TDs and parties in Right2Water Campaign call for massive turnout at March 21st National Anti-Water charge demonstration
At a photocall/press event held today outside the headquarters of Irish Water in Dublin, the political parties and TD’s affiliated to the Right2Water campaign outlined details of next Saturday’s (March 21st) national demonstration against water charges and urged a massive turn-out by the public in the protest.
The demonstration will assemble at 1pm in three locations in Dublin: Heuston Station, Connolly Station & Merrion Square before converging on O’ Connell Bridge and concluding with a rally on O’ Connell St.
The participants in today’s event, including, Richard Boyd Barrett TD (People Before Profit Alliance), Dessie Ellis TD (Sinn Fein), Joe Higgins TD, (Anti-Austerity Alliance) & Joan Collins TD (United Left), displayed enlarged maps of Ireland and Dublin, highlighting the numerous locations across the country that are sending contingents and buses to the protest, and a map of Dublin showing the three assembly points for the demonstration and the convergence/rally point on O Connell St.
Right2Water are urging people travelling from the south, west and midlands of the country, as well as those from western parts of Dublin to assemble at Heuston Station; those from Northern parts of the country, North Dublin and travelling by Dart to assemble at Connolly Station; and those from South Dublin and the South East of the country to assemble at Merrion Square.
All speakers stressed that Saturday’s protest would be a peaceful and family friendly event.
The demonstration will conclude as close to 2.30pm as possible to facilitate those who wish to watch Ireland’s final 6 nations Rugby International against Scotland.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance and a member of the steering group of Right2Water said: “It is vitally important that we have a massive turnout on Saturday to send a clear message to the government, in advance oft he issuing of bills by Irish water on April 1st, that resistance to the unjust water tax remains as strong as ever.It says everything about this hated charge and the government that is imposing it, that the bills will start issuing on April fool’s day! But the people are not fooled by government spin and propaganda about economic recovery. In reality, regressive taxes like water charges and other cruelly unjust austerity measures have massively deepened deprivation, inequality and hardship for vast numbers of citizens in this country. Saturday will demonstrate that the popular rebellion against water charges remains alive and well and that the coming boycott of the charges will be nationwide.”
Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis said: “Sinn Féin are mobilising the length and breadth of the country for Saturday’s Right2Water march. The feed back we are getting is positive. We aim to fill O’Connell Street and send out a very clear message to the government. The demonstration will be a peaceful, family friendly event just like every other Right2Water march. The people have not been bought off by concessions or dazzled by their spin. We are very focused on abolishing water charges and dismantling of Irish Water. This Saturday is a key moment in our campaign. Sinn Féin will continue to work with others until this campaign is brought to a successful conclusion.”
Joe Higgins TD, for the Anti-Austerity Alliance said: “People should come out in large numbers on Saturday. In doing so, two important messages will be sent. Firstly to the government, that despite all their hopes, people have not been fooled by their carrots and have not been intimidated by their sticks – mass opposition to their water charges continues. Secondly, and most importantly, it will be a message to working and unemployed people across the country: they should join in the most effective way to get water charges scrapped – the mass boycott of the water bills in April, for which there are no penalties till after the general election.”
Joan Collins TD United Left said: “Thousands of people have marched on three national R2W events, and many local events in between, to send the message loud and clear to this Government that water is a human right and to ensure our water will never be privatised. We did not march for concessions or for clarity of this unfair water tax. This Government may have listened but did not hear our demand. This Saturday, the 21st, is an opportunity to demonstrate that we have not gone away, our campaign is not on the wane, despite the wishes of the Government and sections of the media. March for our water to be paid for through a progressive taxation system and ensure public ownership of our water, with the national R2W protest.”