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Ploughshares Trial Day 5

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Friday July 14, 2006 04:01author by justin morahan - peace people Report this post to the editors

"They are in court for us, we will support them every step of the way"

Short summary

Pitstop Ploughshares Trial Day 5

The following is a short summary. Apologies for deficiencies and errors. Quotation marks are not intended to mean that the quotation is an exact rendering of what was said.

Karen, Deirdre and Nuin completed their witness in the course of the day.

At the end of the day, as Kathy Kelly was called to give evidence, the Judge sent the jury home early and, after an hour of legal argument, said that she would make her decision in the morning as to whether or not to allow Kathy on the stand.

Earlier in the morning, the prosecution continued its cross-examination of Karen. It was interrupted four times by Senior Counsel Brendan Nix who objected to the line of questioning being pursued.

Karen agreed to most of the evidence put to her re the action on the night and the preceding events: Féile Bride where she met Kathy Kelly , the visit to Glenstal Abbey with the other defendants, entry to Shannon airport, setting up a shrine, carrying a hammer and inflated hammer, her own part in what she would call decommissioning a war plane.
Mr Devally dwelt at length on the items brought to the action and he put it to Karen that the hammer that she took from Ciaron had some symbolic significance, (it had the words "Hammered by the Irish", on it) such as that she was purporting to do this for the Irish people After Karen had denied any such intent, he persisted without success,. To his remark "What you are saying beggars belief", he got the immediate response; "I am telling the truth".

The next line of questioning was: could Karen say she achieved her objective by her action on the night - to which she replied "For however long this plane was not doing its duty, this was a time of life for those whom it would otherwise have killed. For the time it was doing its duty, it would have been a time of death"
Later she said that if one person survived as a result of her action, that would have been success...I believe that what we did was the only thing I could do to stop people dying...If you disable a plane, you can tell by that, that it will not kill people.. I believe my action achieved this"
The interruptions came when Karen was being asked through a series of examples to define her understanding of "criminal" action and an implication was made that because her arrest was "perfectly lawful" she could not compare herself to a fire-fighter as the prosecution alleged she did. (She did not - the fire-fighter was one of the examples he had put to her.)

The question of presumption of innocence for all the defendants arose. After further legal argument again in the absence of the jury, Judge Reynolds addressed them, telling them that although they had not been advised of it in the Prosecution's opening speech, the presumption of innocence applied to all of the defendants from the beginning to the end of their trial.The fact that a defendant's arrest was lawful and its legality not disputed by the defence in no way implied that there was a presumption of guilt.

There was a difference of opinion as to the legality of Karen's action: the prosecution would like to have her say that she took the law into her own hands but Karen replied that she didn't think that she had done anything illegal, that she believed that it was a right and duty that we should try to stop people from being murdered. She believed that she had a lawful excuse for what she did to the US Navy plane which was in reality a war plane that had no permission to be in Shannon.

Deirdre was next on the stand. In response to her Counsel Mr O'Higgins's questioning, she described the events leading up to her action at Shannon. As a group they had got together to explore their reaction to the threatened war in Iraq, and attended Féile Bríde, organised by Afri, on 29 January 2003. The Féile addresses issues such as social justice, war and poverty. Afri is a non-profit organisation with secular and religious elements, in general solidarity with the oppressed. The theme of this Féile was the oncoming war in Iraq - and it was accepted by all of them that war was coming imminently .Kathy Kelly of Voices in the Wilderness spoke about the sanctions against Iraq. She had been in Iraq and spoke in personal terms of what she saw, e.g. no morphine for cancer patients because of the sanctions. These first hand accounts reinforced Deirdre's own knowledge..

Because of the first war in the region, Iraq appeared to be nearly devastated, with much of its infrastructure destroyed, such that another attack would leave the country in ruins - which is what has happened.

After this Deirdre returned to Dublin where she met and talked to her co-defendants and decided to go to Glenstal Abbey, a monastery where people can go for reflection or on retreat. There Deirdre decided on what she wanted to do. If she had the language or medical qualifications she would have liked to go to Iraq. But lacking either of these essentials, she decided to resist the war in her own country.

