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Recent articles by Gregor Kerr
Recent Articles about Ireland / Britain Community struggles
Mass Opposition to Proposed Irish Household Charge - Boycott Campaign under way
ireland / britain | community struggles | news report Freitag Juli 29, 2011 23:22 by Gregor Kerr - WSM
But Sinn Fein refuse to support non-payment
Already a campaign has been established and in a statement issued yesterday following the announcement of the charge by Minister for The Environment Phil Hogan, that campaign stated:
“This latest tax, part of the EU/IMF memorandum, adds insult to the injury of working people, pensioners and the unemployed occasioned by being forced to salvage Irish and European banks from the consequences of their reckless speculation in the Irish property market……If this Household Tax were accepted everybody knows it would rocket to €500 and upwards within a short period. It would be a curtain raiser for further burdens such as water charges and a property tax on every home……On Saturday,16 July a meeting of activists and members of left parties and groups, following on from some initial meetings last year, resolved to launch a national campaign of opposition to new household and water taxes as soon as they were announced by government. A final name for the campaign has not yet been decided until the government clarified its proposals.
The Campaign is calling for a boycott of the charge and a mass non-payment campaign to make it unenforceable.
The Anti Household and Water Tax campaign is open to all those prepared to fight the new tax. Although members and public representatives of left groups will play an important role, it will not be affiliated to any political party or organisation and will have fully democratic structures in place.
A major series of public meeting s in cities and towns around the country will kick off in September to establish local groups in what will be a very active campaign.”
The work will begin now to build a campaign of mass opposition across the country – in every city, town and village. The strength of the campaign will be that it will be built by ordinary people and our unity, and our ability to say NO, will be our strongest weapons. At the end of the day, if we all stand together the government will find themselves powerless to impose this tax on us.
The importance of resisting this initial charge lies in the fact that if it is successfully imposed we can expect water and property taxes up to a possible €1,000 per annum within a short number of years. There is no justification for this tax but its attempted imposition provides us with an opportunity to galvanise our opposition to the thrust of government policy which continues that of the disgraced Fianna Fail/Green coalition and is based on making ordinary workers – both public and private sector - pay the gambling debts of speculators and bankers.
Workers Solidarity Movement members will, in our own communities, be centrally involved in helping to build the campaign against this tax. As we stated in Workers Solidarity 122: “Non-payment campaigns can be built in every single community. The first task faced will be to talk to and encourage all members of the community to join the non-payment campaign. Then we need to organise to support and encourage each other, and to defend each other when the government attempts to attack us through legal or political action. This will require the active participation of as many people as possible. Politicians, community leaders or trade union leaders cannot do it for us. The strongest campaigns will be those that involve large numbers of ‘ordinary’ people.
That means people like you. You don’t need to have any previous experience of organising campaigns to get involved, you just need to have a willingness to work alongside your neighbours and friends to take the simple steps of helping to build a campaign in your area. A No To Water Tax Campaign has already been established and will be building in every community over the coming months. Members of the Workers Solidarity Movement will be active in helping to establish this campaign. We hope that you too will get involved. Please get in touch and we will support or help in any way we can to help build a local campaign in your area.”
(See below for full article)
Unfortunately Sinn Fein spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, on TV3’s Tonight With Vincent Browne programme last night, Tuesday, failed to back the tactic of non-payment, describing such a tactic as “dangerous”, because those who boycott the tax could be left with bills to pay. But what Doherty and Sinn Fein, and indeed the government, should realise is that this campaign intends to be successful. This tax can and will be defeated and therefore nobody will be left with bills to pay. Just as water charges were defeated in the 1990s by a campaign of boycott and people power, so too this tax will not be imposed on us – if we organise ourselves.
Doherty went on to say that Sinn Fein would be doing “everything in our power to oppose this”. Yet he failed to back the only tactic that can win. This is a pathetic position for any political party who claim to be opposed to the charge to take. Put simply, there is only one way this tax will be defeated - through a mass campaign of non-cooperation and non-payment.
Sinn Fein’s position is a disgrace. It’s not enough for us just to complain and moan. We need to and we can defeat the charge. By organising in our communities we will be successful.
