Brid Smith, an elected Dublin City councilor (Ballyfermot/Drimnagh ward) will run as the People Before Profit candidate in the Dublin constituency for next year’s European elections. Smith is a long-standing campaigner and trade union activist in Unite Trade Union who has played a leading role
in struggles against the bin charges, the property tax and water charges
Commenting today Cllr Smith said:
“I am very pleased to announce that I will be running as People Before Profit’s Dublin candidate for the European elections as part of the fight to build a new force in Irish politics to stand up to this government and to the EU. People Before Profit is that force. We do politics differently. We help to mobilise people in protests and bring “people power’ onto the streets. We campaign in local
communities and help people empower themselves.”
Commenting further Smith said:
“How can billions be allowed to flow freely across the Eurozone when it is allocated to banks and bondholders but governments refuse to invest in public services and protect the interests of working class people? I believe there is an alternative to austerity in Ireland and in Europe. Instead of pouring billions into bailing out banks and bondholders, we can protect our schools and hospitals; we
can invest in jobs and provide for social projection. We need a different Ireland and a different Europe; one that puts the interests of ordinary people before those of bankers and bondholders. My campaign will be part of this urgent struggle.
For further comment / interview contact Brid Smith 087-9090166
ABOUT BRID SMITH
Brid Smith is an elected People Before Profit Dublin City Councillor for the Ballyfermot/Drimnagh Ward. She has played a prominent role in the Council on defending social housing, traveler accommodation and homelessness. Brid has been vocal on womens’ rights and workers rights in Dublin City Council and has challenged the cosy consensus of the Fine Gael/Labour domination of the Council committees.
Brid is a long time community and trade union activist and a committed socialist. Growing up in Dublin Brid was involved in many community and workers campaigns. She worked tirelessly alongside the Dunnes Stores strikers against Apartheid in the 1980's. She was the first female shop steward in Dublin Bus where she worked for four years.
Brid has a keen interest in Dublin's history and was instrumental in proposing the Council’s official commemoration of the 1913 Lockout. She has contributed to developing the rich history of the city by reseaching and writing on one of Dublin's earliest women trade union activists Cissy Cahalane whose story is published in the Irish Labour History magazine, an inspiring life of struggle and work for justice for Dublin's working poor.
“As a socialist and People Before Profit councilor I have been involved in many campaigns for social justice and have been active in the Anti War Movement. I worked as a reporter for the paper Socialist Worker for many years.”
In recent years my work as a full time carer opened my eyes to the lack of support for people working in the home caring for loved ones who are ill and unable to care for themselves. Tens of thousands of decent people do thankless work on a minimum payment from the state while at the same time saving the health services a fortune.
We have had to campaign very hard to maintain minimum respite services for carers.But with a popular movement organized in my community in Ballyfermot, supported by hundreds of families, we showed that people power works and can bring change.”
Prominent in leading the anti bin tax campaign and the campaign against the property tax Brid was one of over twenty people who were jailed for their protest activities in fighting double taxes on working people. Brid led a fantastic mass campaign in the Ballyfermot area on these issues.
Brid Smith is an active member of Unite Trade Union and as a lay tutor she works closely with Shop Stewards from across all industries represented by Unite the Union.
“I was invited to a cross-Europe seminar held in Berlin earlier this month which was set up to discuss An Alternative Europe. From Greece to Belguim activists gathered to discuss what kind of Europe do we want and how we might go about getting it. We have set up a network of NGO’s and activists to pursue policies and politics that will give people across the EU another vision that will work to fight austerity policies and the growth of racism.”