Asked by Counsel, she related again the events of the morning of 3 February 2003. She entered the hangar through the fence. She it was who spray-painted the Phil Berrigan quote: The War Stops Here.She has no dispute with the photographs that portray the damage to the plane. Her purpose was both practical and symbolic. To take an implement of war and change it into something that would not cause harm, death or damage (cf Isaiah and Micah "To beat swords into ploughshares")
Then her senior counsel got some details of Deirdre's life; she has an Arts degree and Masters degree and has worked as an abstract writer, technical writer, editor and senior editor among other accomplishments.

In cross-examination, Mr Conor Devally asked "Did you take the law into your own hands?" Deirdre replied "The law had been breached, the Geneva Conventions had been breached" She and others had notified the Garda Síochána in Shannon about this and they had not acted. "We were upholding the law"
Yes, a Boeing737 had been disabled,, it was a US navy plane headed for Sigonella and Iraq and she believes that it had a logistic role in the build up for the war in Iraq.
Prosecutor: Your main purpose was to be arrested?
Deirdre: No
Prosecutor You spray-painted , built a shrine, brought a hammer with slogans on it - this implies publicity.
Deirdre: Your suggestion doesn't make sense to me. Crimes against humanity were taking place. The shrine was small, it contained sacred symbols. . .it was not for the purpose of crass publicity. e had a naive hope (of success). People always need this.

In a short cross-examination by Mr Brendan Nix, Deirdre said that she had been moved incredibly by what she had seen on the video tapes that were part of the shrine, saw the Assistant Secretary General of the UN in charge of Food and Oil programme, bringing medicines to Iraq, and later heard him say that the sanctions were a genocide.

The last witness of the day was Group Captain Geoffrey John Oxley. a group Captain who was working in Intelligence, described as an expert on imagery matters for the legal profession in the US and UK. also an expert in logistics. Among his contributions was the statement that it was possible for a logistics airplane to be a target in a war. And the possibility that taking out a supply plane could save lives down the line - this possibility could not be ruled out. If, before 20 March a belligerent "took out" a weapon this could be considered as an act of war but not if a third party were to perform the same action
The closer the war, the more "attractive" it was to "take out" supplies

author by Ploughshares Supportpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 08:22author address author phone 087 918 4552Report this post to the editors

1) Ploughshares Trial Day 5 (J13) Report
2) Support from Spiritan Chapter
3) Ciaron interviewed by Canadian Broadcasting Commission radio

4) Daily Routine of Trial Solidarity
5) International Solidarity at Irish Embassies & Consulates
* Sydney Report & Belfast promo
6) Cork Fri 14th.
* Galway Sat 15th.,
* Belfast Sun. 16th.
Public Meetings
"Iraq war on Trial"
+ Report on Dublin public meeting held Thurs July 13th.
7) July 22nd. David Rovics Benefit Gig
8) International Supporters Accomodation
9) Financial Support for Ploughhsares Defence Fund

1) PLOUGHSHARES TRIAL DAY 5 (J13) REPORT

The following is a short summary. Apologies for deficiencies and errors. Quotation marks are not intended to mean that the quotation is an exact rendering of what was said.

Karen, Deirdre and Nuin completed their witness in the course of the day.

At the end of the day, as Kathy Kelly was called to give evidence, the Judge sent the jury home early and, after an hour of legal argument, said that she would make her decision in the morning as to whether or not to allow Kathy on the stand.

Earlier in the morning, the prosecution continued its cross-examination of Karen. It was interrupted four times by Senior Counsel Brendan Nix who objected to the line of questioning being pursued.

Day 5 (J13) court report continued on link below...........
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77228

2) SUPPORT FROM SPIRITAN CHAPTER BEING HELD IN DUBLIN

The Spiritan (Holy Ghost Fathers) Provincial Chapter has been running in Dublin during the Pit Stop Ploughshares trial. The Spiritans are a missionary order working in Asia & Africa. Damien Moran was a seminarian with the order at Kimmage when he was arrested at Shannon Airport with the Pit Stop Ploughshares.

