What YOU can do in your local Household tax campaign group to make it more effective (Workers Solidarity Movement)
Local Participation – Get involved with your local campaign group, ensure that it meets up regularly and that decisions are made democratically and through discussion, so that people really have a sense of ownership of the campaign. This method of organising actually encourages participation, as people being asked to carry out tasks such as leafleting through an email or text message is disempowering and feels much like being given orders as opposed to a group of people working towards a common goal to benefit themselves.
Direct Democracy – When several local groups in your area are looking to work together (probably a county-wide area), and in regards to having representation on the national committee, push for a democratic structure based on recallable and mandated delegate meetings in your county area, and delegates from this grouping to the national committee. The local campaign groups should be open to and made up of all the members of the campaign in a given area, and the membership of the campaign should have the final say on how their local campaign is run.
A delegate is a person who is given a mandate by the local campaign group to convey the local group‚Äôs opinions and decisions, and to meet up with other delegates to co-ordinate activities. Delegates should be rotated around the members of the group, and should be instantly recallable if they go against their mandate given to them by the group.
This has been put into effect in the Cork Campaign Against the Household Tax, a report of which can be found at this web address: http://www.wsm.ie/c/building-democracy-cork-delegate-meeting-household-tax
Organising – Talking face-to-face with your neighbours and co-workers is absolutely key for the ideas of the campaign and boycott movement to spread; often an anonymous leaflet put through a letterbox isn’t enough.
To this end, calling around to your neighbours doors with a leaflet to ask them to join the boycott should be a priority activity. However, a small group of activists slowly canvassing a whole town or area will not succeed in time, nor will it grow the campaign or empower people to get involved. Rather, when a neighbour or co-worker is supportive of the campaign, they should be asked to talk to their immediate neighbours and encourage them to get on board, join the campaign and do likewise. The aim is to create a ‘chain-reaction’ of local organisers who work in their own communities, and build self-organisation.
For more information on this method of organising, the ‘organiser model’, please see the article at the following web address: http://www.wsm.ie/c/organiser-model-community-household-tax
Direct Action – Protests and public meetings are a great way of showing strength and should be part of any civil disobedience movement, but the main tactic that will win this struggle is encouraging a massive boycott of the household tax. This is the only way the tax will be beaten. Also, encourage direct action within your local campaign group, and don’t be afraid to protest inside your local TD’s office!
As anarchists, we think the mass direct action is the way to win. This campaign has shown so far that people really are capable of organising themselves and their communities, and are taking power back into their own hands from our elected ‘representatives’ and the government who sit in the Dail. We think that society should be run by those who live and work in it, and that ordinary people are perfectly capable of running society themselves.