Irish Republican News · January 31, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Anti-water charge protests to be held across the country
Anti-water charge protests to be held across the country

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A hundred thousand people are set to take the streets and march in protest against water charges across the country today [Saturday].

The largest protest is expected to be in Dublin as demonstrators plan to gather at Heuston and Connolly train stations at 2pm and march along either sides of the quays. Groups in suburban areas are expected to march to meet the larger groups in the city centre, while those outside Dublin will gather at local demonstrations.

Bernie Hughes, from the Finglas Says No group, said there should also be about 100 protests around the country on Saturday.

“It’s hard to know how many people will take part but there will be a huge amount of people out in Dublin city,” she said.

Ms Hughes said the demonstration was about “ordinary people” coming together.

“This is not driven by any political party, it’s driven by the hurt of the ordinary people,” she said. “It’s been organised by the ordinary people. When I say ordinary people, I mean the people who are suffering most by austerity. The people who have no voices before.

The protest was about abolishing Irish Water “but it’s not only about that,” she said.

Ms Hughes said protesters were travelling on buses from a number of counties to join the protest. “Our protest will be a peaceful protest like every other protest we have done.”

Almost 700,000 households that are on the public water network have failed to register with Irish Water. The first quarterly bills are due to be issued in April.

The Right2Water campaign, who are not organising Saturday’s protests, have urged the public to take part. It said people were marching “for abolition, not concessions”.

People Before Profit said today’s protest could be the start of another series of mass demonstrations in 2015, and have urged people to keep up the campaign of street protests, civil disobedience and non-payment.

eirigi said everyone has a “role to play” in defeating the Water Tax and preventing water privatisation.

“It simply cannot be left to others to fight such an important battle. So be sure to join your local protest on Saturday and encourage your family, friends and neighbours to do likewise. Together we can win. Together we are unbeatable.”

TENSIONS

Flying protests have again been taking place as activists try and physically stop the government’s plans to install meters to charge them for their tap water. As well as confrontations with police, residents have had to contend with private security companies that are increasingly being brought in to physically enforce the unpopular policy.

Protests have also been taking place at events attended by government ministers. One recent protest became controversial when one activist called the diminutive 26-County President Michael D Higgins a “midget parasite” as his vehicle left an event in Finglas on Thursday. The shouted comment reflected dismay among campaigners at the left-wing President’s failure to demonstrate opposition to the austerity program, but it received widespread condemnation. The activist in question later apologised for using the word “midget”.

Organisers of the main rally in Dublin today asked all residents of Dublin south to gather at Heuston Station and all north Dublin Residents to gather at Connolly Station.

“Both groups will march on either side of the quays. Together they will shut Dublin city down,” they said.

“There will be no stage, no speeches, no concert. Just people standing together to send a message to the Irish Government.”

© 2015 Irish Republican News