Saturday, November 29, 2014

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RNU force Stormont to ban water meters: A victory for the working class!

Stephen McCourt with a piece on civil resistance to the imposition of water meters in the North. Stephen McCourt is political activist with the Republican Network for Unity. His piece featured on the RNU website.

Today it has been revealed that just hours after RNU sabotaged multiple water meters in Belfast, Regional Department Minister Danny Kennedy has said he is to amend the law on water meters, banning further installation of these anti-working class devices.

This latest revelation will certainly leave a few red faces among elected representatives in the Belfast area. We witnessed certain MP’s and councillors jump to the defence of NI Water when RNU originally shone a light on their construction work, we also seen some local political activists and media outlets use the terms ‘scabs’, ‘liars’ and ‘political opportunists’ when describing those who tackled their falsifications head on. They must immediately issue an apology to the working class people, whom they attempted to confuse and betray by defending those who were installing meters by stealth. 

In early October RNU investigated the work being carried out by NI Water and discovered the story they were peddling about ‘upgrading the infrastructure’ was nothing more than a cover story for the real work they were carrying out. They had undertaken work to install boundary boxes, which are a necessary component of water meters. Our activists in Belfast retrieved a boundary box and passed it on to the national and local media, showing journalists how it was used for the attachment of water meters in the process. 

A few weeks later, RNU discovered functioning water meters in West Belfast with the help of a resident in the Suffolk area. We once again exposed this on social media, national and local news outlets, demanding an answer from NI Water about their deliberate falsifications in denying the existence of meters. 

At the start of November a Beechmount resident approached RNU activists to make them aware of a ‘notification for a future bill’ letter being circulated in the West Belfast area. Our activists again put NI Water and their allies in Stormont under pressure by circulating the story and calling on NI Water to explain their position, to which they responded ‘The letter was a mistake’. This prompted the BBC to interview our PRO on the issue which in turn exposed NI Waters disingenuous nature all over the North of Ireland. 

Throughout November RNU engaged in an internal debate to plan a campaign and add coherency and strategy to any future action on the water meters. After much deliberation RNU decided to begin a campaign of sabotaging water meters across the Six Counties. Our activists in West Belfast began the process last night when they sabotaged meters in the Lenadoon and Suffolk area. Just a few hours later Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy announced that he was to seek the amendment of the law, which in future would ban any installation of water meters.

However, while this is victory for the working class people of the Six Counties, there is still much to be done. Water charges will be debated in Stormont in 18 months’ time, so it is up to us, as a single and effective unit to organize and launch a campaign capable of abolishing any such profit driven notions. We forced Stormont to capitulate on the installation of water meters, so we can certainly force them to capitulate on the introduction of water charges.

water meterss
No Water charges
 
  • Below are the links to the work we done to expose and oppose the installation of water meters over the last few months:
 
http://www.republicanunity.org/rnu-expose-disingenuous-ni-water/
 
http://www.republicanunity.org/rnu-discover-functioning-water-meter-in-belfast/
 
http://www.republicanunity.org/water-charges-notification-received-by-residents-in-belfast/
 
http://www.republicanunity.org/rnu-calls-on-the-north-of-ireland-to-actively-oppose-water-meters/
 
http://www.republicanunity.org/rnu-direct-action-against-water-meters/
 
http://www.republicanunity.org/rnu-challenge-ni-water-and-stormont-politicians-to-publish-plans-for-recent-work-in-ardoyne/
 

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