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Anti-Bin Tax Rally

category dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | news report author Tuesday September 23, 2003 01:55author by A Corduff Head Report this post to the editors

Anti-Bin Tax Rally - Monday 22nd Sept, 7.30 pm.
The Garden of Remembrance
Dublin City





author by Jail Ansbacher Man/Womanpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 00:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

5,000 on demo
RTE carried online a report of tonights march, here it is, biased though it is.
Can someone who was there fill in some details, what was the mood like? Any union support? A safe assumption is that the crowd is closer to Ruth Coppinger's estimate of 5,000 than RTe's.

Keep up the struggle.

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author by A Corduff Headpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 02:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anti-Bin Tax Rally - Monday 22nd Sept, 7.30 pm.
The Garden of Remembrance
Dublin City





author by Doh!publication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 02:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE are reporting the garda estimate of the numbers. That's what good journalists do, they provide viewpoints from all parties concerned.

In Communist countries the situation is otherwise however, people are fed lie after lie after lie.

author by Ronan Stensonpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 02:56author email ronanstenson at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I arrived at the Garden of Remembrance just after seven. At that stage there were already about 100 - 150 people standing around. There was a pickup truck parked across the entrance. This was to be the platform for the speakers. There was a table to the side and people were signing a petition for the release of Joe and Clare. You could also write out a message to them on a separate document, which is going to be sent in to them.

Most of the people there were people who I would not recognise as known activists. I would say that most of them were people who would not normally even contemplate taking part in a demonstration. The crowd built up fairly quickly over the following half-hour, and was joined by the cyclists returning from the critical mass/ repaint the streets.

Did not make a note of the speakers, there was a relative of Joe, a left-wing politician from the "UK", and a couple of trade union officials. Speaker after speaker castigated the government for their double standards in how Joe and Clare were instantly given a one-month jail sentence for fighting for the interests of their constituents, while government politicians who have been declared (by a judge) to be corrupt have not even spent four minutes behind bars.

When the speeches were over everyone moved onto the road. We headed down the west side of Parnell Square. From the outset we took over the whole width of the road. I stayed near the front of the march. Banners I saw near the front were from Dublin Trades Council, SIPTU, TEEU, Socialist Party, Sinn Fein, SWP. Workers' Party were handing out leaflets before the march, so I'm sure they had a banner somewhere. Saw plenty of anarchists there, quite a few of them on bicycles.

The march turned left into Parnell Street East, again taking up the entire width of the road. There was no way that the guards were going to try to prevent that, not with the mood people are in since the jailing of Clare and Joe. We turned up Gardiner Street. For those of you unfamiliar with Dublin, Gardiner Street is a main road that stretches from the main airport road down to near Busaras, the main bus station for provincial buses. It was magnificent to go in front and see this mass of people coming up the hill, stretching over both sides of the road and onto the pavement. I would put the number of people on the march as somewhere close to 5,000.

We turned into Dorset Street, and then onto the North Circular Road. In the distance we could see a few hundred more protesters waiting outside Mountjoy Prison. It was actually named after "Lord" Mountjoy, who I know nothing about, nor want to. There is also a Mountjoy Street, and a Mountjoy Square, so the British establishment must have liked him (he must have been an obnoxious character). Dubliners refer to Mountjoy Prison as the 'Joy' (it's just our weird sense of humour).

On arriving outside the prison we were loudly cheered by the waiting protesters, and we in turn cheered them, after all most of them had waited patiently for at least an hour for us.

We listened to more speeches demanding the release of Clare and Joe, and calling for the scrapping of the bin tax. Again it was difficult to hear everything being said, a more powerful PA system would have helped, but the general tone of what was said was that the unions were now going to have a greater involvement in the campaign. Once that happens I believe the bin tax will be history.

This march was one of the best I have been on. It was different from the usual demonstrations first in the composition of the marchers, the majority of whom were very angry residents of various housing estates, mostly working class, and for many of them this is the first political campaign they have got involved in. These are people who have been messed about, ripped off and abused by establishment politicians for decades, and they are not going to take it any more.

author by End Double Taxation - FABTCpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 03:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thousands of people demand - scrap the bin tax! Release Joe Higgins and Clare Daly!
Well over 4,000 people took to the streets tonight to demand the release of Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins and Cllr Clare Daly and to oppose the bin tax.

