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Not Guilty. The Pitstop Ploughshares All Acquitted on All Charges
dublin | anti-war / imperialism | feature Tuesday July 25, 2006 14:20 by redjade
The verdict was given at aproximately 11.50 a.m. this morning at this significant trial in The Four Courts. Since their action on the 3rd February 2003 the five defendants have waited three years for todays verdict, under onerous bail conditions, with two other trials collapsing (Trial 1,Trial 2). In a statement released immediately after the verdict the Pitstop Ploughshares said:
"The jury is the conscience of the community chosen randomly from Irish society. The conscience of the community has spoken. The government has no popular mandate in providing the civilian Shannon airport to service the US war machine in it's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Indymedia has seen sterling work reporting this trial which has been ignored by the rest of the Irish media with daily court reports: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, last days and reflections from many participants as well as a photo essay of the verdict day along with a revolt video contribution.
Here Kathy Kelly reflects , on Closing Speeches in Pit Stop Ploughshares Trial, this post also includes the closing statements from the prosecution and defence. The trial has also seen public meetings featuring *Former U.S. Marine Sgt. Jimmy Massey & Kathy Kelly, while within spitting distance of the war-mongers lair (UK Houses Parliament), Brian Haw bore witness to the Ploughshares and there have been solidarity marches too. Indymedia.ie has a pre-Trial discussion with Ciaron about the Ploughshares' action, the upcoming trial and the meaning of resistance in the Era of the 'War on Terror': Faith of Our Fathers: (transcript / .mp3)
But, it has to be remembered, that this victory can only be an encouragement which should revitalise the anti-war movement here. As reported by the Shannon Planespotters - CIA Rendition and covert aircraft are still using Shannon airport
You can visit the Peace On Trial website for more information on the CW5 by clicking here.
There will be much emotion and relief for the Pitstop Ploughshares and their supporters at this verdict. I presume the information I have just been given is correct.
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cw5 not guilty
cw5 not guilty
HURRAY!! Does this vindicate the justice system as well - or just suggest that's quite random?
- Manu, NZ.
The verdict is indeed not guilty.
not that you'd know this by following any of the major news sources,
RTE, Independent and Irish Times websites not reporting this 20 minutes after verdict (though the Irish Times does report on the carrickmines defeat...)
I too just received word by phone from a friend present at the court that the Ploughshare activists were found not guilty on all counts!
Buíochas Mór le Dia! Thanks be to God!
Very emotional scenes at court, I am told!
Could not be there today with you today, friends, but am certainly there with you all in spirit! Congratulations!
You have deserved this verdict at long last!
May it herald in a new era of a renewed consciousness of the part we can play, as individuals and as a nation, for good or for evil in matters of peace in the world!
Well done for a wonderful action, 3 and a half years faithful commitment to the journey. What great result! And 10 years after Seeds of Hope acquittal too.
Hope you are all partying now
Thanks for the witness
still I wonder if the years of limbo are seen as punishment by some.
Fantastic outcome. I salute your courage, perseverance and refusal to give in. It has been a long road. Enjoy the day and many thanks for your inspiring witness.
text and discussion at....
Pitstop Ploughshares statement on Not Guilty Verdict
Great news and thanks and congrats to ye all! Beir bua!
after 3+ years of hanging around, justice is done
brilliant news, thanks so much to 5 again for taking step they did, hope to get down after work to celebrate.
perhaps this will spark more action to oppose US imperialism - this island sparked things before, it will do it again if the irish public wake up, listen to whats going on elsewhere, take action to work for justice:
heres a little audio file of what this acquital might lead to:
Life After Capitalism: http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/lifeaftercapitalism.mp3 (1hr45 audio recording from conference in New York City, eve of RCN, speakers: Vijay Prashad, Micheal Albert, Robin Kelly, Naomi Klein and many many others - dreaming the new world and together with grassroots and community making it happen, that or death for us all.....)
Irish mainstream coverage of acquittal :
Protesters cleared of damaging US plane at Shannon
12:11 Five anti-war protesters have been found not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of criminally damaging a US aeroplane at Shannon Airport over three years ago.
Five not guilty of damaging US plane
(12:21) The jury in the trial of five people accused of causing unlawful damage to a US military plane at Shannon Airport has returned a verdict of not guilty.
12:36 Anti-war protestors acquitted over attack on US aircraft
first breaking news:
11:51 indymedia ireland:
notice how little coverage there was over the last few days, as opposed to the excellent, and surely difficult, coverage done by "court reporter" here on indymedia:
Ploughshares Trial - Closing Arguments
really great reading, hope some content makes its way into the papers, perhaps the village might put in a bit
An Earful in Ireland
When Condoleezza Rice’s plane stopped to refuel in Shannon airport in Ireland, en route to Lebanon, some of the secretary of state’s top aides got an earful from dozens of Lebanese-Americans waylaid there after being evacuated from Beirut.
