Anarchist News

Ewald (
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 00:33:10 -0700

These two articles come from Dr. Groove <> via

Shawn Ewald
Anarchist News 12 December 1996
Two articles:

1)Our Victory Their Defeat The Water Charges are uncollectable.
2)Beat Them or Join Them.

On Wednesday 20 November, as a couple of hundred activists were picketing
the Dublin South estimates council meeting, word filtered through, that in the
face of the mass non-payment of the Water Charges, the councillors had lost
their nerve and postponed setting a charge.

This news was followed up last weekend by government leaks suggesting that
the charges were to be abolished in the forthcoming budget. Forced to eat
their sneering words of three years ago, (when they sought to dismiss the
campaign as irrelevant) the politicians of all parties have been forced to
accept the inevitable fact that they have been beaten by the ordinary people
of Dublin, who stood up to them, their threats, and their hired bullies.

Nearly three years ago when the three councils were created we knew that the
water charge was due to make it's appearance in Dublin. Despite all the
political parties being opposed to these 'local charges' we saw them
introduced by all the councils as they struck a local rate. Two years ago,
at this very time of the year in the run up to Christmas the South County
Dublin council decided to lead the way in dealing with the people who had
failed to pay the charge; they attempted to cut the water supply to those
houses. The Federation of Anti Water Charges Campaigns sprung into action.
Each area organised patrols and there was no peace for those who attempted
to cut people's water off. For defending people's water supplies we were
called the "anti-water charge bandits" by the Evening Herald and "political
pygmies" by a South County Dublin councillor but only twelve houses were
disconnected and even they were all re-connected within hours. The
Government changed in early 1995 and we now had Fine Geal, Labour and
Democratic Left
in power. But little changed for those of us who opposed this charge. Now
instead of defending our water supply against cut off's we had people being
summoned to appear in court. In November 1995 over 500 people joined forces
outside Rathfarnam courthouse to sing while the judge pushed through orders
for disconnection's.

These we appealed. Now after 3 years we are seeing the benefits of the hard
work put into this campaign by you the activists. The above brief history is
just a way of reminding ourselves just how long and hard the politicians
have tried to impose this water charge and how we've resisted. The councils have
gone down every avenue open to them in order to entice,intimidate or grab
the money from people. They have failed because they met with resistance at
every turn. We have stood together outside courts, outside houses, outside
council offices (as the councillors have scurried like rats from a sinking
ship) and
in the face of this mass resistance the politicians will to force this charge
on us has pathetically failed. Over the next few weeks all the political
parties will appear like a rash all over the press claiming that they've
ended the water charge. These claims will be oblivious to the facts that
every council consisting of members of all political parties have set these
charges and this charge has survived two governments consisting of Fine
Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour (twice) and Democratic left. All the politicians have
tried to impose these charges and the working class people of Dublin have
brought about their end. We must remember that this will be our victory and
the politicians loss. We must remember this victory because it will make us
strong for the next struggle, because if they tried to charge us for the
water, what's next?
Beat them Or Join them!

The water charges may almost be beaten but many of us involved in fighting
them do not want to stop with this. We live in a world where poverty and
unemployment are widely accepted as 'facts of life' and our TV's are
regularly filled with horrific images of starvation, war and genocide. Yet
if the money spent on arms and armaments were diverted into food and health
care, starvation and hunger could be eliminated tomorrow from the world.
Millions of ordinary people all over the world are fighting back. The now
inevitable victory of the tens of thousands of people who have refused to
pay water charges in Dublin is one example of this. The strike by lorry
drivers in France for earlier pensions and better pay (something we all want)
is yet another. In South Eastern Mexico, landless labourers have seized
land in an armed rebellion. In Liverpool the dockers are fighting

There are many, many current examples of people saying "enough!". Anarchism
is the idea that the mass of people, the working class, can change the world
for the better replacing the exploitation, inequality and injustice that are
all around today with a new world based on socialism and freedom. Anarchism
is the idea of a world where there are no classes - the rich having been
sent packing.

