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Thread: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

  1. #16
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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    My experience with the water charge protests is that there is no one political ideology linking protesters. The only bond is a desire to be rid of the government. The challenge with movements like this is to educate and instill political, class awareness and direction beyond the single issue at hand - water meters. The protests are relatively rudderless, and if Irish Water were abolished tomorrow everyone would go home happy thinking they have won until such time as the next "single issue" crops up. The groups behind the campaign need to radicalise and educate protestors, for many this is their first real involvement in politics, as such it is a tremendous opportunity. Most people think that things like the household and water charges are the problem, rather than the symptoms of the problem. Do single issue campaigns ever lead to systemic change?

    So far the information given to protestors by the various groups is the message that they oppose water charges and as such deserve your vote.
    The United Irishman. Updated 5/2/14

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Does that mean that ICTU does not have a position on water charges ?
    Seems they have the refundable credit as their position it has't been mentioned on their site since the budget http://www.ictu.ie/press/2014/07/17/...et-submission/

  3. #18
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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    My experience with the water charge protests is that there is no one political ideology linking protesters. The only bond is a desire to be rid of the government. The challenge with movements like this is to educate and instill political, class awareness and direction beyond the single issue at hand - water meters. The protests are relatively rudderless, and if Irish Water were abolished tomorrow everyone would go home happy thinking they have won until such time as the next "single issue" crops up. The groups behind the campaign need to radicalise and educate protestors, for many this is their first real involvement in politics, as such it is a tremendous opportunity. Most people think that things like the household and water charges are the problem, rather than the symptoms of the problem. Do single issue campaigns ever lead to systemic change?

    So far the information given to protestors by the various groups is the message that they oppose water charges and as such deserve your vote.
    I agree 100% with this.

    In Bolivia a water "war" led to election of the first indigenous President and a shift to the left. Water was saved for the people.

    It would be interesting to see if Morales and co. restricted their policies and actions to water as a single issue - or did they pose it as a question of power, and who controls government ?

    The massive movement in Egypt in 2011 was allowed to dissipate literally within a few hours, as there was no coherent demand beyond removing Mubarak, as though that would solve everthing. Immediately Mubarak fell, there was a ripple of employees and workers actions for higher wages - but the left didn't make a turn towards that and got sucked in first to constittutional issues (nothing wrong with that if they had also got involved with the strikes) and then street battles ( a sad waste of lives that they are now commemorating without any critical assessment of where it got them). So parties really do need to know what needs to be done next, oherwise a victory can very quickly turn to dust.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #19
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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I agree 100% with this.

    In Bolivia a water "war" led to election of the first indigenous President and a shift to the left. Water was saved for the people.

    It would be interesting to see if Morales and co. restricted their policies and actions to water as a single issue - or did they pose it as a question of power, and who controls government ?

    The massive movement in Egypt in 2011 was allowed to dissipate literally within a few hours, as there was no coherent demand beyond removing Mubarak, as though that would solve everthing. Immediately Mubarak fell, there was a ripple of employees and workers actions for higher wages - but the left didn't make a turn towards that and got sucked in first to constittutional issues (nothing wrong with that if they had also got involved with the strikes) and then street battles ( a sad waste of lives that they are now commemorating without any critical assessment of where it got them). So parties really do need to know what needs to be done next, oherwise a victory can very quickly turn to dust.
    That would certainly be worthwhile looking at.

    Practically though, how could the current protests against the water tax be expanded in scope to avoid the pitfalls you mention, and how could the protestors be educated as to developing class consciousness and otherwise radicalising them? It's easy for you and I to say that it should happen - another to explain how it can be done.
    The United Irishman. Updated 5/2/14

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    That would certainly be worthwhile looking at.

    Practically though, how could the current protests against the water tax be expanded in scope to avoid the pitfalls you mention, and how could the protestors be educated as to developing class consciousness and otherwise radicalising them? It's easy for you and I to say that it should happen - another to explain how it can be done.
    It would be a start if they started to identify themselves as socialists, and explain that keeping water in the hands of the people, not as a commodity, is a core issue of socialism. Also, pitching in to every practical aspect of the campaign (which I suppose they do).
    They might lose some votes, but is it all about votes and getting elected asap ?