At five in the morning, many in the group of Lebanese-Americans were sprawled on benches trying to sleep amid a fluorescent glare and jabber of TV news, much of it on the carnage in Beirut. But 20 or so caught on that an important U.S. delegation was at the bar, including public diplomacy chief Karen Hughes, top Mideast aide David Welch, and White House adviser Elliot Abrams.
The group had come to Shannon aboard a chartered plane whose engines had broken down the day before. Some had been on the move for five days. “We saw beautiful Beirut Lebanon being destroyed,” one said. A spat between the State Department and a charter company over who should pay had prevented the group from going to a hotel.
“Aren’t you a TV person?” one woman asked Hughes, a former press aide who was sitting at the bar sipping wine.
“Well you may have seen me on TV,” Hughes replied. She then apologized repeatedly for the group’s travails and promised to make some calls back to State. Within an hour the group appeared to be off to a hotel, though no one knew when a working plane would arrive. Suspecting Rice might be flying to Beirut — as she was — one man begged to get on her plane. “I’d rather go back,” he said. –Neil King Jr.
Great great , great news
This is nothing short of political dynamite
Media FINALLY getting around to it - Just heard Ciaran on today fm calling bertie a moral coward and a htpocrite - number 1 on all radio news bulletins accross the band.
WELL DONE INDYMEDIA on the scoop and all the reporting and especially to the Pit Stop Ploughshares who haven't had an weasy time of it!
This is the best political news of the year so far!
open season on Shannon!
Tear down the fences, invade the runway, occupy the airstrip, smash those planes into ploughshares - the courts and the jury (i.e. the people) of the state of Ireland have found the CW5 innocent of all charges - their NON VIOLENT (against the person) PROPERTY DAMAGE DIRECT ACTION was morally justifiable and defensible. None of this marching around in circles any more - if the CW5 can do a clandestine action and are found innocent (unanimously!) by a jury, its time we had mass actions and no more holding back - what are people afraid of. This verdict is very important, a green light to all those who favour direct actions to stop the US war death machine. Lets get rid of the US Military once and for all.
This is absolutely brilliant. I was always a bit pesamistic about the chances of them being acquitted but never been happier to be wrong.
This is a very serious victory. The CW 5 have taken on the Judiciary, the guards, the government and won!
did any of the coverage say what the judge said? did he back the moral basis for their actions?
not that he matters a shit. just wondering!
First of all, well done to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen. Having been at the receiveing end of Ireland's (in)justice system myself I know what it feels like to be dragged back and forth to court over a number of years.
But to say that this vindicates the justice system or to call it a victory I think is premature. Where is the justice for the 100s still killed in Iraq every week (almost 6000 in May and June alone). Yes most of them are not killed by US bombs and bullets anymore, however, it is hard to see how people would die in such unbelieveable numbers had our stalwards of western democracy not invaded in the first place. And it is of course US bombs or at least US money that bought the bombs that rain down on the Lebanese people at the moment & where next???
So I'm asking myself this question as much as any of you; What are we going to do when they decide it is time for a new war, be it on Syria, Iran or even North Korea? We have to step up our campaign, if we can call it a campaign, as it is not working. And as for the justice system, that's not working either. Ed Horgan and other's have tried to stop the use of Shannon to aid this war through the legal route. Have they succeeded? No; will anyone ever succeed to stop a war through the courts? I don't think so. The justice system has not bestowed a victory on the CW5 they have been violated against and had to defend themselves against even further violation and potentially months of imprisonment. They have been vindicated in their defence and thus their actions but the state has not been on trial for supporting the slaughter that is still being perpetrated and never will be. The only ones in a position to put the state on trial is us, the people, not the courts. We have to hold our governments to account and if they don't listen we have to make them listen and if they ignore us, if making them listen is not enough, we have to stop them wrecking our planet! So it's time for new ideas not celebration, especially now where we hav won this small but important case. Sorry to rain on the parade.
Congratulations to the CW5 well done. Thank God your waiting is now over and ye were acquitted of all charges. Fantastic news. Well done to all involved.
That is a bit of good news (Sorry GREAT news) in all too many days of bad, bad news.
Fair play to you all, enjoy your deserved celebrations.
Karen, Nuin, Damien, Deirdre, Ciaron, really happy for yis! 3+ years taking on the Irish State over Shannon, you've been unbelievable!
take care & much luv,
Congratuations to the five. wonderful news. gives me hope.
