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Wheelie Bin War: Courts Up the Ante: 10 More Jailed

category national | bin tax / household tax / water tax | feature author Thursday October 09, 2003 20:25author by imc editorial - imc irl Report this post to the editors

Sentences greeted with shouts of 'Shame on you'

5_3.jpgFROM THE NEWSWIRE:

"In the light of today’s decision to jail ten Anti Bin Tax campaigners, the Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign calls for Saturday’s Dublin Council of Trade Unions Anti Bin Tax - Anti Jailings demonstration (Assemble 12 noon Parnell Square and march to Mountyjoy Jail) to be made into a massive show of opposition. We call on the trade union movement to pull out all the stops to ensure this is the case. We call on ordinary people the length and breadth of the country to travel up to join this protest.

To jail ordinary residents for a peaceful protest on their own streets while millionaire crooks and tax evading T.D.’s go free shows the massive double standard in the legal system in this country.

The ten jailings, mothers and grandmothers among them, represents the most significant attack on the right to protest seen in this country in a generation. In particular, they represent an attack on the right of working class people to protest- farmers, middle class professionals and other sections of society would never to treated in this way.

Saturday’s protest will be an anti- Government protest. This Government made the laws, this Government promoted the bin tax; they will suffer very real consequences as a result of the jailings today."

Initial Reactions from groups involved in the campaign
Opinion: Acts of Resistance and The Bin-Tax
Dublin Council of Trade Unions: Motion and Details of Saturday March

author by Januspublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Also just got call. One of the ten got only a week because she's a mother still breast feeding. How very fucking humane of them.

author by Paul - Finglas Anti-Bin Tax campaignpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The day proceeded with two of the twelve giving undertakings to observe the court orders.
9 of the ten were sentenced to 14 days imprisonment. A mother of a two year old was sentenced to one week.

The judge said that she had to uphold the law and that all the protestors had to do was give an undertaking.
None of the remaining ten were prepared to do so. Any comments made in their own defence was deemed political and not allowed.

As they say it's a court of law, not a court of justice. And the law certainly favours the rich.
Take a look around and look and see that those who commit worse crimes are walking around free.

author by Michaelpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've seen press releases from the Fingal campaign on indymedia but none from the city campaign. Why is this?

author by SF Presspublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 13:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sinn Féin Condemns Bin Tax Sentences - Court Criminalises Peaceful Protest


Sinn Féin Councillor and Finglas Anti Bin Tax campaigner Dessie Ellis has condemned the sentencing of ten Anti Bin Tax activists for sentences of up to two weeks this morning.

Speaking from the Courts Cllr Ellis said: "These people were engaged in peaceful political protest against an unjust form of double taxation. The harsh sentences handed out to them, especially to one woman who will be separated from her newborn child for a week show the contempt this State has for people who take a stand on principle.

"How many ordinary working people is the Council prepared to bring charges against before it sees sense on this issue? To what extent are the Courts willing to criminalise peaceful political protest while the real criminals in Irish society get away scot free? The Government has clearly woefully underestimated the strength of feeling on this issue.

"The so-called Bin Tax is nothing more than a corporate welfare programme, with ordinary householders paying exorbitant taxes because business and industry aren’t prepared to pay their fair share. The campaign against it will continue and the judgement today will only deepen the anger of the thousands of activists and supporters across Dublin." ENDS

author by Mags - Working Class Actionpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 13:34author email workingclassaction at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Press Release: Bin Charges Jailings

Working Class Action today strongly condemned the jailing of a further ten activists in the ongoing anti Bin Tax campaign.

WCA Spokesperson Joe Mooney said:
"There are now a dozen residents and community activists in Mountjoy for opposing an unjust and undemocratic tax, while drug dealers, self confessed drunken drivers and massive tax dodgers freely roam our streets."

He continued:
"It is clear that there is no ‘right to protest’ in this country. The campaign and all supporters are committed to peaceful protest and community action. When such activity proves effective the courts and the council immediately lock up ordinary people, including a young breastfeeding mother."

Mr Mooney, an East Wall community activist and officer of the ‘Stop the Bin Tax campaign’, concluded

"The lessons are very clear – engage in anti-social or white collar crime and you are unlikely to ever appear in the dock. Stand in solidarity with your neighbours against an unjust law and a cell is already waiting for you."

