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Leaflet given out at by Socialist Democracy supporters at the demonstration called by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions on the 11th October 2003 to protest the jailing of anti-bin tax activists.

Bin charge Jailings

The fight of our life

Much could be made of the case against the bin charges:

• The determination of the fat cats of Irish society to squeeze yet more from the poor.
• The poor mouth of a government able to sign a blank cheque to cover the crimes of paedophile priests.
• The cries of law and order from the tax dodgers who have put themselves above the law.
• The link between charges and the growing campaign to sell off public services.

However the cold reality is that these points cannot be firmly put forward unless the campaign can fight back against a wave of state repression that aims to crush it

Two weeks ago elected representatives Joe Higgins and Clare Daly were put behind bars.  Now 23 militants are hauled before the courts and 12 are jailed.  What strategy does the campaign have to defend itself?

We are told that more and more militants will come forward to swamp the system.  The truth is that only a mass campaign could realistically make such a tactic a success. We are finding it difficult to build such a mass campaign, in part because we are routinely fighting with one hand tied behind our back.  The one area where we can guarantee that we could win new battalions – the trade union movement – is consistently ignored by the campaign.

It is true that Dublin Trades Council has sponsored today’s march.  It is also a fact that the leadership of ICTU has openly stabbed the campaign in the back and the IMPACT and SIPTU argue that their members should obey management when called upon to penalise bin charge protesters. The joint union statement threatening bin workers with privatisation, dismissal and the loss of their benchmarking increase is probably more intimidatory than management would have dared issue. It is also patent lies. The bin workers cannot hope to fight privatisation without the support of workers resisting the bin charges. Now is the time they have to fight. If the anti charges campaign is beaten then they are isolated and can be picked off at any time.
Many militants have spoken out in defence of the campaign but the point is that the campaign has made no attempt to organise to defeat its enemies in the unions and win firm industrial action in support of the battle against the charges.

We live in a partnership society.  Our immediate enemies in this campaign are the bosses and the state, but they have silent partners in the trade union leadership who side with them in attacking the workers.

If we don’t face facts we will leave ourselves open to further legal repression and without a coherent plan of defence.

Release the activists!

End the threats – lift the Bin charges


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