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Ken Loach supports Pitstop Ploughshares + Updates

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday June 21, 2006 12:17author by PSP'er - PSP Report this post to the editors


Ken Loach supports Pitstop Ploughshares + Updates

While in Cork attending the Premiere of his award-winning film ˜The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Director Ken Loach and screen writer Paul Laverty expressed their support for five peace activists. The five, Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon , Ciaron O'Reilly and Damien Moran, await their third trial in Dublin in July. They face charges arising from the disabling of a US war plane en route to Iraq at Shannon Airport in February 2003.

In response to the question ˜what do you have to say to the Irish people on the role of Shannon in the Iraq war", Ken Loach stated that "we are all implicated, Britain by having troops there and Ireland by providing facilities for warplanes and personnel at Shannon."

Screenwriter of the Wind that Shakes the Barley, Paul Laverty issued the following statement:

"I've always wondered what damage a 10 pound hammer would do to the delicate instruments of a plane, apart from the odd dent it must complicate the circuitry.

I've seen the effect of a 1000lb bomb on a little girl in Iraq who wore a lilac dress. She was on the front page of a Spanish newspaper, El Mundo. Her traumatised father pulled her from the rubble. Her right leg dangled behind the knee from two stubborn sinews. No doubt she died in agony, along with another 100,000 civilians according to the Lancet Report, in the first 18 months of the war.

And yet, to wield a hammer to a war-plane carries a sentence of ten years in an Irish prison. To drop a thousand pound bomb on civilians carries no consequences at all.

For every blow of that hammer to the blunt nose of an inanimate object a thousand delicate complex individuals were blown to bits by Western bombs.

I'd like to thank Deirdre, Nuin, Karen, Ciaron and Damien for engaging our imagination and reminding us of alternative uses for ordinary household items.

Just think what we coud do with a toilet brush."

Paul Laverty, Screenwriter, Wind that shakes the Barley, 20th June. Cork.

For photos contact Pro-Vision at 021 4272884

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author by Psp'er - Pitstop Ploughsharespublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paul Laverty came out in support of the Pitstop Ploughshares this morning on the Ryan Tubridy show despite the RTE Morning Ireland presenter attempting to change the subject and silence him on the issue. The online edition should be available by the evening - just go to and click on the appropriate icon on the left-side of the homepage.
Never pick a fight with a wee Scotsman. Nice one Paul.

Damien Moran, Ken Loach, Ciaron O'Reilly & Book 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley'
Damien Moran, Ken Loach, Ciaron O'Reilly & Book 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley'

Script by Paul Laverty, Published by Dominic O'Caroll
Script by Paul Laverty, Published by Dominic O'Caroll

Damien, Paul Laverty, Ken Loach, Ciaron O'Reilly in Liam O'Ruiseal's Bookshop
Damien, Paul Laverty, Ken Loach, Ciaron O'Reilly in Liam O'Ruiseal's Bookshop

Damien presenting Ken Loach with Peace On Trial DVD - Not quite up to Ken's standards!
Damien presenting Ken Loach with Peace On Trial DVD - Not quite up to Ken's standards!

Paul Laverty - Scottish Scriptwriter, Dominic O'Carrol - Corkonian Publisher/Activist, Ken Loach - English Director
Paul Laverty - Scottish Scriptwriter, Dominic O'Carrol - Corkonian Publisher/Activist, Ken Loach - English Director

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author by Margaretpublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 14:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Tubridy show if now available online:

It will be archived after tomorrows show so this link will work for today only.

The interview with Paul Laverty starts around 1hr 40 into the file and the mention of the Pitstop Ploughshares is at 1:47:40

At the end of the interview about the film Paul Laverty said
"And a quick hello to the Pitstop Ploughshare people who I met yesterday too, who face trial on the 5th of July coming
up, for re-arranging the nose of a US warplane and I hope they have a good verdict in July, and good luck to them"

Tubrdidy quickly chimed in: "Well you know we don't condone that sort of thing on this program" (nervous laughter from Ryan).
"But having said that, that's what you want to do..." and the interview is wrapped up.

author by Ploughsharespublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 15:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pitstop Ploughshares

Public meeting in association with Afri

Date: Thursday, June 22

Time: 7.30 p.m.

Venue: Wynn's Hotel, Abbey Street

'Women Working for Justice and Peace: Hunger Strikes and Women'


Mary Condren , theologian, feminist scholar and activist, will discuss the ethics of using hunger strikes and other forms of self-sacrifice as political weapons.

