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South Africa Anti-War Coalition & Palestine Solidarity Support for Shannon Bush Demos & Mary Kelly

category international | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Sunday June 20, 2004 23:51author by published by Global Women's Strikeauthor email womenstrike8m at server101 dot comauthor phone 087 7838688 Report this post to the editors

The South African Anti-War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Committee send a message of support to Mary Kelly and the anti war movement in Ireland, which is organising to protest against George W. Bush as he lands at Shannon airport, in the West of Ireland, on Friday 25th June...

This statement has come from a movement which is a direct continuation of
the great movement against apartheid. As with the anti-apartheid movement,
the women are the most active, this time struggling against the privatisation of essential resources such as water and electricity. Companies like Bechtel which are profiteering in Iraq are also attempting to deny communities in the townships of Soweto and elsewhere, what they need to stay alive. The ANC government is colluding in this theft.
When the movement in South Africa was informed about Mary Kelly's case by a
supporter of the Global Women's Strike there, they wrote to support the anti-war and anti-occupation network and activities which have coalesced in Ireland around the trial.

- Global Women's Strike, Galway, Ireland

Message of Support

The South African Anti-War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Committee send a message of support to Mary Kelly and the anti war movement in Ireland, which is organising to protest against George W. Bush as he lands at Shannon airport, in the West of Ireland, on Friday 25th June.

The action of Mary Kelly, a mother of four and a nurse, who decommissioned a US warplane with an axe at Shannon airport in January 2003, is one that we fully endorse and support. As she said in her statements, she acted to prevent the killing of innocent women, children and men in Iraq, and in line with the principles established at the Nuremberg war-crimes tribunal of 1945-46: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore [individuals] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring”. All over the world, women are overwhelmingly against war. As a mother and a nurse, Mary acted to save life. How could anyone fail to support any woman who does that?

Yet, as we write, she is being tried for the second time. If convicted, she faces 10 years in prison. On the other hand, war criminals such as George W Bush, Tony Blair, Sharon and their gangs, who launched a campaign of mass murder and destruction in the Middle East, are granted impunity for their heinous crimes.

It’s not Mary Kelly who should be tried, but those who have put at least 40,000 Iraqi citizens and 800 US soldiers to death in an illegal war; who allow and cover up the systematic use of torture, including rape, against Iraqi women, children and men; who support and fund the criminal war against the Palestinian people waged by the Government of Israel.

As one of these unrepentant warmongers, George W. Bush, is due to arrive at Shannon airport for a visit to Ireland on Friday 25th June, the Irish Government has planned to restrict movement around the area and even to implement security measures reminiscent of the infamous “pass laws” under apartheid here in South Africa.

We want to send our message of support to the local residents and the grassroots anti-war movement in Ireland, who are determined to challenge this restriction of civil liberties and go ahead with their protest against Bush’s visit. The actions of your movement, which has consistently campaigned to expose the illegal use of an Irish civilian airport by the US army and engaged in non violent direct actions to stop the US military’s use of Shannon refuelling facilities, are a point of reference for us. In South Africa we have all heard about your campaign and are inspired by it.

The ongoing war in Iraq and the slaughter of Palestinian people are part of a global war against the poor. As a growing amount of money is diverted to fund the skyrocketing military budgets of the US and its allies, communities in South Africa and the rest of the global South are facing increasing restrictions to the access to basic resources such as land, education, healthcare, water, electricity and housing. In expressing our support to Mary Kelly and those who are organising in Ireland against the US military machine, we want to reiterate that your struggles are our struggles.

16 June 2004

Anti-War Coalition - South Africa
Palestine Solidarity Committee - South Africa

Tel: +27 - 082 3329874; 082 6829177; 081 5742674; 083 5652646

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