The Spiritans provided accomodation & hospitality to Damien & Ciaron when they were released on bail from Limerick Prison following the action. Several Spiritans have attended demonstrations against the war and the three trials in Dublin.

23 of the monks gathered for their provincial chapter in Dublin signed the following statement......

"Spiritans gathered at Emmaus Conference Centre for their Provincial Chapter send a message of support to Deirdre, Karen, Nuin, Ciaran & Damien of the Pitstop Ploughsares, currently on trial in Dublin for disarming a military aircraft at
Shannon Airport which was involved in an immoral (Pope John Paul 2) and illegal (Kofi Anan) war against the people of Iraq.

We salute your courage and generosity and we trust and pray that the Irish Court system will exercise the true justice your integrity deserves".

3) CIARON INTERVIEWED BY CANADIAN (CBC) RADIO

(Part 2) "As it Happens" Link-
http://www.cbc.ca/radioshows/AS_IT_HAPPENS/20060707.shtml

4) DAILY ROUTINE FOR EACH DAY OF TRIAL -

*We gather in anti-war vigil from 8.30 am at The Spire on O'Connell St. each morning of the trial.
*Around 9.15 am (depending when the trial is slated to start that particular day) we will process in silence in single file carrying the names of the dead (Iraqi & U.S.) in memory of the dead to the Four Courts.
*We will have a circle at the Four Courts, some reflections and folks will be briefed with the logistics for the day.
*We hope to sustain a vigil with A Buddhist nun outside the Four Courts while the trial is in process...a roster will be created each morning.
*The court usually finishes at 4pm so we will then proceed each day to the Franciscan friary refectory on Merchants Quay (main entrance - Directly opposite the Four Courts). Tea/Coffee and refreshments will be served (free). Supporters are asked to come before 5pm as the public entrance closes after that - txt 087 9184552 or 087 9638398 if you cannot gain access. We have this space up to 8pm each evening.

5) INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR SOLIDARITY VIGILS ON JULY 5TH. AT IRISH EMBASSIES, CONSULS & SITES OF SIGNIFICANCE

*SYDNEY REPORT
"Dear PitStops,
In solidarity with the Pit Stop Ploughshares mob, we held a vigil today (Friday 14 July) outside the Consulate General of Ireland, 400 George St, Sydney, Australia.

present were

Dr Vacy Vlazna, Coordinator Acheh Papua Moluccas Human Rights Online
Ego Lemos, East Timor's leading rock musician ('Cinco Do Oriente'/ Five of the Orient)
Pamela Bryce
Ciaron's friend, Sr Marnie Kennedy - Redfern Parish (sister of Fr Ted Kennedy)
Fr Claude Mostowik- Convenor PAX CHRISTI (Australia), National Convenor of MSC Justice Matters
Jefferson Lee -Australia East Timor Association

A reporter from the expat Irish Echo interviewed us.

Please keep us updated on the trial

We're right there with you in spirit and prayers

Vacy

*BELFAST SOLIDARITY PICKET OF IRISH TOURIST BUREAU
Join the picket on Castle Street

Anti War activists will be holding a picket, leaflet distribution and
collection of signatures in support of the Pitstop Ploughshares 5 at the Irish Tourist Board offices Castle St., Belfast, on Friday the July 14th between 1pm and 2pm.

It's our intention to carry at least 2 activities per week
during the duration of the trial.

All help, support and solidarity welcome!

Join us in solidarity with the Pitstop Ploughshares as they face the southern courts for acting to protect lives in Iraq.

