What was the point? My thoughts on the water charges, the newly elected TDs, and the calls for another protest to make them do their jobs

Right, my thoughts on the water charges, the newly elected TDs, and the calls for another protest to make them do their jobs.

What was the point of all of the effort and protest of the past years and months, the pre-election protest on February 20th – and the election of far more independents and newer parties?

There have been calls for another BIG protest and while I have always been an active believer in the fact that it’s the people that keep the politicians honest, and that demonstrations of such power in the form of protests and demonstrations are an essential display of this power, the evidence that they work is demonstrated by the climb downs and concessions over the past couple of years. It’s also self-evident right now that the people have spoken in the last election where a majority of TDs were elected saying that they would abolish Irish Water. This added to the fact that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael’s combined votes have dropped to below 50%!! And Fianna Fail ran saying that they’d abolish Irish Water…water charges SHOULD be gone by now – The people have spoken!!

The water charges are a completely regressive charge and have absolutely nothing to do with conservation in a country of Ireland’s size and with our relatively tiny population. Almost 2,000 years ago Rome could serve it’s 1 million population with water and sanitation!! Dublin city’s population is just over half a million and the greater Dublin area 1.2million . The need for investment nobody argues against but Irish Water and water charges are only a waste of money which should and could be put into the infrastructure – the only rationale for Irish Water and water charges is privatisation it makes little sense otherwise.

[The Right2Water position has always been: “Water is a human right, essential for life and for all our human needs. As such, water provision and sanitation should not be subject to the profit motive or the free market and should be made available to all, free at the point of use, and on the basis of need, not means.

‘Irish Water PLC’ and domestic water charges will be abolished within the first 100 days of a progressive Government.

‘Irish Water PLC’ will be replaced with a single national water and sanitation board which will be solely responsible for the provision, transmission, sanitation, management and operation of the public water and sanitation supply in the public interest.

This policy will see a full referendum to enshrine a new Article in Bunreacht Na h’Eireann. The date of this referendum would coincide with the establishment of the new national water board.”]

There were 97 possibly 99 candidates elected to the Dail saying they would abolish Irish Water these include Right2Change candidates in Sinn Fein, People Before Profit, and independents; Anti-Austerity Alliance, Fianna Fail, Social Democrats, and other independents.

The people of Ireland have marched together and done what they could – hundreds of thousands – they have burned their bills, stood and stopped meters, been arrested, beaten, and done whatever they could to stop Irish Water and privatisation.

The unions have organised and pushed for a coordinated and united front and helped to make water charges a major election issue and their membership have paid over €200,000 to mount the serious campaign.

It’s now time that the politicians who were elected and had the support of the people to abolish water charges worked together and done what they could in order to do as they said they would pre-election. That means talking and coordinating to pass a motion to abolish Irish Water.

If they don’t we will once again take to the streets — but I suggest that civil disobedience will not only take the form of non-payment but also other forms which will force home the point that even if the politicians won’t stop this that we will. And there will be no stopping the will of the people…even if the politicians haven’t got the stomach to do what is needed – WE will!!

What’s the point in electing people to public office if they won’t serve the public interest – AND this goes especially for those who speak about another kind of politics which is not of the establishment…it’s these people who should be willing to go above and beyond to get things done and show that people’s work to get them elected was not a complete waste of time.

Some community activists met with representatives from the unions last week and we have asked that legislation be authored and each party asked to vote on it. If they don’t vote on it then they’ll have signed their own death warrants as political entities.

Who says so…every person that has marched and all the people yet to be reached…The majority of people of this country are sick of party first politicians and have no interest in their party lies and party agendas – we want honesty and people first policies and politics – We want the public interest served! OUR interests served!

And lots of us want real democracy, public accountability, justice, equality, and an end to corruption but we’ll get to that later…for now could the politicians just do the bare minimum and do as they said and abolish Irish Water.

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