Rosanna Flynn , long-time activist and spokesperson for Residents against Racism, will discuss the plight of asylum-seekers in Ireland and the recent Afghan hunger strikes in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Chairperson :

Deirdre Clancy , anti-war activist and member of the Pitstop Ploughshares group, who have been on bail for three and a half years for disarming a US warplane at Shannon Airport.

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author by Plooughsharespublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 15:25author address author phone 087 918 4552Report this post to the editors

There will be a Mon-Fri 12noon-2pm anti-war vigil at the GPO in lead up to the JUly 5th. trial of the Pit Stop PLoughshares.

More info Ph. 087 918 4552

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author by Jonahpublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 15:36author address North Dakota, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

WMD Found in North Dakota : Disarmament Begins

A Roman Catholic Priest and two Veterans went to a Minuteman III silo this morning and began to disarm the nuclear weapon using hammers. Reverend Carl Kabat, OMI, Gregory Boertje-Obed, and Michael Walli entered the E-9 missile silo on the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation in North Dakota about 75 miles southwest of Minot. Using a sledgehammer and household hammers, they disabled the lock on the personnel entry hatch that provides access to the warhead and they hammered on the silo lid that covers the 300 kiloton nuclear warhead that is targeted and ready to launch. The activists painted DISARM on the face of the 110-ton hardened silo cover and the peace activists poured their blood on the missile lid.

They were detained and arrested by McLean County Sheriffs and are being held in the McLean County jail. The three have been charged with County Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief.

Speaking from jail, Greg Boertje-Obed, from Duluth , Minnesota , explained, “I believe Jesus led us to do this witness based on his teachings of intervening for the sake of the poor. These weapons are killing us and the poor today. I believe this plowshares action is a natural extension of our Catholic Worker mission which is hospitality, providing for the needs of the poor, and defending the poor.”

Carl Kabat, OMI from St. Louis , Missouri added, “We now prepare for the nuclear bombing of Iran with the reasoning that only weapons of mass destruction can stop weapons of mass destruction. We bombed and strafed in Iraq based on lies that the Iraqi's possessed nuclear weapons. We have the weapons here.”

The Minuteman III missile is targeted and on alert for launch. The missile is armed with a warhead that carries 27 times the heat, blast and radiation of the bomb dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima , Japan in 1945.

The activists say that they are following the nonviolent Jesus, that they are taught by their faith to love their enemies, and that the money used for these weapons of mass destruction is a theft from the poor and should be used for food, housing, medical care and rebuilding the infrastructure of our country.

More info, photos etc on

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author by Shanpublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 18:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Daily Ireland coverage of this

author by anonpublication date Thu Jun 22, 2006 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cool. At least Loach and Laverty are willing to speak out clearly in favour of the Pitstop Ploughshares! Good on them.

Btw, 'Dominic O'Carrol' (the publisher) is actually Dominic Carroll of Anti-War Ireland.

author by Updatepublication date Thu Jun 22, 2006 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Three nuclear protesters arrested Tuesday at a Minuteman III miin the
United States. She said she thinks the United States should set an
for other nations, but with having “7,000 ready to go – not a way to
an example,” she said.
ssile launch facility west of Garrison when they unlawfully entered the
area, remain in the McLean County Jail in Washburn Wednesday.

The three, Greg Boertje-Obed, 51, and Michael Walli, 57, both military
veterans from Duluth, Minn., and Carl Kabat, 72, a retired priest from
Louis, made their initial appearance in Washburn Wednesday afternoon
before South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick.

McLean County Sheriff Don Charging said the three are being charged
criminal trespass and criminal mischief, both Class A misdemeanors, and
bond was set at $500 each. He said the FBI is involved in the case and
federal charges are pending.

On Wednesday, Col. Sandra Finan, commander of the 91st Space Wing at
AFB held a news conference for local media regarding the incident at
missile site.

The space wing operates, maintains and controls 150 Minuteman III
in underground launch facilities in northwest and north-central North

The missile site that the three men entered is located about 30 miles
of Garrison and just northwest of the White Shield community in McLean
County. The site is about 75 miles southwest of Minot AFB.

Finan said the three individuals unlawfully entered the Echo-9 missile
launch facility at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“The individuals used bolt cutters (to cut the lock) to gain access to
site. Once inside, they attempted to destroy government property using
hammers and by posting graffiti,” Finan said. More specifically, she
they “took a hammer and beat on some of the external components, then
sprayed graffiti in several different locations and hung some signs.”

The Wisconsin-based Nukewatch group, of which the three men are
volunteers, reported the three men entered the missile silo area and
painted “It's a sin to build a nuclear weapon” on the face of the
silo cover and poured their blood on the missile lid.”

