Solidarity to the young man concerned and Jobstown community
TD urges people to attend demonstration on Saturday
In a statement, People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has described the legal action taken against the 17 year old Jobstown protester as “an outrageous show trial and an attack on democracy and the right to protest.”
Deputy Smith also called for people to attend the ‘Jobstown not Guilty’ protest tomorrow at the Central Bank at 1pm.
Bríd Smith said: “The last two years of this young mans’ life have been made miserable because he decided to take a stand and protest against unjust and unfair water charges. This is a very dangerous precedent that has been set today. What we have seen is political policing and the cracking down on the legitimate right to protest.
“I would like to extend People Before Profit’s solidarity to the young man concerned and to the Jobstown community.
“Furthermore I am calling for people to mobilise at the central bank tomorrow at 1pm to protest against this rotten legal action which should have been totally dropped.”
Right2Water Political Pillar call people to take to the streets on Saturday
The political pillar of Right2Water are urging people to come out on the streets in Dublin this weekend to protest and reiterate their demand for water charges and Irish water to be abolished. There are blatant double standards in Ireland where rich corporations pay no tax and the people get battered with austerity.
The Right2Water demonstration will take place in Dublin this Saturday. Groups will be meeting in Hueston and Connolly at 2pm to protest against the imposition of water charges and Irish Water.
The demonstration has been called for this Saturday to coincide with the reconvening of the Dáil. The majority of DáIl TD’s, including Fianna Fail, are democratically mandated to get rid of water charges and Irish Water.
The call comes in the wake of submissions to the Expert Water Group by all political parties, groups and independent TD’s in the Dáil.
Bríd Smith TD, of People Before Profit, called for people to take to the streets of Dublin this Saturday and demonstrate their total rejection of Irish Water, water charges and the “unfairness and double standards that the government apply to the multi-nationals as against the people”. She said that “since 2008 working people in this country have taken the sharp edge of austerity, cuts and levies brought on by the reckless gambling of a wealthy elite. Furthermore, the government have been exposed as valuing the profitability of multi-nationals and vulture funds over the wellbeing of the people of this state.
“Water charges and Irish Water were the last straw for many people and have seen an unprecedented popular rebellion by the people against the toxic agenda of charging people for water, which we know is destined to end up privatised unless these charges are abolished. The majority of TD’s, including Fianna Fail, are democratically mandated to get rid of water charges.”
Demand complete abolition of Irish Water and water charges; water services and infrastructure to be funded through progressive central taxation
The Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit group (AAA-PBP) have entered their submission to the Expert Water Commission.
The submission calls for the abolition of water charges and Irish Water. It says that the funding for water services and infrastructure should be paid for through central progressive taxation, that the delivery of water services should be transferred back to the Local Authorities and coordinated and managed by a single national water and sanitation board. They have also called for a referendum to be held to amend the constitution to guarantee the public ownership of the public water system and natural resources in the constitution.
AAA-PBP said that abolition of the charges and Irish Water should be accompanied by an amnesty for outstanding bills and a refund for those who have paid and charges related to water charges protest activity should be dropped. It also calls for a ‘fair deal’ for rural dwellers that are not part of the public water system.
Bríd Smith TD said “We have made this submission to the Expert Water Commission despite the obvious fact that it is a mechanism to stall the water charges issue. Water charges must be abolished, that is what the people have said through a 73% boycott of Irish Water bills, through the mass mobilisations which saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets all over the country and through the election where the majority of TD’s were elected on an anti-water charges/anti-Irish Water mandate. For the government to try to stall this is anti-democratic.
“Irish Water has also been incredibly wasteful. The cost of the metering programme, consultancy fees, the conservation grant and advertising amongst other things have cost a fortune and have not purified one drop of water or fixed one pipe.”
One down, more to go until the water commission and water charges is abolished
In a statement, People Before Profit TD, Brid Smith, has said while she is happy that Joe O’Toole has stepped down from the water charges commission there still remains the overarching issue of the rest of the clearly biased commission members who must be removed.
It is important, according to Deputy Smith, that Mr O’Toole “is not used as a scape goat to try and divert attention away from the glaring democratic deficit surrounding the creation of this commission and those members on it.”
