Determined action gets results
Monday 29 Sept. saw the start of non collection in Dublin South County Council area with a few dozen bins left behind in Rathfarnham, in a sneak raid by the Council. They sent out men with red stickers to mark the bins of people who hadn't paid.
By Mick Murphy
The Council tried the same trick on Tuesday but they were caught in the act. A truck was stopped until the end of its shift. On Wednesday they were caught again in Palmerstown and thanks to a magnificent response locally the truck was held in the estate for 36 hours and all the bins were collected on the Friday.
In response, the campaign organised an emergency meeting in Tallaght to discuss what action to take with local activists from around the Council area. The meeting, although organised at short notice, was attended by 233 people.
The mood was very angry and determined action was taken. Rather than waiting in our estates for the Council to attack us with their salami-style non-collection tactic, picking us off area by area, it was decided to bring the struggle back to the Council and block the Council's only bin truck depot, which provides the service for the entire Council area.
At 7 am on Wednesday morning 8 October, over 60 people succesfully stopped any bin trucks from leaving the depot for over two hours.
When the large number of Gardai present threatened to move us for obstructing the trucks the bin workers pulled back the trucks from the gate and refused to attempt to drive out while we were there.
Further meetings are now planned in Tallaght to organise similar actions that send a clear and firm warning to the Council: the campaign is growing and gaining more support by the day, and the more they provoke people, the more people will be willing to continue with determined action.
Stepping up the battle
AFTER THREE years of work in the communities a number of local anti-bin tax campaigns are able to mobilise strong local support for protests and blockades, as a result of having a network of activists in the areas. This is particularly vital as the City campaign moves into its most important stage.
Finglas has, through the jailings of nine local residents, become a focus of the anti-bin tax campaign in the City area. The Voice interviewed John McCamley, local activist and Socialist Party member, on the day of the jailings.
"People in Finglas are absolutely outraged, seeing their neighbours, family and friends sent to jail for participating in a peaceful local protest. There is a very strong mood to continue and step up the protests."
"The campaign has through numerous meetings and door-to-door activities built up a considerable membership throughout Finglas. At the last few meetings, the mood for action was clearly growing. People were very annoyed with the bullying letters of the Council and with the threats of non-collection. Also, a small part of Finglas is in the Fingal County Council area, and in that part non-collection was being implemented."
"When the Council tried to drag people before the courts over non-collection of the bin tax in October 2001, it was in Finglas that they started. The recent High Court injunction granted to the Council was again taken against people from Finglas, although we know similar solidarity blockades were organised around the city."
"People decided to organise blockades in solidarity with people in Fingal and to send a warning to Dublin City Council that non-collection will be met with strong resistance. To date, seven blockades have been organised in different estates by local residents. At the blockade in Fairlawn Road, names were taken by the gardai. That's how nine residents from the estate ended up in jail."
"The mood for action is hardening now. More people have stepped forward to take part in further blockades. The Council has managed to get our backs up, and we're not planning on backing down. We hope people around the city will take actions like ours and join us in this struggle."
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