The No Water Tax campaign message was brought to the streets of Coolock last Saturday [June 25] as local éirígí activists gathered at Northside shopping centre to distribute leaflets and collect signatures for a petition against the tax.
There was a hugely positive response to the idea of building a local campaign against the proposed water and home taxes. Almost 300 people signed the petition, with many pledging that they could not and would not pay the tax.
Activists met a well of anger as local people expressed both their disgust and dismay at once again being asked to pay for the gambling debts of bankers and developers. There was strong opposition to the idea that households should be charged for their water supply and a determination amongst many not to pay this unjust tax.
One local woman contrasted the fact that bankers had got away scot free while ordinary people picked up the tab and were being burdened with job losses, pay cuts, extra taxes, and cuts to public services. Another compared the proposed new taxes with the poll tax in Britain, which hastened the end of the Thatcher’s rein of power in the early 1990s, while many remarked somewhat caustically that “they’ll be charging us for the air we breathe next”!
Speaking afterwards, Ciarán Heaphey, cathaoirleach of the local éirígí ciorcal, said, “Today marked the launch of our local campaign against the water and home taxes. Over the coming weeks and months we intend working with the local community here in Coolock to build a solid campaign of opposition to these unjust taxes.”
He continued, “Many of the people we met today rightly posed the question “why are we being asked yet again to pay for the greed of bankers and developers?” During the course of this recession hundreds of local people have lost their jobs, while those in work have been forced to pay additional taxes, including the punitive Universal Social Charge. At the same time local services are being run down or closed. This crisis is not of our making and we cannot and should not be paying for it.”
Concluding Ciarán Heaphey commented on building a campaign of opposition, “If the parasites of the IMF/EU/ECB think they can continue to suck the life out of proud working class communities such as those in Coolock, to pay the gambling debts of bankers and developers, they are gravely mistaken. Today we met hundreds of local people who expressed their determination to fight the imposition of these unjust taxes. This is tremendously encouraging as the process of building the No Water Tax campaign commences. The local éirígí ciorcál here in Coolock intends playing an active role with both the local community and our colleagues in the No Water Tax campaign in building a vigourous campaign of opposition to these unjust taxes.”