Deputy Smith continued to say that “the people spoke clearly during the water charges demonstrations, the largest mass mobilisations of people that this country has ever seen and during the general election when a majority of the TD’s in the Dail were elected on mandate of abolishing water charges completely. These events have rocked the political establishment and the only option for them is abolition of charges and Irish Water for good.
“Whilst I am pleased that Mr O’Toole has now stepped down, the more serious issue of the commission itself still remains. The commission contains a lot of people who accept, as a fact, that water services should be paid for through user charges. There is no way that this commission can be seen as impartial. There is not one person from the Right2Water movement on this commission. It is clear that the only aim of this commission is to try to sneak water charges in the back door or as Simon Coveney said “create acceptance” among citizens as to how best to pay for water.
“The will of the people of this country was to put the issue of water charges and Irish Water to bed and fully abolish this toxic entity and consign water charges to the dust bin of history where they belong.”
EU guilty of blatant double standards- no fines for human rights breaches
In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit, has condemned reports that the EU commission is threatening to fine Ireland following the Irish people’s rejection of domestic water charges. Deputy Boyd Barrett described the recently announced EU ruling on water as an “outrageous subversion of democracy”.
Richard Boyd Barrett said “This is an outrageous and scandalous threat by the EU Commission. This is designed to try to intimidate the people of this country. This is yet another example of the subversion of democracy in the EU. The people of this country have flat out rejected domestic water charges and the EU commission should realise that that is final.
“It is shameful to note that the EU is willing to impose penalties to undermine democratic decisions made by the people in this country in relation to water and will attempt no such enforcement of other matters. Human rights issues such as repeal of the 8th amendment, the continuation of Direct Provision, Ireland’s allocation of refugees or young people being put in adult mental health wards have not been addressed. It is clear as to who the EU Commission represents.
“I question the motives of the EU Commission in making this threat. This shows the EU as an enforcer of corporate interests and a bosses club that is allergic to democracy.”
No change to disastrous policies of privatisation in key areas of social housing , health and vital infrastructure
- No change – No serious commitment on inequality, wealth distribution or women’s rights
In a statement today, Richard Boyd Barrett who spoke on behalf of AAA-BPB in the Dáil today, has said that the new programme for government shows ‘no sign of the much triumphed ‘new politics’, but instead is filled with the construction of the same failed policies of the last government.
Richard Boyd Barrett stated that it was particularly alarming that there was no change in the fundamental direction of policy in the areas of health and social housing and vital infrastructure. He said in these key areas, the new government intends to continue and accelerate the same policies of privatisation and reliance on the private sector that produced such disastrous crises in housing and in the public health service and vital infrastructure, such as water.
Richard Boyd Barrett has condemned the programme’s failure to honour the clear democratic mandate of the Dáil to immediately abolish water charges and the failure to clearly commit to a referendum on Repealing the 8th amendment.
Richard Boyd Barrett said, “For all the rhetoric about new politics that we have heard over recent weeks, and there is more of it to be found in this programme for government, we have instead a continuation and in many cases acceleration of the same policies of privatisation and reliance on the private sector that have already produced such disastrous crises, in housing, our public health system and crises of vital infrastructure, such as water services”.
In a wide range of areas where there are acute crises, the government has fudged and kicked the can down the road to committees, commissions and reviews.
In all these areas, particularly social housing, health, water, infrastructure, womens rights and poverty, we don’t need talk and we certainly do not need more privatisation. What we do need is a major increase in direct public investment in all these areas – there is simply no change- just half measures and worse, misguided measures.
The failure of this government to simply honour its mandate on water charges and abolish them is outrageous.
The failure of the programme to commit to a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment is an utter scandal and insult to women and families affected by fatal foetal abnormalities.
Given the dramatic increase in child poverty, poverty generally and inequality in our society, it is a travesty that there is no over-arching commitment to greater social equality or the redistribution of wealth in a fair way in this country”.
The movement of people power is very close to a victory on the issue of Irish Water and water charges.
Brad Smith TD said that we are not at the finish line yet but we are very close to abolishing Irish Water and water charges once and for all. Deputy Smith pointed out that after weeks of stalling and an elaborate political charade, the establishment parties of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are finally admitting that water charges are on the way out.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD pointed to the fact that Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fail and the Greens along with the EU/Troika have slashed capital investment in Ireland’s water infrastructure.
