Tag Archive for right2water

Time to step up the struggle for water

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The water movement, in all its manifestations and sometimes confusion, has been the biggest and most successful working class mobilisation in decades. This is in large part thanks to the thousands of activists all over Ireland. The movement is urban and rural. It has been an education process for everyone involved and opened many eyes to just how rotten the capitalist system and Irish State are. It is vital that momentum isnt lost just as the movement is on the very of victory. It is vital the movement remains on the street and the politics of the movement remains in the grassroots. If we allow, or pass to, elected representatives the political power this movement holds it will be a disaster for both the immediate goal but also the long term need to build on this great political class mobilisation.

Below is the editorial from the March issue of Socialist Voice available online at http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/index.html and is an important read for activists.

It is a matter of urgency for working people once again to mobilise, to get back on the streets to press home our demands for an end to water charges and, most importantly, for a constitutional amendment to enshrine the people’s ownership of water—not state ownership, because the state belongs to the rich and powerful.
Regardless of the negotiations now under way about the formation of a new government, which will only continue the policies of the previous two, we must not allow ourselves to bargain away all our hard work, the early-morning blocking of the installation of water meters, the local and national mass demonstrations.
Water activists urgently need to rally together to impose our agenda on the current political flux, and not allow them to impose their agenda on us. Fianna Fáil say they want to postpone charges for five years and to break up Irish Water; this is only a tactical matter for them in order to squeeze the momentum out of the mass mobilisation.
The establishment is mounting a counter-attack on those opposed to water charges. Its strategy is to play the long game and break the people’s resistance. Although the manner in which this valuable resource is managed is important, it is not the central question we face. What is central is the ownership of our water resources; our demand is therefore for a constitutional amendment. This is the only way to block privatisation. It becomes even more urgent when we realise that the TTIP and CETA, once enacted, could make this impossible.
We have to take advantage of the current political situation and use it to our advantage. Teachtaí Dála have been elected on the promise to end water charges and secure a constitutional amendment. They must be held to account. We cannot allow our struggle to be wasted on tactical manoeuvring for perceived political advantage, nor to be sidetracked by political sectarianism and petty point-scoring.
As the dust from the elections begins to settle, a number of things are becoming much clearer. Certainly the continued growth in the anti-establishment vote is to be welcomed, especially if we add to it the significant numbers of people who did not come out to vote at all because of their disillusionment with the politics presented to them.
All the main electoral parties and blocs, including those that stood on an anti-establishment platform, argued very much within the existing system. They allowed themselves to be corralled within the narrow ideological framework, some of them presenting their alternative economic and social policies with the boast that they had been fully costed by the Department of Finance! This implies that the Department of Finance and the state in general are neutral, above the cut and thrust of politics, above siding with any particular class interests. The reality is that the Department of Finance is the guardian of the interests of the economic system as a whole, that it takes direct orders from Brussels and Berlin.
A big effort now, especially before a new government emerges from the whisperings in Leinster House, can achieve not merely a moratorium on water charges but a major victory, consolidated with a constitutional amendment.

 

 

CPI encourages active engagement in the right2change initiative

By Eugene McCarten

Taken from this months Socialist Voice at http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/02-right2change.html

