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Anti-War Activity and Events in Ireland
anti-war / imperialism |
Monday September 12, 2005 16:49 by Anthony
An Indymedia Editor presents: A short analysis of ongoing anti-war activity in Ireland within the context of global events including some of the most prominent upcoming events.
One Mother's Quest For Justice
“If my son had died for a noble cause, I would be just as heartbroken...I would have cried just as many tears. A noble and just cause would be some wee consolation for my boy’s death.”
"Janey mac" sez yer man Wag "they call that a short analysis? There's a quare load of material to shift through here boy, I'm off to catch d'wedder."
While Hurricane Katrina recently devastated the lives and livelihood of many US citizens, we approach the anniversary of another disaster where many other Americans also lost their lives. Though some people are saying that the recent disaster is worse than that of September 11th, the events of that day have had a far greater impact than that of those whose lives were lost on the day itself. Indeed, four years later many lives are still being destroyed as an indirect result of what happened on that day. The barbaric attack on the World Trade Centre provided the neo-conservative Bush administration with the excuse they wanted to invade and occupy other countries resulting in the maimimg, torture and death of civilians from those countries.
Another side-effect of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is that the maximum overseas deployment time of the National Guardsmen was increased from 6 months to 24 months so that while the troops are killing and dieing for the interests of the neocons, other US citizens feel that they are more urgently needed back home.
However, it's not only US soldiers and the victims of US state violence that are losing their lives in the open-ended "War on Terror" which was declared in the aftermath of September 11th. Many other allies of the US have joined with them in their imperialist ventures. The most notable of these is the United Kingdom who has since the Second World War enjoyed a "special relationship" with the US. Tony Blair has been an ardent supporter of the "War on Terror" but it's not Blair or those who supported the decision to invade Afghanistan and Iraq who are dying in the conflict. It's others such as Glaswegian, Gordon Gentle who was killed in June 2004 by a roadside bomb in Basra, Iraq.
Rose Gentle, the mother of Gordon has become a vocal opponent of New Labour's decision to go to war. She is one of many bereaved families of dead soldiers struggling to secure an independent inquiry into the legality of the 2003 attack on Iraq. She spoke at the recent G8 Alternatives events in Scotland against the actions of the leaders of the G8 countries and last year, she stood for election as part of a campaign to bring British troops home from Iraq. Tonight (Thursday 8th September), Rose will speak at a public meeting organised by the Dublin Catholic Worker Movement in Wynn's Hotel on Abbey St.
The post 2001 increase in naked aggression from the American Empire has been matched by greater anti-war sentiment from many people who felt that this new level of violence was both unjust and immoral. In her opinion piece on bereaved mothers such as Rose Gentle, Deirdre Clancy briefly analyses the rise and fall of anti-war activity in Ireland over the past four years. This analysis is further developed in a comment by another Indymedia Ireland contributor.
However, despite the relative lack of numbers (compared to early 2003), anti-war activity is ongoing and events continue to be organised by committed groups of activists. Benefit gigs, public meetings, pub quizzes and other anti-war events are organised regularly by groups around the country. Some of the most recent and current of these events are:
Ongoing anti-war actions include weekly vigils on Dublin streets by the Dublin Catholic Workers including the Pit-Stop Ploughshares who will face trial in October for their disarmament of a US military plane at Shannon airport in February 2003.
The anniversary of September 11th will be marked by anti-war campaigners holding a candlelight vigil at the GPO to commemorate "those who died in New York, London Bali etc and the so called 'War on Terror' in Iraq and Afganistan".
Finally, towards the end of the month, a demonstration at Shannon airport has been organised on the 24th September by a number of anti-war groups and peace campaigners to protest "against the Irish government for its complicity in the killing of innocent people". Shannon Airport is a civilian airport which the Irish government has effectively handed over to the US to use as a pit-stop in the conduct of its military campaigns in the Middle East. There is also strong evidence that along with soldiers and munitions, torture victims are also being transported via the aiport. On the same afternoon, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance will also hold a vigil at the American Embassy for those not travelling down to Shannon.