The march had been organised at a little over 24 hours notice but thousands of people responded to the call. The march started at Parnell Square and marched to Mountjoy Prison. The streets echoed to a constant refrain, "Freedom for Clare and Joe / the bin tax has got to go!"

The protest was made up of working class people, giving it an entirely different atmosphere to the usual run of political marches in Dublin. The feeling of anger was overwhelming. When the demonstration got near Mountjoy, it found another 500 people waiting for it there.

Platform speakers included representatives of the CPSU, ATGWU, Dublin Council of Trade Unions and the Socialist Party. Overseas solidarity came from Rosie Kane of the Scottish Socialist Party and from English Socialist Party councillor and former Labour MP Dave Nellist who gave a rousing speech, recalling the anti-poll tax struggle in Britain.

Cllr Ruth Coppinger of the SP, who is also the Secretary of the Fingal Campaign Against the Bin Tax introduced the trade union speakers by pointing out that it is time that the unions put their money where their mouth is and take action in support of the anti-bin tax struggle.

She also compared the tactics of the various Councils to a salami slicer, trying to chop up resistance to the tax bit by bit. She asked everyone from the campaigns in the other Dublin local authority areas to step up their solidarity action with all out blockades of their own.

Speaker after speaker made it clear that the action in Fingal would continue. There is still a truck under long term blockade in Swords, after residents faced down Garda intimidation.

This campaign will continue. The broadsheet Sunday newspapers heaped vitriol on Joe, Clare and the rest of the protesters. They tried to write off this movement. This demonstration showed again the strength and commitment of the campaign.

Now we have to escalate it. A protest has been called for the day the Dail opens, next Tuesday. By then community action can bring the establishment to its knees.

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author by anticappublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 03:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good to see a big bunch of people come up to the bin tax protest after RTS.

author by pasionaria - swppublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 03:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

would like to applaud the people in dublin for they tough stance against this burden of double taxation.

author by Jail Ansbacherpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps a bit of effort could be made to be positive, RTE gave a figure of 2000, Doh! says they are quoting the Gardai. the RTE reports the Gardai as saying:

"Gardaí said around 2,500 - 3,000 people took part in the protest" - not the 2000 rte calim.

And I must say that it's a LONG time since I accepted any of their estimates.

Going by the reports carried since it was a great event.

Keep up the struggle!!

author by Anonymouspublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good man Ronan - nice report. Fantastic turnout. Humanitarian politics is on the move. Hopefully Joe & Clare will get released - and if not, we will make a big enuf fuss about it to have make their ordeal worth it.

author by Januspublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While I have to agree it was a massive crowd I wouldn't have thought it was 4-5,000. I would have been a lot closer to the RTE estimate frankly. Now that said, I was up at the Church end of the rally the whole time and didn't go on the march as I had a prior engagement so it could have been growing massively on one side of the demo and I not been aware of it. I told a friend last night I reckoned there was a little over 1,000 but it seems I was mistaken.

There was a good level of representation from SP, SWP and Sinn Fein. I saw the Workers Party banner and Anarchists wandering around as well. There was a good turnout of local people and campaigners as well.

Ruth Coppinger (spelling?) kicked off the speeches at the Garden of Remembrance. Had never heard her speak before and was impressed even if at times her praise of Clare and Joe, all merited, did make it sound as if it was a eulogy. She went on a bit long (Who doesn't at these things?) but it was a good enough speech. She introduced Mick O'Reilly who gave a good rousing speech, taking as his personal rant point the double standards compared to the Lawlor case and Government corruption and Trade Union support.

That reminds me actually, I saw the TEEU and the BATU banner, as well as the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. Good enough Union turnout.

The final speaker was some former Labour MP and now SP councillor. For some reason he was booed by a small section of the crowd as he took the stand, I have no idea what that was about, who as booing or why. This guy went on for some time and at our end of the march it was very much 'talk among yourselves time' and he didn't seem to be getting the attention Mick or Ruth got. His description of CWI activists raising banners across the world got a few laughs out of activists I was with but some people seemed impressed. I think he'll need to go back to Militant School though for a line in his speech where he said the SP looked for inspiration to Dublin in part because of the 1916 Rising. I couldn't see the Shinners from where I was but I can imagine the reaction.

