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(en) Workers Solidarity #78 - Bin Tax - what has been going on

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 15 Nov 2003 08:58:15 +0100 (CET)

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The campaign against the bin-tax in Dublin has seen an upsurge of
community resistance to the government. The mainstream media is
usually hostile to the campaign and doesn't bother reporting many
actions. Below is a summary of activity in two areas, activity which is
being replicated right across the city.
In Stoneybatter and Cabra, where a number of WSM members are
active, there have been a mixture of meetings, protests and blockades.
Events in Stoneybatter got moving with a public meeting on the 17th
of September. The mood was militant and supportive of action to
defeat the government's attempts to ride roughshod over public
opinion and enforce the double tax. In Stoneybatter we had two short
blockades of bin trucks in the estates, one on Swords Street, the other
in Drumalee. It became apparent that local blockades in isolation from
other areas were capable of only putting limited pressure on the
Corporation so the mood in Stoneybatter swung towards arguing for
co-ordinated city-wide disruption in order to put a lot of pressure on
the state. This was illustrated at one blockade where the choice was
democratically made to call it off with no arrests or names taken and
to fight another day.

The first step in this process was an evening picket of Grangegorman
depot, an idea suggested from the floor at a public meeting and called
with the Cabra campaign and supported by people all over the city
area. This was a heartening protest as the turnout over the three hours
was well over a hundred and no bin lorry got out while the protesters
were at the gates.

In Cabra there have been a number of large meetings, at one over 500
turned up. In a very real sense the local meetings are a great
improvement in democratic practice than the farce we see in the Dail.

In Cabra there have also been blockades and a number of well
attended marches to events in the city centre, for example a march to
Mountjoy on Thursday 16th in support of imprisoned protesters drew a
crowd numbering hundreds.

In addition there have been pickets of Grangegorman (and other
depots) which began at short notice on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday
15th October. Numbers were obviously lower due to the short notice,
but the Council workers were very sympathetic to the campaign and
their reluctance to break the blockades ensured their success. And, as
we go to press, 48 people closed down Grangegorman depot for an
evening (Oct 28th) and further blockades were held at depots around
South County Dublin on October 29th.

Moving forward, we need improved co-ordination in causing disruption
between local areas right across the 4 County Council districts.
Decisions which emanate from below are much more likely to have the
support of the communities as they participated in making them in the
first place. Though the state has come down heavily by jailing
protesters, our weapon continues to be solidarity in numbers, and if
we can co-ordinate this we have a good chance of success.

James O'Brien
Cornered Council - Approach with caution

In Spain there was an old saying to describe the inequity of that
society; "some people eat but do not work and most people work but
do not eat." It appears that this is the new type of society that the
present Government wish to implement in Ireland.

At the time of writing 15 people have been in prison for peacefully
protesting the imposition of this unjust bin-tax. On Oct 14th and 15th a
co-ordinated action resulted in all the bin depots across all four
council areas being blocked by demonstrators thus effectively
shutting down the service. The campaign has always maintained that
all bins have to be picked up. Until non-collection is halted similar
actions will take place.

The State and the city councils are displaying to the whole country
what we already knew, that they are ruthless bullies who will stop at
little in their attempt to get away with this heist. The heist is to take a
public service, change the laws so as to bring about non-collection, do
everything to force people into paying the charge, so that they can
make it a profitable business and then privatise it.

The government will continue to jail us for demonstrating against what
we believe to be unjust. Another reason why the reaction has been so
severe is that this is the culmination of a long campaign where we
have won most of the battles. First they tried to make us pay, we
refused; then they tried to bring us to court, we opposed them; then
they tried non-collection, we blockaded them; then they tried to
frighten us with injunctions and jailings, we broke that and activists
were prepared to go to jail. This is the reaction of the state to direct
action taken by a large community campaign.

But let's remember, despite all the media hysteria flying around that
this is simply a case of democracy in action.

The majority of people in Dublin are against this double-tax and the
harder they try to crush it the more that resistance grows. The council
is like a cornered wild animal lashing out at all that's against them.
They have asked their friends in the media to ensure a witch-hunt
against the campaigns. It is because there is a genuine fear by the
authorities that they are doing this. Lets remember that and ensure
that we continue to take the fight to them by maintaining non-payment
and preventing non-collection.

Dermot Sreenan

Further information:

087 283 7989 - Campaign Hotline number

www.StopTheBinTax.com and www.indymedia.ie for upcoming
protests and meetings

Detailed reports and dozens of photos of blockades and marches at


This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'. http://struggle.ws/wsm/paper.html
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
for you to print out and distribute locally
Print out the PDF file of this issue
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