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US Consulate in Belfast closed down by peace activists

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday March 21, 2006 10:59author by Mark Chapman - Justice Not Terror Coalitionauthor email jntcx at bonbon dot netauthor phone +44771 511 0517 Report this post to the editors

Die-in & blockade calls for an immediate end to the US military occupation of Iraq

On Monday 20th March, the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, peace activists from the Belfast-based Justice Not Terror Coalition staged a ‘die-in’ at the main gate of the US Consulate in Belfast.
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On Monday 20th March, the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, peace activists from the Belfast-based Justice Not Terror Coalition staged a ‘die-in’ at the main gate of the US Consulate in Belfast.

‘This symbolic and totally nonviolent action will, in effect, blockade and close down the entrance to the Consulate for a period of time. We will be re-enacting an everyday scene from the streets of Baghdad, Samarra, Fallujah and other Iraqi towns and cities under US and UK military occupation’, said JNTC member Mark Chapman.

The morning’s activities kicked off with Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate and Kevin Cassidy, Chairperson of the Peace People meeting and delivering a letter to US Deputy Consul John Carveille, explaining the reasons for the peaceful protest and requesting a meeting with Consul Howard Dean Pittman.

The die-in at the main gate of the Consulate created an effective blockade and fake blood poured around the entrance brought home the everyday toll of life in Iraq under US occupation. Bell-tolling as Iraqi, US and UK war dead from the last 3 years were remembered and their names were read out created a solemn occasion.

Later there were speakers and poets at the main gate and a reading from Weinberger’s anti-war article ‘What I heard about Iraq’, as part of the international anti-war reading action.

‘On this the 3rd anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq we gather together to remember all those who have been killed, and to call for an end to the US-led invasion and occupation. We call also for people to continue to mobilize and use nonviolent resistance to end the occupation of Iraq’, said Mairead Corrigan Maguire.

‘The human cost, mostly to Iraqi civilians, is testimony to military madness. Over 100,000 Iraqis, over 2,000 USA Soldiers , and over 100 UK soldiers, all killed, and untold thousands injured’, she said.

Justice Not Terror Coalition in Belfast is co-ordinating nonviolent resistance actions to the occupation of Iraq throughout 2006 in support of the Global Call to Action (http://globalcalliraq.org). These are planned for March 20, May 1 (International Day of the Worker), August 9 (anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki), September 11 (anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S.) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day).

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author by Mark Cpublication date Tue Mar 21, 2006 14:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seems to be a litle bit more 'direct action' than the anarchists in Dublin walking to Grafton Street and sitting in the park.

Mark.

author by mairead mckeown - justice not terror coalition/pax christipublication date Tue Mar 21, 2006 16:52author email mairead1mckeown at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address 19 Beechlawn Avenue BT17 9NLauthor phone 90611380Report this post to the editors

The death toll is heartbreaking, the injuries are horrendous , there was no place really for any type of action which might lighten the atmosphere at the Belfast event and it was a tribute to all those who participated that they acted accordingly. Mark 's report has left out one small but significant contribution, the reading of an email from a Dominican nun living in Iraq and reporting on day-to-day events (April 2005) in the area where she lives. Even for someone who lived in Belfast throughout the "Troubles" it was harrowing to hear. My thanks to those who gave me the opportunity to join them in this moving tribute to all the dead of this acursed war

author by anonpublication date Tue Mar 21, 2006 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't believe these clouds in the UK read the original Sunday Times articel its flimsy, not proven yet.

author by JNTC XX - JNTC XXpublication date Tue Mar 21, 2006 23:30author email jntcx at bonbon dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

more pics from US Consulate, Belfast

Doin’ it with grrl-power attitude!!
Doin’ it with grrl-power attitude!!

Remembering the Iraqi, US & UK war dead
Remembering the Iraqi, US & UK war dead

Die-in & blockade
Die-in & blockade

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author by Updatepublication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 02:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

6 members of SDS NYC were arrested yesterday at the WRL/SDS/IWW
protest march. Doug V from the Bergen County (New Jersey) chapter,
Davey and Dan from Pratt SDS, Pat Korte of Stonington SDS and Tom
Good and Ben Maurer, both of MDS New York, were arrested for blocking
traffic at Times Square. All 17 arrestees were charged with disorderly
conduct and released. There is an April 17th court date.
Reactions to the demo were very good and the crowd was very vocal
demanding
our release (which we heard clearly from inside the police truck).
All local television stations had excellent coverage of the 6 SDSers
chanting "Stop The War, Stop The War" - and the subsequent arrest.

