A flavour of the anti-water charges campaign in Cobh

The following are Facebook posts by two of the women at the centre of the Cobh opposition to water charges which give a little bit of an idea about what is happening here. Both these posts were following the government’s announcement of their retreat on the water charges and in the context of a handful of people in Cobh seeking to undermine the continuing protests.

Firstly from Ciara who is in her early 20s and became actively involved a couple of months ago when Irish Water first showed signs of coming to Cobh. Her commitment, drive and organisational skills saw her quickly become central to the “spotters” teams (the people who watch out for and follow Irish Water vehicles) and she is now one of the leading members of the coordinating committee.

Just to clear some stuff up that i’m sure lots of people are wondering in regards to those of us out protesting,NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON has asked for free food, it was all given to the people out of the goodness of the business owners heart to show support to those of us standing up for our rights. EVERY estate has been given a token of their support,not just council estates. Regardless of whether we work or not, we put in longer hours than an average working week. We dont look for pay,praise or free food. We simply believe in standing up for our rights and the rights of those who are unable to for whatever reason. I am a mother and a student, have my own home, pay my own bills etc. etc. So who is anyone to judge me or anyone else exercising their right to protest? And sorry to tell the nay sayers in Cobh that ye are in the minority now so, yes, COBH SAYS NO!!! Ye will thank us when ye dont have an extra bill to pay! And FYI those of ye putting us down ye arent invited to the celebratory party when we beat this outrageous tax the government is forcing on us!!

And now from Karen who came to the first public meeting of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes back in November 2011. She was actually primarily there just to give a lift to her mother but found herself inspired by the meeting and got involved in the activist group that was set up. We soon discovered she had a natural flair for public speaking and she is now the main public spokesperson for Cobh Says No.

Karen was also one of the key elements to the continuation of the Cobh group when the CAHWT collapsed in 2013 and is now one of the central leaders of Cobh Says No.

The struggle that we are presently involved in has united us within a common cause that is for the abolishment of IW. We have learned so much about ourselves and each other these past few weeks. We have stood with old friends and have made new friends along the way. We must remember that beyond this struggle lies the promise of a better way of being for each one of us. Our struggle is not exclusive. All working class people must reach out to one another and break down the walls that divide us. We must remember that our fight is a global one and we must respond accordingly. Weather a person is a single mother, a traveller, a resident in a direct provision center, an immigrant or born and bred here this struggle belongs to each of us, it is ours to own and to shape. President Higgins spoke out against Direct Provision and rightly so. He should now continue to speak out about all injustices that the working class are subjected too. Until then we will unite and make the dream of a better world a reality for all.

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