After Water Charges, Why We Need To Build A Permanent Movement

By Nigel Gallagher, 27th April 2016

From the moment we are born we arrive in a world of pre-existing systems, a healthcare system, an education system, a system of employment, a tax system, and a democratic system. Most people never questioned where these systems came from, how they were created and more importantly for whose benefit they were created. Like gravity we don’t question it we accept it as a universal norm. But if we objectively study history we can only come to the conclusion, all these systems were created in the interests of a once highly visible ruling class (nobility, kings and queens ) and now a less clear ruling class (investment bankers,  speculators,  multi-nationals etc. )


These structures were not created by the 99% who do the work and create the wealth; they were created by the ruling class of that time, to look after their own interests, and enshrine their rotten and rigged systems. Their system presents an illusion of normality, with the appearance of democracy and freedom. But people all over the world are confronting the reality that it will only ever deliver crumbs for the majority of humanity. Occasionally after much struggle, protest and organized mass movements, the working class have fought and gained some concessions and benefits. However, whether it is women’s rights, workers’ rights, gay rights, children’s rights or civil rights the gains had to be fought for. What we have gained is always only temporary and will always be under threat from the elites of this world - particularly in times of crisis. This is why we need to be permanently organised in our resistance. Child benefit, maternity leave, a 39 hour week, are all things that seem permanent but conservatives are constantly looking for ingenious ways to convince society these rights and natural resources are not sustainable however 65 people owning more than half the world’s wealth apparently is perfectly sustainable. “Competitiveness” is another buzz word they use to remove our gains and benefits. They want an environment for business to flourish where as we want an environment for people to flourish.


Water charges were abolished this week due to one thing only; people power, which put massive pressure on the government to bow to the democratic voice of the movement against water charges. People Before Profit and the Anti Austerity Alliance proposed Right 2 Water to the unions and were central in encouraging a grassroots movement and building structures of resistance. In Sligo we organized dozens of street meetings, public meetings, and protests and we prevented water meters being installed in 500 houses in Cranmore. None of this ever would of happened without people getting involved at community level.


Every other political party without exception encourages protest when they are seeking power, but once in power they do everything they can to stop communities from organizing and empowering themselves. This is why PBP is radically different. We encourage permanent grassroots structures and want confident working people organized and ready to mobilize against the next inevitable attack from the elites. Being organized is one thing, but we must have the principles to match. Anti-racism, women’s rights, Gender rights, workers’ rights, a right to a family home and an internationalist outlook must be central in our actions. We will never win unless we become politically aware and awaken movements to the class system that crates division and robs many of their dignity and the necessities of life. All over the 32 counties there are PBP groups organizing and creating solidarity between movements. We must be inclusive and support each town and county, from Wexford to Donegal, from Belfast to Dublin. Don’t just get angry get active and be that change. Join People Before Profit Today. Text JOIN to 087 283 9964