· Bin Your Bills Protest– Dozens of campaigns committed to boycott launch major demo for April 18th
· Non-Payment Network Appeal campaign groups, community groups & activists to get posters & leaflets into every ‘city, town, village & rural area’ in the country
Speaking at a press conference outside Irish Water to launch the non-payment protest on April 18th Paul Murphy TD said “Our message here today for people is ‘don’t be fooled’. Don’t be fooled by the government’s claims that this charge is about water conservation, don’t be fooled by Minister Kelly’s tough-guy act, don’t be fooled by stories about leaks, don’t be fooled by the big sticks and little carrots.
“Don’t be fooled by them. Mass non-payment of the water charges can defeat the government and their attempts at intimidation. The next step in doing that is the march on April 18th. There are no penalties for non-payment for 15 months. We will have had a general election by then – if we have established mass non-payment as a fact with 40-50% non-payment it will be the key issue of the election. It won’t just be an election where politicians from the government and Fianna Fail get it in the neck over an issue, they will be knocking on doors where 1 out of every two voters will be actively engaged in an act of civil disobedience. It will put so much pressure on all the parties that any government elected will have no choice but to abolish the charge.”
Councillor John Lyons said: “The Government is clearly deluded in thinking that people will respond to the issuing of water charge bills in any way other than with a boycott. In the midst of this mass movement of sustained people power, with close to 500,000 people having marched on the four Right2Water demonstrations over the past six months against the introduction of this hugely regressive austerity measure, for anyone to believe that anything but a nationwide non-payment campaign will emerge in response to the bills is foolish in the extreme. As we speak thousands of new water charges activists throughout the country are busy organising local assembly meetings and protests, spreading the non-payment message, deepening the resistance to the charges in their communities. This is what will force the abolition of the water charges and potentially the downfall of the coalition – people power. And the Government just doesn’t see it coming, this wave of mass civil disobedience. They truly are a cabinet of clowns.”
Councillor Brendan Young from Kildare said “The Non-Payment Network was formed a number of months ago. It is a network of dozens of campaigns from around the country who believe that organised non-payment is the key weapon which we have that can defeat Irish Water and the government and are committed to building for it in their areas and counties.
“There are over 100 other local campaigns that are supporting the protest and we are launching a call to all the campaign groups across the country that supports non-payment to join us and make this protest a significant march that puts non-payment to the fore in the middle of April as the bills are dropping.”
Mandy Shaw from Blanchardstown said “A big protest on the 18th, in the middle of the bills dropping can have an impact and give confidence to people not to pay the bills. We are appealing to all groups, campaigns, community groups, activists to help us make it big. We are producing posters and leaflets that we want to go into every city, town, village, and rural community across the country. We would ask that anyone who wants to see the defeat of these charges gets in touch and gets some material to make sure the word gets out about this protest.”
David Vallely from Limerick said “This is a ‘Bin your Bills’ protest. We are asking people to meet at the Garden of Remembrance at 2PM on the 18th. We will then march through O’Connell Street to the Dail. Once we arrive there we will have wheelie bins on hand so that people can dispose of them and send a non-payment message to the government and Irish Water.”