Brid-Smith-2a-241x300Cllr Brid Smith, People Before Profit candidate of Dublin this morning launched her European election campaign outside the European Parliament Offices in Molesworth Street, Dublin. Cllr. Brid Smith, a leading member of the People Before Profit Alliance, is a long-standing campaigner and trade union activist and is playing a leading role in struggles the water charges and austerity.

Commenting at today’s launch Cllr. Bríd Smith said: “What the EU likes to call “democracy” increasingly works to defend the interests of big business, not the people of Europe. If we consider the fact that as much as 50 per cent of our domestic laws now originate in Brussels, the direct impact on our lives of corporate Europe is considerable and it is growing.

“We need a different Ireland and a different Europe; one that puts the interests of ordinary people before those of bankers and bondholders. My campaign for Europe will be part of this urgent struggle.”

“I am running for the European Parliament because I believe that there is an alternative. Instead of pouring billions into bailing out banks and bondholders, we can protect our schools and hospitals; we can invest in jobs; we can provide for social projection. We stop passing the cost of bailing out the rich onto backs of working people by forcing them to pay an array of stealth charges.

“I am totally opposed to water charges charges and have played a leading role in building opposition to these disgraceful taxes. Instead of wasting money on meters, I believe we should be investing in our water infrastructure to reduce waste.

“If elected as an MEP I shall act as a watchdog for workers rights in Europe and highlight EU attacks on these rights. To that end I will not take the massive ‘fat cat’ EU salary but only the average workers’ wage and will donate the rest to political campaigning for working people.

Ailbhe Smyth, leading feminist and National Convener for People Before Profit said: “Brid Smith’s campaign for Europe will play an important role, in the coming weeks and months, in the fight to build a real alternative to this government. People are sick and tired of being told that there is no alternative to austerity. There is real desire for change in this country.

“We need a new political force that is willing to stand up to this government and to the EU. People Before Profit is that force. We do politics differently. We campaign in local communities and help people empower themselves. We help to mobilise people and bring “people power” to the streets.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD who also attended the launch said: “In Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, and increasingly across the wider European economy, it is blatantly obvious to everyone that the politics of austerity are a disastrous failure. Austerity has made the economic crisis worse and has lead to mass unemployment and poverty, inflicting suffering on millions of ordinary people in Europe.

“How can billions be allowed to flow freely across the Eurozone when it is allocated to banks and bondholders yet governments refuse to invest in public services and protect the interests of working people? Now is time for an alternative. Bríd Smith is part of that alternative. By voting for Bríd Smith the people of Dublin are choosing to support the building of this real political alternative.”

Read more on Brid Smith’s European Manifesto for a People’s Europe 2014