Grange Gorman blockade successful in bin tax struggle

Last nights (Oct 1 2003) blockade of the Grange Gorman bin truck depot was a success with no truck managing to leave during the three-hour blockade. These were the trucks that were to do the rubbish pick-up in the shopping areas of the city centre.

The blockade started just before 5pm with around a dozen people, which over the next half hour rapidly grew to 60 or so. We marched in a circle outside the gates of the depot effectively preventing any truck leaving.

As usual the Gardai arrived after an hour or so and a half-hearted attempt was made to drive a litter wardens van and the truck through the blockade. However we stood our ground (or rather kept moving in the circle) and the effort was soon given up.

Management at the depot attempted to read some long document through a megaphone but with all the chanting that was going on no one could make out a word of what was being said. They also attempted to take photographs of the protest but desisted when verbally challenged by one protester as another obscured their view by holding a large placard in front of the camera. No serious attempt was made to take peoples names probably because the Gardai realised that we were unlikely to give them.

There was a lot of support from passing traffic with maybe every second car touting its horn. Fortunately the road the deport is on is out of the way so we weren't deafened by a constant barrage of noise.

As time went on more people arrived from work while others left to feed the family etc. I'd guess the largest number at any one time would be around 80 with maybe 120 taking part at one point or another. Most of these were obviously from Cabra and Stoneybatter but a few had come from as far a field as Dun Laoghaire and Clonsilla. Small groups were also there from Finglas and the Liberties.

A highlight of the evening was the arrival of two large pizzas from a pizza delivery company that were shared out amongst those blockading. The depot management refused to allow us to dispose of the empty cartons in the depot but the residents of a house beside the depot put them in their own bin instead.

No trucks left during the protest and as we wound up after 8pm it appeared all the trucks had been parked for the night. Certainly none left in the 10 minutes after the protest had dispersed. These trucks were to do the city centre rubbish pick up and someone who had left the picket early phoned from the city centre to confirm that rubbish there had not been picked up. The isolated nature of this blockade means that the council will by now have been able to get a truck from the morning shift or another depot to do this run. But its clear that a co-ordinated city wide blockade of the three depots could result in rubbish piling up in the city centre, something far more difficult for the councils then rubbish piling up in working class estates.

This blockade again illustrated that we can take the fight to the council rather then waiting for them to pick us off area by area. City wide co-ordination of the campaign needs to shift away from marches and protests in the city centre and towards organising real blockades of depots building towards a citywide blockade of every bin truck. The Grange Gormon blockade organised at very short notice and with real input only from a small number of local campaigns demonstrates that this is very possible.

First posted to indymedia.ie Oct 2003

Report with photos on indymedia

Another report of this blockade on indymedia.ie

Call for Dublin City anti-bin tax campaign combined protest at Grangegorman Depot

WORDS Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )

  


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