Over 80,000 take to the streets of Dublin to say water is a Human Right!
Watch our video report of this magnificent protest for the Right2Water.
Well over 80,000 people from all over Ireland have attended the National Demonstration organised by Right2Water 29 August.
The Right2Water campaign is a broad alliance comprising trade unions, political parties, independent TDs, and a range of community groups. It has one core premise – that water is a human right – and one core demand: the abolition of domestic water charges.
“Today saw between 80,000 and 100,000 people from all over the country gather in Dublin to restate our demand for the abolition of water charges. The Right2Water campaign will continue until that objective is achieved”, said a spokesperson for the campaign.
It was clear from the outset when we joined the protest at Connolly train station that this was about more than water.
Pearl Lumsden said ‘Water is a gift from God and they want to take it from us”.
Bernie Hughes, a well known activist from Finglas said that no more do we want to see ahomeless person on the street or being evicted from their home. Peter Kelly from Dublin’s Kilbarrack questioned the humanity of anyone who would charge for water.
Unite’s regional secretary for Ireland Jimmy Kelly, reminded protesters that “we are winning and they are losing”. Mandate’s General Secretary, John Douglas questioned the values of a government that chose to spend millions on consultants while people were being made homeless.
Sinn Fein TD Mary Lou McDonald said that this movement was clearly not going away. Councillor Brid Smith, said it was important to replace the Labour Party that was in the trade union movement with a politics that was representative of its members and would fight in solidarity with workers.
Community activists of all ages from around the country proved the size and nature of this mass movement. Jamie Harrington from Dublin said “I’m 16 and I know the government is crap, my friends know the Government is crap, the only ones who don’t know is themselves”. Sinead Stewart represented Donegal, Karen Collins represented Cork.
As always, the Right2water didn’t just have speeches. Poet Stephen Murney’s epic lyrical diatribe electrified the assembled crowds in the pouring rain. Evelin Campell, a veteran performer of the movement played while the legendary Irish artist Don Baker and his band welcomed the crowds and also performed with the Rolling Tav Revue to close proceedings.
One thing’s clear, this mass movement is not going away. It is changing the political landscape of the Republic of Ireland.
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