The Council decided to start off 2002 by getting tough on the people of Dublin who haven't paid them a penny of their unjust double tax known as the refuse charge. On a dark night in November the Council voted to impose the charge for a following year, despite the fact that they were made well aware of the widespread opposition to it.
Now like a schoolyard bully who is meeting some opposition - the council has decided to back up it's new double tax with threats. Thousands of letters went out all over the city threatening people with court action within ten days of receiving the letter. The campaign acted quickly and over 50,000 leaflets were distributed informing people of developments within the campaign.
There are meetings happening all over the city to reassure them that the campaign will not leave them to fight this bully on their own. We are pushing for increasing the membership of the campaign - as those 6 Euro per household can add up and we'll need that money to defend those who are unlucky enough to be brought to court.
We are entering a crucial time for the campaign. Now we really have to stand strong. The Council's plan to get everyone to accept the new unjust tax has not gone well. That is why they've resorted to the threatening people with court action.
Of course judging by the calls that I've received after this letter arrived on people's doorsteps the Council have only succeeded in really annoying the people of Dublin. This legal option is the only one open to them - and they cannot possibly bring the 50,000 people that haven't paid a thing to court. Now we really begin the fight. Join the campaign, organise your street, and convince the unfortunate people who've paid this tax that they shouldn't pay the council another cent. We will demonstrate outside the courts, we will haunt the councillors and politicians who brought in this bin-tax - and ultimately we'll give them the bitter defeat that the council deserve..
They're losing the battle - now with some more work and energy it's our chance to win the war.
Dermot Sreenan (Campaign Secretary, personal capacity)
The campaign against the newly-imposed bin charges is getting off the ground in South Dublin. At a meeting in Tallaght before Christmas attended by about 25 people who were active in the campaign against water charges, it was decided to establish an interim co-ordinating committee to do the groundwork in terms of building the campaign on the ground, leading up to a conference to be held in early summer. Since then public meetings have been held in a number of different areas and more are planned. If you live in the South Dublin County Council area, your help is needed in building this campaign. Contact the Campaign Against Refuse Charges by ringing Gregor Kerr on 087-6996046, Mick Murphy on 087-9683814 or Gerry Kelly on 01-4517203
DRABCAP is the anti-bin charges & Privatisation campaign group in Drogheda. Contact: (Secretary) Harry Phelan @ 041 9830335.
Drogheda Borough Council is now collecting ALL bins (since December 14th last) irrespective of "Paid" stickers/tags being displayed.
This situation arose following DRABCAP threatening High Court action (via P. H. O'Reilly, Solrs., Phibsboro, Dublin) against Drogheda Borough Council and Louth County Council for failing to implement Supreme Court decision (Cork 8th. of November 2001) in Drogheda.
DRABCAP, since the charge was introduced in the town in January 2000, organised a mass non-payment campaign against the bin charge. DRABCAP "volunteers" collected refuse from boycotting households and dumped it into the Council's bin trucks on collection days in the different areas of Drogheda.
This action began on August 2nd 2000 when the Council withdrew the collection from "no-pay" households, and continued until December 14th 2001 when the council were forced to implement the Cork Supreme Court ruling in the town by the threatened legal action.
In the two years 2000/01 the Council just managed to collect £400,000 in bin taxes in Drogheda from a potential £3.2 million.
The Drogheda campaign continues apace, and will use the general election campaign to pressure the candidates to abolish charges.
For more Info, PLEASE contact Harry Phelan (DRABCAP Secretary) at 041-9830335. Any publicity you can give the campaign in Drogheda VERY WELCOME.
Frank Gallagher (Vice-Chair). DRABCAP
More on the bin tax at http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html
As well as writting a letter to us at WSM, PO Box 1528, Dublin 8 you can also comment on any of the articles in this issue at www.struggle.ws/wsm/comment.html
This edition is No69 published in March 2002