The trade unions that, together with the communities resisting the imposing of water charges, have been the mainstay of the Right2Water campaign have taken a bold initiative in launching the Right2Change consultative process.
They are sponsoring what will be a whole series of public forums around the 26 Counties. The first series of meetings took place in late September, with more being planned for October and November.
These forums will provide an opportunity for the trade unions and the communities to come together, to share experience and learn from each other. The unions have developed a policy platform on which they wish to engage the communities in the period coming up to the general election. They have developed policy positions on a number of important areas, including the following:
• Right2Water
• Right2Democratic Reform
• Right2Jobs and Decent Work
• Right2Health
• Right2Housing
• Right2Education
• Right2Debt Justice
• Right2Equality
• Right2National Resources
• Right2Sustainable Environment
In their statement they outline a series of political principles that should underpin a future progressive government. These were first presented in draft form to a May Day conference organised by the Right2Water unions, which was followed by a consultation process that culminated in a conference in June that amended and adopted those principles. The document emerging from that process addresses a range of areas, including housing, health, education, and water.
The Right2Change campaign is seeking to win public and political support for what its spokesperson, Brendan Ogle, termed “a fundamental change in the way we view our economy and our society.
“These policy principles are merely a starting point,” he said. “That is why, in the coming weeks, we will be organising meetings throughout the country to continue the process of consultation started on May Day.”
The unions have published a fiscal framework that could allow a progressive government to increase spending by more than €9 billion over the next four years, allowing a future government to tackle some of the biggest crises in the state.
Right2Water and Right2Change are encouraging everybody to come along to these meetings as we all endeavour to make Ireland a better, fairer country. Everyone concerned about the future of our country should actively engage with these forums.
The CPI will be attending, presenting its ideas and demands in relation to the debt, membership of the EU, and the euro, as well as arguing for a much more radical transformative strategy, one that is aimed at weakening and breaking the power of capital and strengthening the power and capacity of the working class to defend and advance its own economic and political goals.
This is a battle for a new way forward, to lay before the people the central challenges they face and the fact that there is no simple or easy way forward, that they should not allow their anger and their independent demands to be drawn into mere electoralism, buried in parliamentary procedures and rules.

Right2Change

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This document is the outcome of an extensive consultation process between individuals, community groups, trade unionists, political parties and independent representatives – all of whom have been involved in the anti-water charges movement. Approximately 150 detailed submissions were received and two separate conferences of 200 activists made amendments to the policies identified.

The purpose of this process is to help facilitate a new type of politics which will deliver a fairer Ireland for all. One that is based on the principles of democracy, equality and social justice. We have identified ten basic policy principles which we believe should be the minimum obligation for any progressive Irish government. The right to water, decent work, housing, health, debt justice, education, democratic reform, equality, a sustainable environment and national resources, are a priority for the people of Ireland.

The full document is available at http://www.right2water.ie/sites/default/files/media/Right2Change%20Policies.pdf

CPI submission to R2W

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The full CPI submission to right2water CPI r2w submission

We submit these ideas as a contribution to what we believe is a necessary debate, onethat needs to take place not only within the trade union movement but also within communities throughout our country. We believe that the time has passed for patching up a system that has only offered, and can only offer, poverty, inequality, precarious employment, low wages, and few real rights for workers.

The capitalist economic system prevents the development of a truly just and democratic society—a society in which men and women are equal, a society built on respect for both age and youth, in which our culture and language are respected and encouraged, in which the public good is given priority over markets and profits, in which we have control and influence over all aspects of our lives: in our places of work, in our communities, within our families—an economic system serving the working people.

We believe that socialism—the social ownership of the means of reproducing the material needs of life, to be held and used in common by and for the people—is the only way that a decent society can be built.

 

A New Fiscal Framework For a Progressive Government

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When a new progressive government takes office after the next election it will face considerable challenges – in particular, the need to drive investment in our economic and social infrastructure.  Years of recession, stagnation and austerity have produced a debilitated economy and a society riven with deprivation and lost opportunities.

On June 13th the Right2Water trade unions will host a major and unique event.  Representatives of trade unions, civil society organisations, Right2Water groups and progressive political parties and independents will debate the policy principles that will inform the new government:  decent work, debt justice, public services and social protection, natural resources, indigenous enterprise, political reform to name just a few topics.

In this document – ‘A New Fiscal Framework for a Progressive Government’ – we outline how we can maximise the resources that will enable the necessary investment to transform these policy principles into reality.  We publish this analysis as a contribution to a continuing debate – as a guideline and an invitation to others to participate, to bring forward their own analysis, estimates and priorities.

R2W Unions Fiscal Framework Document

Most of all, it shows what a new government committed to democracy, economic justice and an inclusive-recovery can do.

We look forward to the coming debate.

And we look forward to the prospect of electing the first left-led government in the history of the state – a government that will take us down a better pathway.

Yours sincerely

John Douglas

Stevie Fitzpatrick

Jimmy Kelly

Eoin Ronayne

Billy Wall