Free the Bin Tax Campaigners
Picket of the Irish Consulate in Cardiff
We handed a letter of protest (below) over the recent jailing of anti-bin tax campaigners to the Consul, signed by prominent Welsh labour movement bodies and a Plaid Cymru Assembly Member (AM).
An Independent AM, John Marek, declined to sign the letter because of environmental issues but agreed to bring the issue of the jailing of peaceful protesters to the British-Irish Parliamentary meeting later this month.
The Irish Consul in Cardiff
An Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern TD, Government of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Free Clare and Joe campaign, C/o 21 Elmwood Drive, Swords, County Dublin
Joe Higgins TD Mountjoy Prison, North Circular Road, Dublin
Councillor Clare Daly Mountjoy Prison, North Circular Road, Dublin
Protest against the jailing of twelve anti-“bin tax” protesters
We the undersigned, wish to protest against the imprisonment of twelve Dublin “bin-tax” protesters.
We believe that the use of such draconian measures against people protesting against an unfair tax is an attack on basic democratic rights and bodes ill for the Irish Presidency of the European Union next year.
We are especially concerned that your government has seen fit to sanction the imprisonment of a mother who is still breast-feeding. It seems that such barbaric actions are designed to attempt to frighten people to stop protesting against an unpopular and unjust tax. We would suggest that it will have the opposite effect.
We will raise throughout the Welsh labour movement the issue of the jailings and the undemocratic imposition of a regressive tax that hits low income families the hardest.
We would warn your government that in Britain the attempt by a Tory government to impose the Poll Tax including the use of imprisonment not only ended in the scrapping of the tax but the fall of the government. Repressive measures always fail in the face of united mass opposition.
We send our warmest support to the thousands of campaigners in Dublin.
Leanne Woods AM (Plaid Cymru Member of the National Assembly for Wales)
Bernard Roome (Welsh National Executive Council member, Communication Workers Union)
Andrew Price (Welsh National Executive Committee member National Association of Teachers in Further and High Education)
Swansea Trades Council
Katrine Williams (President Cardiff Trades Council)
Transport and General Workers Union Branch 4/1 (Visteon, Swansea)
Eva Denyse Thomas (UNISON)