By Collective Ireland
To become a community activist, one needs do no more than decide to act.
More importantly, to be accepted by your communities as activists you must act with intent, and you must act now.
You are running out of time, but luckily some of the groundwork is already done:
Thank your government for gifting you, in Irish Water, an enemy that cannot hide behind the abstracts and technicalities of stealth and austerity. It is an enemy you can see, a mistake that the government cannot undo. Your government has provided you with a focal point for every state induced frustration, desperation and disillusionment.
Use that. Your community now has one specific enemy, and it is the chink in the armour of state. More enemies will become obvious in time, and as people make the decision to inform and educate themselves and each other, but the one already here is enough for now. Irish Water must be exploited to maximum effect before your actions help destroy it.
Your protest movement has learned from experience that the most potent signs and symbols of this force for change remain the homemade and handmade signs of individuals and communities. All protest is political. Protest begins in self-interest; protest is how you express discontent. These signs and banners illustrate the sense of urgency and compunction in Ireland’s mass protests.
When an act of protest is branded by a political party, when you allow your cause to become their cause, you are being counter productive, and ultimately divisive. Political affiliation to anything other than your community will discourage potential protesters. Party affiliation will always divide on ideological grounds. Ideologists will always want you to think like them; activists should want you only to think for yourself. By taking the party away from the protest, you remove a potent force for disunity. Your community has by choice declared itself a political unit – it does not need external affiliation to remain political, or to organise effectively. Your job as a community activist is to unite communities behind a political aim, and empower them to achieve their goal.
Community members expressing a desire to get involved have already empowered themselves to the point of action. Exploit this resource. Find a job or a purpose for all volunteers; use whatever abilities are offered to benefit the common cause – by discouraging participation from within your community, you are taking power away. Encourage all action. Your job is to promote community based action, not control it.
Action is advertising your cause, hampering the progress of those you oppose and encouraging those around you to get involved. If power is really only the ability to act, all forms of protest must be encouraged. That is how individuals and communities become empowered.
The community is the basic building block of Irish society.
Each and every act of protest makes a difference.
Protest is your opportunity to unite your communities, and unity based on community is the best weapon of resistance.
Whatever form your protest takes, the choice to move from protest to resistance must be individual. As a community activist you must lead by example.
You will not pay. You will continue to protest. You will inform and you will educate. You will agitate your community into action, and you will help that community make informed political decisions, whatever those decisions prove to be.
Above all you act only at the behest of your community and only for the benefit of your community.
It’s time to become the resistance.
That’s all for now.