[ENDS]

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/wcaireland
author by pat cpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Public Service Executive Union delegates to the Dublin Council of Trade Unions opposed the proposed Union campaign agaibst bin taxes.

After the imprisonment of yet more activists it is even more important that you let them know of your disgust:

Dan Murphy General Secretary PSEU
Tel: 6767271
email: dmurphy@pseu.ie

author by Fingallianpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

STEEP RISE IN BIN TAG INCOME
CONFIMS UPSURGE IN COMPLIANCE

September figures for bin tagging, released today by Fingal County Council, confirm 90% payment of waste charges in the Fingal area.

County Manager Willie Soffe welcomed the steep upsurge in payment.

“Receipts for bin tags in Fingal are in excess of half a million Euro for the month of September. This is more than double the amount received by Fingal in August, prior to our policy of non collection”.

The figures substantially back up figures released by Fingal County Council over the past number of weeks a fact confirmed by The Manager. According to Willie Soffe compliance in Fingal can now be proved to exceed 90% of the population”.

“We have analysed our figures for September, exclusive of waivers. If taken on a weekly basis compliance excluding waivers is now at 72%. With waivers this rises to 82%. However, we know from our databases that 70% of our residents only tag their bin on a fortnightly basis. If this is factored in against consistent sales on a weekly basis it brings compliance well in excess of 90%. This is borne out by the evidence on the ground”.

Applications for waivers have also risen sharply in the month of September with the concentration of these in the Swords and Dublin 15 area. During the month of September a total of 557 waiver applications were received. 25% of these were from Swords, 45% from Dublin 15 and the balance from a broad spread across Fingal.

According to County Manager Willie Soffe, this is a strong indication that the need for the payment of waste charges is now more broadly understood. “Residents in these areas, where the Socialist Party had targeted campaigns, may have mistakenly believed that they did not need to apply for waivers before. However, given the high percentage of applications from these areas, the message about the charges is clearly sinking in”.

In a separate survey undertaken by the Swords Chamber of Commerce, traders in the area are also announcing a significant increase in the sales of bin tags. Eight out of nine shops in the Swords area sell the bin tags. According to the survey, all of the shops indicated increased demand for bin tags with one shop indicating sales of over 470 bin tags on Monday 6th of October. Increases were noted for both €5 and €3 bin tags. All were well stocked and none reported any difficulty in getting supplies of the tags from Fingal County Council. According to County Manager, Willie Soffe, this is due to adequate preparation on behalf of the Environment Department. “Our staff had prepared well in advance for the upsurge in payment and we had given all shops and outlets increased amounts of tags. We continue to remind people that you only pay for what you throw away”.

The Manager took the opportunity to apologise to residents of Dublin 15 who continue to experience some disruption. “I hope that the opening of the temporary facility in Coolmine Industrial Estate has alleviated some of the difficulties. We are committed to providing a service in the Dublin 15 area and will endeavour to do our work despite the interference of a small number of protesters. I would also like to say that we look forward to rolling out further services such as Bring banks, Green routes etc. as a result of the increased income from the sale of our bin tags”.

author by conor (wsm personal capacity)publication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 13:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

council troll boy: Applications for waivers have also risen sharply in the month of September with the concentration of these in the Swords and Dublin 15 area. During the month of September a total of 557 waiver applications were received. 25% of these were from Swords, 45% from Dublin 15 and the balance from a broad spread across Fingal.

You can expect no waivers after the service is privitised !

Its hard to believe that this well paid council worm and young mothers prepared to go to jail for something they believe in are actually both a part of the same human race.......

Conor

Related Link: http://www.stopthebintax.com
author by Michael O'Brien - PSEUpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yesterday the PSEU An Post branch passed a motion in support reaffirming union policey and supporting the stand taken by Joe and Clare.

