The ‘Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’ group has renewed its appeal to Sinn Fein to support a boycott of water charges in the wake of the huge turn-out on Saturday’s protest march in Dublin.
The call also comes in the wake of Sinn Fein’s by-election defeat to an anti-charges candidate in Dublin South West.
Councillor Micheál Cholm Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig said Saturday’s massive demonstration of 80,000 people has confirmed that a huge wave of opposition has been building against water charges.
“We have seen it locally in the response to meetings and protests. Despondency and resignation have given way to anger and an urge to resist. The clear mood from every activity is that people are ready to heed the call not to pay. The momentum in support of a boycott of water charges is proving to be unstoppable.”
“I believe that we can defeat water charges through building a strong campaign which gives people the confidence to join the boycott in the knowledge that they will be among tens of thousands in Donegal and hundreds of thousands nationally who are standing together. As a public representative I see it as my responsibility to stand with the people on this. That is why I will not pay the charges and why I am supporting the call for a boycott.”
He said he has been very disappointed with Sinn Fein’s position on this issue.
“I believe their voters are also disappointed by their refusal to support the boycott and it has been acknowledged that the mixed messages they gave have cost them dearly in Dublin South West, where a candidate very vocally supporting a water charges boycott was elected instead.”
“I am calling on Sinn Fein to re-assess their position. I welcome their commitment to abolish water charges if part of the next government, but we need a strategy which takes account of the possibility that they may not be part of that government. That strategy is a high level of non-payment through an effective boycott. Unfortunately the reality is that our ability to build a successful boycott campaign is hampered when leading Sinn Fein public representatives, including Pearce Doherty, announce their intention to pay.”
He added that Can’t Pay Won’t Pay would like to see Sinn Fein join them in our call for a boycott, so that we can build the maximum unity of those who are opposed to these unfair and inequitable charges.