FLUORIDE IS NOT THE PROBLEM, LACK OF DEMOCRACY IS

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 15.28.02Yesterday afternoon, another local anti-water charges page, Droghedas fight from water tax. shared a page called Anti-Flouride Ireland, calling on all anti-water charges groups to support the campaign. When someone disagreed with this stance, their posts were deleted and they were banned from posting on the page.

We at Drogheda Community Resistance reject the idea that anti-water charges groups should get drawn into the murky and slightly bonkers world of the anti-fluoride networks. Opposition to fluoride in our water supply is at one end of the scale based on bad science that argues we are being poisoned and at the other end, crack pot conspiracy theories that argue fluoridation is a method of mind control.

The latter argument is clearly a deranged fantasy, the illuminati are not trying to control our minds, but big business interests are trying to control our natural resources, including our water supply. That is the the fight we need to face head on, we need to continue to resist water charges, privatisation, and austerity.

But are we being poisoned? Certainly, in high levels, fluoride can be harmful but any chemical in high doses will, but in low levels, fluoride in our water supply has a positive impact on public health. The vast majority of peer reviewed scientific studies confirm this. Fluoride reduces dental decay, which reduces gum disease that can lead to all sorts of other health complications.

Rather than falling for the conspiracy theories, the best way to ensure that our water supply fits our needs, is to take it into democratic control, where communities have full access to data showing where our supply is coming from and how it is treated. Our water services need to be adequately resourced from the public pot and we, who use the supply need to be able to get advice from leading experts in the field.

Don’t let the anti-fluoride conspiracy theorists divert our movement from this central task. Fight for democratic public ownership of our natural resources and leave the conspiracies for the cinema.

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A liberal line in servile sand: How far should protest go?

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Liberal“Surely”, says the liberal, “protest has gone too far.” That old gentleman’s agreement, that you can protest against anything, as long as you do it in a way that doesn’t threaten the establishment, has been broken. “This just isn’t cricket.” The liberal bemoans the uncivilised behaviour of the mob, the new willingness to break the law, to physically prevent the thing you are protesting against from happening. Furthermore this unruly bunch are more than willing to disrupt the work of the comrade ministers, who have the best interests of the working class in their hearts, if only the mob could understand, if only they would respect law and order and “the democratic process”.

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Drogheda’s Great White Elephant – Boyne Tower

boyne towerDrogheda’s great white elephant, the Boyne Tower, a symbol of everything that’s wrong with this country right now.

Built at the height of the property boom, never fully occupied, still lying idle after all these years. The. “say no to water charges” graffiti is a nice touch. The government want us to pay water charges because of the mess property developers and bankers, like the ones behind the construction of this building got us into.

Imagine, the potential of that building is locked away from the people of the town, who, if it was under their control, could make use of it. It’s currently valued at 1.5 million euro, but why should such a prime location be used for profit, what if it was used for the good of the people who live here?

It could be a youth centre, an office space that anyone could use, a library, a community centre and social space. Drogheda residents could make proposals for its use, draw up plans and present them to the people of the town, who could then vote on them.

Imagine what Boyne Tower could be if we controlled the fate of our town. The property barons wrecked this country, but now they’re being allowed to carry on as normal. It’s time to try another way. If we could unlock Drogheda, what would you do with it?

Public need or private greed?

Public need or private greed?

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Origins of the police

There’s an assembly at the Garda Station in Drogheda this Friday evening at 8pm to protest the ongoing arrests of water charge resistors.
You can confirm your attendance at the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/902790109752340/
The attached article on the origins of police forces show that from the outset, policing was political. it was set up to control strikes and protests in the interests of the state and capital.

Works in theory

The Five Points district of lower Manhattan, painted by George Catlin in 1827. New York’s first free Black settlement, it became a mixed-race slum, home to Blacks and Irish alike, and a focal point for the stormy collective life of the new working class. Cops were invented to gain control over neighborhoods and populations like this. The Five Points district of lower Manhattan, painted by George Catlin in 1827. New York’s first free Black settlement, Five Points was also a destination for Irish immigrants and a focal point for the stormy collective life of the new working class. Cops were invented to gain control over neighborhoods and populations like this.

