On Feb 15th, two members of Householders Against Service Charges (HASC), Joe Moore and James Mc Barron were fined £95 and £75 by the Cork Circuit Court under the Litter Act. They were ordered to pay the fined within 28 days or face imprisonment of 3 days at Cork Prison. Both activists, as part of the ongoing campaign against the 'Bin Charges' (see below for further details), have pledged not to pay the fines.
These court fines and possible imprisionments arise out of HASC's policy of dumping uncollected domestic rubbish outside Cork City Hall every Monday night at 7.30pm. Since mid-August 2000, the Corporation has instituted a policy of not collecting the rubbish of any households in the Cork city area that are refusing to pay their yearly 'Bin Charge' (currently set at £140 per year.) This policy of Cork Corporation's has been described as 'illegal and hazardous' by HASC and for this reason the campaign has taken the unusual step of organising for 'uncollected rubbish' to be left at Cork City Hall (where the Corporation offices are) so that the Corporation can see for itself the consequences of its unreasonable and hazardous behaviour. On foot of these weekly 'dumping protests' by HASC (now ongoing for nearly 7 months), the Corporation has issue multiply fines under the Litter Act to those participating in the protests. The court cases on Feb 15th arose out of the non-payment of these fines and were initiated and carried forward at the instigation of Cork Corporation, a publicly elected body!
[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement members of events they took part in or attended, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]
PRESSURE MUST BE BROUGHT TO BEAR ON CORK CORPORATION!
Do the people of Cork, who elected the current Corporation, support these threatened jailing? No way! Have the people of Cork even been asked their opinions on the matter? Not on your life! In fact many of the councillors now sitting on the Corporation have been elected on an 'anti-service charges' ticket. Yet these councillors are now content to drag two activists through the courts and into prison, as part of their draconian plan to make the people of Cork pay for their own rubbish collection service.
On this coming Monday a motion will be put to the ordinary meeting of Cork Corporation asking it to terminate its prosecution of Joe Moore and James McBarron. It is important that as many people as possible turn up to show their anger and disgust at what Cork Corporation is claiming to be doing _in our name_ remember.
FURTHER INFO - FURTHER INFO - FURTHER INFO - FURTHER INFO
Joe Moore is currently President of The Cork Council of Trade Unions; he is also a member of the Communications Workers Union, the Communist Party of Ireland and HASC.
James McBarron is a member of the Rebel City Collective firstname.lastname@example.org and HASC.
BIN CHARGES - What are they? So called 'Service charges' were introduced throughout Ireland (South) in the 80s as a proposed means of funding some local Goverment services - primarily water and refuse provision. We were told that we could no longer 'expect' of have such services provided for free! In fact, as HASC and others have long argued, workers have always being paying for these services of local government through their normal tax take (the PAYE tax); the imposition of a further local 'levy' - the Service Charge - was, in other words, a form of double taxation. Many politicians have built their careers on 'opposing' Service Charges, only to change 'their' minds after being elected. It was the mass campaign, known as the the Federation of Dublin Anti Water Charge Campaigns, that dealt the original Service Charges a fatal blow back in 1997/98. The FDAWCC was a mass campaign build in local areas that advocated non-payment and direct action. It was hugely successful and saw the withdrawal of the tax on the basis that it was 'uncollectable'. Beginning last year, Service Charges 'returned' this time under the guise of 'Bin' or 'Refuse' charges. Local authorities claim to be acting in the interests of the 'environment' by collecting this new tax, whereas in fact it's just a way of making you pay again for something you've already paid through the nose for once in your normal tax. Already In areas where there is no campaign opposing their presence, Bin Charges have already sky rocketed.
Inf. and local news provided by Workers Solidarity Movement - Cork Write: PO Box 31, Cork Email: email@example.com Visit our web site at http://www.struggle.ws/wsm.html