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(en) Ireland/Dublin: (Bin Tax struggle) Blockade successful

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 3 Oct 2003 13:42:53 +0200 (CEST)

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> From: "Andrew" <andy-A-dojo.tao.ca>
Last nights blockade of the Grange Gorman bin truck depot
was a success with no truck managing to leave during the
three-hour blockade. These were the trucks that were to
do the rubbish pick-up in the shopping areas of the city
The blockade started just before 5pm with around a dozen
people, which over the next half hour rapidly grew to 60
or so. We marched in a circle outside the gates of the
depot effectively preventing any truck leaving.

As usual the Gardai arrived after an hour or so and a
half-hearted attempt was made to drive a litter wardens
van and the truck through the blockade. However we stood
our ground (or rather kept moving in the circle) and the
effort was soon given up.

Management at the depot attempted to read some long
document through a megaphone but with all the chanting
that was going on no one could make out a word of what
was being said. They also attempted to take photographs
of the protest but desisted when verbally challenged by
one protester as another obscured their view by holding a
large placard in front of the camera. No serious attempt
was made to take peoples names probably because the
Gardai realised that we were unlikely to give them.

There was a lot of support from passing traffic with
maybe every second car touting its horn. Fortunately the
road the deport is on is out of the way so we weren't
deafened by a constant barrage of noise.

As time went on more people arrived from work while
others left to feed the family etc. I'd guess the largest
number at any one time would be around 80 with maybe 120
taking part at one point or another. Most of these were
obviously from Cabra and Stoneybatter but a few had come
from as far a field as Dun Laoghaire and Clonsilla. Small
groups were also there from Finglas and the Liberties.

A highlight of the evening was the arrival of two large
pizzas from a pizza delivery company that were shared out
amongst those blockading. The depot management refused to
allow us to dispose of the empty cartons in the depot but
the residents of a house beside the depot put them in
their own bin instead.

No trucks left during the protest and as we wound up
after 8pm it appeared all the trucks had been parked for
the night. Certainly none left in the 10 minutes after
the protest had dispersed. These trucks were to do the
city centre rubbish pick up and someone who had left the
picket early phoned from the city centre to confirm that
rubbish there had not been picked up. The isolated nature
of this blockade means that the council will by now have
been able to get a truck from the morning shift or
another depot to do this run. But its clear that a co-
ordinated city wide blockade of the three depots could
result in rubbish piling up in the city centre, something
far more difficult for the councils then rubbish piling
up in working class estates.

This blockade again illustrated that we can take the
fight to the council rather then waiting for them to pick
us off area by area. City wide co-ordination of the
campaign needs to shift away from marches and protests in
the city centre and towards organising real blockades of
depots building towards a citywide blockade of every bin
truck. The Grange Gormon blockade organised at very short
notice and with real input only from a small number of
local campaigns demonstrates that this is very possible.


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