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Defeating the water charges - Don’t be fooled by the concessions
4 page PDF paper from the WSM
This article was written by the WSM and appears on their website and is the text for a 4 page PDF leaflet which you are encouraged to print and distribute.
In the face of massive opposition to the water charges, the government have made several clumsy attempts to placate us, while their partners in the media seek to frighten us off the streets. The latest attempt, delivered by Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government in the Dáil on the 19th of November, is the plan to charge us €160 per year for our water and to give ‘eligible households’ a water conservation grant of €100.
These allegedly ‘very attractive’ and ‘reasonable’ double charges for our water remain the real issue, despite government claims that there has just been a ‘communications failure’. That is, they think the problem is that they didn’t soften us up with enough propaganda first, not that we simply won’t accept double charges, commodification and privatisation of our water supply. The government will promise us anything and everything in order to get us to lie down and accept these charges, including the laughable claim that if we use a low enough volume of water that we’ll each actually make money off the water charges! Rest assured that any temporary and limited reductions in charges from the figure they initially stated will be swiftly removed if we were to pay up come April. Though, with the credibility of the Irish political class at an all time low, no one is buying the lies the government are selling. Even a concerted media onslaught has failed to scare people off the streets and into silence.
It’s worth noting that the reason that the Fine Gael/Labour government is throwing concessions at us is because of the scale and militancy of the anti water charge protests, rather than because of the actions of any government party. It is above all ordinary people, who perhaps have never considered themselves political before, who have stopped the government in its tracks. The democratic self-organisation that underpins the recent protests is what the State really fears. The reason the media have been foaming at the mouth, con- demning militant working class protest is because the system can handle a few dissenting voices elected to the Dáil but it cannot handle a risen population.
Even as Denis O’Brien’s media machine tries to scare us, and the government parties attempt to divide and conquer, we must continue to educate ourselves, to organise and to protest the water charges at every turn. Protests, marches and pickets on the current scale are impossible to ignore and are putting politicians under serious pressure to comply with our demands. If we keep it up, we will see off this latest attempt at squeezing more money out of our already struggling communities.
PDF Leaflet of above text
You can download and print out extra copies
from the PDF files we have included below
Colour version: http://www.wsm.ie/sites/default/files/WSM4pageWC.pdf
Ink saving Black & White version: http://www.wsm.ie/sites/default/files/WSM4pageWCbw.pdf