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Irish Embassy In London Occupied By Anti-War Protesters
national | anti-war / imperialism | feature Wednesday March 02, 2005 20:00 by Karen Fallon - Pitstop Ploughshares/Faslane Peace Camp/Trident Ploughshares/Greenpeace
“Prevention of a War Crime is not a Crime"
British anti-war activists occupied the Irish Embassy in London today to protest the possible ten year jail sentence facing Ireland's Pitstop Ploughshares defendants when they go on trial in an Irish court on March 7th.
The criminal charges facing the Irish peace activists (Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran & Ciaron O'Reilly) arise out of their non-violently disarming a US Navy Plane at Shannon Airport on Feb 3rd 2003.
This highly popular action had an immediate positive effect in reducing Ireland's complicity in war crimes as it led to a withdrawal (at that time) from Ireland of three of the four companies contracted to freight US troops and weapons through Shannon airport.The Irish Government continues to facilitate the US Military at Shannon Airport with thousands of US troops transiting through Shannon to and from Iraq each month. From the newswire:
Just after the embassy opened for business, the protestors peacefully chained themselves together inside of the building in Grosvenor Place, whilst others have hung a banner reading, “PITSTOP PLOUGHSHARES: NOT GUILTY” outside.
Joss Garman, speaking for the demonstrators, explained, “The Pitstop Ploughshares - who damaged the plane at Shannon airport - acted to uphold International Law, and to prevent Irish complicity in genocide. Far from breaking the law, they were upholding it, because the war in Iraq was clearly illegal. It clearly isn’t right that peace campaigners should face years in prison, whilst Bertie Ahern remains at large.”
He added, “We wanted to add our voices to those of Desmond Tutu and Martin Sheen, in proclaiming, “Prevention of a war crime is not a crime.” In many ways, the runway at Shannon airport could be compared to the railroad to Auschwitz, after all, 100,000 people are dead.”
For professional photographs and video footage: Hugh Warwick 07815 042 452