Below is some correspondance between myself and the General Secretary, Dan Murphy. Judge for yourself how the PSEU full time appearatus treat democratically agreed union policey



----- Original Message -----
From: Michael O'Brien
To: dmurphy@pseu.ie
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 1:26 PM
Subject: PSEU and the bin tax



Dear Dan,

As you will recall a motion from the Enterprise Trade and Employment Branch
concerning local authority service charges was passed at the PSEU's 2001
ADC. I recall the Executive at the time recommending rejection. I spoke in
favour of the motion and made the point that the campaigns referred to in
the motion were campaigns recommending non-payment. The motion passed read
as follows:

"This conference recognises the contradiction between taxation commitments
made under Framework 1 of the PPF and the continual increase in service
charges across the country. Conference agrees that service charges should be
abolished for all households, nationwide. To this end conference instructs
the Executive Committee:

To influence ICTU policy on this matter

To support any legitimate campaigns against this double tax"

At the subsequent ICTU biennial conference a similar stand was adopted.
Bearing this in mind, David Begg's statement on the matter, which appeared
in the national press on 30 September, is completely at odds with the
official position of both this union and the ICTU.

Thankfully some unions have taken their policy on service charges more
seriously and have taken the trouble to register their position in the
media, most notably the TEEU, ATGWU, BATU and SIPTU. Tomorrow night, 7
October, the Dublin Council of Trade Unions is expected to announce a
demonstration in Dublin city centre next Saturday 11 October.

I feel it would be appropriate for the PSEU to publically make its stand on
this issue clear by issuing a press statement to that effect and having its
banner present at next Saturday's protest assuming it goes ahead as
expected. Furthermore I feel this union should make it its business to
respond sympathetically to the appeal being made by the Fingal Anti Bin Tax
campaign for assistance in its legal expenses that currently amount to some
€60,000.

Yours sincerely

Michael O'Brien,



----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Murphy"
To: "'Michael O'Brien'"
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 2:35 PM
Subject: Local Authority Refuse Charges


>
> Dear Michael,
>
> Thank you for your mail on the issue of local authority refuse charges.
>
> I will bring your letter (and a letter I have received from the group you
> mention in your letter) to the attention of the Executive Committee.
>
> In the meantime, I have consulted with the Officers of the Union on the
> issues raised in your mail.
>
> The Officers have noted that, after the 2001 ADC, the Executive Committee,
> in deciding to send this resolution to the ICTU, noted that, at the
> Conference, they had made it clear to Conference that, if it carried the
> motion, the Union would not be supporting campaigns other than ones which
> would be organised by ICTU as the Union could, otherwise, find itself
> supporting some political groups.
>
> The Officers have noted that this campaign is clearly a campaign organised
> on a political basis and that, as such, it would be inappropriate for us
to
> call for participation in same, pending consideration of the matter by the
> next meeting of the Executive Committee.
>
> Regards,
>
> Dan

Dear Dan,
>
> Thanks for your prompt reply. However I have to admit to being baffled on
a
> number of counts by the position been taken by the union's officers.
>
> My recollection of the debate that took place on this issue at the 2001
ADC
> was one of the sponsoring branch formally moving the motion and then Lauri
> Walsh recommending rejection on behalf of the Executive giving the stock
> pro-refuse charges line and saying that by supporting the motion the union
> would be aligning itself with "exotic" groups. I then spoke next giving
the
> general arguments against local authority service charges, pointing out
the
> support given by other unions to previous campaigns of non-payment, which
> are in fact the only campaigns organised against these charges. My
reference
> to campaigns of non-payment made it clear to the ADC what they were voting
> on and the motion was duly passed with no caveats in the wording about
> supporting only ICTU backed campaigns.
>
> I certainly have no recollection of the Executive making it clear that
only
> ICTU backed campaigns would get the PSEU's support. If the Executive felt
so
> strongly about this at the time they should have had an amendment to the
> original motion to that effect. To say that only ICTU sponsored campaigns
> would be backed is a recipe for doing nothing because no such demand was
> ever put on ICTU. In any case the demonstration being organised on
Saturday
> is under the auspices of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions to which the
> PSEU is also an affiliate.
>
> Again to argue that our participation in such public events can only be
> guaranteed by the absence of political groups and political demands to me
> means that the PSEU banner will rarely if ever see the light of day. It
> surely makes our union unique to lay down a criteria that its support for
a
> struggle involving PAYE workers is conditional on there being no trace of
> involvement or leadership of people who belong to political parties. It's
an
> undeniable fact of life that in almost any campaign or struggle in society
> you will find such traces of "politics" and we cannot let our policy and
> involvement in such be determined by this. Many union leaders in Ireland
are
> members of the Labour Party, yet surely we would support them despite this
> in a time of struggle.
>
> In saying that I'm glad to hear you are doing the Fingal Anti Bin Tax
> campaign the courtesy of bringing their letter seeking support to the next
> Executive meeting. I recall from my time on the Executive that you on
behalf
> of the officers will make a recommendation to the meeting in terms of what
> support be given and what financial contribution, if any, be made. I put
it
> to you that lending that support is entirely consistent with current PSEU
> policy and to disregard this is to make nonsense of union democracy.
>
> Yours sincerely,
>
> Michael O'Brien

