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Wicklow Home Tax Campaigners on the Offensive

31/10/12

On Saturday, October 27, activists from the County Wicklow branch of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes (CAHWT) went on the offensive. Protestors staged flying pickets on the four government TDs’ constituency offices across the county.

The protests took the form of static pickets and protest marches in the main population centres of Bray, Arklow and Wicklow Town. These protests saw éirígí members from throughout the county take to the streets to support the people in their fight to defeat Big Phil Hogan’s taxes.

Bray

In Bray at midday, local CAHWT activists met at the Holy Redeemer Church on Main Street and marched behind the county campaign banner through the town to Labour TD Anne Ferris’ office where a colourful static picket was held. Following this the campaign marched to Fine Gael TD Simon Harris’ constituency office at Market Court in Bray. While at Harris’ office, campaign activists including éirígí activist Seán Doyle addressed the crowd.

At the same time in Arklow, campaigners from the sea-faring town and surrounding areas, including Avoca and Rathdrum, mustered at Blueshirt TD Billy Timmins’ office on Lower Main Street. A noisy picket was held with chants of “Enda Kenny – Not a Penny” and “Can’t Pay – Won’t Pay”. The protestors also held placards reading ‘Don’t Register – Don’t Pay’. Passers-by signalled their support of the ongoing boycott by joining in the chanting, while those travelling in cars beeped their horns and gave the thumbs up in support.

Arklow

Andrew Doyle’s constituency office on Lower Mall Street in Wicklow Town was the venue of the final protest action in the county which saw the biggest turn out of the day. At 3pm, the county town activists were joined by fellow activists from the Bray and Arklow pickets. This protest consisted of a rally on the street as well as pickets on Wicklow’s Town Hall and Doyle’s office.

Speaking on the day’s campaign actions, éirígí Cill Mhantáin activist Adrian O’Raghallaigh said, “We now have one of the largest display of mass agitation since the land war in the 1880s, when Michael Davitt and Wicklow’s Charles Stewart Parnell encouraged ordinary people to stand up for their rights.

“Then, like now, the establishment threatened and pressurised local communities. Only recently Wicklow County Council sent out 23,000 house tax reminder letters at a cost of €14,000. In several cases even our deceased loved ones were threatened to pay-up or else face court action.”

Wicklow

Adrian continued, “Mayo County Council have already begun to issue summons to those who are taking part in the boycott of the home tax. It can be expected that other counties across the state will follow suit over the coming weeks.

“I would call for people to remain defiant in the face of such intimidation and to join the CAHWT and to attend your local campaign meetings. Come along and get all the up to date information on the legal and political aspects of the boycott campaign. I would also call on CAHWT committees across the state, and residents across Wicklow to do everything in their power to help mobilise their communities for the major national rally against austerity in Dublin on November 24th. The march will assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 1pm.”

 

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