Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/318/10491

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 October 2003

Anti-bin tax campaign: A Decisive Stage In The Struggle

KEVIN MACLOUGHLIN of the Socialist Party in Ireland spoke to the socialist on the escalating anti-bin tax struggle and the campaign to free Socialist Party representatives Joe Higgins TD (MP) and councillor Clare Daly, jailed for their part in the movement.

"THE PROTESTS against the bin tax are now moving in a more decisive way in all the four local authority areas in Dublin.

At present Fingal is where the battle is centred. This is because of a coordinated attempt by the government, we believe, - part of a waste management plan hatched in 1999.

They thought that by attacking the Fingal campaign first and breaking resistance to the tax there it would enable the tax to be introduced throughout Dublin.

At the same time the authorities are trying to implement non-collection of untagged rubbish in the other areas but only in a very limited form, mainly in the more affluent areas where non-payment is very low.

Obviously they are scared of implementing non-collection in working class communities. It's a policy of divide and rule.

Fingal council were hoping that the protest would fizzle out but that hasn't happened. Bin trucks are blockaded when they go out to collect rubbish. And now people are forcing their rubbish into the trucks.

The first county council meeting of Fingal will convene in a week. There will be a huge lobby for that meeting. Our tactics are to put the blame for uncollected rubbish squarely on the council and also to massively increase the pressure on the politicians at that meeting.

Using the courts

THE OTHER approach of the councils is to overcome direct action protest by using the courts as a way of intimidating people.

That's why in all the council areas they've got injunctions against any protests. And that's why Joe and Clare were jailed.

Either the campaign stands firm or they will intimidate people and succeed in imposing this unfair tax.

So the example of Clare and Joe has inspired people to make a stand too.

The use of the courts and the injunctions against this type of campaign has not been seen for many years.

It's a direct attack on the right to protest. But these measures haven't stopped the protests.

Significantly there are 25 residents from Finglas in the Dublin City council area who are due in court for committal proceedings - meaning that they will be fined or sent to prison or possibly have the cases against them dropped.

But a number of them will not purge their contempt of court injunctions and will stand firm. This is an important trial of strength between the campaign and the authorities.

Also in South Dublin county council this week there will be a blockade of the bin trucks depot to halt the entire collection service, again in defiance of a High Court injunction.

This action follows the near unanimous vote last Sunday evening at a campaign meeting of 250 people in South Dublin.

To resist the authorities' divide and rule tactic we're trying to organise co-ordinated action amongst all the four areas, even if in some of those areas the councils aren't organising generalised non-collection.

If these blockades are widespread then it makes it far harder for the police and authorities to intervene.

Trade union support

IMPORTANTLY, FOR the first time, official action is being organised in the trade unions. A demo is planned for next Saturday (11 October) in Dublin city centre marching to Mountjoy prison where Joe and Clare are being held.

This shows the growing pressure for action within the unions' ranks.

If more people are committed to prison then we have to demand industrial action to counter this intimidation by the state.

The longer this campaign goes on then politicians will be reflecting on the prospects of next years' elections.

Also the government are introducing cuts, possibly axing 5,000 civil service jobs in December's budget, and increasing charges for various services.

This is a defining struggle in Ireland coming as it does on the cusp of going into a period of recession and crisis.

Our struggle has captured people's imagination of what is possible to bring about social change."


THE RULING Fianna Fail government is attempting to introduce the 'bin tax' through the four greater Dublin councils.

The tax hits those on the lowest incomes the hardest and is a double form of taxation on top of high, centrally collected taxes.

Every household is expected to purchase a tag which is tied to their refuse sack for collection. Untagged rubbish is deemed non-collectable. Along with local residents the Socialist Party has been waging a campaign of direct action to defeat the tax, including blockading rubbish trucks on estates.

In the Fingal council area, where the campaign has been centred, Socialist Party TD (MP) Joe Higgins and councillor Clare Daly were imprisoned for defying a High Court injunction brought against them by the council.

They are currently serving a one month sentence in Mountjoy prison.


"I'll vote for the Socialist Party"

A SAMPLE of the mood of working class people to the hated bin tax, particularly in Dublin West, is caught in a recent issue of the Irish Times (6/10/03).

"The rubbish is an eyesore and a health hazard but I don't blame local people, they've got to get rid of their waste somehow.

I blame the council and the government", says Mr O'Brien. "Even bins with tags weren't being collected so nobody around here buys tags anymore. The area is 100% anti-bin tax. The government are a joke, they're robbing the country of millions. I pay tax on my wages I shouldn't be taxed again. It's legalised robbery."

Mrs O'Toole who voted for Fianna Fail at the last election said she would never support the party again.

"I admire Joe Higgins and Clare Daly. They've taken a principled stand. I'll vote for the Socialist Party at the next election."


Keep the support rolling in

LETTERS OF protest to the Taoiseach (prime minister) Bertie Ahern and messages of support and solidarity for Joe and Clare have flooded in from around the world.

Many trade unions and union activists in the north and south of Ireland are supporting the campaign demanding the two's release, as are trade unions from as far as Brazil and Sri Lanka.

There has also been a tremendous number of messages from Scottish trade unionists and support from the Scottish Socialist Party.

Other leftwing parties include the national Conscience Party Nigeria; councillors from the Netherlands Socialist Party; deputies of the Greek Left Progressive Party; Members of the European Parliament - Alain Krivine and Roseline Vachetta; left wing deputies of the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT) and of course public representatives of the various sections of the Committee for a Workers' International.

As well as protest letters, financial donations are urgently needed to pay for legal costs totalling tens of thousands of euros.

Send donations to Free Clare and Joe campaign, Allied Irish Bank, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Sort code 93-12-09. Account number 00208087: Swift code AIB KIE2D.

Send letters of protest to: An Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern TD, Government of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: + 1 619 4020. Fax + 1 676 4048. email: taoiseach@taoiseach.ie

www.socialistparty.net the Socialist Party in southern Ireland

http://www.NoBinTax.info for updates on the Fingal anti-bin tax campaign.

www.socialistworld.net the website of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI)

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 October 2003:

Bosses Get Rich - Workers Get 30p

Fighting For A Living Wage

Postal strike solid

Model resolution


Labour and the unions

Union Leaders On The Wrong Track

New Labour and asylum: Blunkett's Callous Plans

"Tough With The Workers, Toadying With The Millionaires"


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Foundation Hospitals: An Attack on the Heart of the NHS


International socialist news and analysis

Anti-bin tax campaign: A Decisive Stage In The Struggle

Ireland - Free the bin tax twelve

Scotland: Nursery Nurses Forced To Strike Again

Fighting tuition fees in the USA

Europe protests at anti-worker governments

Syria Bombing Ratchets Up Middle East Tensions

Iran 1988: A bloody chapter in the workers' movement remembered


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 October 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Ireland:

triangleBoeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangleLeeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

triangleEyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangleBuilding workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism

Tax:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleThem & Us

triangleProblem gambling soars by 33%

triangleAmazon tax halves as revenues soar - nationalise now!

Socialist:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Young people need socialism!

The Socialist:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Socialist Party:

triangleWarrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

Dublin:

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn

Clare Daly:

triangleClare Daly resignation from Socialist Party Ireland

Council:

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

International

International

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

6/9/17

US

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2