Sinn Féin’s opposition to household and water taxes worthless if not matched with call for mass boycott
Responding to the interview given by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams this morning where he categorically opposed the tactic of non-payment of the household charge as advocated by the Campaign Against the Household & Water Taxes, Socialist Party Councillor and candidate for the Dublin West by-election Ruth Coppinger said:
The lessons of the victorious campaign against the water charges in the 1990s in Dublin and the Anti Poll Tax Campaign in Britain in the late 1980s and early 90s teach us that mass non-payment is the bedrock of defeating unjust taxes.
This is a lesson which obviously means nothing the Gerry Adams who this morning while being against the Household Tax categorically opposed a campaign of non-payment. This is not a credible position for a party which poses itself as offering a radical alternative.
It will likely come as a disappointment to many who voted for Sinn Féin and possibly even some of their rank and file members that the party leadership’s opposition to these unfair charges amounts to moaning but ultimate acquiescence.
The Socialist Party along with our allies in the United Left Alliance and many other organisations of the left, residents associations and ordinary trade union and community activists are however committed to building the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes on the principle of non-payment. Sinn Féin voters and ordinary members who back non-payment will find themselves very welcome in the campaign.
The CAHWT has a successful national forum last Saturday with 200 plus in attendance from across the country. Going forward from this there will be 80 to 100 public meetings across Dublin in the coming months including eight in the Dublin West constituency.
Scores more meetings will take place across the country thus in January if the government follow through on their threat to implement the charge people will know that their is a mass grassroots campaign in place that can repeat the success of past boycott campaigns. It seems all this will have to be achieved in the face of Sinn Féin abstention!