UNITY RIGHT2WATER CONFERENCE- part 1
CHANGE THE ONLY CONSTANT
With an appreciation of each moment in time being new and an attitude that education is a key I attended the Unity Right2Water Conference in Dublin. Torn through time passed between politics and protest I like many others am a sceptic especially of motive, agenda and current political parties who I often have believed should be whipped and not with an olive branch.
Sitting in a room made up of 5 Unions, the political collective defined as the left and my great friends the community activists in the past would have made me feel dishonest. In my own world of balance on the journey from Killarney my mind was cynical along with my heart beating simultaneously with optimism with a view just simply of change that is a necessity in this country of ours.
I have questioned Brendan Ogle and many involved in R2W and probably will again but admire endeavour and courage. Yesterday was a great success and today I personally will thrive on that. I will make no apologies for being myself, living in hope and recognising that change is the only constant in the dream world I fight daily to live in.
John Douglas of Mandate opened with the creation of alternatives a fair society and stated the complete abolition of water charges for the record. Value systems for communities and respect for each other mentioned ensured my interest.
Jimmy Kelly of Unite spoke of genuine unity and the possibilities of building the strength we need politically. Acknowledging that the water campaign brought many together by the infliction of another austerity driven policy that saw on our behalf No Acceptance kept me sitting up.
Konstantina Tsouvala of Syriza related the story of The Squares Movement in Greece and the students who occupied because of the systems Private University agenda verses the greater good of education. The topic of Interface between Social Movement and Politics based on social initiatives and a belief that Greece will come into direct confrontation with the EU along with changes that have happened since the election added to the fascination and opened my eyes further.
Dorothea Haerlin of The Berlin Water Movement made me smile even before she related her story of success and her willingness to continue for significant change. The T-Shirt with the shark and the tap I would like to wear along with the information on Veolia and the payment until 2028 to the PPP’s having won a battle brought me back to our own war and reality Ireland. Having won the first ever Referendum in Berlin against the vultures and her expectation with regard to transparency and democracy this teak tough lady’s group is a must read.
Eduardo Maura of Podemos instilled more faith in me that not only Ireland and Spain are changing the World is. His wonderful narrative that began with a high for me when he brought laughter to the room when declaring the long term traditional two and a half party system in his country fell into disrepute. Life in the EU is a sentence that has broken confidence and has created social problems that have become common, generational and evident in both our countries have led to huge political problems.
The Indignados who in the past many of us were part of without knowing was put in motion when the common sense of the people saw through the corruption of the system kidnapping democracy. I could write all day on this young man’s attitude on “who changes what” the “regime crisis” and the “opening of new ways to common sense” and how quickly things evolved for Podemos from 2014 all pointing towards great change.
Marcus Howard recorded what echoes the discussion by many activists in their respective community groups https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=204&v=2ObgQ4U0hm4 and I would urge all of opinion to listen to what this Professor of Philosophy at University of Madrid and spokesperson for Podemos(YesWeCan) had to say in Dublin and in the very recent past (http://platypus1917.org/…/mas-alla-de-la-izquierda-y-la-de…/)
Paddy Mackel of NIPSA discussed 2006-present in their water wars in the north of the country and the abuse of the economic struggle that like ourselves recognises the overall campaign is a wider struggle.
Stephen Nolan of Trademark Belfast spoke about capitalism, the Global Water Summit in Greece and opened my eyes further at their websitehttp://www.watermeetsmoney.com The Warren Buffet quote ““There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning” is the attitude of the 1% .The Pascal Kerneis idiom “Industry will oppose any deal in which investment protection is traded off against public policy objectives, including human and labour rights” contained in A transatlantic Corporate Bill of Rights and Investor privileges in EU-US trade deal threaten public interest and democracy in 2013 needs to be revisited as TTIP and CETA have only recently been discussed in our public domain.
Rory Hearne among others is one I can easily listen to and would willingly learn from. The actual students on the whole are missing from the grassroots movements and the lecturer from Maynooth by the sincerity of his obvious education and engagement in the struggle for a New Ireland may be the catalyst in forging that essential initiation.
The attitude in Starting Afresh and From Protest to Politics: How Can We Get a New Republic? http://www.irishleftreview.org/…/28/protest-politics-repub…/ are a true tutorial for activists and the left that epitomise his compassion for the Emerald Isle and The State of the same island.
The on-going story that is his work and research in the our most appropriate issues areas of on-going research cover three areas:• The geo-political economy of neoliberalism, theories of the role of the state, privatisation, Public Private Partnerships• Spatial justice, human rights & ‘right to the city’, social movements, left political parties, social justice advocacy• Social housing, community development, urban regeneration.
The young Dr.Hearn wise beyond years makes it clear also, no one party, individual or organisation, no matter how big or small should ‘control’ this new political movement or determine its path. Whoever is willing now to work together to create this new movement should just do it and those who currently do not agree with this strategy should not hold it back.
Michael Taft of Unite and his energy was a pleasure to witness late in the day when really the struggle in the world and Ireland today is the system taking our own most valuable resource. Energy and the depletion of that resource in daily life which I regularly view yesterday saw the most animated or empowered Taft I have viewed to date.
In Ireland for many years his passion for shooting from the hip would have in person decimated the creative writers of the Spring Statement. Having seen Michael speak a number of times in the past yesterday just maybe because of the space I myself was in his narrative was spellbinding and the video of his truth should go viral.