Where society is run and controlled through councils by those who produce
the wealth in society, the working class. Where there is absolute freedom of
ideas, of movement and of the individual. Anarchism is a society built on
the abolition of all tyranny, in society and in the workplace. In the
everyday class struggle its aim is to build as much working class unity as
possible. It argues for workers to strengthen their organisations and their
capacity to take control from the bosses. This starts with taking control of
our unions and community organisations at local level. The inequality and
authoritarianism of capitalism is neither acceptable nor necessary. Workers
and the poor are constantly being asked to make sacrifices and to tighten
their belts for the 'good of the country'. The things we most depend on like
housing, health care and education are the very things that are being
'cutback' by the Government while all the time the huge wealth and profit of
private industry remains relatively untouched by taxes. We are no strangers
to this in Ireland. Anarchists argue that this doesn't happen because we
have 'bad' politicians but because it is the way that capitalism works. In a
society where a small rich class controls things, it is inevitable that they
will exploit and make the poor pay for as much as possible. Anarchism is a
practical way to bring about a society of socialism and freedom. The
traditional 'way', in countries like ours, is through the ballot box. It is
here that we are told that changes can be brought about if we want to make

Anarchists don't agree with this and oppose involvement in the parliament for
two reasons. Firstly, real power in society doesn't reside there. It is
mainly a talking shop. Even if you did get a socialist party elected to
Government that stood for the abolition of capitalism (instead of the normal
situation where they stand for simply an increase in dole payments or a cut
of two pence in the tax rate) they wouldn't be allowed to do it.

In Chile in 1973 when the elected Allende Government proposed minor land
reforms it was drowned in blood after the Army moved in to "save Chile
from socialism". More recently the army in Haiti rejected the election of
the reformer President Aristide and imposed a reign of terror. As long as
parliament confines itself to minuscule or meaningless change it will be
allowed to function. But to challenge the basis of capitalism - wage labour
and private property - is just not on. But there is also another reason why
socialism can't be brought about by electing a socialist government.
Anarchists argue that socialism is about the working class running society
through workplace and community councils- in other words democracy in all
parts of human activity. It is through this that a real equal distribution
of wealth can take place. But most socialist parties don't believe in this
idea at all. Rather they see socialism as something else. For them it is the
idea of their Party which 'represents' the workers interests taking control
of the State and 'making it work for the people'. Thus they put a lot of
energy into promoting individual personalities as 'good politicians' who
will sort out your problems unlike the 'bad politicians' currently in power.
Anarchists say that no one can actually 'represent' workers interests but
workers themselves. Anarchists argue that only all those who suffer
inequality and injustice can and will at the end of the day see the fight to
end it through to the finish. Governments of socialists on the other hand
soon get bogged down "in the national interest" and other compromises once
in power. Far from changing anything, things can often get worse for many
workers. Anarchists argue that the means used to build socialism and
ends achieved are connected. Thus a Party which achieves power believing
itself to represent the working class cannot but end up creating a rigid
hierarchical society all over again.

Finally then, anarchism is the idea of a free socialist society and how it
can be achieved by the direct action and strength of the working class.
Anarchists stand uncompromisingly for a new world. It will be organised from
the bottom up and production will be to meet peoples' needs, not for the
private profit of a few. Every individual will enjoy complete control of
her/his life with no limition their freedom as long as they do not encroach
on the freedom of anyone else. That is what the Workers Solidarity Movement
is fighting for. We want you to join with us in this fight. --
The Bolsheviks and Workers Control is now on the web at
Anarchist papers and magazines at
Want to join a class struggle anarchist mailing
list email me at for details
"Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are rather forced
upon them from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long
time been no guarantee of thier security. They do not exist because they
have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have
become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them
will meet with the violent resistance of the populace."

--Rudolf Rocker (Anarcho-Syndicalism, 1938)
Fight superstition and pseudo-science:
The Skeptic's Society:
The James Randi Educational Foundation:
A Skeptic's Dictionary: