(article by Christabel Parkhurst.)
Article taken from Issue #4 of THE PEOPLE’S PAPER
‘Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people,
Who will not be slaves again!’
In ‘Les Miserables’, revolution is made by photogenic actors singing harmonies. Eating rats and corpses doesn’t figure in the film or theatrical versions. In reality, the French Revolution was far from bloodless; beheading your aristocracy was the way to achieve democracy in those bad old days.
For years, Irish people have kept calm and carried on. We have paid our bills and taxes to prop up a rotten system and to keep our oppressors in the lavish lifestyles they think they are entitled to.
That gallant man, James Connolly, if he were alive, where would he be today? At another banquet in Leinster House? Complacently accepting another bonus, another pension? Driving past our banners in his official car (paid for with our money, of course)?
No! He would be with us, calling for justice – not in the narrow legal sense which our political masters hide behind, but for the social, natural and humane justice we are demanding.
The anti-Water Charges demo in Dublin on Sept 17th showed the Dáil that our values have not changed. We, the people, have reached the point of no return. In a world that has lost its values, where law-abiding citizens have been forced to break a law that was passed with no proper debate, we say no.
The law may say water is a marketable commodity, but we know it to be a basic human right.
Some TDs are beginning to understand this.
In the Irish Examiner, Sept 19th, Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Byrne: “I believe water charges are gone and I don’t believe they’re coming back…At the moment, there’s no majority possible in the Dáil to reintroduce water charges. That’s the political reality that we accept.”
Paul Melia, the Independent’s Environment Editor, speaking to Broadsheet.ie:‘TDs will ultimately decide whether or not domestic water charges are reintroduced or whether they’re abolished permanently… the political temperature at this stage certainly is that they’re not going to be reintroduced.’
That the ‘political temperature’’ has changed is due to our actions and our continued opposition. Tens of thousands marching in Dublin drives home our message. Water must be paid for from taxation, as it currently is.
I believe James Connolly, who asked the question ‘Who owns the land?’, marched with us in spirit, supporting the people whose rights he fought and died for. His spirit will be with us until we have achieved our peaceful revolution.