Josephine Freehily launched the Revenue Commissioners campaign on the Property Tax by announcing, “you cannot hide from Revenue.” The Campaign Against Home & Water Taxes will not be hiding anywhere – we will be launching a massive campaign of opposition to this hated tax over the next three months.
One thing is certain. If the campaign is to have a real chance of winning, it needs the active participation of thousands of ordinary people. Last year, it was enough for hundreds of thousands of people to simply boycott the Household Tax. This year, the struggle requires people get active in their local campaigns.
The Campaign has two key tasks; organising sustained political pressure in the communities directed specifically at the Labour Party, and mobilising tens of thousands of people to come to the National Demonstration against the Property Tax in Dublin on 13 April.
As soon as a majority of the Property Tax forms are delivered, local campaigns should organise big public meetings in the communities. These meetings should outline the details of and the arguments against the Property Tax, but they should also be organising meetings. At each meeting, local committees in each area should be set up. These committees should begin to organize the campaign in each area, building pressure on the local TD and advertising and mobilising for the national demonstration.
We need a national movement to force the government back. But we need this movement to have an expression at a very local, grassroots level.
Political pressure is key
Local committees, with people from each estate should discuss what can be done in their area to ratchet up the pressure. Protests at shopping centres and TDs clinics should be organised. The phone numbers of the TDs should be publicised and the local group should organise people to ring the TDs on a rotation basis. The postcard produced by the Campaign, where people pledge not to vote for the Labour Party again is a very successful method of targeting the local TDs.
Build for a massive turnout on 13 April
The National demonstration is not just another march. It is about creating a central point for the hundreds of thousands opposed to this tax to show their opposition. There is obviously massive anger about the Property Tax. But many people are not confident about fighting it.
Therefore the campaign has to pull out all the stops to mobilise people. This can be done by putting up posters and distributing tens of thousands of leaflets, but what will make the crucial difference is everyone who attends the public meetings becoming a recruitment agent for the demo, going into the workplaces, asking their friends and families and knocking on their neighbours doors and asking them to pledge to come to the national demo. Everyone has a role to play.