After that the march decided to move off to the Joy. Ruth said there was a couple of hundred people already there and there would be more speakers at the prison. There seemed to be some confusion about the march with a large section assuming that they would be marching north but off it went, at which point I hurried off.

Overall an extremely good turnout and some decent speeches on a cold, cold night. The area was infested, absolutely infested with SP / SWP paper sellers. (I was coming up from work on Capel St and I was offered papers seven times before I reached the body of the rally.) I was also a bit taken aback at how openly the SP have hijacked the thing. Don't get me wrong, massive respect for Clare and Joe, and also for the SP right across the city and county and the work they've put in. But it was fairly blatant last night that they kept speakers from other parties off the platform and even shipped in international SP speakers rather than let someone from the SWP or SF speak. I thought it was a little cheap of them.

author by Flying for Fingalpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From what I can gather (as a Fingalian) the campaign in Fingal is slowing - why? Whats going on? The Bin collection seem to be proceeding as normal again, is that it???!!!

Can someone please outline what blockades took place yesterday and Today in Fingal as the only one I am aware of was in Swords.

Are we now leaderless and directionless?

author by pat cpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I was also a bit taken aback at how openly the SP have hijacked the thing. Don't get me wrong, massive respect for Clare and Joe, and also for the SP right across the city and county and the work they've put in. But it was fairly blatant last night that they kept speakers from other parties off the platform and even shipped in international SP speakers rather than let someone from the SWP or SF speak. I thought it was a little cheap of them. "

In fairness Ruth did ask speakers to keep it short just before Dave Nellist spoke, he did go on a bit too long. I know my own muttered comment about the need for a trapdoor upset a SPer standing in front of me. There was some heckling from the very back about the length of the speech. After someone travels so far in solidarity, they are entitled to a little leeway, but he did oversell the CWI a bit.

Rosie Kane also got some heckling at Mountjoy when she veered off the Bins topic, but she was speaking about Joes pro-immigrant work so I think that heckling was undeserved. but again maybe she went on a bit long, given that it was a cold wet night.

Brid Smith of the SWP spoke at Mountjoy, as did Kevin MacLoughlin of the SP, Denis Keane, SP, and Tom Ryan of the DCTU. Maybe the platform was a bit SP heavy, the campaign needs to look at this and ensure that at future events, a more balanced platform is provided.

In the meantime, keep blocking trucks and build for the demo at the Dail next Tuesday.

author by Andrewpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was one of the anarchists on bikes so I was able to get around a fair bit.

I was at the back of the march as it left Parnell square. A member of the SP who is very good at this sort of thing was moving up the length of the crowd counting people. He gave a figure of 3,000 to another SP member as the number present at that point (the start of the march).

As I followed the march down a significant number of people joined it. I then cycled up to the joy where a good 400 were already there.

So a fairly conservative figure would be 3,500 for the number who marched or headed straight to the joy. It might be a bit higher depending on how many joined en route. This was likely to be well over the 100 the conservative estimate above makes. 5,000 is probably a little high as a total but 4,000 seems quite reasonable. The Gardai estimate of 2500 is a deliberate under estimate (as usual).

Worth noting that a standard method for estimating numbers of adding the Gardai and organisers figures and dividing by two gives 3,750.

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author by Indie Headpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who is the GS of the SP? Last night Kevin McLaughlin was introduced as the SPs National Organiser. Is Michael O'Brien a part time Gen Sec?

author by SP Member - SPpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rosie Kane is not CWI so can't be counted among our speekers. Agree with PatC that heckling was out of order but she did take a while to make her point.
Dave Nellist got a decent reception considering a lot of people hadn't a clue who he was. Again was a bit long but I know myself from preparing to speak at events its hard to judge the lenth of your speech when its on paper. Where I was standing, his news of embassy pickets was well recieved as was his comment about Ahern being "No maggie thatcher". The Poll Tax analogy was quite apt. Granted a lot of people there probably didn't know what the CWI was.
Dennis spoke in a Union capacity and made no reference to the party. Also he was brief and to the point. Ruth spoke in her capacity for the FATBC.
Mick O'Reilly made some good points. Stumbled over some of them generally was well recieved. The DCTU bloke wasn't left with much to say but summed up what Mick and Dennis had said earlier.
Brid Smith of the SWP hit all the right buttons with her speech which recieved a great reception.
Kevin McLoughlin spoke as the National Organiser of the SP, making the valid point that this is also an attack on our party as well as the campaign.
All in all a good night. Everyone united fighting the real enemy.
I noticed Ruth's comment about the 'Vermin' in the media wasn't reported in the papers.