Organised by Anti-War Ireland

At our past court appearances solidarity vigils against ongoing Irish complicity in the war on Iraq have been held at Irish Embassies & Consuls in Washington DC, New York City, Houston, Melbourne, Vancouver, London, Dili (East Timor), Brussels, Gotenburg,, Auckland. Also solidarity vigils were held at Bishop Romero's grave (El Salvador), the Berlin Gate, US Air Force Base at Christchurch Airport (New Zealand), Shannon Airport, Belfast, Scales of Justice statue Brisbane, statue in Budapest and an Irish theme bar in Amsterdam.
Before our first trial in march last year, a group of nonviolent activists staged a solidarity sit in at the Irish Embassy in London. This scored a lot of media attention as it was such a "man bites dog story" after 30 years of Irish protests at British Embassies, we have a crew that stages a British protest at an Irish Embassy!

This past week saw solidarity vigils at the Irish Embassy in Washington DC & London, at the irish Consulate in Melbourne, the Scales of Justice statue in Brisbane & the Irish tourist bureau in Belfast. This coming week will see solidarity vigil at the Irish Embassy in Warsaw.

Photos & reports of the solidarity vigils that have taken place can be found on the day 1 of Pit Stop Ploughshares Trial feature on
www.indymedia.ie

If you have friends travelling or living in other parts of the world. Approach them to stage a solidarity vigil on the first day of our trail at an Irish Embassy or Consul. Have them email us about their gathering'
The list of consuls & embassies, can be found on the link below.........
Related Link: http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/embassies/?m=e

6) PUBLIC MEETINGS
CORK JULY 14TH, GALWAY JULY 15TH, BELFAST JULY 16TH.
Speakers
*Iraq War Veteran, U.S. Marine Sgt. Jimmy Massey
*Kathy Kelly "Voices in the Wilderness", present during the Shock & Awe bombing of Baghdad

*Friday July 14th. Cork
Time 8.30pm
Venue- Metropole Hotel

*Saturday July 15th.3PM Galway-
Time-3pm
Venue-Irish Centre for Human Rights, Earls Island
More Info- 087 741 3741

*Sunday Belfast-

7.30pm, Sunday 16th July
Peace House, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast

Called
by Peace People, INNATE, Zero28
Details: 0773 781 9569
jntcx@bonbon.net

www.peacepeople.com
www.innatenonviolence.org
www.zero28.org

*DUBIN REPORT
50 people attended the Dublin public meeting Iraq War on Trial on Thursday night July 13th. The meeting was chaired by Harry Browne, Kathy Kelly shared about her prison time in the U.S. for nonviolent resistance. She reflected on her childhood & formation and emphasised the obligation 1st. World people have with those of countries our governments have invaded occupied & exploit. Jimmy Massey reflected
on the killing of his father by Florida state troopers, his childhood growing up in a trailer park in Texas, his recruitment by the U.S. marines as an "economic conscript" and his experineces in Iraq. Ciaron O'Reilly reflected on the nonviolent resistance community building around the trial of the Pit Stop Ploughshares and his journey with Catholic Worker & Plowshares communities in Australia, U.S. England & Ireland and the ongoing trial.

7) SAT. JULY 22ND. DAVID ROVICS TO PLAY BENEFIT GIG FOR PIT STOP PLOUGHSHARES IN DUBLIN
Venue to be Announced
In the meantime give the guy a google, he's great!

8) INTERNATIONAL SUPPORTERS COMING TO TRIAL & HOSPITALITY NEEDS
The folks we know who have indicating they are coming to trial in Dublin are Martin, Scott, Chris & 2 other LCW's (London CW), Carmen (NYCW), Teresa (Ithaca CW, NY) Kathy (Chicago), Sheila (Manchester), Sr. Marta (Buddhist Peace Pagoda Milton Keynes), Sylvia (England), Caroline (Brisbane)

If you are planning to come to trial and need help with accomodation please mail ploughsharesireland@yahoo.ie
We can't guarantee accomodation if you turn up spontaneously, so please email us first if you need help with accomodation.