Damien after his acquittal
At last, its over
Karen outside the court
Hugs all round
Celebration pints and congratuation texts
News At One: Fran McNulty outlines the charges that the five peace activists faced
"Some very strong words from Ciaran O'Reilly ":
If the Ahern government had spoken courageously and morally 3 and a half years ago in the company of the governments of France and Germany, the word from Ireland would have resounded through the Diaspora in Britain, Australia and the united states and members of the Diaspora in those militaries. But its cowardice has now made Dublin a potential terrorist target for people who will fight back.
Some words that captured what this group is all about from Nuin Dunlop
"All life is sacred; every life without exception has something sacred in it that means every life of every person in Iraq is as sacred as every life of every person in the United States and in Ireland which the jury has just said today. I believe if that if people knew this to be true, knew deep within that all life is sacred there would be no war"
Congratulations to the CW5. You have achieved a moral victory in the vindication of active nonviolence as an alternative way to resolve conflict rather than war and violence. This verdict gives hope and encouragement to all those struggling for peace and justice through nonviolent means. Ireland's Story of violence is well documented, and remembered. Today's verdict is a reminder that Ireland's Story of nonviolence which has been so much part of the soul of our nation,needs to be remembered, told to our young lest they forget, and celebrated.
James: did any of the coverage say what the judge said? did he back the moral basis for their actions?
James - judge was a SHE as were most of the Jury
- Her summing up and directions sounded very good - she asked the jury to see did they find the actions justified by the defendents beliefs - at least that's what the media reports say....
Find out more at the celebration/pissup tonight!
earlier audio interview with Ciaran O'Reilly c/o Robbie Synott:
audio file (22mins):
Faith of Our Fathers - Sovereignty and Sacrifice in Ireland - Suffering in iraq.
full transcript found at link
COR: In terms of disruption and state response, it was probably the most significant or impacting action done by civilians – in terms of intermediate consequences of the Irish army being deployed to Shannon and making overt what was covert – the militarisation of that airport. Three US companies where were transporting troops through Ireland to Iraq, pulled out of Ireland over the security issues in relation to the action. So, it was a very…probably the most dramatic, disruptive act…
RS: Lets be clear about what exactly the five of ye did; what exactly did you do?
COR: We made our way into the hanger by breaking a window, using the emergency bar on the initial door, and opening the next door, and then began working on the plane…After completing our work (it was about six or seven minutes), we formed a circle: we built a shrine with a Bible and a Koran, Rosary beads and Islamic beads and photos of Iraqi children under threat; and we also said the Rosary…hoping the police would join us in continuing the disarmament, ye know; but that didn’t happen, unfortuneately. We were arrested and taken to prison. We were in Limerick prison for between one and three months: Karen spent three months in jail.
We were inspired by a prophecy in the Book of Isiah, to “beat swords into ploughshares”, and every action, I think, one does, has an actual and a symbolic element to it, and I believe it is the symbolic element which is most significant: because the actual part of the action is the relationship between two pieces of metal – the hammer and the plane. The symbolic element of the action is what speaks to the hearts and minds of other people.
So, it’s continued to ripple. We still remain unconvicted for the action, and a major headache for the Irish government in terms of its sycophancy to the United States.
RS: I was thinking, another symbolism was the fact that you, the five of you, were prepared to give your lives, your freedom so that other people might not have to suffer................................
Thankyou for saving innocent children from slaughter.The world needs more spiritual warriors with true courage and conviction.From downtown Sydney Australia,Sincere Thanks and Congratulations.
3 1/2 years after the Ploughshares defended the Irish nation, they are once again welcome in Shannon - having been barred from the vicinity.
We shall organise a party to remember!! - BYOH
Time too to recognise that our Minister for defence has not defended our country. Going from todays verdict it can be seen that our government does not have LAWFUL EXCUSE to guard and facilitate the American War Machine.
Congrats to the five, who've put up with an unjust accusation and attack on their characters and persons for 3 1/2 years. We've a way to go before we clear the name of our country however - but a very fine start nonetheless.
Today 12 reasonable people (the jury) made legal history in this country.
This is a victory for Ireland.
And it's a new beginning...
Krossie: Her summing up and directions sounded very good - she asked the jury to see did they find the actions justified by the defendents beliefs - at least that's what the media reports say....
Hi Krossie, to the best of my knowledge, the kernal of the issue wasn't the beliefs of the PSP 5 (even though it was obviously very important). Everybody, prosecution, defence, and the judge (going on her summing up) accepted that their beliefs were honestly held. The issue in dispute between prosecution and defence was whether their action was reasonable. More exactly, given the beliefs of the Five about the Iraq war, the imminent devastation etc, was disarming a military airplane a reasonable way to save property (and life) of Iraqis. The jury concluded that it was a reasonable action and therefore the Five had a lawful reason to damage - that's disarm to you and me - the military aircraft. Hence "not guilty".
