Late last year saw the people of Ireland take to the streets against the government’s hated water charges. Demonstrations in October and November had turnouts of 100,000 and 150,000 respectively, the biggest turn outs to protests in years.
The Irish establishment’s attempt to commodify this basic necessity has tapped into the simmering anger of the working masses. Since the global financial crisis, Irish workers have suffered from some of the most severe austerity measures in Europe. Today, the government is claiming Ireland is in economic recovery while at the same time trying to make the working class pay another tax for water.
The Anti-Austerity Alliance, in which the Socialist Party in Ireland plays a leading role, launched the We Won’t Pay campaign last year arguing that the only way to defeat the charges is to organise an uncompromising stance. The We Won’t Pay campaign argues for every town in Ireland to get organised and actively boycott these charges.
At the same time there is a desperate need for a political alternative to the major parties that support austerity for working people. The Socialist Party calls for anti water charges activists to come together and challenge the austerity parties at the next election.
By Kat Galea
See also: “Dogs of war” unleashed in Jobstown