Follow this link to hear Joe Higgins present the campaign’s position on Ireland FM this morning: www.tv3.ie/ireland_am.php?video=38320&locID=1.65.74
Fr 05 Jun, 07:06
“Clap for Carers” but now they want our money as well 06:40 Mo 13 Apr 0 comments
This is a statement from some activists from Haringey Solidarity Croup express its support and solidarity to UK National Health Service (NHS) and other workers. In the meantime expresses its anger about that people been asked to pay the money to NHS while the health system is being suffered for almost two decades on the hands of the current government of conservative party and the former one of Labour. The demand is unreasonable while the UK is 3rd richest country in Europe and 6th richest country the world. The statement clarifies the current position of NHS and treatment of the government to NHS.
Irish state fails in bid to frame community activists for false imprisonment 23:27 Fr 30 Jun 0 comments
Six men were on trial accused of falsely imprisoning the then Tanáiste (deputy Prime Minister) and Labour Party TD, Joan Burton, and her colleague in Jobstown, a working class suburb of Dublin, on 15 November 2014. The charge of false imprisonment carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. All six men claimed that they were exercising their right to protest, and that the protest was peaceful. This was part of a mass campaign that successfully defeated the attempt to introduce water charges. Following a nine week trial, the six have been found not guilty.
Dublin protest to force the government to back down and scrap water charges sees 1000s on streets 19:31 Di 20 Sep 0 comments
The Irish government's attempt to introduce domestic water charges in Ireland is not going well. In fact, for them it's been a disaster because it's sparked off a huge upsurge in working class self organisation and direct action. Saturday saw thousands of anti-water charges campaigners flooding the streets of Dublin o to again voice their opposition to Irish Water & water charges and as a show of strength for the movement.
People in deprived areas 3 times more likely to take their lives in Northern Ireland 16:36 Do 13 Sep 0 comments
People in deprived areas in Northern Ireland are three times more likely to take their lives. Health minister Edwin Poots said, ‘Unemployment rates in deprived areas further affect people and this is a major concern. Studies indicate that a 1% increase in unemployment is met with a corresponding 0.79% increase in suicide.
Hundreds of Garda deployed to protect Shell's machine from the people of Ireland 16:47 Mi 01 Aug 0 comments
A huge secretive Garda security operation last night swung into operation in Dublin Port as Shell's Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) left the port as part of a huge convoy of Garda vehicles. News of the operation had leaked at the last minute meaning that with only an hours notice a handful of Shell to Sea campaigners managed to get down to the port entrance despite the pouring rain. Most of us were pulled over and questioned by Garda at least once and the Garda helicopter stayed overhead as various Garda vehicles including a van load of riot cops with the door open drove past us repeatedly.
Council tries to silence protest by threatening Rossport Solidarity Camp with eviction 16:54 Di 22 Mai 0 comments
In a new twist to the decade long struggle against Shell Rossport Solidarity Camp has revealed that Mayo County Council (MCC) has issued an eviction notice to the landowner of the field where the Rossport Solidarity Camp is located. Mayo farmer Gerry Burke has been threatened with fines of over €12,000 and two years in prison. Despite these theats the annual June Bank Holiday solidarity gathering will go ahead in a couple of weeks.
Massive National rally of community campaign against new Household tax in Ireland 20:53 Di 27 Mär 0 comments
Saturday's National Rally against the Household Tax in the National Stadium was literally filled to overflowing. As well as nearly 3,000 people crammed into every possible space in the Stadium another 4 to 500 were in the car park at the side, unable to fit into the building. And the thousands who attended were angry, energized and expectant of victory. The National Stadium normally hosts boxing marches but the atmosphere on Saturday topped that of watching a home fighter coming out on top in a close fought bout.
