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What We Have We Hold
dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | feature Friday February 03, 2006 15:36 by seedot
The Dublin City campaign organises to protect the bin service
The Indymedia newswire has seen reports from anti-bin tax actions in Drimnagh, Finglas and Ringsend and next Monday evening the first city wide protest of 2006 has been called at City Hall. The councillors will be voting on an emergency motion regarding the non-collection of bins, announced by the city manager three weeks ago, against the vote of the council. Across the city as the council starts to leave rubbish behind, groups are being organised to clear this up in the cold January weather. GAA and Labour clubs, pubs and even the cold streets are seeing meetings taking place as lists of bin collections are drawn up and the Dublin City Anti Bin tax campaign starts to act.
When Dublin City Council entered the new year by announcing it would have implemented non-collection across the city within three to four weeks there was a flurry of media interest in the expectation of the long awaited showdown with the Dublin City Anti-Bin Tax campaign. But despite the almost military planning of the council as they moved the trucks out of the depots to secret locations and used their prepared litter bye laws to try and prevent the campaign from meeting, this, as so much else the council announces, was just bluff. Three weeks later a broad, grassroots campaign is moving into action. It is emerging slowly, since halls need to be filled and conversations had and decisions made and volunteers signed up and rotas arranged across a network of locally based campaign groups.
The slowness of the campaign to appear on the streets and take over the news agenda, either here or elsewhere has in many ways been a sign of strength. It is six years since the residents of Dublin City were told that they would have to pay a waste charge or their bins would be left in the streets. Since then the campaign has withstood debt collectors and the courts, seeing people give up their freedom but also proving that the charges were illegal and anti-environmental. They have beaten the charges in court and in the city council chambers and are confident of their power in their own estates. The council is in a rush - the campaign has held together for six years and is conscious of the trade union traditions that many of their activists still have: "What We Have We Hold". The council has to push non-collection through in cold weather - as was seen in Cork in 2003, bags of rubbish in the streets in summer make no sense to anyone. The local elections showed the potency of the bin tax vote in the city and rather than risk another rush to don anti-bin tax clothes by candidates the city management really needs to break the consistently high non-payment in the city before an election so next winter the stakes will be higher. More immediately, the council management begins the lengthy process of appealing the campaigns court victories to the Supreme Court on March 20th - 6 weeks from now.
If the last three weeks are anything to go by, the next six will see a ratcheting up of the confrontations between the will of the people and the will of Dublin City Management. When this started bin trucks were moved out of the depots in the expectation of a repeat of the tactics of three years ago - you just know the photocopiers were working late at night preparing the injunctions. But the campaign has had 2 and a bit years to rake over the leaves of late 2003 and it is obvious from the meetings that the local activists have been thinking about how to deal with this latest challenge. Concerns have been raised not to alienate those who have paid while at the same time opposing the council firmly, the environmental, democratic and legal arguments are now well researched and understood. They will not follow the councils gameplan - but mainly because they don't have to now. They have been preparing and are now responding in their own way.
In November last year the Council accepted that more people are still not paying their waste charges in the city than are fully paid up. By January when they announced the latest, desperate go at imposing this unwanted new system of dealing with waste they claimed 95% compliance, then 80% and then kept quiet. Hundreds of leafletters and activists. Thousands of households ignoring the idle threats and desperate gambits of a city management beaten at the polls and in the courts. Hundreds of thousands of people around the country who have rejected the imposed commercialisation of dirt and rubbish and pollution.
Next Monday gives an opportunity to meet up, link up with the local campaign and plan some early starts, cleaning up the streets of Dublin. For the next six weeks, the residents will be out side by side with the workers making sure our city is clean and habitable and run fairly. Whatever about the arguments in rooms in the centre of the city between people who spend a lot of time arguing in rooms around town, the people of Dublin are organising a waste management system. There's another union phrase that springs to mind:
Which side are you on?
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The bin tax campaign in Dun laoghire is going strong. Last September the council started non collection of untagged bags in seven council estates in Dun Laoghire, Blackrock and Glasthule. Activists and locals organised in all of the estates to self-dump in the back of the moving trucks. This has been ongoing on a daily basis since the introduction of non-collection and the number of people involved in self dumping, as well as the number of those not buying tags, has steadily increased. This confirms that it is completely and unquestionably legal to dump your own rubbish in the back of a moving council rubbish truck. It also shows the impotence of the local authorities when confronted with a well organised community based campaign against non-collection. There is simply nothing the council can do about it. Best off luck to everyone involved in the city.