In England and the United States, the police were invented within the space of just a few decades—roughly from 1825 to 1855.

The new institution was not a response to an increase in crime, and it really didn’t lead to new methods for dealing with crime. The most common way for authorities to solve a crime, before and since the invention of police, has been for someone to tell them who did it.

Besides, crime has to do with the acts of individuals, and the ruling elites who invented the police were responding to challenges posed by collective…

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The Corporation – Essential Viewing for the Water Charge Resistance

corpIf you’re stuck for something to watch this afternoon, give this a go. Indispensable viewing for all of us who are against water charges. It examines how corporate power aims to privatise everything, including water and the air that we breath in it’s lust for endless profit. It shows how corporations exploit workers, how they fuel and profit wars, how they support dictators, how they control the media, and how they get inside our heads. Watch, discuss, resist.  

MOVIE INFO

One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today’s dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The corporation is unlikely to be the first institution to defy history. Based on Joel Bakan’s soon-to-be-published book, “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power,” this documentary is a timely, critical inquiry that examines the very nature of the corporation-its inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. We begin by learning that under the law, corporations have all the rights and yet few of the responsibilities of people. By viewing the behavior of the corporation through the prism of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (or DSM III, the gold standard of psychiatric evaluation) the filmmakers discover that if the corporation were indeed a person, the person would be considered a psychopath. Featuring candid interviews with CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits, the chronicle charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this seemingly invincible force. Once you see it, you may find yourself thinking twice about what you eat, what you wear, what you watch and what you read.

Rating:
Unrated
Genre:
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
Directed By:
Joel Baker , Jennifer Abbott
Written By:
Joel Bakan , Harold Crooks
In Theaters:
Apr 23, 2004 Wide
On DVD:
Apr 5, 2005
US Box Office:
$1.4M
Runtime:
2 hr. 25 min.

From Rotten Tomatoes

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The Great Irish Pyramid Scheme – Motor Tax and Property Tax used to Fund Water Robbery

MotorTo think, if we want to use the M1 you have to pay a toll – even though you’ve already paid road tax that’s supposed to pay for roads. Now we learn that 66% of Irish Water’s funding (around €290 million) has been taken out of the motor tax fund that goes towards road maintenance, so they can charge us for a basic necessity.

Phil Hogan said it would cost €10 million to set up ‪Irish Water. Well, not only has that €290 million euro been taken from motor tax, now it’s been revealed that this year, it will get €490 million that was collected via the Local Property Tax – you know, that tax on the home that we were assured would go towards local services. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If we pay taxes, we should get services in return. Instead we are paying for the running of companies that then charge us for those services to make a profit. This isn’t a progressive taxation system, it’s a pyramid scheme.

The government has used public money to charge us to go use a decent road to leave the town, which many have to do to work, and to charge us more for water, which we need to live.

This scam ends here! Boycott the water charge!

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Strengths of the Community Pillar of the anti water tax movement

Fantastic blog post on the community fight back from our friends in Cork.

Rebel City Writers

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The movement that has emerged in Ireland against the water tax is truly inspiring and has a depth and tenacity that the anti home tax movement lacked. There are numerous groups, parties, alliances, unions and organisations of all sorts involved in the broad movement some are purely local, some have wider networks and all use various tactics. The most interesting and positive strand of the movement however is the self organising community groups. Though they vary in size they are at the cutting edge of the campaign and are the primary reason for our success so far. Whilst Right to Water has facilitated the largest demonstrations and others have mobilized smaller but significant demonstrations it is the community based groups who have been key to the mobilization of the bulk of people for any protest, the resistance of metering and the potential success of the non payment campaign.

Direct Action

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How Can Community Resistance Defeat the Water Charge?

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1. All over Ireland, the tactics of community resistance are being used to fight water charges. People have organised themselves in their communities to prevent the installation of water meters through direct action.


2. Drogheda is no different. Like their colleagues in Dublin, Cork, Galway and elsewhere, the people of Drogheda have made Irish Water’s plans for metering difficult to implement – so much so that the completion of metering is now little more than a face saving exercise for the body. The meters installed now will hardly be used.

