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A June stroll through Crumlin.
Bin Tax March report
Report with borrowed pics (cos they are good) about the Bin Tax March in Crumlin Village on Thursday 9th June.
I went for a walk last Thursday. Myself and my family drove down to the Star in Crumlin and, leaving the car with the bingo goers, walked down to Crumlin Village as part of a relaxed march in sunny weather. If you are used to the spectacle created by the papersellers and various other regular attendees at protests in town then the number of us marching through Crumlin with our banners and chants would have looked like a disappointing Saturday afternoon – but on this particular Thursday we were buoyed up by phone reports of similar events going on around the city.
There are not many marches that go down St Agnes road and, other than the photographer who reported 110 on the march, most of the people were waving and saying hello to their neighbours the whole way. Everybody had a placard and they made noise all the way through the streets, complemented by the horns of the cars on the other side of the road. Even as we marched out into the road there was an awareness of the rest of the community – I was told the cars behind us were just people going home from work and they were waved past at intervals.
This was not about disrupting life in Crumlin – this was about demonstrating quite firmly that the anti bin tax campaign is part of life in Crumlin. The victories that have been won in the courts by the campaign were in part funded by and on behalf of people from here and while only a hundred have the time and inclination to represent the campaign on the streets nearly 3,000 people voted number one for the campaign here in the most recent election. They know that 5 years into being told that bin collection is something you only get if you pay for, 2 years after the government changed the law to try and break the link between public health and waste collection the bins are still collected here whether you pay or not. And they are determined that this will not change
This is the strength of the bin tax campaign where I live. People don’t get on buses, get off and shout and then return to their lives happy that they have done their bit. They talk to their neighbours. They collect money for legal fees to defend their neighbours. They have gone to jail to ensure that their neighbours’ bins are collected They knock on doors, they go to meetings, they march, they beep their horns, they campaign.
The people who paid six euro to join the campaign know that this has resulted in the Courts ruling that the e180 charged for bin collections in 2000/01 are illegal. Justice isn’t cheap in Ireland but people are getting organised to achieve it.
The councillor that was elected on an Anti Bin tax ticket was in a car up the front leading the chants – she spoke at the end to thank everybody for coming and to tell them about the next meeting. In the clubs and pubs of the Dublin South Central constituency, hundreds of people meet regularly to get updates, talk about whose bin is being collected and sort out their neighbours’ nappies. It’s that basic – if your babys’ nappies are left in the street there are few issues more pressing. But the campaign is supporting people.
In the next few months the bin tax campaign will have to talk to everybody else, to the people who only heard about it when there were stand offs in the street. It will have to tell them about the doctors who support weekly collection – either those in Ireland of 125 years ago when the public bin collection was introduced or those of today after it has been discontinued. It will have to repeat the environmental arguments that it has been making for four years and that have now been found correct in the courts. It will need to repeat the old arguments, the argument for community and looking after each other and keeping our streets and our cities clean and healthy.
But last Thursday the bin tax campaign in Crumlin and in loads of other locations around the city went for a walk in the Dublin sunshine and we talked to each other. Before the general election gives us our occasional chance to voice approval there will be a lot of rubbish talked. When the bin tax campaign talk rubbish, they will be talking sense, as usual. Next flier or poster you see it would probably be worth your while reading and finding out more