The action was decided at a meeting Wednesday night (see report below). Over 20 people took part in the blockade, the vast majority of them local residents. A couple of others like myself are activists in neighbouring campaigns, Stoneybatter residents had helped us out last week so we were happy to help them out.
The action followed the usual pattern with us blocking the trucks and talking things over with the crew as we waited for the council supervisors to arrive. As always things were friendly, as one of the crew pointed out then have to pay this hated tax as well.
The supervisor's car arrived with a Gardai escort, possibly because they were worried about a hostile response because of the Gardai breaking up the Cabra blockade on Wednesday. Once there both they and the Gardai were anxious to establish whether we holding the truck for an hour or for the day. I suspect the Gardai are now under orders to intervene in daylong blockades but to ignore short ones.
As we had already decided to limit the blockade to one hour they were soon back in their cars. A new feature of this blockade was the arrival of a councilman with a digital camera to take pictures of the protest. He said this was to prove it had happened!
The struggle is likely to escalate over the weekend as the courts today are likely to jail or fine at least two of the Fingal protesters. Blockades similar to the Stoneybatter one have now taken place in most city areas (another was happening in Ringsend at the same time). What is needed is for all areas to carry out at least solidarity blockades next week and for a co-ordinated all out blockade in every area to start as soon as we feel we can carry it off.
by James Thursday, Sep 18 2003
A quick report from last night's public meeting in Stoneybatter.
About 70 people attended, apparently there was confusion about the venue (our fault) so many people missed it.
Committee members Joe Mooney and Dermot Sreenan gave background accounts and a speaker from Fingal and sp member- Susan Fitzgerald - gave a really inspiring piece about the blockades there. Respect to everybody who's got them going. Hopefully we can do a good copy of them.
The contributions from the floor were angry and intelligent; people were sick of being taken for a ride by the state. A couple of anti-Bertie jokes were very popular!
The main question discussed was what to do from here. Susan emphasised the need for blockades and local activists in the campaign stressed the need for moving from passive support - which is huge from talking to the people on the streets as well as at the meeting - to active involvement. Everybody thought blockades was a good idea and so we decided to give one a go tomorrow morning. We're meeting up at 7.30 am at the Church on Aughrim Street. From talking to bin-workers they're supportive as well. We'll try and have some tea and cakes ready for them!
A reporter from the Tribune came up at the end and asked were we members of the sp. So there may be another red scare type story in the offing. There were anarchists and socialists involved in organising it - we live in the area - but the meeting consisted of 90% non-aligned locals. They're the strength of this campaign. Hopefully the Tribune will realise that working class people can think for themselves and are against the double tax for genuine reasons.
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