Thousands March In Dublin To Protest Water Tax/Austerity Agenda
Irish Water Tax Rebellion Marches on as Thirty Thousand Take to Streets
The center of Dublin has reportedly shut down as demonstrators, joining a chorus of nation-wide protests on Saturday, came out in droves to fight government efforts to tax citizens' right to water.
An estimated 30,000 marched in Dublin while other protests were held in cities and towns across the country including Limerick, Waterford and Donegal. According to The Irish Times, the rallies have caused major traffic disruption and road closures in Dublin, with groups marching from separate train stations and converging outside the General Post Office where speakers addressed the massive crowd.
The demonstrations, organized by local grassroots groups, are protesting threats to privatize Ireland's water bureau, Irish Water, and its plan to charge residents some €160 per year in an effort to satisfy EU-IMF demands. The latest round of protests come as roughly 660,000 households failed to meet a Monday deadline to register for water billing, Irish Water confirmed to media.
Richard Boyd Barrett, a representative with the political party People Before Profit Alliance, told reporters that government concessions made in response to the ongoing demonstrations will not appease protesters. In November, Irish Water announced certain households will have lower flat rates for water consumption.
"The friends of the Government, in various quarters, have been hoping and wishing that the massive popular rebellion against water charges and the wider austerity agenda would end—they are sorely mistaken," he said.
Right2Water, the organizing committee behind some of the large anti-water tax demonstrations, made a similar pledge of resistance in a press statement: "The campaign against these unjust water charges continues. Last year, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets all over the country, and wrung significant concessions from the Government. But as we said at the time—people marched for abolition, not concessions."
The lessons of Bolivia 2000 must never be forgotten. 2015 will be the year these privateers will really move to take control of public water supplies. It has already happened in my town and in a great portion of the US with people not really caring or even knowing this is happening. It gives me hope to see so many people out in the streets in Dublin protesting this global water grab by private companies in league with the IMF and World Bank bent on commodifying a resource more in demand to profit off a human right. They must be fought at every turn.
Massive right to water protests take place in Ireland
These protests in Ireland have been taking place the last few months of course unbeknownst to the world at large. This is the hidden agenda that results from IMF bailouts, as in the one of 2011 extended to Ireland/EU following the economic collapse of 2010 (which to me was also put into motion by the very organizations and people now profiting from both the spoils of that collapse and now the exorbitant fees to double down on it.) It is a heinous act to exact such a tax on not only a human right but on a resource that people depend on to survive- which of course gives them no choice. Austerity is a scam perpetrated by the rich to continue to enrich themselves at the expense of all others.
If you want to preserve your water's quality, access and freedom from market mechanisms bent on controlling it- you will have to fight for it.