full article: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30597-the-irish-are-fighting-back

Protesters march to the center of Dublin in anger over the government introducing a second charge for household water on November 1, 2014, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo: Simon McLoughlin / Shutterstock.com, Truthout)

Excerpt from the full article:

Syriza has taken power in Greece and Podemos is rising in Spain. And now, people in the Republic of Ireland are fighting back as well, notwithstanding the “model pupil” label ascribed to the country by European elites.

The austerity program imposed by the troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund starting in 2010 stipulated that charges for households’ water consumption should be introduced – a plan that the right-wing government now in power is implementing. Notwithstanding public pronouncements to the contrary, the plan is most likely to eventually privatize Irish Water, the public utility set up to charge citizens for water.

This has provoked a strong popular movement against water charges. Its importance cannot be overstated; it is simply “the largest and broadest, and most sustained, social movement in Ireland since independence in 1921,” as an important new reportconcludes. Communities have been attempting to block the installation of water meters in neighborhoods throughout the country. Nationally, five demonstrations have gathered between 20,000 and 150,000 people. Relative to population, a protest of 100,000 in Ireland is equivalent to 1 million in Spain. Indeed, we are witnessing the “birth of a new civil society.”

Read the full article: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30597-the-irish-are-fighting-back