*If you are based in Dublin and can offer a bed or floor space to an international peace activist please mail us and state for which dates you can offer accomodation
ploughsharesireland@yahoo.ie

9) TRIAL DONATION DETAILS

PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO TRIAL EXPENSES:
You can do so by donating in the following ways.......
"Ploughshares Defence Fund"
134 Phibsborough Rd.
Dublin 7
IRELAND

Donations can be lodged at any
Bank of Ireland branch:
"Ploughshares Defence Fund"
Account No. 80965573 Sort Code 900551

*If you are in the U.S. and wish to donate, please make cheques payable to
"Kim Driscoll"
2400 Tuna Canyon Rd.
Topanga
CA. 90290
*If you are in Australia & wish to donate, please make cheques payable to
"Ciaron O'Reilly"
38 Elbury St.
Mitchelton
Brisbane
Q.40533

More information
www.peaceontrial.com
ploughsharesireland@yaho

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com
author by Rough Guess?publication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 08:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trial resumes 10.30 in court 23 Friday morning.
Preceeded by Anti-war Vigil 8.30 am The Spire
9.15 am Peace Walk

The Judge will rule on yesterday's argument in relation to defense witness Kathy Kelly taking the stand. If Judge rules aaginst the defence there ma be further argument in relation to nominated witness Jimmy Massey, Denis halliday. If Judge rules against all three. Defence should rest by lunch time. Court will probably wait unitil Monday for closing arguments, before jury is charged and sent out. There is a small possibility jury could be charged today and sent out. If the court waits for Monday it is likely court will rise by lunch 1 pm.

If Judge rules in favour of defence witnesses testifying, trial proper should spill into next week and go to Tuesday or Wed.

author by Liam - the Whirlygigpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 08:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To Ciaron, Damien and co.,

Best wishes for a successful outcome to your trial!

Liam Donohoe

author by Vacypublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 09:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors


In solidarity with Ciaron and the Pit Stop Ploughshares mob, we held a vigil today (Friday 14 July) outside the Consulate General of Ireland, 400 George St, Sydney, Australia.

present were

Dr Vacy Vlazna, Coordinator Acheh Papua Moluccas Human Rights Online
Ego Lemos, East Timor's leading rock musician ('Cinco Do Oriente'/ Five of the Orient)
Pamela Bryce
Your friend, Sr Marnie Kennedy - Redfern Parish (sister of Fr Ted Kennedy)
Fr Claude Mostowik- Convenor PAX CHRISTI (Australia), National Convenor of MSC Justice Matters
Jefferson Lee -Australia East Timor Association

A reporter from the expat Irish Echo interviewed us.

Please keep us updated on the trial

We're right there with you in spirit and prayers

Sydney Vigil crew
Sydney Vigil crew

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com
author by Dave Donnellanpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Below are two photos taken after the day's proceedings outside the Four Courts.

Defendants Walk From Court
Defendants Walk From Court

Denis Halliday and John Fitzgibbon
Denis Halliday and John Fitzgibbon

author by wha?publication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The women have names too my friend!!!!
Well done Karen, Nuin and Deirdre, I'm thinking of you all but cannot be there.

author by Mpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 14:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Court has finished up today. J
immy Massey, Kathy Kelly and Denis Holiday took the stand in absense of the jury.
Trial to resume Monday at 11am with a national law expert to be heard and legal arguments to follow.

author by Coilínpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In cross-examination, Mr Conor Devally asked "Did you take the law into your own hands?"

What does this question mean? And, more importantly, what is its intent?

Could it not be said that I take the law into my own hands every time I sit behind the steering wheel of my car and put my seatbelt on? After all, the law says I must wear a seatbelt, and - voilà! - with my own hands I put on my seatbelt.

The law says I must drive on the left, and with my own hands I steer the car to follow the left-hand verge.

The law says I must apply the handbrake when the car is stationary at a STOP sign, and with my own hands I apply the handbrake at all the STOP signs.

So I would say that I take the law into my own hands every time I turn the key in the ignition.

But, of course, that's not what Mr Devally is getting at. He is simply attempting to apply a sticky, and rather stinky label to the activists' attempts to observe and uphold the law at a time when others were breaking it.

