Friday, November 28, 2014

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Rosevale Resolve

Having wanted to write something in acknowledgement of those redoubtable residents of Drogheda’s Rosevale estate, where I live, who for two full days mounted determined opposition to the incursion into their neighbourhood by Irish Water profiteers, the opportunity was simply not available. Most of my time was either spent on the street or immersed in discussion with other residents about our next move. When I did make it over the portal of my door, the god of sleep had to be appeased.

Although out of the house at 6 this morning and on the streets in anticipation of a new infringement by Irish Water’s front company, Coffey’s, we dispersed shortly after 9, when it seemed likely that for today at least, water profiteering would be giving Rosevale something of a wide berth despite its unfinished business. They had targeted Meadowview this morning which is just across the road from where we live. Twice, out of curiosity, I entered Meadowview before noon. Apart from a few water signs up in the homes of some spirited residents, the water money men were digging, literally, deep into the estate. They will dig even deeper into pockets of those living there when the extortionist bills eventually arrive. 

As it happened, there was some activity around lunchtime in Rosevale. The meter enforcers made a foray in to retrieve their plastic exclusion barriers. Unlike the previous two days, there was no standoff. The enforcers, tails between legs, hauled their equipment out by hand knowing any vehicle would have faced disruption.

Rosevale is generally quiet. It is hardly known as Red, Rebel or Revolutionary Rosevale. It is not a hotbed of sedition and subversion, insurgents at the ready to take on the state. Garda are rarely seen in this unassuming neighbourhood and when they are, they get a “hello” but no second glance, so unobtrusive is their presence and the absence of hostile intent. What has so animated many of the residents here is the contempt with which they have been treated by the political elite in its willingness to impose yet another exploitative and exorbitant tax on them.

The water that eventually makes its way to our homes after it falls freely from the skies should be paid for. But it should be a societally borne cost funded through a progressive taxation system that guarantees the unremitting redistribution of wealth from the richest in society to the poorest, rather than the plutocratic scam it is at the minute whereby those with little are forced to feed those with plenty.

The economic structure of society favours the rich, it always has. When one of our number was hauled off the street yesterday and threw into a van - not before I had managed to pull his track bottoms up with the help of a garda: he had been almost completely disrobed during his arrest – I wondered why he was in it all on his own. It seemed a complete waste of space in a police detention vehicle with more than enough room for a handful of fat cat bankers alongside a couple of delinquent developers. They deserved to be there. He did not. With those captains of criminal commerce packed inside it The “Paddy wagon” could have been sent off with a sign on the side proclaiming ‘Steals on wheels’: it would be one of those cases of the contents being exactly what it says on the tin.

From my teenage years I have taken part in many protests, the most arduous and sustained of them being the blanket protest of the 1970s and 80s in the H Blocks of Long Kesh. What happened here was short by comparison. But there was a strong sense of moral gratification to be derived from having stood with those people from Rosevale of all age profiles and others who were there out of solidarity, in a battle over that most fundamental of human resources. Water is a substance that should always be commissioned to serve a human thirst and never commercialised to quench the thirst for profit.

Photos by John Smith Photography


Simon said...

With all these sub-contracted firms it will be a tough, almost impossible task to follow the money trail.

Also, with private companies doing the work, they will have to get paid by the public which leads me to believe it will be a profit making exercise not one based on sustainability or conservation. Companies work for profit not philanthropy. Who supplies the profit? The ordinary householder in an unfair, disproportionate manner.

It won't all go towards protecting the water supply or even other public services. Fairness has been replaced by profit and further down the line huge multinationals will go after shares if it is allowed to get that far.

joe cunningham said...

How about this as a truth about Irish Governance

The IMF are to receive 9 Billion Euro from the Irish Government before Christmas.

Question About Blackmail & Extortion by the Troika

Were the IMF Solely or partly responsible for implementing Domestic Water Charges on the Troika Bailout ... If that being the case ...

The IMF - The EU - The ECB are attempting to break an Irish/EU Commission Agreement on Water Charges since September 2000 which was called the " Irish Exemption "

The only way this Agreement can be overturned is by the Consent of the Irish People by Referendum.

Patrick Lynch said...

I was proud to stand with the residents of Rosevale and the residents were lovely people unlike the thugs in uniform who dragged a young man down the street half naked for nothing other than been a peaceful protester. Again it was great to meet you Anthony and during conversations between myself and you and Coffeys foreman it was obvious the foreman was telling lies regarding the safety of the boundary boxes as he was in denial that he knew anything about a high court agreement which deemed the boundary boxes unfit for purpose.