The victory of Syriza in the Greek general election of 25 January was, by any standards, an historic event. At last! At last! After decades of right wing and neoliberal domination, including under the guise of ‘mainstream’ labour and social democracy, there was a government of the radical left in Europe, a government committed to ending the brutal austerity which had inflicted so much suffering on the people of Greece, the people of Ireland, and to a greater or lesser extent, all the people of Europe.
The battle against the water charges remains the lightning rod for the whole struggle against austerity in Ireland. The massive mobilizations of October 11, November 1 and December 10 2014 rocked the government back on its heals, won major concessions making it very difficult to enforce payment, and so altered the political landscape as to open up the possibility, at least, of a Sinn Fein led ‘left’ government.
In the present situation achieving the largest and widest possible mobilization for the next national demonstration on 21 March is essential in order to counter the demonisation, regain the momentum and reinforce people’s confidence for nonpayment. International solidarity, particularly with Greece, and unity can also be a significant theme on the 21st which is also UN Anti-Racism Day when there will be marches in Greece, UK and many other countries.