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Photo essay of the Right2Water Demonstration on Sat Aug 31st
Click on thumbnail image(s) to view full resolution
The Right2Water campaign had called for a national demonstration on Sat Aug 31st and quite a lot of effort had gone into publishing this with tens of thousands of leaflets distributed throughout the country and buses laid on to many of the major towns.
There was a fair bit riding on this because figures show that significant percentage of households had still not paid and during the summer the government plans were upset when EuroStat came back and said Irish Water had to appear on the government accounts.
In the meantime government ministers have been claiming it would not be privatized but when pressed on whether this is rock solid, they turn out to be quite slippy on this. And there is reason for this because the TTIP treaty between the USA and EU currently being negotiated in secret is a corporate wishlist that will allow corporations to sue governments through the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which are corporate courts run by corporate lawyers and take precedence over national laws and there is no right of appeal. It will allow corporations to say that it is unfair competition to have things like our health, education and of course Irish Water in state hands and therefore it should be privatized. This is not some myth because the ISDS mechanism has already been used at least 500 times in other countries for basically lowering health standards and environmental protection. If TTIP is passed and so far Fine Gael have been in favour of it, including the ISDS, then they will say their hands are tied and they had to privatize Irish Water and of course every other thing.
Irish people have a Right2Change say Right2Water unions as well over 80,000 take to the streets
Following today’s massive Right2Water demonstration, which saw well over 80,000 people from across the country take to the streets of Dublin demanding the abolition of water charges, trade unions affiliated to the campaign announced that they will be organising ‘town hall’ meetings in every county under the banner of ‘Right2Change’.
In a statement, the unions said:
“Water charges have proven a tipping point, but the hundreds of thousands who have marched since last October – culminating in today’s massive demonstration of people power, which saw between 80,000 and 100,000 take to the streets of Dublin – have been marching about much more. From cuts in Lone Parent payments to the homelessness crisis which this summer saw nearly 2000 adults and over 1,000 children in emergency accommodation in our capital city, it’s clear that the economic recovery being trumpeted by the Government is not a people’s recovery.
“Politics is about choices, and the wrong choices have been made.
“That is why, on May Day, the trade unions affiliated to Right2Water launched a public consultation process on the policy principles which should underpin a future progressive government. That process culminated in a conference in June which amended and adopted those principles, addressing a range of areas from housing, via jobs and decent work, to democratic reform. Today, we are publishing the document which emerged from that process.
“The principles are based on the concepts of Equality, Democracy and Justice – simple yet radical concepts which should inform the policy choices made by those we elect to govern.
“These principles represent a fundamental change in the way we view our economy and our society. But they are simply a starting point which is why, in the coming months, we will be organising ‘town hall’ meetings throughout the country to continue the process of consultation started on May Day.
“The Irish people have a Right2Change, and trade unions affiliated to Right2Water will continue working to facilitate that change”, the statement concluded.
The Policy Principles being published today, comprising ten rights, are available for download here:
For more on the ISDS contained within the TTIP treaty see:
Dangers of the investor rights within the proposed EU-US trade deal