This morning I found myself standing in a churchyard watching the gentle breeze knock golden leaves to the sun dappled ground. I was there to re-direct people to one of the two blockades happening about 200 yards down the road. Women who'd just left their children to school came up to find out where to go. An elderly gentleman walked up and asked where he might find the blockade.
The decision to flex the muscle of the campaign by this action was taken on Monday night at a meeting in Cabra. The massive meeting of between 500 to 600 people took place in St. Finbarr's GAA Club. All the seats were taken, people were standing up everywhere and out the doors into the hallways and fire exits.
As I cycled up there from the city centre I saw people flocking towards the GAA club in groups.
The platform was made up of the Chairperson of the campaign and local representatives. Aidan Perry chaired it and basically said that out time for talking with the council was over.
Via acclamation there appeared to be no problem with people blockading the trucks. It was felt that we were not going to wait around until next year when they might try and implement non-collection here to wage the fight.
The tone of the meeting was militant. A local Fianna Failer got up to address the meeting. He was in favour of Wheelie bins but balked at the kind of fee that people were expected to pay for this service. He claimed to be objecting to the costs involved. He was addressing the people because in less than eight months he will be back asking people to vote for him even though his party at the ones that are insisting on pushing this though. Income tax rates have been cut by this government and now they want to impose this stealth double tax via local government so that they appear above the blame for it. Now once again the PAYE workers are being punished.
Ciaran Perry made the point of the treachery of the political parties, particularly the labour party, and how Dermot Leacey was still a member of that party despite voting for the increased double tax. He also encouraged people to sign up a sheet for availability for blockading and joining the campaign. The money raised from membership is primarily to be used in court battles although no one is under any illusions in the court system.
Today in High Court the state is rolling in to smash the campaign by injuncting 15 people from the Fingal area and thus preventing them from protesting.
According to the information received the city was going to commence non-collection from the Rathmines depot this week. We also heard that there was going to be a work to rule from the workers (not taking any bins where the lid wouldn't close regardless of them being paid for or not) and the point was emphasised that it was not going to be left up to the workers to win this fight for us. Either we win now or we look into a future of rising costs EUR700 or EUR1500 (as Fitzgerald mentioned what was paid on local taxes in London as being a good model in a recent Irish Times article !! )
I spoke that I had come from a meeting of the steering committee where we were asked to find out how people felt about the blockading (Even if there rubbish was being collected.) I said that why they divided the city in the first place was that Fitzgerald and his cronies were counting on us not caring if Fingal drowned in it's own rubbish. That was what he planned for but it wasn't what we would get. I said that in the Liberties an inspector was quoted as saying that they wouldn't dare implement non-collection there until Easter next year. They knew we were too strong there. But I felt that we were going to act now. We know the injunction was coming on Wednesday and that democratically if appeared that the decision was to act now.
There could be little doubt from this inspiring meeting that the people of this area are not prepared to sit back and see the campaign destroyed in Fingal. Action now was what was demanded and more importantly it's what people were willing to put themselves forward for.
The meeting ended with hundreds of EUR being collected in memberships and virtually everyone signing up a form saying when they were available for blockading. When I walked out of that hall I knew what it's like to see people rise up on one issue and be prepared to fight it. It's a sight that I found inspiring and one, which must serve to strike fear in the Fitzgerald and his privatisation guru's in the City.
(this is a spell checked version of the article first posted to indymedia)
Bin tax protesters in Cabra blockade
two trucks [with pics]
As Fingal council took a High Court case against bin tax protesters this morning bin tax campaigners in Cabra blockaded two trucks in solidarity with Fingal campaigners. Our intention is to hold onto at least one of these two trucks all day.
[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement member, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]