Unprecedented Mobilization’: Hundred Thousand Rise Against Irish Water Tax

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FA Note: Around the world water is being collectivized through “privatization”. The goal is to get water out of the hands of individuals. Control the water – control the people. Via centralized water people will be forced to live where and how those in control desire. Centralization of water means you will live where you are directed to live, as you are directed to live. The Irish have some sense of this.

Protest orga­niz­ers Right 2 Water esti­mate that over 150,000 peo­ple came out to protest the water charge scheme. In a state­ment released Sat­ur­day after­noon, they wrote: “Despite tor­ren­tial rain, our expec­ta­tions have been mas­sive­ly exceed­ed, with well over 150,000 peo­ple com­ing out in every neigh­bour­hood, town and vil­lage to send a clear mes­sage to the Gov­ern­ment: water is a human right, and we demand the abo­li­tion of domes­tic water charges.”Unprecedented-Mobilization-Hundred-Thousand-Rise-Against-Irish-Water-Tax


Across Ire­land, crowds of peo­ple took to the streets on Sat­ur­day in a mass mobi­liza­tion against a gov­ern­ment aus­ter­i­ty scheme to charge res­i­dents for domes­tic water usage.

With over 70 demon­stra­tions planned across the nation, orga­niz­ers esti­mat­ed as many as 100,000 Irish cit­i­zens are expect­ed to take part in  the actions.

The demon­stra­tions fol­low on the heels of 100,000-strong march in the nation’s cap­i­tal to protest a recent­ly enact­ed gov­ern­ment plan to install water meters on homes and charge res­i­dents for pri­vate water usage. Angry res­i­dents have also begun block­ing the water meter instal­la­tions.

From Ballyshan­non in Done­gal to Tralee in Ker­ry, we are wit­ness­ing an unprece­dent­ed pop­u­lar mobil­i­sa­tion which start­ed in Dublin on Octo­ber 11th, and will only end when domes­tic water user charges are abol­ished,” said the group Right2Water in a press state­ment ahead of the Sat­ur­day actions. The group says that the his­toric show­ing reflects the “lev­el of pub­lic anger sur­round­ing the water charges.”

The Jour­nal is main­tain­ing a live blog of the day’s events while images of the dozens of protests are being shared on Twit­ter under the hash­tag #Right2Water.

#Right2Water Tweets

As part of their bailout deal made with the Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF), the Irish gov­ern­ment has attempt­ed to enact reforms to pri­va­tize the nation’s water sys­tem. Under the Water Ser­vices Act 2013, the gov­ern­ment set up a new semi-state com­pa­ny, Irish Water, which is grad­u­al­ly tak­ing over all water pro­vi­sion ser­vices from the Republic’s 34 local author­i­ties.

In the face of grow­ing water cri­sis, fueled large­ly by cli­mate change-dri­ven drought effects, efforts to pri­va­tize water resources are spring­ing up world­wide. Mitch Jones, Direc­tor of the Com­mon Resources Pro­gram at Food & Water Watch, says that the con­cept of “water mar­kets” is fraught. “A mar­ket can’t rep­re­sent the com­mon will of the peo­ple, because only those with the mon­ey to buy are allowed a voice,” Jones writes. “And it can’t express the val­ue of water because the val­ue of a life-giv­ing sub­stance like water is dif­fer­ent than its cost. Water is vital for all of us. And, access to water can­not be for sale.”

Accord­ing to the Irish Inde­pen­dent, a meet­ing between Irish Water offi­cials and coun­cil­lors from Cork, Ker­ry and Clare had to be aban­doned on Fri­day after pro­test­ers gained access to a con­fer­ence room.

In an expres­sion of sol­i­dar­i­ty, res­i­dents of Detroit, Michigan—which has faced mass water shut­offs in the face of a sim­i­lar water pri­va­ti­za­tion effort—are march­ing on Sat­ur­day on Wood­ward Avenue in Detroit.

Detroi­ters stand in sol­i­dar­i­ty with the peo­ple of Ire­land against water charges and the pri­va­ti­za­tion of our pub­lic water sys­tems,” wrote orga­niz­ers with the group Detroit Water Brigade. “We are not strangers our­selves to the esca­lat­ing attacks on the poor­est mem­bers of soci­ety col­lec­tive­ly known as ‘aus­ter­i­ty.’”

Fol­low­ing the day of action, the Right2Water cam­paign will a nation­al People’s Assem­bly on Inter­na­tion­al Human Rights Day, Decem­ber 10, to “vis­i­bly and vocal­ly cel­e­brate and rein­force our human Right2Water.” A con­tin­gent from the Detroit Water Brigade is also expect­ed to attend.