The fight against the Water Charges


Winning the Water War [Overview of campaign]

In 1996 the domestic water charge was abolished. In 'Winning the Water War', Dermot Sreenan, an activist in the Federation of Dublin Anti-Water Charges Campaigns examines the campaign and the demonstration of people power that brought about the downfall of this charge.

Lets wreck Irelands poll tax [Spring 1994]

January 1st saw County Dublin divided into three new County Council areas. Residents of all three new Councils now face the imposition of annual service charges of at least £85-£90.

Prepare to Sink the service charges [Summer 1994]

Conor Mc Loughlin examines a new book on how the Poll Tax was beaten in the UK.

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Anti-Water charges campaign gets off ground [Autumn 1994]

Considerable progress has already been made in laying the foundations for a campaign against the service charges.

Reasons to bin the bill [Autumn 1994]

Disconnection threats defeated in Dublin [Spring 1995]

At 4 am on Wednesday December 6th the first attempts to disconnect water were made. Water inspectors who arrived in estates in Clondalkin, Lucan and Tallaght found, however, that campaign activists were well-organised and that mobile patrols were in place to prevent disconnections.

Perks Before People, DL Endorse Water Cut-Offs [Summer 1995]

The formation of the "Rainbow Coalition" in December led to a number of promises of change in the double taxation service charges which have been vigorously opposed by residents' and community groups throughout the state since their inception.

Have I got news for you? [Autumn 1995]

Why is there biased coverage of the campaign? It costs a fortune own a newspaper or TV company. Anybody who does so is a millionaire. Media moguls are in the same league as the rest of the rich. They hang about in the same clubs, they buy racehorses from each other and, more importantly, they have similar economic interests.

New threat of cut-offs [Autumn 1995]

Householders in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown and Fingal got letters threatening them with instant court action if they didn't pay up without delay. This scare tactic was intended to frighten people into paying. It didn't work.

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Anarchist News No. 4 [Autumn 1995]

focuses on the Anti-Water Charges Campaign and explains how it can be won, what anarchists are involved in it, how politicians have lied on this issue and how the tax system makes workers pay for the bosses.

Stuff the Water charges [Spring 1996]

1995 WILL BE seen as the beginning of the end for the hated double taxation water charges in Dublin and throughout the country. For the first time in almost a decade, the year closed without a single water disconnection for non-payment in the entire country.

Anarchist News No. 8 [ April 1996]

discusses what direction the anti-Water Charges campaign should take after the local elections

Anarchist News No. 7 [March 1996]

focuses on the Anti-Water Charges Campaign and the local elections. It has a report of the EZLN calling an 'International Conference for Humanity and Against Neo-Liberalism' at the end of July in Chiapas. These are brought together in a piece urging people to come to a public discussion on Anarchism and Grassroots Movements.

Anarchist News No. 5 [January 1996]

focuses on the Anti-Water Charges Campaign (this time arguing for mass action)

For Starters [Summer 1996]

As well as announcing some new publications we underline our opposition to the anti-Water Charges Campaign standing candidates in elections

Water Charges [Summer 1996]

Laurence Doran a retired worker has thrown down the gauntlet to the council by refusing to defend himself and court and daring them to cut off his water.

14,000 Join anti-water charges campaign [Autumn 1996]

The anti-water charges campaign is heading for victory with 14,000 paid up members and 83% of households behind in paying the bills or having paid none at all.

Anarchist News No. 12 [December 1996]

Government leaks have indicated that the water charges are to be abolished. For the victory demonstration we say The Water Charges: Our Victory Their Defeat but in response to the attempts of the Socialist Party to lead the campaigns activists down an electoral cul-de-sac we say You can beat them or join them

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Anarchist News No. 11 [November 1996]

Calls for a No vote in the Bail Referendum and celebrates the fact that Victory is near in the Anti-Water Charges campaign.

Water Charges Victory [Spring 1997]

Gregor Kerr, Secretary of the Federation of Dublin Anti-Water Charge Campaigns reports on the defeat of the state by a mass non-payment campaign which stood up to bribes, threats and intimidation

Anarchist News 13 [January 1997]

Its offical, we have won and the governemnt has been forced to abolish the water charges due to mass non-payment. Victory is ours . But the victory in the anti-water charges campaign is just one step forward, now its time to change the world!

Mexicans refuse to pay electricity charges [Autumn 1997]

An interview with two women from the Civil Resistance in Chiapas

Red and Black Ireland

News of Anarchism in Ireland

The Ainriail mailing list carries the latest news from the WSM and the struggles anarchists are involved in. There are never more then 10 posts a week (and normally only 2-4). We post printed articles to it shortly after they are published.

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Bin the Bin Tax!! [2000]

Double taxation has returned to the Dublin area, with a £150 refuse charge introduced by Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council and talk among councillors on Dublin Corporation of the introduction of a charge there too.

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Position papers


Related articles

Incorporation...the spoonful of sugar

Why is it that many single issue campaigns and community groups which start out with a radical program soon end up as little more than service groups? Conor Mc Loughlin, an activist of the now defunct Portobello Unemployed Action Group investigates.