    I think organising young people is important too. The young people in Jobstown reportedly didn't know what the protest was about, or why the riot police descended on their community, and they seem to have been left to face them on their own, after the protest.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post

    Practically though, how could the current protests against the water tax be expanded in scope to avoid the pitfalls you mention, and how could the protestors be educated as to developing class consciousness and otherwise radicalising them? It's easy for you and I to say that it should happen - another to explain how it can be done.
    This is being talked about by some of us in Cobh - setting up a specifically socialist political discussion club for those of the activists here and encouraging having more political discussion at the Cobh Says No meetings, which have been very much organisational over the last period due to the presence of Irish Water meter installers in the town.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by bolshevik View Post
    This is being talked about by some of us in Cobh - setting up a specifically socialist political discussion club for those of the activists here and encouraging having more political discussion at the Cobh Says No meetings, which have been very much organisational over the last period due to the presence of Irish Water meter installers in the town.
    That's good to hear.

    I tried to expand on the politics of the issue a bit at a few meetings - moving beyond just Water Charges but I was basically told to pipe down as that type of talk might put people off attending.

    Unfortunately where I am living the AAA/SP are running the show in terms of marches rather than Right2Water... hopefully this will be rectified
    The United Irishman. Updated 5/2/14

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Is the answer to the last two posts above - would it be possible organise some separate discussion groups or open discussion sessions on the politics of the water campaign ? There is some truth in the need to allow people to be active without having to be persuaded of our rightness (or leftness) - but at the same time, people who are up for political discussion would take up the invitation.

    I'm not saying that people shouldn't identify themselves as socialists or communists, I think they should, if that's what they are.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by bolshevik View Post
    This is being talked about by some of us in Cobh - setting up a specifically socialist political discussion club for those of the activists here and encouraging having more political discussion at the Cobh Says No meetings, which have been very much organisational over the last period due to the presence of Irish Water meter installers in the town.
    It's a great idea but I personally wonder what the split is like between socialists and the left involved in the protests, and those who are of a tea party style I just don't want to pay taxes persuasion. In some areas DDI are very active, namely Drogheda, in preventing the metering of estates, but I couldn't see them as been anywhere near the left, considering their top brass seems to consist mostly of failed business men who owe the banks a lot of money!

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Launchbury View Post
    It's a great idea but I personally wonder what the split is like between socialists and the left involved in the protests, and those who are of a tea party style I just don't want to pay taxes persuasion. In some areas DDI are very active, namely Drogheda, in preventing the metering of estates, but I couldn't see them as been anywhere near the left, considering their top brass seems to consist mostly of failed business men who owe the banks a lot of money!
    There is every kind of political view under the sun opposing water taxes, but most people involved are rejecting not just water tax but "austerity" and inequality generally. Most people who are socialists are not born that way but become so though a combination of experience and learning about socialism. - and seeing socialists in action.

    If people are left to the DDI and similar, there will be continued political confusion and no real solution to the current onslaught on the mass of people by an increasingly oligarchic form of capitalism.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    I knew there was a reason why I rarely come onto this forum anymore - and it is confirmed with this thread - a handful of internet warriors talking to themselves.

    sorry guys - I'm out of here.

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Red Giant View Post
    I knew there was a reason why I rarely come onto this forum anymore - and it is confirmed with this thread - a handful of internet warriors talking to themselves.

    sorry guys - I'm out of here.
    You cant beat a good flounce off a forum best of luck to you

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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Please share this statement as widely as possible:

    We Won’t Back Down

    On Monday the 24 November 2014 we expect four of our friends and neighbors to be committed to prison for exercising their right to peaceful protest. They are to be punished for failing to abide by a High Court injunction granted to GMC Sierra which requires them (and any other protester) to, among other things, remain at least 20 meters away from workers installing unwanted water meters.

