As we write there is an occupation of sorts in Kilkenny’s Revenue Office. Those pictured represent the Carlow & Kilkenny Campaign Against Water & Household Tax (CAWHT). We have a Press Statement below.
The ongoing campaign against the Household Charge has seen itself morph from one name to the next and from what we gather there is a degree of discontent amongst the ranks as power struggles threaten to estrange individuals and wings from the body politic. However, the discussions over whichever acronym that plasters the black & yellow banners and posters haven’t discouraged the nationwide movement using more and more direct action.
Some of the most spectacular actions have been most recently which saw plain clothes Gardaí sitting in council chambers waiting for protestors before tackling them to the ground and injuring at least one by smacking his head on the wall. MEP Paul Murphy was tackled and pinned to the ground and handcuffed.
As a grass-roots movement the CAWHT/CAPTA seems to be going strong and not one that should be dismissed out of hand as Enda Kenny and Phil Hogan have attempted to do.
Press Statement from this morning’s occupiers (they have left the building as of time of publication)
The CAHWT and its members refuse to be intimidated by either the government or Revenue and will defeat what Enda Kenny described as “morally wrong, unfair & unjust” taxes on the family home.
Members or the Carlow CAHWT are currently occupying the Revenue offices in Kilkenny in protest at the introduction of the new property tax, which is being passed to the revenue for implementation from July under the draconian legislation published in last year’s budget.
The CAHWT protesters are appealing to workers within Revenue to support their families, friends, neighbours, and fellow citizens by refusing to do the job of tax collector for absentee landlords by collecting the regressive tax in July. The CPSU is a decent union and workers should ask for it to support them in downing tools when they are asked to process the poor and struggling middle class, many of whom are not even working at the moment.
“We are not directing our protest at the workers here today but we are making a political point and looking for workers and the unemployed to back each other as we are all being affected by these economically insane measures, none of us are exempt, this is our not our debt and it’s definitely not the next generation’s debt!” local activist Keith Gilligan explained.
Kevin Brady of the campaign, “The majority of the country have already paid stamp duty which makes this double taxation, this is a bailout tax and completely regressive in any case, and the people of this country will see no benefit from it. It has already been spent on the banking bailout and paying off bondholders – It’s definitely not going to local services as they’ve been downgraded across the country.”
This protest will be the first of many against the new property tax & campaign will also fight against the installation of water meters. Under EU Law, any organisation charging for a service is subject to competition regulations. In short, the setting up of Irish Water will lead to the privatisation of our water. We will do whatever is necessary to stop this from happening. We cannot continue to give away our natural resources or passively accepting austerity as the medicine is killing the patient.