Bin Tax Battle Enters New Phase


The campaign against the bin tax is set to enter a new phase before the summer as the government brings forward new legislation to give the Councils the power to refuse to collect the bins of non-payers. The politicians are obviously rocked by the huge level of opposition to their attempts to impose this double tax &endash; in South Dublin, for example, where the bills for the second year of the tax will arrive through people's letterboxes shortly, up to 70% of households are refusing to be bullied into paying.

It is because of the huge levels of opposition that the politicians are now changing the law. Up to this the Councils were obliged to collect everybody's rubbish whether or not they paid the charge. This had come about as a result of a successful Supreme Court challenge taken by a member of the Cork campaign. Regular readers of Workers Solidarity will recall reading about a successful campaign waged by the Cork Householders Against Service Charges when Cork Corporation refused to empty the bins of non-payers a couple of years ago.

Now the campaigns in Dublin and elsewhere are set to enter a similar battle. If we are to be successful in this battle, non-payers must organise themselves into effective local campaign groups, as constituent parts of the existing campaigns. In every single area, meetings will be held by the campaigns to discuss the tactics involved in stopping Council attempts to use this new legislation to leave the bins of non-payers uncollected.

Strength in numbers

The strongest weapon in the campaigns' arsenal is the massive strength in numbers involved, in so many people standing together and refusing to pay. This direct action tactic &endash; i.e. people relying on their own strength and ability not on that of any politician or political party &endash; of non-payment has been successful in putting the frighteners on the Councils and on the government. It will be further direct action tactics which will end the latest attempts to browbeat us into paying.

The meetings held in all the areas will provide everybody with the opportunity to participate in the discussion about what form these tactics will take. A leaflet currently being distributed by the South Dublin Campaign Against Refuse Charges outlines some of the tactics which might be used as follows:-

" &endash; Appeals to workers through their unions not to co-operate with the new legislation.

- Frustration of Council attempts to identify non-payers e.g. if they put stickers on the bins of non-payers we can remove them.

- Interruption of trucks which refuse to collect all rubbish.

- Identification of areas in which uncollected rubbish can be dumped.

- Organisation of teams to place uncollected rubbish in the bin trucks.

- Bringing of uncollected rubbish to Council offices or other such places which will increase the pressure on Councillors and Council officials."

The important thing for everyone to remember is that it IS possible to defeat the government on this issue. It IS possible to force the Councils to collect everybody's rubbish. And it IS possible to defeat the government and force the abolition of this double tax, just as the water tax was defeated over five years ago.

For this to happen, however, it needs the involvement of as many people as possible. That means it needs YOUR involvement. Don't just sit at home and wait for someone else to do it. Instead get involved in the campaign in your local area. Do your bit to help build the opposition. A Campaign of people power WILL win. Get in touch with the campaigns and get involved.

Gregor Kerr (member Co-ordinating Committee, South Dublin Campaign Against Refuse Charges) & Dermot Sreenan (Secretary of the Dublin Anti-Bin Tax Campaign).

For details of the Campaign in your area, ring Dermot on 087-6277606 or Gregor on 087-6996046. Visit the Campaigns' website at www.stopthebintax.com

South Dublin Campaign Against Refuse Charges, A.G.M., Sat. 12th April, 2 &endash; 4 p.m., Green Isle Hotel, Naas Rd. All members welcome. Come along and discuss the future strategy of the campaign. (If you're not already a member you can come anyway and join at the meeting.)

The Dublin City Anti-Bin Tax Campaign is having it's Conference on the same day Sat. 12th April &endash;with registration taking place at 10.30am in Liberty Hall. Please try and get along as we need to have a good conference in preparation for the next battle in this campaign.

See also


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This edition is No75 published in March 2003

Blood on your hands