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We write to you with respect to the so-called National Housing and Homelessness Coalition (NHHC) and a proposed demonstration on 7 April 2018 that involves the Irish Labour Party. The stated reason for this event is to build so called unity around our housing emergency.
However, you have not built a unified policy in this regard with some of you supporting Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) and some of you vehemently opposed to this.
You have not worked together to alleviate the emergency in the Dail, in local Councils or in the Trade Union movement.
Some of you advocate social housing built by private developers while some of you advocate public housing built by local authorities.
Some of you support a national stoppage/strike in pursuit of addressing the emergency and some of you vehemently oppose such a tactic.
And it appears some of you cannot even bring yourselves to describe the ‘emergency’ as an emergency, constantly referring to it as crisis or other such inadequate descriptions.
In fact, it appears the only thing you can all agree on, is to work in a campaign with the Irish Labour Party the result of which will be to allow that shameless party to present themselves as campaigners against the housing emergency rather than what they are, i.e. massive contributors to it and to many other excesses of their austerity agenda.
Following the historic water charges mobilisations, we, the undersigned, are distressed that the radical campaigning which achieved so much in that campaign has been so quickly abandoned by you.
In order to refresh your memories we wish to remind you of the following:
* The Irish Labour Party have never once worked to build a real alternative in Irish politics, instead running into right wing coalition Governments at every opportunity they got throughout their history.
* From 2011-2016 the Irish Labour Party in Government presided over the most vicious austerity programme in our nation’s history having campaigned on an anti-austerity agenda.
* In 2011 the Irish Labour Party campaigned for "Labour’s Way or Frankfurt’s Way" and immediately adopted "Frankfurt’s Way" when in Government.
* They also campaigned specifically in opposition to domestic water charges and immediately agreed to impose them once safely ensconced in Government.
* They even volunteered to take over the water and housing portfolios when Phil Hogan was deposed to Brussels.
* The eagerness with which they tried to ram through their water charges regime involved bullying, threats, accusations, insults and sneers by prominent party spokespeople against the water charges movement.
* The then leader took part in the effective trial of the Jobstown Community over a protracted period when no criminality was found to have been committed by protesters there, or indeed elsewhere.
* From 2014 -2016 the Irish Labour Party presided over the Department of Housing and a massive 90% increase in homelessness.
* The then Irish Labour Party Minister responsible refused to answer questions put by Deputy Boyd Barrett on the developing emergency at Christmas 2015 in Leinster House.
* The current Irish Labour Party Leader, as Joint Minister for Finance from 2011-2016, imposed a regime of the harshest austerity taxes ever against disabled people, sick people, single parents, carers and our struggling younger generation without explanation, regret or apology.
* The Irish Labour Party has at no time offered an apology to those affected by its betrayal from 2011-2016, or at any other time, instead arguing that they played a role in a recovery which for many, including our homeless community, has simply not happened.
* The Irish Labour Party instead played a role in facilitating a wealth transfer upwards, a bail-out of banks and bondholders (including unsecured bondholders), attacked the citizens on their right to water and played a massive role in creating the current housing and homelessness emergency.
* Just two years ago anti homeless bars were erected outside then Labour Social Protection Minister Joan Burton’s Departmental Office In a gesture of mind numbing heartlessness.
Those who support this petition are not prepared under any circumstances to work with the Irish Labour Party which has betrayed its natural constituency one time too many, and too harshly.
We also note that SIPTU and IMPACT leaderships vehemently opposed the anti-water charges movement while supporting Labour in Government from 2011-2016.
If we are to address the Housing Emergency and other issues to build a new republic which cherishes all of its children equally we must stop repeating the mistakes of the past, stop trusting those who have betrayed us over and over and work together only with those forces who are principled, brave and innovative as we did in water the water charges movement.
We call on you now to immediately desist from your damaging behaviour and remove the Irish Labour Party from this and other campaigns and begin to act in the true interests of our citizens.
YOU CAN SUPPORT THIS ACTION FURTHER BY EMAILING YOUR NAME TO: firstname.lastname@example.org and work together to build a TRUE ALTERNATIVE on public housing policy through campaigning, direct action breaking with past failures.
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