3. Resistance, up to this point has taken a defensive approach. It has been spontaneous, reacting to the tactics of Irish water and the Gardaí. That is to say – where metering took place, people got organised to resist and where the Gardaí arrested people, protests have been organised. This pattern, that we’ve seen here in Drogheda has been the same all over the country.

4. We now know what the next move of the state will be – the delivery of bills in April, so we know that our next task is to build a boycott. Here is where we can move from defence to attack. We have time to build a mass campaign of boycott.

5. The question is, what shape should this campaign take? The best way to organise a non-payment campaign is to continue with the strategy of community resistance – of starting by organising in our own communities.

6. Social media is a valuable organising tool, and to that end, this page will be at the disposal of local groups all over the town. However, there is no substitute for face to face conversation. To that end, we must hit the streets, organise amongst those we know to go door to door and convince the undecided to boycott the charge.

7. By linking all these local groups across Drogheda, we can build a town wide campaign, run democratically by all involved.

8. Activists from political parties and organisations, unions etc have played a key role alongside communities in fighting the water charge. Those people are assets to any campaign because they have organising skills that are crucial to it’s success. If they share those skills with the new community activists, we can make Drogheda a town full of experienced organisers, and because of that, a town that any government will fear to tread on.

9. Because of this crucial role, political and union organisers should be up front and honest and not attempt to co-opt the campaign for their organisation. No party, union or other organisation of any kind should dominate the campaign. The basic unit of the fight against the water charge should be the community.

10. Because this fight extends across the state, so should the campaign. Drogheda’s community groups can link with others across the country to form an anti-water charge federation that takes it’s direction from the communities at the base rather than from directors at the top.

If we are organised, we can win!
As Jim Larkin said, “the great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!”

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The Numbers Game – Irish Water Protest in Drogheda (31/1/2015)

To give an idea of the numbers at Saturday’s protest, I’ve used the usually reliable CrowdSize app with Dominic Street as the sample area as that’s where I had the best view of the whole crowd. Might have gone over the lines a bit here so shave a few hundred off, but there were 2,000 at least, probably more. People joined and left the demo throughout but as I said, this was the point where I got the best view. Good turnout for a bitter cold January day.

CSize DomSt

Beside the crowdsize image, there’s a photo of the march coming up Dominic St. You can see it curves around the corner at the bottom.

Georges St Duleek Crew

The pic on the left above is taken as the protest moved from George’s St onto the bridge of peace. Again you can see there is a very large crowd. The photo on the right shows a banner from Duleek Says No to Water Charges.

That should settle the numbers argument once and for all. At a conservative estimate, there were 2,000 but there could easily have been up to 2,500. Those numbers may be lower than November, but it is still exceptional for a town the size of Drogheda.

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Five Things You Can do to Set up Your Own local Anti-Water Charges group

1) Online Presence
A first step is to set up a local Facebook page. This can be used as a focal point for information about the group, and a way of raising awareness that the group exists. A group Twitter account is optional but not as important. Also set up a group email account.

2) Plan a Public Meeting
This could be a meeting for your street or for your estate, or a larger meeting for the wider area.

3) Find a venue.
Think of any local community centres, sports clubs, pubs, or even an outdoor space (as some people have done). Ask attendees for small donations if you need to cover the cost.

4) Speakers.
Try to get a couple of speakers to speak for a few minutes at the beginning. Organisers from other local campaigns will be happy to speak, as will trade union and political activists, and even anti water charge politicians.

5) Publicity.
The next step is advertising the meeting. This can be done several ways: leaflets and posters, door-knocking, a Facebook ad, and word of mouth.

Hand out leaflets in key areas like shopping centres, and put up posters in areas of high traffic. Ask local shops and businesses if they will display some leaflets. Knock on doors of local people to tell them about the meeting and give them a leaflet (slow but effective). Post on the Facebook page advertising the meeting, and ‘boost’ that post as an advertisement for greater visibility (costs a few quid). Tell everyone you know to spread the word about the meeting. Maybe try to get a mention in the local newspaper or radio station.

Originally written by Ferdia from Rathfarnham against water charges

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