Ireland – Free the bin tax twelve

From the CWI online and Irish Socialist Party website

Ireland – Free the bin tax twelve

10 more anti-bin tax protesters jailed

Thursday morning, October 9, saw 10 local residents jailed for two weeks (one woman with a small child for one week because she has to breastfeed her baby) for their part in the ongoing protests against the imposition of a new charge for collecting rubbish, the bin tax.

They join Joe Higgins, a Socialist Party TD (member of parliament), and Clare Daly, a Socialist Party councillor, who were imprisoned on September 19 for one month for defying a court order to stop campaigning against this new tax.

These latest bin tax prisoners are ordinary working class people from Finglas, Dublin, using their right to protest against an unjust double tax that is resented by the overwhelming majority of people in this city.

Clearly, the councils, hand in hand with the government and the judiciary, think they can break the ongoing resistance by imprisoning more PAYE (employee) taxpayers.

Activists in Finglas Anti Bin Tax Campaign jailed are:

Colin Breathnach, a teacher
John O’Neill, a community worker with one child
Dermot Connolly, Chairperson of the Dublin City anti-Bin Tax Campaign and Socialist Party member.

The other seven (two men and five women) are residents from the Finglas area who were involved in a limited blockade of a bin truck in their area last week.

Their protest lasted for 90 minutes and they voluntarily gave their names to the Gardai (police). They are:

Declan Mahon, warehouse worker, SIPTU official, father of 3 with health problems.
Anna Doran, 5 children, grandmother.
Kay Conlon, 8 children, grandmother.
Noreen Bradley, widow, 2 children.
Bernie Hughes, 3 children, single parent.
Noel Kelly, retired ESB worker, father of 5 and grandfather.
Lisa Caroll, mother of two and who is still breast-feeding a baby that has been sent into prison with her for a week.

On your head

Lisa Caroll when asked to apologise and purge her contempt by the judge said:

“I am not going to apologise and will continue to defy the injunction. I am breast feeding a child and the fact you are sending me to prison will be on your head”.

This was greeted by applause in the court.

Immediately after these latest jailings the Fingal Anti-Bin Tax Campaign issued the following press statement:

Fingal Anti-Bin Tax Campaign:

  • Condemns Jailings
  • Calls for Massive Protest on Saturday

In the light of today’s decision to jail ten Anti Bin Tax campaigners, the Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign calls for Saturday’s Dublin Council of Trade Unions “Anti Bin Tax – Anti Jailings” demonstration (Assemble 12 noon Parnell Square and march to Mountyjoy Jail) to be made into a massive show of opposition.

We call on the trade union movement to pull out all the stops to ensure this is the case.

We call on ordinary people the length and breadth of the country to travel up to join this protest.

To jail ordinary residents for a peaceful protest on their own streets while millionaire crooks and tax evading TD’s go free shows the massive double standard in the legal system in this country.

The ten jailings, mothers and grandmothers among them, represents the most significant attack on the right to protest seen in this country in a generation.

In particular, they represent an attack on the right of working class people to protest- farmers, middle class professionals and other sections of society would never to treated in this way.

Anti-government protest Saturday’s protest will be an anti-government protest.

This Government made the laws This Government promoted the bin tax They will suffer very real consequences as a result of the jailings today.

For further comment or information contact:

Michael Murphy 087 676 2449 or
Councillor Ruth Coppinger 087 6730 187.