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Groundhog Day?

One issue - water charges - has come to symbolize the long grinding austerity we have been subject to. On this issue a mass sentiment of anger, organized through Right2Water demonstrations, has pushed Irish capitalism onto the defensive.

However to proclaim victory based on the twists and turns of Fianna Fail and ahead of future manoeuvres in the Dail and the European Commission seems premature.

The slogan of the day is “One last Push!” Is this really so?

What we are depending on? Fianna Fail, who began the privatisation process? A Dail where all sides agree we must stay inside the strictures of the Troika and the ECB?

While we return again and again to the single tactic of the mass lobby and the single method of the ad-hoc committee Ireland is burning around us.

Water privatisation is one element of a broad offensive - a new conquest of Ireland by imperialism. Alongside water privatisation stands the privatisation of public transport. Transport workers are locked in a fight to the death, yet we have no single organization to unite these battles and join them in a common struggle, to take up the issue of vampire capital's control of housing or to fight battles on health and education. Instead we give carte blanche to trade union officials to decide the pace and tempo of revolt.

We are so fragmented that even the task of defence against an ever more authoritarian state, determined to criminalise dissent, falls to a separate campaign rather than being the task of the whole water charge campaign and of anyone who supports the struggle.

We are victims of a populist illusion - the idea that the politicians, with sufficient pressure, will act in our interests. Despite tactical twists and turns Irish capitalism will fight to the death alongside the Troika to bleed Irish workers dry.

We need a national conference and a democratic anti-austerity and anti-imperialist movement. Socialists in the Right2Water campaign should be striving to build a party of the working class organising direct action on the streets and in the factories with the aim of building the Workers Republic and international solidarity of the working class.

The alternative may well be yet more groundhog days, where we protest without having the power to bring about permanent change.


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