On the 18th of january 3 days after Dublin City Council announced that within 4 weeks every part of Dublin would be effected by non collection of "non payers" of this double stealth tax over 200 people turned up to an Anti Bin tax meeting in the Bosco in Drimnagh. On the 19th over 400 people turned to a meeting in the Transport Club in Crumlin. We discussed out our tactics locally in the event of non collection and agreed from the meeting that a protest would be placed on Davitt Road depot on that Friday at 7.15am. Over a 100 people turned up a protested at the depot .
The meetings also agreed to produce a newsletter for the areas to report into the Community re the strong turnout at the meetings, our response when non collection hit the area's, that the non payment and determination was strong and advertise the demo at City hall on the Monday the 6th of Febuary at City hall. That newsletter has been produced and distributed to over 15,000 houses in the dublin 12 area.
Our Campaign is appealing to all political organisations, Residents associations. Community groups and Anti Bin tax Campaigns to turn out to that demonstration and demonstrate your support to the people of this City who have stood their ground under all sorts of threats and intimadation and are willing to put up a serious struggle to stop the Council breaking non payment.
Please log on your support to the link.
On the 26th a meeting was held in St Monica's Youth Centre. Everyone at the meeting agreed to leaflet their own roads to build for a protest on Friday the 2nd at the Junction at donnycarney Church + malahide road. Up to 40 people turned up.
Near -FM very supportive and gave Northside ABTC 10 mins airtime and will be happy to give airtime in t he future.
Non collection has not started in Edenmore. Plan to meet immediatly when it starts
My question is in relation to what I have read above. I am concerned that it is all a type of spin and bluff. Apart from some meetings with exagerrated attendance figures and a few people throwing bin bags in the back of a truck one day in Ringsend what has the anti-bin tax campaign done? Non collection has happened in cabra is it 2 or 3 times and the campaign did nothing. Somebody has said that the slow start is a positive thing. Is the slow start not more an sign that the campaign is apart from a bit of window dressing dead?
You people really are the pits if you think that you will make a difference by dumping your rubbish like this.
Go home and lobby your politicans.
" Go home and lobby your politicans."
-When this double-tax first became an issue , the local Labour Party here in Clondalkin took part in an indoor meeting held in the old Palmers/L+Q pub (now the Waterfront Bar) . Two local Labour councillors , Dowds and Tuffy , represented the party .
Half-way through the meeting , both councillors were asked how they intended to dispose of their household waste - they attempted to side-step the question , confirming instead that they considered the bin tax to be "unfair" and "unjust" : when asked that question again , they replied that they did not attend the meeting to talk about their own private business .
A few minutes later they were asked that same question (for the third time) - both replied that they were , in fact , actually paying the tax , but insisted that their position on this issue was not , of itself , a contradiction ie lobbying against the bin tax whilst paying it themselves !
" Lobby your politicians" ? On this issue (at least) - they are hypocrites : this is an issue which we , ourselves , will have to fight .
Politicians (like those two mentioned) have sold us out on the bin tax issue - why waste time lobbying the likes of those ?
I don't know who you are jackel but your comment suggests you don't live in the big working class areas of Dublin city and maybe you agree with the bin tax?
If you informed yourself by reading comments, Cabra have responded, called a meeting, had a great response and have organised to be out on the streets next week.
There are very few Campaigns that can illustrate people's opposition 5 years on. If the politicians had the same conviction in opposing double taxation as the people they represent have this would be dead in the water years ago.
Attend the demo at City Hall 6.15 tomorrow.
Well Joan Collins I don't know who you are either, and i do live in a working class area of Dublin it just happens to be one of the majority of areas that doesn't have a campaign against the bin tax. The council has not been collecting rubbish in Cabra for weeks and all they have done is have a meeting. I would say the city management are quaking in their boots and a protest of a handful at a council meeting is useless, when are you going to take the council on when they stop collecting rubbish in your city? No you haven't yet. Or in your local area? Or your street? Non-collection is a reality now and your campaign has done nothing.
Cllr. Collins is a bit unclear about her position on the Labour Party. The slogan on a placard is "our democratically elected councillors say collect all bins". No they don't! The majority on the council will not win this battle. And Dublin 12 alone won't win this battle. If elected a TD would you vote for a Fine Gael and Labour coalition as part of a deal for your constituency?
Jackass, Do you really think the Cabra Anti Bin Tax campaign are going to tell you their plans? I know you lot down the depot would love to know what is planned but you'll just have to wait and see. Why do you have to remove the trucks from the depots at 6 in the morning if you have nothing to fear?
Tell Hendricks to have a drink on us!!!!!!!!!!
Double taxation? so there should be just one big tax in Ireland? Business owners are taxed by more types of tax than ordinary home owners.
Could the anti bin tax people please just be quiet and pay the money that any self respecting citizen is paying? It would be one thing if you were poor, instead you're just acting as scroungers.