"All bins or no bins!", Socialist Voice, Oct. 2003 Socialist Voice October 2003

"All bins or no bins!"

They thought it couldn't be done, but on Wednesday 10 September the bin collection service was brought to a standstill by residents throughout Fingal. Since then residents have been blockading bin trucks. This is in response to the decision by Fingal County Council to refuse to collect the bins of residents boycotting the hated bin tax.

By Michael Murphy

Under the slogan of "all bins or no bins" non-paying residents refused to let the bin trucks through their areas unless they collected all bins. Trucks were blockaded across Portmarnock and Malahide. This demonstrated the resolve of residents and the campaign to take on the government and the council and threw down the gauntlet for the next five weeks.

Over the following days massive disruption of the bin service continued throughout Dublin North despite council officials and some local politicians attacking the campaign and the residents involved.

There was also considerable harassment and heavy-handed tactics from guards in a number of areas. In some cases bin trucks in Balbriggan and Rush were escorted on their daily route by police vans which was a blatant attempt to intimidate residents to stop protesting.

In reality it had the opposite effect and the highlight of the campaign to date must be the residents who not only managed to stop trucks but keep them for sustained periods in their community.

Residents in Rivervalley, Swords "captured" a truck for seven days, in Melrose Park in Kinsealy a truck was held for eight days when a rally of over 250 residents from the estate voted to keep the truck and in Royal Oak in Santry a truck was held for an incredible 12 days! 24-hour rotas were organised by residents to ensure the Council and gardai didn't seize the trucks.

The decision of the Council to initiate high court proceedings against residents and the campaign shows how fearful they were of a ground swell of opposition against the bin tax. They thought by imprisoning Clare Daly and Joe Higgins that the campaign would collapse.

Instead Clare Daly and Joe Higgins's imprisonment shocked but also angered residents throughout North Dublin even residents who were not necessarily in support of the campaign were disgusted by the decision of the judge.

The campaign continues across North Dublin in the form of continued non-payment, protests and a campaign of political pressure.

The latter involves phone calls to Councillors and TDs who support the Bin Tax, picketting of public representatives surgeries and most importantly a demonstration outside the next Council meeting on Monday 13 October (Fingal County Council offices, Main Street, Swords 3 - 7 pm).

None of the councillors who support the Bin Tax and non-collection, campaigned on that basis in the last local elections. We say to these so-called representatives: "You are up for re-election in nine months - local communities will remember what you did and how you voted on this issue come election day."

Fingal County Council needs to be shaken up and control of the council taken from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

The Socialist Party will stand in most of the wards in Fingal to ensure that, instead of two representatives on the Council, we can increase our representation and form an opposition block to the right wing agenda of uncontrolled rezoning and more servic charges.

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