government abandoned attempts to intimidate protesters with the court injunction after the jailing of the Edenmore 4 backfired and resulted in mass protests. It’s essential that they continue to understand that repression will lead to protest and that they can’t pick off people they view as uncontrollables.

3. In the last couple of months a lot of energy has been diverted into the various forces active in the campaign jockying for advantage in the elections due in the next months. We’ve seen the media make use of this fuel to try and spread disunity & demoralisation. But in the quest for electoral advantage there is also a subtext of passivity. The idea that because there will be no sanctions against non-payers before the election so there isn’t a need to do anything apart from argue for non-payment and gear up for the election.

This is foolish in that it presumes a trust in the electoral system and political promises as a way of abolishing the charge. From long experience we all know politicians promises are not worth the paper they are written on once they get into power. But it is also squandering the opportunity to build on the enormous neighbourhood energy coming out of the meter blockades, an energy which could be used to create neighbourhood assembles rather than just electoral momentum. We need to focus on changing the nature of the game rather than changing which pieces are in play.

So on the 20th of June assemble at Heuston Station (South Dublin) and Connolly station (North Dublin) and march along both quays to the GPO.

WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter)