Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Ireland: Socialist Party leaders set to be jailed!

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MP Joe Higgins and councillor Clare Daly sent to Mountjoy Prison today!

Their ‘crime’ is defending the poor in the fight against the Bin Tax! This afternoon a Dublin court summarily meted out one month prison sentences on Socialist Party MP Joe Higgins and Socialist Party Councillor Clare Daly. Court costs, possibly reaching 30,000 Euros have also been awarded against them.

In addition, the court has strengthened police powers to immediately arrest anyone attempting to blockade bin lorries. Protests and demonstrations against this vicious attack are growing by the minute. Tomorrow will see mass demonstrations in Dublin and elsewhere. Monday will see pickets at Irish embassies world-wide.

The Fingal council had obtained an injunction against anti-Bin Tax campaigners and sought, in this way, to break the 3-year old campaign against double taxation for workers in the form of a bin tax. The injunction had been obtained to prevent those named from “obstructing” the council from doing its work in collecting rubbish. The reason why the anti-bin tax campaign took the step of blockading refuse trucks was that the council had refused to collect the rubbish of all those residents who had joined the campaign of mass non-payment and refused to pay the bin tax. The slogan of the campaign has been ‘Collect all bins or none’.

At a press conference of the Fingal Anti-bin Tax Campaign this Wednesday, Councillor Clare Daly declared: “While we were in the High Court on Wednesday the people of Cabra and Rivervalley blocked three more bin trucks. That’s the real story here, ordinary people protesting against the non-collection of rubbish by unelected and undemocratic County Council bureaucrats. I have a mandate from the thousands of non-payers and from the voters who elected me to campaign to get the bin tax scrapped. Threatening people with jail won’t stop the protests. We will stand by the thousands in the communities.”

Protests against the decision by Fingal County Council’s policy of non-collection have intensified in the last week. Presently there are three bin trucks blockaded by residents in the Santry, Melrose and Rivervalley areas of Fingal. “The High Court’s decision to grant Fingal County Council an interlocutory injunction has not halted residents’ protests. The opposite is the case. The decision to use the courts to try and curtail our right to protest, to possibly jail or fine myself and Councillor Clare Daly has enraged residents.” said Joe Higgins TD.

The Socialist Party, CWI-section in Ireland is organising public demonstrations and protests in Dublin tomorrow. The CWI calls on all its sections and supporters around the globe to organise lobbies and protests at Irish Embassies, to send letters of protest to the local and national authorities responsible for this gross injustice and to send letters of support to Joe Higgins and Clare Daly.

By Socialist Party reporters


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