author by Paul - Irish Socialist Networkpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today ten people were jailed for engaging in civil disobedience.
We in the Irish Socialist Network believe that people power can defeat
this unjust double tax. We stand side by side with residents as they
defy the Council. Two ISN members, John O Neill and Colm
Breathnach are among nine people jailed for for protesting in Finglas.
One other member of the Dublin campaign was jailed today - Dermot
Connolly, the chairperson of the Dublin campaign. They join Joe
Higgins TD and Cllr Clare Daly who have already spent nearly three
weeks in jail.

ONE LAW FOR THE RICH…..

The Council has tried to break the campaign by dragging peaceful
protesters before the courts and jailing people like John, Colm and
seven other Finglas prisoners. Bertie lectures us about breaking the law,
while his old Fianna Fail pals Charlie Haughey and Ray Burke haven't
spent a day in jail for their corruption.

BUT I HAVE A WAIVER!

When they take the next step and privatise the Bin Collection the
waiver scheme could be scrapped. The private company that gets
the contract won't care if you are a pensioner or on social welfare,
all they will want is to make a profit. This is not a scare, its already
happened in Sligo.

IS THIS TAX ABOUT REDUCING WASTE?

No, because most of the waste created in this country come from
farms and big business not householders. So how can it be fair
that a millionaire pays the same tax as an ordinary worker? In
Waterford it has been shown that the Bin Tax did not reduce waste,
it just made people burn more of their rubbish in their back gardens.

WHAT CAN I DO?

1. Join Campaign in your area

2. Don't pay the tax, most of your neighbours are refusing to pay.

3. Join the blockades of trucks or contact your local campaign
and organise one in your area.


ISSUED BY THE IRISH SOCIALIST NETWORK

author by Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaignpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 14:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign
Press Release - 9th October 2003
Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign Condemns Jailings, Calls for Massive Protest on Saturday

In the light of today’s decision to jail ten Anti Bin Tax campaigners, the Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign calls for Saturday’s Dublin Council of Trade Unions Anti Bin Tax - Anti Jailings demonstration (Assemble 12 noon Parnell Square and march to Mountyjoy Jail) to be made into a massive show of opposition. We call on the trade union movement to pull out all the stops to ensure this is the case. We call on ordinary people the length and breadth of the country to travel up to join this protest.
To jail ordinary residents for a peaceful protest on their own streets while millionaire crooks and tax evading T.D.’s go free shows the massive double standard in the legal system in this country.

The ten jailings, mothers and grandmothers among them, represents the most significant attack on the right to protest seen in this country in a generation. In particular, they represent an attack on the right of working class people to protest- farmers, middle class professionals and other sections of society would never to treated in this way.

Saturday’s protest will be an anti- Government protest. This Government made the laws, this Government promoted the bin tax; they will suffer very real consequences as a result of the jailings today.
Stop Press:
The Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign also gives its full support to tonight’s protest at Mountjoy Jail at 7 pm called by the Finglas Anti Bin Tax Campaign.

author by conor (WSM personal capacity)publication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One Lawlor for the rich one Lawlor for the poor -

get down to Mountjoy tonight !