author by Good griefpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There we are, breaking our bollix trying to stop the introduction of a tax which will lead to the privatisation of public services, and what does the leader of the Labour Party do? Why of course, he calls for precisely that. there is an article on page 7 of todays Irish Times:

"Rabbitte calls for competitive services"

Perhaps someone with access to the Irish Times site could put up the url to the article. Non subscribers are allowed free access to one article per day.

author by Activistspublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When Clare Daly was sent to prison for a month for defending the people, something that the present government have no concept of, she was forced to leave behind her 3 year old daughter. Yes folks, this is the sort of country we have. And because she is in the women's prison she's allowed only one visit per week!

Compare this with the fact that the DPP decided not to prosecute the person who a number of months back knocked down and very badly injured a small child who was pinned by a van between it and the railings. The police have loads of witnesses to this, but still they do not prosecute. I belive Kenny dealt with this on the Late Late Show.

And what about the tax dodgers? Lawlor the fall guy, Burke and many more. What about the people caught dumping tons of rotten fish? What about the illegal rezonings up at Carrickmines? What about the people who dumped toxic waste all over Wicklow? The government knows who these people are. The illegal dumps in Wicklow are a toxic timebomb creeping towards the Blessington lakes that supply half of Dub.

Contrast this with Joe Higgins and Clare Daly.

author by Andrewpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From RTE site

"Reports are coming in of arrests at the continuing anti bin charges protest in north Co Dublin.

Three men are said to have been detained at Fortlawn, in Clonsilla.

Several thousand people took party in a demonstration outside Mountjoy Prison in Dublin last night."

At least there being generous with the figures!

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author by E - SWPpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 14:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

link to posting re: Rabbitte article

author by Binsbinsbinspublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 15:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Janus talks of the Socialist Party "hijacking" the event. I don't really think they did. A number of SP members spoke in different capacities, but really I don't see how anyone can argue that any of the people who spoke could be kept off the platform.

The speakers were:

The Secretary of the Fingal campaign
An officer of the City Campaign
The three most prominent trade unionists present
Two overseas solidarity speakers
One speaker on behalf of the Socialist Party, the organisation that the two people in jail are representatives of.

One of the speakers was an SWP member. Tony Gregory who was on the march was asked to speak and declined. As I understand it, SF weren't approached but neither did they at any stage request a speaker and as far as I can tell not one of their elected representatives turned up to the march at all (I'm ready to be corrected on that last part but I was looking out for them and didn't see any).

Who would Janus have taken off the platform or added to it?

Anyway, I'm not looking for a row over this. That was one of the best demonstrations I've ever been on.

Shit, I've just got a text message saying that there have been more arrests in Fingal. Anybody who is around town get down to the high court as quick as you can.

author by Januspublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I saw two SF TDs at the rally, and one councillor. Now granted I was at the Church end of the rally near where they had all congregated.

I missed the march so I wasn't at the Joy to hear Brid Smith speak. I don't know if the Shinners requested a speaker or not but I would have thought both the SWP and SF should have been asked. Fair point though on Smith speaking.

I take your point about the speakers being involved in the protest, but and I say it again with nothing but respect for the work done by SP activists in this, last night seemed to me, from an ordinary punter whose sympathies veer from SF to SP depending on the issue, to be an SP event where everyone else was playing a supporting role and that role was minimised.

author by Chekov - WSM & anti-bin tax campaignpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Firstly, I saw Sean Crowe outside mountjoy, so there was at least one SF TD present.

Secondly, a minor quibble was that there were too many speakers at the garden of remembrance, especially given the fact that it was a cold night and many people had come straight from work without eating.

