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Jailed anti-water tax campaigners go on hunger strike in Ireland, thousands protest

Jailed anti-water tax campaigners go on hunger strike in Ireland, thousands protest

An estimated ten thousand people marched through the Irish capital Dublin in support of two of the jailed anti-water charge protesters who have gone on hunger strike.

Derek Byrne and Paul Moore have been refusing food since Friday morning, according to Audrey Clancy of the ‘Dublin Says No’ group.

RT reports: Thousands of people, led by the families of the jailed protesters met outside Mountjoy prison in Dublin, where they are being held, after marching through the center of the city on Saturday.

“Derek Byrne and Pauly Moore have stopped eating since yesterday,” said Audrey Clancy, who addressed up to 10,000 protesters. “And Derek Byrne has said if he’s not released by Monday he will stop drinking, he will take no fluid intake. These people are putting their lives on the line,” she added, as cited by the Irish Times.

The Irish Prison Service didn’t confirm whether the inmates had gone on hunger strike. Byrne and two other protesters have been sent to jail for 28 days, while Paul Moore and the final demonstrator were given 56-day terms each.

Earlier this week, the court had been shown footage recorded by security firms acting on behalf of water meter installers, GMC Sierra, which showed protesters in and around work stations.

In a statement on February 19, Right2Water, which is leading the campaign against the water tax said it was shocked by the jailing of the protesters.

They described the sentencing as “an unnecessary and provocative decision brought about by an unfair water charge that has already been rejected and cannot work.”

“It is important to remember that these jailings are not as a result of any crime committed, but for a technical ‘contempt’ issue,” the campaign added, according to the Journal.

Meanwhile Paul Murphy from the Socialist Party told demonstrators he was confident they would manage to overturn the government’s decision to introduce the tax.