The conference formally established the campaign in Dublin. The following were elected as campaign officers, Dermot Connolly, Chairperson, Dermot Sreenan, Secretary, Sheila Delaney, Treasurer, and Brid Smith, Spokesperson. It was also agreed that a monthly meeting of a co-ordinating committee to which each campaign group should send at least two representatives would run the campaign.
The first of these meetings happened on the 20th April. The next one is scheduled for late May - please contact me if you are looking for details of the time and venue of it. The campaign adopted a number of resolutions - including pushing for opposition to the bin tax being made one of the themes of the May Day march this year. This idea was put to the Dublin Council of Trades Unions as a motion and has been formally accepted.
Another motion that was adopted at the conference was the idea for the campaign to formally endorse candidates who have worked for the campaign and are standing on the basis of being in favor of non-payment. Whilst I can understand the will of people to 'make the politicians pay' for their treachery in bringing in this tax for a public service - we don't agree with this tactic. The way this tax is going to be defeated is by building a massive campaign.
We have to spread the knowledge of the campaign and build up the membership so that we are in a position to defend the test cases that will inevitably come after the general election. The way that we defeat this tax - is almost as important as killing it itself. It will be defeated by resisting the bullying of the City Council, by going to court and taking them on, and by spreading mass non-payment. When the majority of people continue to refuse to pay this tax - the system set up to impose it becomes unimplentable. After we win - we'll have to remember that it was by standing together and refusing to pay that we'll have killed this attempt at double tax.
Electing a few lone voices to the Dail, where they can be ignored like those of us outside it, won't defeat it. We're not interested in having someone else do the fighting on our behalf in the house of power - because we're interested in taking that power back. Leaders are only people who can be got at - they can't get at the people of Dublin if we stand up together and collectively say "We're not paying !"
A history of the struggle against the bin tax in Dublin and Cork is at http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html
As well as writting a letter to us at WSM, PO Box 1528, Dublin 8 you can also comment on any of the articles in this issue at www.struggle.ws/wsm/comment.html
This edition is No70 published in June 2002