Thursday, 5 July 2012

Sinn Féin welcomes Anti Household Charge Protesters to Bray Town Council Meeting

Sinn Féin councillors John Brady and Rossa Murray welcomed campaigners
against the unfair Household Charge to Bray Town Councils July monthly
meeting which was held on Tuesday last. The protest which was held
outside the council meeting was timed to coincide with the threatening
letters that have been send out to those people who have failed to pay
the €100 stealth tax. A large group of Sinn Féin supports had joined
in with the protest outside the council meeting to show their
continued opposition to the charge. Towards the end of the protest a
small group broke away and proceeded to enter the council chamber and
interrupt the council meeting.

Speaking after the protest Cllr John Brady stated "Following the first
round of threatening letters that were sent out earlier this week a
protest had been organised to send a clear message to the government
parties that bully boy tactics that are being used by Fine Gael and
Labour simply wont work, the 50% of Wicklow residents who have not
paid the stealth tax done so because of the unfairness of it and
because they simply cant afford it. The protest outside the council
meeting on Tuesday had been joined by a large group of Sinn Féin
members and supports"

Cllr Brady continued "Towards the end of the protest a section of the
protesters broke away and proceeded to enter the council chamber where
the council meeting was taking place. The protesters put across their
message loud and clear, much to the dislike of the majority of the
establishment councillors. The officials and all the councillors
present proceeded to stand up and leave the council chamber with the
exception of the two Sinn Féin councillors myself and councillor
Rossa Murray. We stayed in the chamber and listened to the protest as
we agree on the issue of which formed their protest"

Cllr Murray stated "As someone who has stated publically that i was
not going to pay the Household charge i sat and listened to the
legitimate concerns of the protesters. Dragging ordinary people
through the courts for non payment of the unfair charge stinks of
hypocrisy, the people who have brought this state to its knees are
free to continue living their lavish lifestyles whilst the ordinary
people are forced to pay the cost. The other councillors at the
meeting ran and hid probably because they could not face the truth
from the people on the ground who are hurting because of the policies
of austerity"

Cllr Brady went onto say "The loud protest in the council chamber
lasted about 20 minutes and after the Gardaí were called i addressed
the protesters and welcomed them into the council chamber and stated
that i fully supported their legitimate concerns and i and Sinn Féin
also support the abolishment of the household charge. I also stated
that i had raised the issue of the threatening letters at the council
meeting in Wicklow county council the day before and had voiced my
opposition and Sinn Feins opposition to the charge continuously at
council meetings and had brought a number of motions to that effect
before the councils."

Cllr Brady concluded "The protest ended after Cllr Murray and i gave
assurances that the issue of the household charge and the threatening
letters would be on the agenda and discussed at the next council
meeting. The message that the protest did send out to the government
parties was that they had brought in the unpopular charges and they
had to face up to their policies and try to justify them as opposed to
running and hiding. I look forward to the next council meeting where
the issue will be debated and will again welcome the protesters to
listen to the debate."

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