Thirdly, a slightly bigger quibble was the predominance of SP/CWI speakers, speaking in whatever capacity. I personally think that it would have been better for the campaign overall if we had more organisers from local campaigns giving brief speeches, rather than the union and CWI bigwigs. I reckon it would have a more galvanising effect on the campaign for members to see the familiar faces from their local campaigns on the platform rather than so many trade unionists and CWI folks. I think that so much time devoted to extolling the virtues of the CWI wasn't really what the campaign needed.

On the other hand, these are relatively minor quibbles and it was a great turnout and show of anger overall. However, in the coming weeks, activists should really make an effort not to turn this campaign into a election platform for whatever party. The right wing media are doing their utmost to present this campaign as a front for the far-left, we don't want to help them. The reason that the right use this tactic is that it works; if people think that a campaign is controlled by a particular political party they will be less inclined to get involved due to fears of manipulation. The facts of the matter are that the campaign, especially in the city area, is not remotely close to being controlled by any party, we should emphasise this.

author by red mencepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 01:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Word has it that fellow prisons sang brave Joe Higgins to sleep for the third night on the trot (pardon the pun!).

It was mentioned that, at lock-down, as the lights went out, one sweet beautiful loan voice could be heard filling the empty halls. At the far end of the wing, an imprisoned ticket tout softly serenaded the defender of the criminal class, who'd earlier in the day spent several hours trapped between the cold cast iron bunk-bed and the brick wall in his cell whilst looking for a pen to write his prison memoirs.

Listen can you hear... “I dreamt I saw Joe Higgins last night, alive as your and me…”

author by SP memberpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Janus seem to think that the SP are 'hijacking' the demo.

In case you don't know Joe and Clare are SOCIALIST PARTY members! It's the SOCIALIST PARTY that are putting forward the tactic of blockading bin lorries if they dont collect rubbish- others opposed this! It is the SOCIALIST PARTY and other activists not in any party that organised this demo, not much help from others.

If you dont like the fact that the Socialist Party have a firm working class base in Fingal, it's not my problem

author by Joepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

SP member it may be the case that the trot party closest to the SP has been arguing against the blockades. However the SP has NOT been the only organisation arguing for or helping to organise blockades. A load of other organisations including the ISN, WSM and WCA have been doing this as well. The continued SP attempts to claim to be the ONLY organisation is starting to seriously piss people off and is VERY damaging for the campaign.

Cop yourself on

author by Placard Freepublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 01:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Re: one or other party controlling the march.
I had only arrived at the Garden of Remembrance when I was approached by someone who offered me a placard. I declined as I wanted my hands free. A few seconds later I looked at the placards being given out, and saw they were all the same, and all had a party name at the top.

Great way to boost the number of (apparent) party members.
P.S. They were really boring placards too.

author by fingal activistpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've met a few sp people and when Joe and Clare were arrested they were just a little angry. I don't think you can blame them for organising a march after two of their most prominent members were locked up. I don'y think they can be accused of Hi-jacking their own leaders can you? What will be next janus? Socialist party hijacks socialist party election campaign! Or socialist party hijacks Socialist party Ard Fheis!!! I mean really their leaders get arrested they organise a protest and your giving out about it. A little rich in my opinion. obviously you don't like them but find something decent to critize them on! For me Joe Higgins has got my vote! Vote them in to get them out!!!

author by nobintax - nonepublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

look joe and clare are in JAIL. Nobody anywhere is claiming the Socialist Party own the campaign. i am not a member and I am active in the fingal campaign. they are doing excellent work and Joe and Clare are in jail. Us non political people involved really aren't interested in the left wing infighting shite. Clare and Joe need our help not this muppety bitchin from the sidelines. Whats making me angry is people accusing the Socialists of taking over or that I'm just an idiot being tricked by them, people like the sunday indo and janus. Well i'm not a member I'm involved and I have complete respect for the socialists and joe and clare. whoever that muppet was who claimed the SP are doing it all obviously isn't involved. he didn't leave a name either!

author by Informedpublication date Tue Sep 30, 2003 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seán Crowe is not a "Sinn Féin TD" as reported. He is a Provo member of the Free State parliament. His party were expelled from Sinn Féin in 1986 for acting in breach of the constitution of Sinn Féin by recognising an illegal partitionist assembly, namely Leinster House.

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