Article by James Quigley
At the outset let me say I don't know for sure what to call the Right2Change organisation. Sometimes it goes by the name of Right2Water, other times it is Right2Water Ireland and at other times it is Right2Change. I believe that in 2015 the name was changed to Right2Change. I along with everyone in the Anti Water Charge' campaign are part of Right2Water movement. This is includes Can't Pay Won't Pay, the Anti Austerity Alliance, all independent groups throughout the country and political parties who genuinely support the aims. I will do all that I can to bring about the end of Water Charges, the abolition of the relevant Acts and abolition of the Irish Water Ltd company. I did not agree and still do not agree with the direction Right2Change has taken and I believe this was done in a very questionable manner.
Lost opportunity to build a strong unifying Anti Water Charge campaign
Now Brendan Ogle has called for nationwide demonstrations for Jan 23rd, 2016 and Sinead Stewart is calling a meeting of Right2Change Donegal to organise one in Letterkennny.
This is a unilateral decision by self appointed leaders in Right2Change. It is a lost opportunity to build a strong unified anti water charge force which could include all opposition in the country. It could have been used to reinvigorate the campaign throughout the country but instead it is being used to further individuals' profiles and and party agendas. Who made this decision and why have organisations been left out? To me this decision is not in the interest of the movement but instead it is once again fragmenting and partisan.
It is an exclusionist policy that they are practising and it reflects badly on the overall movement . In fact it points to ' a grab for personal profile' by certain individuals. This is amply portrayed in the first instance by the conferring of self-appointed titles of authority. In normal democratic circumstances these titles are bestowed by the votes of the ordinary membership. This self-conferring is a fraud and says much about the real agendas of the individuals involved and indeed the acquiescence of those at the head of things.
Donegal sham officer board
I see that in the latest local newspapers that Charlie McDyer is chairperson, Owen Curran is spokesperson and Philip McFadden is secretary of Donegal branch. They are calling a meeting on Jan 13th to organise a Rigt2Change demonstration in Letterkenny on Jan 23rd. Who conferred these titles on them and why are they persisting in this sham? If there is an officer board why is Sinead Stewart so prolific on facebook speaking on behalf of Right2Change?
Call for resignations
I call this officer board to step down them to be stop speaking for the movement and stop conferring on themselves the sham titles. The mere fact that Philip McFadden is there puts a lot of people off.
I call on Brendan Ogle and Sinead Stewart to resign and stop speaking for the movement. I have written extensively about some of the terrible things they both have done. I believe they both have done the movement a disservice. They have caused factions and rifts. Surely this is not good for the movement. I can not have anything to do with them and I am ashamed that people in the movement have let them carry on as if nothing has happened despite ample evidence.
Way Forward both nationally and locally
I call on the national movement to re-admit the Anti Austerity Alliance and acknowledge the wrongdoings against them. I call on Donegal Anti Water Charge movement to form a unifying group which would be representative of all strands of opposition in the county. This would include Can't Pay Won't Pay and all non-aligned groups. I call on all political parties to step back, support our campaign and not try to influence it or lead it for political gain. It is a movement of the people and should not be hijacked and should include everyone who is genuinely opposed to Water Charges and Irish Water.
The campaign should call for a strong boycott of water charges and Irish Water. We should not rely on elections or political parties. Any political party can have their own policy but we should encourage them to support us in a boycott.