The fact that we have a police force does not take from the people the obligation to observe and uphold the law. The police and the courts cannot take from us the responsibility to intervene to prevent grave crimes, such as acts of murder.

It seems to me inappropriate and unethical for a barrister to use colloquialisms that introduce ambiguity into the case. I would have thought it was his job to seek clarity, regardless of whether he was prosecuting or defending.

I am not a barrister myself, but I think the jury will have found Mr Devally's question confusing and annoying, or they may have seen right through his ploy, with the help of Deirdre's very lucid reply, and so he may have done the defendants a favour, while discrediting himself.

Perhaps his attempt to obfuscate is a sign that he is aware how weak his case is, if only the facts of the matter be made clear?

Best,
Coilín.

author by liampublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 15:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah - well maybe I'm a lazy typist - Mr./Ms./Mrs. Wha!!!

Hope the ladies don't come after me with a huge inflateable hammer now for this gratuitous insult!

Best wishes also to Karen, Nuin and Deirdre - I promise to be more non-specific next time!

Liam

author by hmmzzpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 16:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The fact that we have a police force does not take from the people the obligation to observe and uphold the law. The police and the courts cannot take from us the responsibility to intervene to prevent grave crimes, such as acts of murder.

That my little friend is called being a vigilante, and doing something that results in damage to anything not belonging to you is breaking the law. You are actually trying to state that you therefore are the law?? Are you trying to tell me that these people believe that they are the law? In which case i must go and smash up my neighbours TV because it is played 2 loud and the police and council ignored my complaint and given the example set above i am within my rights to become a vigilante and destroy the offending object. Sounds stupid does it not?

author by Xpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hmmzzz
Just have another pint and a bex and a nice lie down.
Just go back to sleep and we'll wake you when the war is over.
The verdict in this case will reflect on our society not these 5 defendants.
As they keep reminding everyone "it's the war stooopid"

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello everyone from Amsterdam!

Coilín -- that's a good point. The law, after all, isn't a checklist of only what NOT to do. At times it prescribes what you SHOULD do, and sometimes -- as in the Criminal Damage Act 1991 -- what things you MAY do under special circumstances.

author by Meanwhile in Oxford...publication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chris Cole, an English Plowshares activist who in the early '90's used one of the hammers used by the Pitstops to disarm Britsh Aerospace equipment destined to be used on East Timor & Northern Ireland had his family car seized by ballifs this morning.

Chris & members of the Oxford & London Catholic Worker communities was arrested digging a grave in the lawn of the Ministry of Defence on the Feast if the Holy Innocents (Dec 28th '05) in protest of ongoing British complicity i the invasion & occupation of Iraq. His open letter follows.....

Dear Friends

We just wanted to share with you news of the latest episode in relation to our Holy Innocents Day action.

Early this morning bailiffs came to our house with a warrant to seize possessions in connection with the fine incurred through the Holy Innocents Day action at the Ministry of Defence in December 2004. You will remember that the action was linking the slaughter of the innocents by King Herod to the present day slaughter in Iraq.

As a family we have decided that we cannot co-operate with the courts decision that our peace action was criminal whilst the invasion and continued war in Iraq is legal. We are therefore refusing to pay the fine imposed. We explained this to the bailiffs this morning and asked them to send the warrant back to the courts but they refused. We in turn refused the bailiffs entry into our house. They clamped and eventual took away our family car. The bailiffs assured us that this is not the end of the matter.

It was an unsettling experince for us but we are committed to seeing the process through.

With love and best wishes

Chris and Virginia

Backgorund on BAe Ploughshares action in the early '90's on LINK below.
(Dublin playwrite Donal O'Kelly wrote, acted and produced a play based on Chris's ploughshares action).

http://www.plowsharesactions.org/webpages/BAePLOWSHARES.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

author by Margaretpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Local politicians still regard the use of Shannon airport by the US military as "a great money spinner", as reported in the lastest edition of the Limerick Leader.

