The government has tried to put the best face on it but there is no disguising the defeat they are suffering.
57 percent of the people are refusing to pay the water charges.
Even the number of 43 percent who paid the water bills is inflated because it includes tenants who have been intimidated into paying by their landlords or people selling a house where solicitors have collected the charges for the state.
A clear majority of people have endorsed the message sent out by People Before Profit and Anti-Austerity Alliance.
The EU has enforced a humiliating surrender on Greece. The Syriza government that was elected to end austerity has been forced to implement it. The meaning of Wolfgang Schauble, the German Finance Minister’s infamous phrase ‘we can’t possibly allow an election to change anything’ is now clear.
The scale of the brutality is astounding. To take just one example: there will be a ‘significantly scaled up privatisation programme’ to generate a fund of €50 billion. This fund will then be effectively controlled by the EU to ensure that bank debt and bondholders are paid off. Up to now €7 billion worth of privatisation has been pushed through by other governments in Greece.
People Before Profit has condemned the EU’s blackmail of Greece.
In the last two weeks, the EU engaged in a silent coup to break the radical left government of Greece. They imposed humiliating terms of surrender on it in order to spread a message of fear across Europe. That message is ‘lie down and accept reality as we define it’
RTE and the Irish media have been spinning out EU propaganda against the Greek government.
They have featured Jean Claude Juncker’s comments that the Greek government is suffering from ‘egotism’ and that he has ‘the Greek people’s welfare at heart’. They never mention that Juncker was President of Luxemburg when deals were done with 343 multi-national companies to avoid paying tax.
The government’s line that Greece ‘walked away from negotiations’ is repeated regularly.
But the reality is that Greece was presented with a set of proposals which the Finance Minister Varoufakis stated would be ‘impossible’ to pass through their parliament.
Ireland's history of its treatment of single mothers is shameful. Despite the closure of Magadelene laundries, the politics of shaming lone parents has continued. Ireland should not just be ashamed of its past treatment of lone parents, but also its present day treatment. It is a national disgrace that up to 63% of one parent families suffer two or more forms of deprivation on a regular basis. Consistent poverty in one parent families is 23% compared to 8.2% in the general population. To get away with keeping lone parents in poverty, past and present Governments along with the media have portrayed single mothers as a burden on society.
The following statement, as a contribution to the debate at the conference organised by the R2W unions on June 13, has been agreed between the People Before Profit Alliance,the Anti-Austerity Alliance, and some independent left-wing activists including Cllr Brendan Young.
The Mayday Conference initiated by the Right2Water Trade Unions was designed to bring union members, community groups and political representatives into dialogue about an alternative to the political and economic establishment. We welcome the fact that these unions initiated such a meeting to build a political movement based on the anti-water charges struggle of the last eight months. Unfortunately, the meeting was a limited and invite-only event, without sufficient space for discussion.
Open up and democratise the June 13 conference
To best achieve the potential for this movement, we believe that the process needs to be opened up and democratised. Without grassroots participation, any political initiative will lack the energy and vibrancy needed to challenge the political establishment. So we think the follow up conference on June 13 should have delegates invited from all of the community groups campaigning against water charges, selected over the coming weeks at local meetings.
On June 13, the conference must also be designed to allow genuine debate and maximum inclusion. In place of structured inputs from selected speakers, the event should be bottom-up and participatory. It should be designed to allow as many contributions as possible and allow for decisions to be made by those present.
Following the weekend's historic victory for equality let's move now to repeal the eighth amendment.
26 May 2015
The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment welcomes the weekend’s historic victory for marriage equality and calls on the government to build on the widespread support for greater equality in Ireland by calling an autumn referendum to repeal the eighth amendment
Commenting the Coalition’s convenor Ailbhe Smyth said:
The vote for marriage equality was one of the most positive uplifting developments in Ireland in recent years. It gave LGBT people basic rights but it also sent out a signal that the old Ireland of De Valera and John Charles McQuaid was dead and gone.