The Blue Planet Project recommends From Bended Knee to a New Republic: How the Fight for Water is Changing Ireland by Brendan Ogle.
Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow says on the book cover, “You have in your hands the inside story of one of the most important water justice fights in the world. We have watched from afar as the strong people of Ireland looked greedy power in the face and said, ‘Not here you don’t, not with our water!’ Brendan Ogle brings you into the heart of this struggle and challenges us to fight for justice with all our power.”
Barlow has explained, “In May 2011 the government of Ireland signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to reform its water sector to comply with strict new austerity measures. The government then established a public water utility called Irish Water, with a clear mandate to operate as a private company. In exchange for a bailout of at least €65billion for the country, the MOU required that ‘public provision of water services is to end and this function is to be transferred to a utility company’, and it further committed Ireland to move toward full cost recovery through water metering. Water resources are abundant in Ireland, and until the creation of the new utility, water services for residents had been delivered free of charge. Costs were paid for through tax revenues and by charging commercial users.”
That situation led to massive protests and civil disobedience.
As noted in the promotion for From Bended Knee to a New Republic, “This book captures all the colour, noise, and excitement as a nation in ‘national collective trauma’ from a disastrous economic collapse finally finds its voice after years of enforced austerity. It describes how ordinary workers and citizens can defeat corporate greed and State power in spectacular terms. This is the inside story of how a changed, more equal Ireland is emerging and what its place is in the wider European Union and beyond.”
To order your copy of this 298-page book, please click here.
The Blue Planet Project stands in solidarity with the water justice and anti-austerity movements in Ireland.
For our campaign blogs about this struggle, click here.