    This injunction, in spite of the High Court Judges claims to the contrary, obliterates any meaningful right to protest against the installation of water meters. For that reason protesters throughout Dublin, and the rest of the country, have rejected this illegitimate interference with their right to protest, and have continued their dignified resistance to the installation of water meters, and the water charges regime.

    This injunction, and the expected imprisonment of our friends and neighbors on Monday, represents another attack on the people of this country, and on the right to peacefully resist and oppose the unjust policies of an unrepresentative government. In the coming weeks and months, we expect the establishment to engage in many more attacks on our movement, using the law as one of its main instruments.

    For this reason, we have been working with groups around the country on building legal defence funds: this is a collective struggle for our basic rights and a better future. For that reason, any person that ends up in court for resisting this illegitimate tax and attempt to commodify the most basic of necessities, needs to know that they will not be alone, and we will stand with them. We therefore call on the Right2Water Campaign, it’s affiliated unions and the political parties that have stated their opposition to the water charges, to contribute what they can to the Peoples Defence Funds.

    If, as feared, our friends are imprisoned on Monday we are calling for a mass, silent candlelight vigil outside of the prison they are committed to (most likely Mountjoy Prison in Dublin).

    As the struggle against this unjust double-tax enters a new phase, and a beleaguered government begins to lash out with all of the means at its disposal, we will make it abundantly clear that fear will not carry the day in this contest, and that nobody who stands against this injustice will stand alone.

    Communities Against Water Charges

  14. #29
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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by bolshevik View Post
    Please share this statement as widely as possible:

    We Won’t Back Down

    On Monday the 24 November 2014 we expect four of our friends and neighbors to be committed to prison for exercising their right to peaceful protest. They are to be punished for failing to abide by a High Court injunction granted to GMC Sierra which requires them (and any other protester) to, among other things, remain at least 20 meters away from workers installing unwanted water meters.

    This injunction, in spite of the High Court Judges claims to the contrary, obliterates any meaningful right to protest against the installation of water meters. For that reason protesters throughout Dublin, and the rest of the country, have rejected this illegitimate interference with their right to protest, and have continued their dignified resistance to the installation of water meters, and the water charges regime.

    This injunction, and the expected imprisonment of our friends and neighbors on Monday, represents another attack on the people of this country, and on the right to peacefully resist and oppose the unjust policies of an unrepresentative government. In the coming weeks and months, we expect the establishment to engage in many more attacks on our movement, using the law as one of its main instruments.

    For this reason, we have been working with groups around the country on building legal defence funds: this is a collective struggle for our basic rights and a better future. For that reason, any person that ends up in court for resisting this illegitimate tax and attempt to commodify the most basic of necessities, needs to know that they will not be alone, and we will stand with them. We therefore call on the Right2Water Campaign, it’s affiliated unions and the political parties that have stated their opposition to the water charges, to contribute what they can to the Peoples Defence Funds.

    If, as feared, our friends are imprisoned on Monday we are calling for a mass, silent candlelight vigil outside of the prison they are committed to (most likely Mountjoy Prison in Dublin).

    As the struggle against this unjust double-tax enters a new phase, and a beleaguered government begins to lash out with all of the means at its disposal, we will make it abundantly clear that fear will not carry the day in this contest, and that nobody who stands against this injustice will stand alone.

    Communities Against Water Charges
    Sure your wasting your time posting that here with all the internet keyboard warriors on here Seriously though, it won't suprise me to see them jailed, but it will only serve to raise the temperature even further. Having said that the judiciary are mostly of a right wing background, coming off appointments by the PD's and FF so it's more than likely it will happen.

    I use a laptop so I might bring it with me to the jail to protest.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: The Politics of the Irish Anti-Water Charges Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Red Giant View Post
    I knew there was a reason why I rarely come onto this forum anymore - and it is confirmed with this thread - a handful of internet warriors talking to themselves.

    sorry guys - I'm out of here.
    Perhaps because you have nothing to say, politically? And posted a prolonged thread on South Africa in which you would not answer any questions on S.P. policy.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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