Finan said the launch facilities are unmanned, remote sites that are
directly monitored 24-hours a day, seven-days a week by Air Force
personnel in launch control centers.

She said as soon as the individuals entered the missile launch facility
area, “we (LCC personnel) knew.”

“As soon as that happened we sent our security forces to see what was
happening. Security forces arrived, found the three individuals on
detained them and then waited for the sheriff to arrive,” Finan said.

Finan said the missiles housed in these facilities are in hardened
underground silos protected by multiple layers of security. She said
than 700 security forces airmen “can and will respond at a moment's
to any security violation.”

“Yesterday the system worked as designed,” Finan said. “Within minutes,
our security forces were on scene and had detained the individuals
local law enforcement arrived and took custody. The individuals were
from the area and brought to the McLean County Jail.

In statements on Web sites, the nuclear protesters said their actions
Tuesday at the missile site took the missile off-line and it couldn't

Finan said Wednesday that is not true.

“At no time was the underground missile's safety, security or readiness
affected in any way,” she said.

Sheriff Don Charging said the three men were wearing clown suits when
arrived at the jail in Washburn.

In a statement on a Web site, the three men said, “We dress as clowns
show that humor and laughter are key elements in the struggle to
the structures of destruction and death.”

A photograph of the three dressed in clown outfits at the fence of the
missile site is shown on a Web site.

Authorities are seeking a fourth person or others who apparently
off the men at the site and took the photo which is posted on the Web
site. That individual or individuals was not at the missile site and
was no vehicle there.

Bonnie Urfer, Nukewatch co-director at its headquarters in Luck, Wis.,
said the organization is not a membership organization but has
including Boertje-Obed, Walli and Kabat. She said the organization
supports the three men's actions in North Dakota.

She said the reason, according to statements from the three men
that they entered the missile silo area is “they feel as if the
of nuclear weapons is a sin against God and criminal according to

She said there was not any specific event or reason that the three
Nukewatch volunteers visited the North Dakota missile silo at this

Urfer, who has been with Nukewatch for 20 years, said peace activists
aware of what can happen when they go to an area to protest. “I think
people who do disarmament tactics know what to expect,” she said.

Urfer said Nukewatch was more active in North Dakota in the 1980s when
group was publishing “Nuclear Heartland,” a book on the missile silos
North Dakota and mapping their locations.

She said Nukewatch promotes getting rid of all nuclear weapons
Urfer did not know of any immediate plans for other activities of
Nukewatch in North Dakota – “only in conjunction with any trials or
subsequent court proceedings,” she said.

Finan said at the news conference, “The men and women of the 91st Space
Wing are deeply committed to our national security mission and we will
ensure that all property that is under our responsibility is protected
the interest of the nation.”

“When folks violate that security, it is our responsibility to ensure
our national strategic deterrent forces are ready all the time and that
they are safe and secure. And we will execute that mission,” she said.

The incident remains under investigatio


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author by Ciaron - Pit Stop Ploughsharespublication date Thu Jun 22, 2006 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We had roughly ten anti-war folks participate in the vigil today for various periods. We handed out heapsof leaflets and lots of conversation with folks passing by. I spoke to an initially wired up Australian soldier on R &R from Iraq. After the traditional exchange of insults, that seems unique to our culture, we got down to a serious and healthy exchange.

Also passing in a tour group, was a U.S. Vietnam Veteran Against the War...who was very excited and happy to see us.

We'll continue these daily (mon-fri/2pm-4pm) vigils up to our July 5th. trial kick off. Please feel free to drop in to join us for however long you can or just drop by for a chat!

author by Jonahpublication date Fri Jun 23, 2006 07:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Legal Update:

June 20: arrest, held at McLean County Jail
June 21: court appearance in Washburn, North Dakota before South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick.
McLean County Sheriff Don Charging said the three are being charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, both Class A misdemeanors, and bond was set at $500 each. He said the FBI is involved in the case and federal charges are pending. (more)

Carl Kabat, Greg Boertje-Obed, Mike Walli
McLean County Jail
P.O. Box 1108
Washburn, North Dakota

If you are writing internationally, you can always mail letters to peace prisoners
c/- Jonah House
1301 Moreland Ave.
MD. 21216
......theywill redirect mail from there. Minimises post being returned if prisoner has been moved etc.

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author by Pit Stop PLoughsharespublication date Sun Jun 25, 2006 13:25author address author phone 087 918 4552Report this post to the editors

Pit Stop Ploughshares vigils against continued Irish involvement in the war on Iraq, will continue this coming week (Mon-Fri) at the GPO.

Join us for however long - from 12noon-2pm or drop by for a chat!

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