LAST FRIDAY’S jailing of the Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins and Councillor Clare Daly represents an attempt by the capitalist establishment to intimidate and smash the anti-bin tax movement.
It is an attempt to damage the Socialist Party which has played a leading role in this movement. It must not succeed! It will not succeed!
Our movement is a movement against unjust double taxation. We’ve already paid with our PAYE tax. We refuse to pay twice. The government wants to defeat the anti-bin tax campaign, reintroduce water charges, introduce widescale privatisation and a local tax of up to €1,000.
This campaign must and will not be intimidated by the law. The law is biased totally in favour of the rich. Joe and Clare are in Mountjoy at a time when the Ansbacher millionaires have never seen the inside of a prison cell.
Working class and young people would have no rights today if ordinary people had not been prepared to defy unjust laws. That’s how we won the right to vote. That’s how we won the right to join a union. That’s part of how we’ll beat the bin tax.
They say we are “undermining democracy”. On the contrary we are defending democratic rights: Fingal’s councillors were never elected on a platform of bin taxes and jailings. Joe and Clare made it clear from the start that they should fight the charges down the line.
What is needed now is a mass movement in the unions, communities and colleges prepared to demand the release of the Bin Tax Two, defy unjust laws and defeat the bin tax. In the communities this means continued non-payment, more blockades of bin trucks, and spreading the campaign across the city. For every person arrested five must take their place.
In the unions this means industrial action to demand the release of Joe and Clare, collection of all bins and the abolition of the bin tax. The TEEU trade union will be discussing strike action with 200 shop stewards on Wednesday. Joe and Clare are both members of SIPTU – SIPTU should urgently do the same as should other unions. Rank and file workers and activists should organise this action from below if the union officials are not prepared to do so.
Socialist Party under attack
The jailings of Joe Higgins and Clare Daly represent a serious attack on the Socialist Party. Why is the capitalist establishment so intent on attacking the Socialist Party?
The establishment are quite content to deal with supposed “working class leaders” who play by the rules. Labour Party leaders who can be bought off with a Mercedes, trade union leaders who see the bosses as their “social partners” – these people are welcome to join the club and the process attack the working class people they should be representing.
But working class leaders who stand by their people to the very end, who follow up their words with deeds, and refused to be intimidated by the millionaires laws and newspapers are a different story altogether.
On Sunday night you can tune into “Strumpet City” and look at how their like tried to use the iron fist against leaders like Connolly and Larkin and the workers of Dublin in 1913. Today they use the same approach against the Socialist Party.
We are proud to stand in that tradition and will fight against the bin tax but also for a real change in society.
Changing society – What we stand for
The Socialist Party is opposed to a system which puts the profits of a wealthy minority above the interests of the working class.
We stand for a society where the needs of the working class majority would come first. This means ending the rule of the millionaires and using society’s wealth for the things that matter to people like us – a properly funded health service, a decent education system, a proper minimum wage and good quality affordable housing. That is what a socialist society will look like.
In order to change society we need to things. First of all we need a fight back working class people to tackele the issues we need to sort out and challenge the government and the way the country is run. The anti-bin tax campaign is only the start of that.
Secondly we need a new party made up of working class people fighting for working class people. The leaders of such a party need to be made of people like Joe Higgins and Clare Daly, living on a workers’ wage . Such a party needs to have a vision of a socialist society where big business in publicly owned and democratically-controlled and which is free of inequality and corruption. The Socialist Party is such a party. Join us today.