Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/478/2166
We Won't Pay Campaign conference success
THE FIRST conference of the anti-water charges 'We Won't Pay Campaign' was held on Saturday 10 March. It was a highly successful conference in the run-up to the imposition of water charges on 1 April, with over 150 people attending from all areas of Belfast and surrounding towns and villages.
Pat Lawlor, UNISON member and We Won't Pay Campaign activist
Paul Dale, chairperson, opened the conference welcoming all attending and emphasising the escalating impetus of the We Won't Pay Campaign.
The two invited speakers Clare Daly Socialist Party councillor and anti-water charges activist from Dublin, and Steve Score former secretary of the Leicestershire Anti-Poll Tax Federation gave excellent accounts of their involvement in their respective campaigns.
Both speakers relayed essential tactical and strategic lessons for the non-payment campaign emphasising the importance of building strong roots and links in all communities.
Gary Mulcahy, secretary of the We Won't Pay Campaign, reported on the current legal state of affairs around non-payment. He also exposed the government's position saying that "the introduction of water charges was not about improving the infrastructure but was about privatisation"!
This opened questions from the floor which developed into a lively and active debate that allowed for clarification of issues and concerns of the local communities.
Two motions were put to the floor for discussion. The first was to have a major demonstration in Belfast on 31 March, the day before the introduction of water charges, openly inviting all trade unions, groups and activists who support non-payment. The second motion called for unity to build a mass non-payment campaign that is membership-based and democratically organised in local communities.
Both motions were resoundingly endorsed and passed unanimously by the floor.
Read the Socialist Party (Ireland) pamphlet
We Won't Pay!
How to Defeat Water Charges
By Gary Mulcahy - £3.00
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In The Socialist 15 March 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Northern Ireland and Scotland
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
International Women's Day
Environment and socialism
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Workplace news and analysis