Six month US troop numbers show record increase in 2006 - By PAT FLYNN

THE number of US troops who passed through Shannon Airport in the first six months of this year showed a record 36 per cent increase on the same period last year.
While 209,074 soldiers landed at Shannon between January and June this year, these record figures will not be seen for the rest of the year following the recent pullout of Shannon of the largest carrier of US military personnel.
World Airways, responsible for more than half the US military traffic which used Shannon, moved its technical stop operations to the East German city of Leipzig in favour of a better financial deal.
It has been estimated that Shannon Airport earned more than €26m from charges, fees and services generating almost €5 million in profits for the Shannon Airport Authority during the first six months of year.
Without US military traffic, Shannon would be operating at a loss, believed to be in excess of €1m a month.
The chairman of the DAA Gary McGann told an Oireachtas Transport Committee last week that Shannon's losses continue to be masked by the impact of US military traffic. Expressing concerns about Shannon Airports short term viability, Mr McGann said costs are too high and out of step with Dublin and Cork airports. While not quantifying the losses, he said that the revenue from the US military flights was "shoring up" income at Shannon by between €7million and €9million a year.
Figures released last week confirmed that 116,540 troops used Shannon during January, February and March compared with 92,624 for the second quarter. This military traffic accounted for a 20 per cent increase in overall passenger traffic at Shannon in the first six months of this with 1.7 million passengers in all using the mid west airport. Since the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002, almost 900,000 US troops have passed through Shannon.
Clare Fine Gael Deputy Pat Breen has warned Shannon Airport not to rely on the business generated by military traffic which passes through the airport and to prepare itself for the day when that "money spinning business no longer exists."
"Military transit traffic has been an important element of the business at Shannon since the fifties and let's remember it is not just the US military that uses Shannon. It has been a great money spinner, however, while troops will probably to continue to transit Shannon in fewer numbers in the future, Shannon must be ready for the day when the big business generated by the troops is not there any more," Deputy Breen said.
13 July 2006

A report of the trial is also featured in the Shannon section with the title "Anti war trial five claims Shannon runway like the train tracks to Auschwitz "
Available here: http://www.limericktoday.com/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionI...27103

author by Coilínpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 22:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I always find it interesting to receive comments from people who don't have the bottle to put their names to them. I take it that this is because you don't really believe in them yourself.

Unless, of course, your name is actually hmmzz, in which case I offer my deepest sympathies.

But, on the off chance that your name is Conor Devally, let me address your comments all the same:
"... doing something that results in damage to anything not belonging to you is breaking the law."

Not necessarily.

As you well know, Mr hmmzz/Devally, the Irish legislation specifically makes allowances for something called "lawful excuse" in _some cases_ where damage is done in order to protect lives or property.

So, for example, it may be lawful to break down a door to save a child from a burning building, or to disable the vehicle of a drunk driver who might otherwise kill somebody on the road. At the previous Ploughshares trial, you may remember, it was thought that this might apply even if the drunkard in question were about to try to drive across the border into Northern Ireland - endangering the lives of persons unknown in another country.

"You are actually trying to state that you therefore are the law??"

No. I am actually trying to state that I observe and uphold the law with my own hands - and feet! - every time I get in my car.

"Are you trying to tell me that these people believe that they are the law?"

Not at all. I'm trying to tell you that they acted to observe and uphold the law with their own hands when they disabled the military aircraft they found parked at a civilian airport in the west of Ireland on 5 February, 2003.

"In which case i must go and smash up my neighbours TV because it is played 2 loud and the police and council ignored my complaint and given the example set above i am within my rights to become a vigilante and destroy the offending object."

No. Not unless your neighbour's TV set is endangering people or property, e.g. by providing logistical support for the invasion of Iraq. Has your neighbour's TV undertaken any mysterious, late-night trips to Sigonella, Mr hmmzz/Devally?

"Sounds stupid does it not?"

Yes, indeed.

Not to say, quite irrelevant. Go back to law school!

