Pause, For Thought… (we need to stop barking at each other)

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By Collective Ireland

This country is being mismanaged at the behest of external greed, while those we allow to rule remain protected from recourse by the very system they’re abusing yet the Protest Movement is eating itself on NoseBook.

We have given birth to a culture of protest out of sheer necessity. We have a responsibility as protesters to maintain the focus and drive of this movement for change; to educate and inform those still sitting on the fence; to organise and engage intelligently, but above all, we have a responsibility as protesters to act.
Our political decisions enabled this farce and our ability now to think and act politically will determine the outcome.
The alternative we’re looking for will emerge, eventually and organically, once the movement embraces organisation on its own terms. Change, or the desire for an alternative, starts with accepting personal responsibility for the state of affairs this country has become.

That’s the real reason that we’re all in this together.

We are a community of protesters. Personalising the enemy is a tactic we should be engaging against the government, not exploring amongst ourselves. If you want to start targeting, target individual politicians or specific institutions of state, not individual activists or specific communities. As your elected representatives, politicians and the departments they influence, have a duty to engage the business of state on your behalf. Start insisting that on your behalf they disrupt the business of this government. Your representatives exist in and are bound to a system of governance that allows us little or no effective representation. They have all been elected and paid to do little more than talk. Do something about that. Your government is not listening to you. Make your politicians make more noise. They don’t listen to us.

The government have learned to keep us apart, but now, as a nation we must stand together. We should thank Irish Water for focusing our anger. We should thank Irish Water for giving us this chance to unite. Through the establishment of Irish Water, this government has made the mistake of allowing us an opportunity to organise as a nation. Do not falter now. It will never happen again.

If you want something to mull over, think about this –

As this movement for change gathers pace, we have all become aware of the dangers of failing to recognise the Water Charges and the establishment of Irish Water as instruments of austerity.

We already know that the only viable response to Irish Water is, and always has been, mass non-payment of the water charge. You are already winning this fight. See the bigger picture.

Concentrating solely on the installation of meters and the system of billing that Irish Water will attempt to introduce leave this movement for change open to manipulation and exploitation.

We have learned so much, we have learned quickly, and we have learned well. Unless we, the people, continue to inform and educate ourselves on the bigger issues highlighted by the establishment of Irish Water and the attempted introduction of a Water Charge, the movement will become directionless as soon as victory is achieved or even perceived. We must organise outside of professed affiliation to ensure momentum is not lost, or wasted.

This inevitable lack of direction will immediately open the movement up to manipulation by failed or aspiring politicians and exploitation by any opportunist with the sense to hide an agenda. As the movement finds cohesion and gathers behind its various logos and banners, those in positions of influence must educate and inform within the context of this ongoing programme of austerity. It is now ideally placed to communicate to those people who, while understanding the struggles caused by government enforced austerity, may not understand the reasons for the programme of austerity.

When the movement starts to organise, it may branch out into regional variants, identified by association with a common goal. This organisation of the movement, whether intentional or not, allows people to identify themselves as either side of the same coin. This confers great responsibility on those participants in the movement who by accident or design find themselves sitting at the top-table of protest. It is a responsibility that must be accepted as a return on the influence garnered.

Concentrate solely on that which unites us as protesters. Nothing divides a movement like factions. We have a common cause – a real desire for change – and arguing the pertinence of personalities or parties involved in this movement for change will only ever cause division.

Solidarity, above all, is an absolute necessity.

If the movement for change, although organised, fails to offer itself as a solution or an alternative, it must then recognise its ability to endorse or advertise those who will use the movements momentum and influence to gain access to public office.

This matters most as we, the people, are now beginning to see as a direct result of your actions, party members of the over 900 County Councillors and 166 TDs who have failed us all so miserably, scramble to stand on the right side of this argument.

Do not be seduced, you who have been right all along. You are watching rats leap from the sinking ship of this government.

Ask questions. If a movement becomes organised enough to produce its own politicians, what then are the criteria for endorsement? How will the movement for change determine the level or type of support it offers to candidates for election who rally behind its banner?

Recognise and appreciate all you have done since the first few got up off their knees:

Right now, you, and this entire mass of free association, are the movement.
Do not wait to be told or sold an alternative. Do not subscribe to an agenda without consideration of all available information.

You are the only alternative. You decide the agenda.

To stand any chance of affecting real, beneficial change from within the current system of government, we must all start thinking of ourselves as political entities, and talking in a clear, unambiguous manner. Not poking fingers at each other on social media.

Organise yourselves. Act in the best interests of your community. Politicise. Encourage the emergence of a progressive agenda. Have faith in your ability to identify or produce your own representatives from within your own communities. Know enough to provide them with a mandate and become the instrument and originator of the change you desire.

Again, solidarity is an absolute necessity; mass non-payment is the most effective form of resistance. This should be the focus of attention from all protesters, whatever their affiliation, or outlook.
Revolution is the ultimate expression of democracy, but it can only be expressed by the power of people in numbers. It’s time to throw the kitchen sink at them, and if we concentrate we might just, in the process of throwing, learn how to control the opposition.

Join the protests. All the protests.

I’m going to leave you with something i remembered while crawling out of my own arse:
Protesters, you are Ireland. You are more Ireland than this government that has cheated and lied its way into office; you are more Ireland than this state that has used and exploited you under the programme of austerity; you are more Ireland than this conspiracy of politicians and business interests. You are the only alternative.