It is regrettable that, having effectively ignored the massive resistance to these water charges until October 11, some media outlets have now turned on those protesters with scurrilous pieces alleging ‘infiltration’ by ‘sinister’ elements.
Between October 11 and November 1 upwards of 300,000 citizens took part in 109 demonstrations against this regressive double tax. These people are members of many political parties and none. Some are trade union members, some are not. Some have protested before, many have not.
But they do have two very important things in common. They all believe water is a human right, and they are all committed to campaigning for the abolition of domestic water charges. These numbers are unprecedented in terms of a political and social campaign in Ireland. As a nation we have never seen anything like the unity of purpose and good humour, coupled with anger and determination to win this campaign, which has been present on these occasions.
Given the huge numbers who have turned out at the demonstrations organised by Right2Water, it is also extraordinary that not a single arrest has occurred for any public order breach.
I am appalled that elements in the media are taking these facts and attempting to spin them into a web of stories of ‘infiltration’, ‘aggression’ and ‘public disorder’. To do so is an insult to readers and ordinary members of the public who have protested peacefully against water charges.