Bin tax battle continues
South Dublin County Council Residents resist tag system
To defeat non-collection, large mobilisations in the communities that result in widespread disruption of the service and massive co-ordinated political pressure are necessary. The campaign in South Dublin is at a decisive stage. Kevin McLoughlin reports
Since the start of February the residents of South Dublin County Council (SDCC) have faced the same onslaught of non-collection as those in Fingal did last winter. In a regrettable development the bin workers helped clear the way for the bin tax by agreeing to participate in non-collection and the tag system on 30 January.
SDCC have issued a large number of waivers in an attempt to get the tax established. For other households they are issuing yellow stickers if people come to an agreement regarding the paying of arrears, which must be accompanied by a tag if the bin is to be collected. They are trying to impose this system ridgidly.
In the first week the majority of households either did not tag or did not present their bins for collection as a clear sign that they did not support the tax. To show the lengths that the Council were prepared to go, they wrote to campaign activists citing that certain leaflets and letters were an illegal breach of the High Court injunction and threatening committal proceedings. So much for the right to free speech. The indications are that industrial action by the bin workers themselves would be outlawed on the basis of the extensive injunction the High Court gave.
Undeterred activists in Whitechurch, Templeogue, Greenhills, St. Dominics, Oldbawn, Kilnamanagh, Spring-field, Jobstown, Clondalkin and Palmerstown mobilised to try to ensure that the bins of non-payers were collected and to protest.
Trucks have been tracked down and slow marched around to facilitate activists in dumping the rubbish or stopped for significant periods. Once again the garda' have been very quick to assist the Council in imposing the tax. Socialist Party members have been to forefront in the battle.
Fighting non-collection and a tag system is difficult. Most people do not believe that they can organise an alternative to the council bin service on an indefinite basis. That's why when generalised non-collection is imposed, a limited time frame opens up in which either the Council is forced to retreat or the campaign tends to be pushed back.
To defeat non-collection, large mobilisations in the communities that result in widespread disruption of the service and massive co-ordinated political pressure are necessary. The campaign in South Dublin is at a decisive stage.
It is vital that working class communities see the general significance of the bin tax campaign and the real role of all the establishment parties on this issue. It is very important that activists get organised on an area by area and estate by estate basis. The public meetings held throughout the Council area in the week before non-collection was implemented were attended by well over a thousand residents. That shows the potential that exists.
The parties, in particular Fianna Fail, must feel the full force of the opposition against all the stealth taxes that are really eating into people's wages.
It is vital that the campaign in South Dublin fights non-collection as fully as it can. Political initiatives are already underway. Leaflets explaining the role of Fianna Fail are being dropped into houses that have been affected by non-collection.
In Tallaght, large posters are being put up which "Name and Shame" the Fianna Fail public representatives. Such political protests should be implemented in all areas in the run in to the local elections in June.