Dublin: The eviction of the Occupy Dame Street camp 22:19 Do 08 Mär 0 comments
A large force of Garda and council workers were deployed at 3.30am today, International Women's Day, to clear Occupy Dame Street (ODS) camp. The camp was completely demolished in the course of the eviction, campers intimidated and their personal property stolen. This was a level of force way out of proportion with the numbers in the camp (about 15 people) and stands in contrast with the lack of resources put into investigating what happened at Anglo, the collapse of which has left a debt of 26,000 Euro on every single person in the country. [Italiano]
Detailed account of Shell's prosecution of 19 more people for ongoing resistance in Erris, Ireland 22:14 Do 08 Mär 0 comments
The end of February saw 19 Shell to Sea campaigners, including a WSM member, being prosecuted on 80 charges for civil disobediance against Shell's decade long attempt to impose an experimental high pressure raw gas pipeline on the communities of Erris. Over 8,000 euro in fines were handed down by this special sitting of the Belmullet court and Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway was given two 3-month prison sentences under section 8 of the Public Order Act for blocking the road on two seperate occasions, a 'crime' that anyone following the struggle will be aware Shell's private security company committs three times a day with the co-operation of the Gardai. (Image: Community show support in advance of the court cases, J Bender, RSC)
Report from 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday March 18:56 Do 02 Feb 0 comments
Despite the opposition of the governing SInn Fein party, relatives of families of the victims of Bloody Sunday and political supporters, including Irish anarchists, marched in remembrance last Saturday. A report from the anarchists present and a background to the issues behind those determined to continue the annual commemoration. [Italiano]more >>
In Ireland Jobstown not Guilty verdict points to a Garda conspiracy Jul 21 0 comments
The outraged media reaction to a jury doing its job and finding the Jobstown defendants not guilty is quite extraordinary. Rather than do the right thing and launch an investigation as to how 180 cops could produce evidence that was directly contradicted by video evidence, the media have gone on a rant against Twitter! Rather than finding it suspicious that nearly 3 million in public funds was spent by the DPP on a case that any proper check of available evidence should have indicated was never likely to convince a jury, the media suggest instead that the problem lay in the exact charges brought. The trial was part of a large scale state operation to suppress a mass anti-austerity community campaign.
Organizing against the Irish housing emergency Mär 21 0 comments
The occupation of Apollo House in Dublin was the largest direct action in Ireland in recent years, but it did not materialize out of nowhere.
Why it’s right to resist the Government Nov 13 0 comments
“The law is essentially the weapon of the privileged, it is made by them for the purpose of enshrining their power and the people need to dismantle it entirely if they want to be genuinely free” – Errico Malatesta
Homeless Direct action Sep 15 0 comments
A housing direct action is took place this morning at the Dublin City Council (DCC) office in Bunratty Civic Centre, Coolock in Dublin. Mother’s and their children who are in need of housing occupied the offices in order to force the council to answer their questions. In particular they want to know why many people are discovering there isn’t even emergency accommodation available.
Asylum seeker, homeless - We Rebel! We support decent housing for all! Sep 03 0 comments
Last week, three children under the age of six slept rough in Dublin city centre while their parents stayed awake to watch over them. As of August 2015, this family is but one of 620 families in Ireland, including more than 1,300 children, who are homeless. The root of the current crisis of housing is the current crisis of capitalism.more >>
Statement from the Barricade inn squatted anarchist social centre Okt 29 0 comments
On Wednesday The Barricade Inn Collective received court summons papers informing us that the following day (Thursday 22nd October) the estate holders of the building would be seeking an injunction against us. Court was adjourned and the case will be back in court next Wednesday (28th October).
Why we are leaving Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes (CAHWT) Jun 26 WSM 0 comments
The Workers Solidarity Movement has decided to withdraw from the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes. Please see statement below. We have made a donation of €1,000 towards paying off the debts of CAHWT.
Scotland's for Council Housing! Glasgow Demo, 24th September Sep 18 Liberty and Solidarity & IWW 0 comments
With the full backing of the Glasgow chapter of Liberty and Solidarity and local community newspaper 'The Burgh Angel' , Hamiltonhill Action Group will be holding a demonstration with the Scottish Tenants Organisation on Thursday 24th September, against the Glasgow Housing Association's (GHA) refusal to invest money in their community.
The Libertarian - issue 2 Aug 28 WSM 5 comments
The second issue of 'The Libertarian' a local newsletter distributed in Dublin 8 by the WSM is online.