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22 people protest use of Shannon Airport by US Military Today

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Sunday October 31, 2004 16:35author by eeekkk Report this post to the editors

Others protested at the edge of their personal 'exclusion zones'. Bail hearing for 2 Women arrested after spending up to five hours inside the wire happening this evening. Protesters were outnumbered 3/4 to 1 by gardai with Dogs and Horses. Participant said it was 'moving'.

author by Paulpublication date Sun Oct 31, 2004 19:29author email 0439991 at STUDENT dot ul dot ieauthor address author phone 0876122798Report this post to the editors

The vigil that took place today was by turns moving, upsetting and uplifting. A silent march took place from shannon town centre along the dual carriageway in the direction of the airport. Carmen Trotta, from the New York War Resisters League read out names of American soldiers who died while serving in Iraq accompanied by a sombre steady drum beat. At the garda blockade there were speeches, moving some to tears; there was a palpable spirit of solidarity among the small group of us as we knelt in silent reflection before the assembled gardai, before a child's coffin, symbolising the savaged innocence of civilian loss, especially the deaths of thousands of children.
Despite the small number there assembled, RFK's 'tiny ripple of hope' speech came to mind:
"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or strikes out at injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance".

author by Máire Mhic Fhearghusa - Peaceful Means Campaignpublication date Sun Oct 31, 2004 23:02author email Soisceal at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr. President and Prime Minister, Hear;

To address you once more is essential, I fear.

I begged you once to change your stance,

And to stop your constant warring dance.

I wonder why you still further the lie,

That from waging wars no Christian need shy?

The tragedy is that you believe a false spin,

An untruth which leads to evil and sin.

Horrendous though the outcome may be,

You are still unwilling to admit or to see,

That the waging of wars is right out of step,

With the Christian Beatitudes you profess to accept. *1

Responding to our calling as children of God,

Ought to leave us enlightened and so overawed,

That the forces of goodness we would wish to release,

By following only paths of genuine peace.

Alas, our own Taoiseach has abysmally failed,

To listen to thousands of citizens who railed.

He has abandoned the tradition of neutrality,

To enable Sam wage war against humanity.

Ireland`s collaboration in this imperial game,

Has brought conscientious folk nothing but shame.

Christians all the more so ought surely to shrink,

From bringing this world near a disastrous brink.

Though all of humanity are fellow human beings,

Many have been robbed of their economic means.

They had long been promised so much needed relief,

But sanctions and bombings have added to their grief.

Every kind of warfare and environmental mess,

Brings untold suffering and enormous distress.

Shamefacedly oil has been coveted and desired,

To allow standards of living in the west to be highered.

In the garden of Gethsemane Christ taught us to love,

Just after he had prayed to his Father above.

“Put away the sword!” was his important command,

As he accepted his arrest in a manner so grand. *2

No doubt I appear to be labouring the point,

That God will peacemakers with his blessing anoint,

If we profess to be Christians, let us trust in his word,

Resetting our focus, which has long been so blurred.

To believe that the Gospel is a genuine true story,

Will renew people`s hope in Christ`s promise of glory.

May we seek real forgiveness for being mean in the past,

As we justified wars that bring peace that can`t last.

Let us follow the example of the Saviour divine,

Who promised humanity a destiny so fine.

Let `s call for a mindset that can bring peace here on earth,

Peaceful means will give humanity a wonderful new birth.

*1 Cf. Matthew, Chapters 5-7 *2 Cf. Matthew, Ch. 26, v. 52
Written in June 2004 by a Peaceful Means Campaigner. Soisceal@hotmail.com

author by Francis - Dublin Catholic Workerpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 23:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the report Paul. As one of the 22 I felt the same sense of the occasion as you reported.

There were many other reasons why people could have joined us. For example members and supporters of Fianna Fail could have come to vigil at the death of the spirit of their party. To remember how in 1939 their leader Eamon De Valera refused use of our ports to the British military in their war against Hitler, who HAD at the time invaded other countries and was an imminent threat to others. This refusal to compromise our position of neutrality came despite his being threatened with invasion by the British. De Valera, Lemass and Lynch must be turning in their graves at the sight of the spinless Ahern bowing to the threat of losing a couple of thousand Intel jobs.

So in remembering the dead of this war let us not forget that a once great national movement has died as a result of the conflict.

Slan leat Fianna Fail!

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