As the mass opposition to government proposed water charges in Ireland gains momentum, the state has begun to crack down on protesters arresting and jailing a number of people. One of those dragged in for questioning by the police was Anti Austerity Alliance and Socialist Party TD (MP), Paul Murphy.
By Mark Poore, Socialist Party
Paul recently commented: “They’re jailing our people because they stood beside a water meter. They’re arresting people every morning in Tallaght because they sat behind the Tánaiste’s (Deputy Prime Minister) car. They’re demonising, and criminalising, and shaming our protesters just for being protesters.”
Loosing the propaganda war the state has resorted to repression and bullying tactics in an attempt to push the campaign for the non-payment of water charges back. People recognise that the government’s austerity agenda is not in their interests and they see the extra burden of being asked to pay for water as part of it.
The challenge ahead is to continue the campaign with renewed determination and in solidarity with those who have been targeted. Ultimately the fight against water charges and austerity must include the building of a political alternative that unashamedly represents the interests of working class people.