Right2Water campaign calls for local protests on Saturday, 23rd January

The Right2Water campaign has called for a series of nationwide demonstrations to take place on Saturday, 23rd January 2016 – including a major demonstration in Dublin city centre.

The Right2Water campaign includes political parties, community groups and six trade unions including the CPSU, CWU, Mandate, OPATSI, TEEU and Unite Trade Union.

Right2Water spokesperson, Brendan Ogle said: “We said at the beginning of the campaign that we would make water the number one issue in the run up to the general election and today’s announcement will go some way to making sure that is the case.

“2016 is going to be the year of change in Ireland and that change begins on Saturday, 23rd of January. The best and most efficient way to pay for water is through general taxation, which is progressive and fair. Ireland is currently the only country in the EU which is guaranteed to not have water poverty – and we should keep it that way,” he said.

“We’ve won the argument and the hundreds of thousands of people who have attended the Right2Water demonstrations have made their voices clear, they want water charges abolished and they want a political system that represents them and their families.”

Mr Ogle added, “That’s why we’re calling on every community group, political party member and every trade unionist to get involved and mobilise for their local demonstration. Change will only happen if we demand it.”

Right2Water has so far hosted five demonstrations with more than half a million people attending. Saturday the 23rd will be the sixth demonstration but Right2Water said there would be another one immediately ahead of the general election.

John Douglas, spokesperson for the Right2Water campaign said, “What we’ve announced today is a set of local demonstrations in every constituency across the country, but we will also host a major national demonstration in Dublin before the general election. That will most likely occur on the Saturday before the election.”

He added, “Water charges have become a focal point for a wider anti-austerity campaign. The charges are regressive and unfair and will disproportionately target the least well off in our society. What we’ve been pointing out all along is that there is a better, fairer way to pay for water, and that’s through general taxation.”

More information on the demonstrations will be revealed in the coming weeks.