This shot by Fred Askew is representative of what was on television:
http://www.nextleftnotes.net/photo-gallery/2006_sds_m19...9.jpg

(left to right, Davey Vacek, Daniel Mirisola, Pat Korte, Tom Good)

Also arrested in the protest were Frida Berrigan, Michele Barsa and
Donna Gould of the War Resisters League, Felton Davis of Catholic
Worker, members of Kiaros Community and Grannies for Peace and Bill
Steyert of Veterans for Peace.

More media coverage -

>From Indymedia:

http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/66656.html
(great photos by Fred Askew)

Related Link: http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/66656.html
author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

black thundery masses rush
through shapeless shades of grey

across a cold riot of sky and air
two fighters are on display

roll, stall, hover, sweep, ruade
and undulating wings all thrill

making it look like merriment
two live hawks at play

in a dark swirling sky pond
two live hawks disappear

one small spot of blue
uncovers, changes and is past

blood on the bitter-cold ground
white blood-spattered ghosts surround

near me voices solemnly intone
unending names of the forever dead

all shapes, all colours, all sizes
a bronze bell tolls

long way to iraq
long way to home

it is over: black consulate gates
help black-gloved hands hoist

this still-alive body frame
from a dank belfast road

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to Associated Press, there were 51 arrests near the Pentagon on Monday when anti-war protestors on a peace march tried to deliver a mock coffin to Donald Rumsfeld.

Those arrested will face charges of refusing to obey a lawful order

A Defence Department spokesperson, Cheryl Irwin said the protesters were arrested after trying to get past a fence that had been set up to mark out an area for their demonstration.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjb/sets/72057594086668921/
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060321/1000975.asp
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1747958
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/0...0.DTL

author by Mairead Corrigan Maguire - Peace Peoplepublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The US led coalition has military might, but no moral authority, and is therefore incapable of solving the Iraqi crisis. Only the Iraqi people and their friends around the world, using nonviolent resistance to end the occupation and all violence, can begin to solve Iraqi problems and many of the problems facing the human family. People power, and nonviolent resistance to injustice and war, in Baghdad, Belfast, Birmingham, or Bethlehem, is the only power which works, because it upholds human life and human dignity and reminds us we are brothers and sisters who need both justice and each other.

On this the third anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq we gather together to remember all those who have been killed, and to call for an end to the US led invasion and occupation. We call also for people to continue to mobilize and use nonviolent resistance to end the occupation of Iraq.

In initiating and waging a war of aggression, and violating International Treaties, the US/UK governments are guilty of ‘crimes against peace’ and ‘war crimes’. Their immoral, illegal and aggressive war and invasion of Iraq, breaches many international laws including the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva and Hague Conventions, the Treaty of Renunciation of War as a National Policy, and the United Nations Charter. There should be an enquiry into this, in order to give justice to the Iraqi people, and to safeguard the International community, lest the US Government attempt another pre-emptive war, air strikes, etc. against Iran, or elsewhere in the World.

The US led occupation of Iraq in March, 2003, coming as it did upon 13 years of economic sanctions and military bombing, was inhuman and cruel, as the Iraqi people never committed any crimes against the UK or the USA. The human cost, mostly to Iraqi civilians, is testimony to military madness. Over 100,000 Iraqis, over 2,000 USA Soldiers , and over 100 UK soldiers, all killed, and untold thousands injured. Also the ‘illegal’ tactics of US troops and the policies of coalition forces, are shameful and disgusting to the International community. The American forces have used cluster bombs, depleted uranium, white phosphorous and napalm on Iraqi civilians and their land. The torture of prisoners in US custody has constituted, and continues to constitute, war crimes. Recently a SAS soldier (Ben Griffin) refused to fight in Iraq and left the British Army over such ‘illegal’ USA tactics. For both moral and legal reasons, soldiers should refuse to fight and leave the coalition forces in Iraq.

In Iraq, the horrific reactionary violence from insurgency groups, and sectarian violence, is increasing daily. We appeal to these groups to stop their violence and enter into all-inclusive dialogue with all parties to the conflict in order to get justice and uphold human rights and international laws. Iraqi people are demanding their right to determine their own political future and for the coalition forces to leave their country, and this right must be respected. The vicious cycle of violence can be broken and the following steps by USA Government, will help begin a peace process:

l) USA assuring Iraqis they no longer want to manipulate control over their resources,
2) immediate closure of military bases,
3) withdrawal of US troops,
4) cancelling by IMF of Iraqis' debts,
5) reparations for the suffering caused by 13 years of economic and military
bombing, and
6) above all the USA/UK saying 'sorry' to the Iraqi people. .

20 March 2006

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