How Did We End Up In A Dublin Water Protest?
It was day two in Dublin, and we were ready to start exploring. We went in search of the Dublin Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tour. We thought it would be a fun way to get a feel for the city, and grab some photos along the way. Off we went, directions in hand. As we neared the River Liffey, we quickly realized something was up!
Thousands of people carrying signs, and chanting were converging onto O’Connell Street from all points. What was going on? We decided to check it out, and somehow ended up in the middle of a Dublin water protest!
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So, what exactly were they protesting? We started talking with the people, and they were more than willing to explain the issue.
Unlike the USA, the people of Ireland have never had their water usage metered. Up until now, water services have been paid through taxation. They consider water a human right and a public good, not a commodity. What a concept! What if we did this worldwide? After all, who really owns water?
I was impressed by the passion of the people, and quite amazed by the amount that came out to protest this issue. It was estimated over 30,000 people participated!
Where have I see that guy in the mask? He looks familiar…
The water protest continued through the streets of Dublin, ending at Leinster House where the Garda (Irish Police) stood ready and waiting for the protesters.
The entire protest had been peaceful… No violence anywhere, so I wasn’t sure what to expect once we saw the Garda with the dogs. What did they think was going to happen? Did they know something we didn’t? We didn’t have to wait long for action… Flares started going off, and there was a jumper! Over the fence he went, and he was running… But, not for long! Garda took him down!
It was reported that he fell inside while trying to get a photo… Hmmmm, don’t know about that. I think if that was they case, he would have been sprawled out on the ground, and not running! However he ended up on the other side didn’t matter much, he was promptly taken away and arrested.
As I was shooting the video on my iPhone, the Irish Times was capturing everything as it unfolded… Was I ever surprised to see I had made it into the Irish Times! That’s me on the other side of the fence, right before the protester was taken down!
Exciting times in Ireland!
If you’d like to learn more about water charges and get involved, you can find information through Right2Water.
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