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(en) WSM/Ireland - update on bin tax struggle: more jailings

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 4 Nov 2003 17:23:01 +0100 (CET)


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Bin tax - no law for the rich. With news coming in that 6
more bin tax protesters have been jailed for 3 weeks its time
to ask just what justice means.
The last months in Dublin have seen the jailing of ordinary
working class people for protesting against the bin tax. A
tax whose introduction was not only opposed by most people
but which tens of thousands are refusing to pay.
In the spring of this year more then five people were held in
jail for periods because they had protested against the US
military using Shannon airport to refuel en route to the Iraq war.

Opinion polls at the time showed the vast majority of people
opposed this war and this refuelling.

Charles Haughey, Ray Burke and Michael Lowry never saw the
inside of a prison cell. These were all politicians who
specialised in taking cash from their rich friends, salting
millions away at the expense of the working class. On the
other hand, Liam Lawlor eventually saw the inside of Mountjoy
but only after months of defying the High Court, and then one
week at a time.. Unlike the bin tax protesters he was allowed
to bring his mobile phone and his laptop with him.

In 1989 Dermot Desmond signed a letter from NCB to Pernod
Ricard justifying the two million fees he was charging them
because "We orchestrated entirely the successful campaign to
get a positive tax opinion from the Revenue Commissioners
which involved using personal contacts at the highest level,
including the Minister for Finance and the Secretaries of the
Department of the Taoiseach and Department of Industry and
Commerce".

A more farcical example was revealed at the Mahon tribunal
the very week the High Court was busy jailing bin tax
protesters. Liam Lawlor was given 40 grand by a builder to
get the postal area of a new development changed from
Clondalken to Lucan. Then to rub the point home it was
revealed that Judge Mahon himself had forgotten to declare
some of his earnings to the revenue.

Except for Lawlor nobody spent a day in jail as a result of
any of the above. Nor have Fianna Fail TD's GV Wright or
Michael Collins. A few years back John Lonergan, the governor
of Dublin?s Mountjoy prison, admitted that 50% of the prison
population come from a few deprived areas of Dublin. He
didn't reveal how many were millionaires, but 0 would be a
safe bet.

This is not so much a case of one law for the rich - one law
for the poor, it's more a case of some laws only being
applied to the poor. The corrupt politicians, Judges and
their friends in big business ride roughshod over the law and
fleece the country for millions and get away with it. The law
exists primarly to protect the interests of the rich, so only
the poor can be punished for breaking the laws if they have
the temerity to stand up against injustice.

It's hard to draw any other conclusion but that the entire
legal system from Gardai to High Court exists to protect the
interests of the rich by keeping ordinary workers and the
poor down. Stand in front of a bin truck and they may well
jail you. Pocket millions, some of which would have otherwise
gone to health or education, and they will ask you over for
dinner.

Background details: http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html
for details of protests check http://indymedia.ie


--
From: From: "Andrew" <andy-A-dojo.tao.ca>
--------
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revolutionary history and struggles around globalisation


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