Gino Kenny TD said that democracy demands that the Dáil vote on the issue of water charges and for the issue to be removed totally from government formation talks.
Bríd Smith said “finally we can now see that the mass movement of people power has made a vital breakthrough in forcing the establishment parties to concede on the issue of water charges. Whilst this is not a total victory yet and we have yet to see the abolition of water charges, it remains a great day for the movement. People are sick at this stage of the political theatre being enacted by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. We are calling for a vote to be taken in the Dáíl on the issue of Irish Water and water charges.
Richard Boyd Barrett said “the establishment, right wing parties have been colluding in trying to keep water charges alive in suspending them and creating various committees and inquiries. This is clearly an effort to surpass democracy by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. The people have spoken loud and clear. We need to vote on water charges , so we can move on to the really urgent issues like housing and health.
“It is very rich of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour, the Greens and the EU to lecture Ireland on water conservation. These are the groups that slashed the capital investment by €1bn every year since 2008. The facts of the matter are that the leaks in the pipes have been ignored by these parties and the EU, so it is in fact them who have not prioritised water conservation.”
Gino Kenny said “it is the democratic mandate of the Dáil to discuss and vote on the water charges and Irish Water. Nearly 90 TDs, a majority of TDs, were elected on an anti-water charges mandate and to abolish water charges and Irish Water. The issue of water charges needs to be removed from the government formation negotiations.”
Right2Water TDs announce joint motion calling for abolition of water charges and call on FF to honour their pre-election pledge
At a joint press conference this afternoon in Leinster House, AAA-PBP, Sinn Féin, Independents 4 Change, the Social Democrats aswell as three independents, announced details of a joint Dáil motion calling for the abolition of water charges and called on Fianna Fáil to honour their pre-election pledge to abolish water charges by supporting the motion signed by 39 TDs (see attached) affiliated to the Right2Water Campaign. The motion calls for the immediate abolition of water charges, the replacement of Irish Water with a national water board and a constitutional referendum ensuring the public ownership of water.
The press conference was addressed by Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit, Brian Stanley, Sinn Féin, Catherine Murphy, Social Democrats and Joan Collins, Independents 4 Change.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said, “The abolition of water charges is a simple question of democracy. A majority of TDs elected to the new Dáil gave clear election pledges to abolish water charges. It would be a betrayal of the democratic mandate for FF or anyone else to do anything other than vote now to abolish water charges.
The question of water charges should be taken out of discussions on government formation and simply be put to the Dáil to decide and all TDs should take seriously the mandate.”
Joan Collins TD says; “The huge opposition to Irish Water, water charges and the installation of water meters was two fold. A rejection of the Austerity programme of the last Government and a huge opposition to the setting up, into the future, of the privatisation of our water services. I am appealing to Fianna Fáil to support this private members motion, that has the support of 40 signatories, and follow through on their manifesto commitment “to abolish Irish Water and water charges”. 82 votes, and possibly more, for this motion would reflect the democratic mandate the people have given us and reflect the rejection by the people of this Fine Gael and Labour policy”
Catherine Murphy TD said; “During the Election campaign Irish Water came up as an issue on almost every door – it’s only 8 weeks since the election and that won’t have changed. The Social Democrats have said all along that
Irish Water is shorthand for the cumulative burdens that have been placed on households and left them feeling pauperised. Nothing short of abolition of Irish Water will be acceptable.”
Paul Murphy TD said, “The Anti-Austerity Alliance is happy to support this joint motion seeking an end to water charges and Irish Water. A clear majority voted against water charges in the general election. Now it seems as if a dodgy deal is being cooked up behind closed doors to prevent that mandate being fulfilled. Irish Water is suppressing the latest payment figures and FF and FG have colluded to prevent any discussion in the Dáil. People will have to take action themselves to force the change that was voted for, through a major mobilisation and, above all, through re-enforced mass non-payment”.
Laois TD Brian Stanley said: “Fianna Fáil made a clear commitment in their manifesto to ‘abolish Irish Water and end water charges’. There can be no equivocation from them now. They were elected on a platform of scrapping domestic charges and that is exactly what must now happen. Sinn Féin in government would scrap domestic water charges and have long supported the need for a constitutional referendum on the public ownership of water. It is not a commodity, it is a human right.”