Yet again the Irish government won’t budge, and once again we are back on the barricades. One hundred thousand people took to the streets today to demand that Enda Kenny’s right-wing government abolish the water charge. No one minds being charged for water, not really. The problem is that we have always been charged for water. Our tax money – of which we pay a great deal – has always covered the cost of providing safe, clean drinking water. Not everyone in Ireland even gets the quality for which they pay. Our new water charge is for water only in name. In actual fact the money raised is to be used to pay back a European bailout given to the Irish government for a debt the richest in the land created. This is why we protest.
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As was to be expected, An Garda Síochána was on the scene in massive numbers with batons, dogs and shields to ensure that people could not walk freely along their own streets, to their own national parliament. Not really much of a democracy. It is class war. The police, the instrument of the state, enforce the will of the corrupt and the privileged, who in turn force the ordinary workers to foot the bill for the corporations and a diseased banking system. Later on in the evening I overheard two bank officials, themselves ordinary workers (albeit in thrall to the sickness), describe the protesters as ‘unemployed scum.’ Many of them are unemployed, and the banking system for which they work made that so.