Conor

Related Link: http://www.stopthebintax.com
author by Chekov - WSM & anti-bin taxpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 20:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Mountjoy protest is currently going on with 2-300 protestors outside the entrance to the jail. The protest got a very enthusiastic response from passing motorists and a great turnout, especially considering the fact that it was only called a few hours in advance.

author by Harry Phelan - Drogheda Residents Against Bin Charges And Privatisationpublication date Fri Oct 10, 2003 09:19author email drabcap at nettrash dot comauthor address Drogheda, Co. Louthauthor phone 087 1316029Report this post to the editors

We feel it's disgusting that the Government is using the Courts to jail what are in effect 'law abiding Citizens', then it's no surprise, as myself and another activist is to appear in Drogheda District Court this morning on false charges also for avoiding the creation of litter.

The sooner we can rid ourselves of this disgusting, corrupt, greedy, dishonest pack of swindling gangsters called 'Government' the better.

Related Link: http://nettrash.com/users/drabcap
author by Karl MArx - Communist Partypublication date Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:13author email karl at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice to see theres no room for scumbags in jail but theres plenty of room for people who fight against the unjust government. Armed revolution is the only way to clear Ireland of the corrupt people we call our Government

author by Analystpublication date Fri Oct 10, 2003 16:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are probably only three plausible ways of getting rid of the Government at the moment.

1. An armed uprising.
2. A military coup.
3. Vote for an alternative Government.

While the present state of affairs is far from acceptable, there is clearly no mood for an armed uprising.

A military coup does not appear to be on the cards.

Voting for an alternative Government is by far the most plausible option. Unfortunatly there is no alternative Government on the horizon that would be acceptable to the supporters of the anti-bin tax campaign.

Perhaps by running anti-bin tax candidates across the country in the local and EU elections or getting behind the socialist party to do likewise that possibility may draw closer.

author by reposterpublication date Sat Oct 11, 2003 03:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are all judges clowns? It certainly seems as thought the joke's on us if they are. This latest report of the antics of one of the judiciary charged with determining the outcome of a highly political case coupled with the inaction over Garda misbehaviour in Abbeylara, ReclaimTheStreets, TheAffairOfTheSpeedingMinister, TheBinTaxJailings etc indicate that the privilege of the bench is a bad thing and that they need to be brought to account in some way.

--------------------------------------------

Irish Independent - Pat Flynn Fri Oct 10th.

A SOLICITOR was held in contempt of court yesterday for calling a judge a "clown" in a heated exchange.

Judge Joseph Mangan also told Limerick solicitor John Devane that he would be reporting him to the Law Society for his "disgraceful" conduct.

Mr Devane was at Shannon District Court in Co Clare representing a client, Eamon Murphy, of O'Malley Park in Limerick, who has already been convicted of two charges under the Public Order Act, arising out of an incident during an anti-war protest at Shannon in March this year.

After beginning to hear Mr Devane's case, proceedings were interrupted by the sound of a baby in the courtroom. Judge Mangan decided to adjourn the case until after lunch and instead hear the matter for which the baby's mother was in court.

Mr Devane attempted to make his case for hearing his client's matter before lunch but Judge Mangan had made his ruling.

Following a brief exchange with the solicitor, Judge Mangan asked the solicitor to "stop acting the clown", to which Mr Devane replied: "You're the clown, thanks for being so understanding."

As Mr Devane turned to walk away Judge Mangan called him and said: "Mr Devane, I am holding you in contempt of court for that comment. I am now offering you the opportunity to purge the contempt."

Mr Devane immediately apologised to the court, explaining: "Judge, I told you that I had a personal difficulty and that my partner had been taken to hospital this morning."

The judge replied: "If you have an application, you make it to the court. The court will hear it and make a ruling. If you don't like the ruling, you can take it to a higher court."

"Your behaviour is disgraceful. I will be reporting you to the Law Society," the judge added. Mr Devane replied: "You can report me to who you like."

Speaking outside the court later, Mr Devane said: "I think this is disgraceful. I have apologised for my comment but when a judge calls you a clown in front of a packed courtroom, what are you supposed to do?"

Judge Mangan adjourned Mr Murphy's case until November 13 to which Mr Devane consented.

Pat Flynn

author by toyotapublication date Sat Oct 11, 2003 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and it asks important questions.
of both its readers in the Irish independent but also here and elsewhere.

Number of comments per page
  
 
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