Blatant attempt to criminalise the Water Protest movement
The political trial of 18 people who delayed Joan Burton in her car began today. It is an escalation in the attempt to demonise and vilify an entire community for rejecting the Labour Party.
Four AAA members were present in court, as part of the targeting of our own organisation by the Gardai and the establishment. On top of these charges, we have had permission to collect money door to door refused in two Garda districts, including Tallaght and there has been the revelations around Operation Mizen which has seen Gardai carry out surveillance on water charge activists including Paul Murphy TD.
his is part of a pattern to criminalise and hamper the ability of our organisation to operate. In denying us the right to fundraise, the Gardai are directly intervening in the democratic process, this is designed to put Paul Murphy TD and the AAA at a disadvantage compared to other political forces.
The trial could see the unprecedented situation where AAA TD Paul Murphy is re-elected by his constituents in Dublin South West in the up-coming General Election only to be disqualified because of a decision of the courts for taking part in a peaceful protest.
The AAA has been to the fore in its consistent position that the boycott of the charge will defeat the water charges and cause a major political problem for the government, and the 1%. The establishment has decided that the AAA must be singled out to send a message to all working class people that they can take on even the best fighters for the 99%.
We are on the verge of a massive victory on the water charges. If the boycott (still at 52%!) can be maintained into the General Election, whatever government is elected will be put under massive pressure to abolish them.
People are more politically awakened to the purpose of austerity, the lack of a recovery, but more importantly the potential power which they pose when they are organised as a force. Ultimately, whatever happens in this trial, the movement must respond by continuing to become organised, politically active and using the election to elect Left, militant, fighting TDs linked to the struggles.