Best,
Coilín.

author by Donegal Doctorpublication date Fri Jul 14, 2006 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Keep the spirits up people.

There are many people behind you in many ways.

We will continue to support you all in your courageous and peaceful attempts to end the illegal use of Shannon in an illegal war.

author by Seeds of Hopepublication date Sat Jul 15, 2006 09:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Pitstops

Just want to send loads of love and support. I have been thinking about you and sending you strength and hope. I wish I could be with you, but I am there in spirit. Thanks for your witness, love and hugs to you all for your important work.

Angie Zelter,

*In July '96 Angie Zelter, Jo Wilson, Andrea Needham, Lotta Kronlid who had been held in Risley Prison since their Jan '96 nonviolent disarmament of a British Aerospace Hawk Fighter fresh off the assembl;y line/on the eve of export with Indonesian Air Force markings at BAe Warton (Lancashire) went to trial in Liverpooly. Thet were charged with £million "criminal damage without lawful excuse".

One of the defendnats was represented by solicitor Gareth Pierce (see Guildford 4, Birmingham 6 et al) and Vera Baird (now MP for Redcar). John Pilger (OZ journo "Deat of a Nation"), Jose Ramos Horte (NoblPeace Prize winner later '96, made PM of an East Timor free of genocidal Indonesian military & Hawks tow weeks ago), Carmel Budiarjo (political pisoner of Suharto (founder of Tapol, England) were among those who gave evidence.

Each morning hundreds of scousers and visitors walked from St. Lukes ( a WW2 bombed shell of a church that acknolwedges L'pool's recent history of a place that was bombed like East Timor) to the L'pool Crown Court). At the conclusion of trial the scouse jury acquitted the four. It is the 10th. anniversary of that acquittal this month as the Pitstops face trial in Dublin.

Buddhist nun St. Mutrta (Nipponzon Myohji, Peace Pagoda Milton Keynes) beat her meditation drum throughoutt the trial of the "Seeds of Hope" trial in Liverpool (as she does today outside the Four Courts) , Ciaron O'Reilly was a solidarity organiser deployed to L'pool 6 weeks before trial, the Oblates pries Fr. Kevin offered hospitality to those travelling to trial as he does today in Dublin.

Today, following the acquital of the "Seeds of Hope Ploughshrares " East Timor is free of BAe Hawks bombing their villages. We can hope that following the acquital of the Pitstop Ploughshares
Shannon Airport will be demilitarised in the same time frame.

More backgorund on the '96 "Seeds of Hope" Ploughshares action, trial and acquital, check the link below
http://www.plowsharesactions.org/webpages/weba.htm

author by Elainepublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 15:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

with some of the defendants at the four courts. Dennis Haliday is third from right.

Twelve, Like The Disciples
Twelve, Like The Disciples

author by court reporterspublication date Sun Jul 23, 2006 00:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When asked by prosecution to state her reasons for participating in Non-Violent Direct Action at Shannon (Feb 3 2003) Nuin described ways in which the action was both symbolic and actual.

The symbolic aspect of building a shrine, painting a hangar etc. intended to surface what was being hidden from much of the public in early Feb. 2003...i.e. the transit of U.S. war planes en route to Iraq through Shannon. Nuin compared the presence of U.S. war planes at Shannon airport for their use in an illegal war to
human trafficking in which people are covertly bought, sold, treated as things. She explained that human trafficking, like other forms of violence, continues to harm many lives mainly because of its invisibility.

Nuin concluded that the covert and overt use of Shannon to re-fuel war planes had led to the deaths of Iraqi civilians. She stated that direct disarmament of one such war plane was an attempt to preserve the lives and land of ordinary Iraqis. When Conor Devally suggested that her motivation was political, she replied that she was
not a political person. Instead, her motivation was based in solidarity with the civilians of Iraq ("You are seen, you are heard, you are not alone") and her ability to respond in a small way to the suffering of Iraqi people that war would inflict.
Nuin also stated that her underlying motivation was an understanding that all life, without exception, is sacred.

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