I am just so happy to hear this news. I have to go tell everyone! A really positive decision by the jury. Well done to the five for committing to more than three difficult years, but which now surely contributes a huge impact on the anti-war movement and the government. Amazing!
You could well be right I'm only going by the reports on the bourgeoise radio.
Well done to all today!
Condi Rice was seemingly in Shannon for the eight time this year last night! Ireland is her most visited country in 2006, makes you proud yeah? Well she got confronted by a few angry US citizens while in Shannon according to this Daily Ireland article
Daily Ireland Editorial
Editor: Colin O’Carroll
US must stop war
US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice made her eighth visit to Ireland since the start of the year yesterday, passing through Shannon on her way to a Middle East in flames, largely because of her master’s warmongering foreign policy.
Ms Rice is now on record as being in favour of a ceasefire, after the official line that “the time is not right” raised a howl of derision around the world.
She now says it should only be called if it is “sustainable”. Tell that to the dead, dying and those waiting for the next airstrike.
One of Ms Rice’s aides was greeted with protests from American evacuees also en route through Shannon over how long it was taking them to get home after being plucked from the war zone.
We wonder if they had anything to say about the Lebanese people they left behind, who lie buried in the rubble of their homes, illegally destroyed by Israeli weapons supplied by the US.
It’s past time to end the weasel words of this corrupt administration and force Israel to halt its criminal war.
congrats to the 5. surely they'll have to pull the planes out of Shannon if they can't guarantee their safety. otherwise we will all be off to Shannon, hammers in hand.
This verdict marks the end of the rule of law in Ireland. The criminals on trial did not deny their crime but merely argued that they had an 'excuse for doing so as they honestly believed they were acting to protect lives and property in Iraq'. Well, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. A legal precedent once set is very difficult to remove. So, if some loyalists 'honestly believe they are acting to protect lives and property in Northern Ireland' by smashing up Sinn Fein offices down here, they can go right ahead. Likewise, if the Israeli Government consults its lawyers, it will probably soon realise that under Irish law it is now entitled to assassinate supporters of Hezbollah living in Ireland if they 'honestly believe they are acting to protect lives and property in Israel'.
The precedent does not rest on the "honest beliefs" of the defendants. The jury found that these beliefs were reasonable as well as honestly held.
This verdict marks the end of the rule of law in Ireland.
The ending of capitalist law mightn’t be a bad thing, but in any case this isn’t it, so you can worry a little less.
The criminals on trial did not deny their crime but merely argued that they had an 'excuse for doing so as they honestly believed they were acting to protect lives and property in Iraq'.
In this case, the law itself, as enacted by the Dáil, explicitly specifies that anybody who has a lawful reason to damage property shall not be guilty of the offence. The jury found as a fact that the Five had a lawful reason. So, they aren’t criminals.
There are many examples of where there is good reason to damage property. The most obvious example is where a house is on fire and there are people trapped inside. One can only save them by damaging the door. In this case, no offence will have been committed.
To repeat my earlier comment, the jury considered that in the circumstances, . e.g. in the context of their beliefs, the actions of the US military and the role of the various arms of the state in assisting the US military, their action was reasonable. Hence, they are not guilty.
In order for your predictions of on the legality of actions against Sinn Fein etc to be true, the perpetrators of such actions would have to have, in addition to an honest belief, taken a reasonable action. It is rather difficult to see how, say, Israel’s actions in Lebanon (or hypothetical ones in Ireland) are reasonable.
Similarly, attacking Sinn Fein would appear to do nothing to prevent damage to property or life of another and the honest belief that it might would probably not be a sufficient basis for acquittal. If, however, somebody disarmed a car which happened to have a primed bomb on board, then that person would have a strong case that they had a lawful reason to damage that car. Especially if the Gardai were doing nothing about it.
That is what happened in the ploughshares case. They damaged a Military Aircraft involved in creating the infrastructure of destruction and not some irrelevant random piece of machinery, American or otherwise.
Congrats and solidarity from the United States.
remember not all of us a re bloody warmongerers
have a pint of the black stuff for a yank, will you?
TV3 just covered the trial and have featured it on their daily opinion poll. The question today is 'Were the protestors justified in what they did?' Just text Yes or No to 53305 if you want to register your vote.
Obviously I texted 'Yes'.
The result will be available at the end of the 5.30 news.
Coming Out To Meet The Press
On The Other Side Of The Bars
Supporters Circle The Media Scrum
They're In There Somewhere
Talking The Talk with the media, after walking the walk.
Karen And Deirdre
Nuin And Damien
Ciaron Takes A Turn On The Mikes
They have further articulated and validated an important right of the citizen - that of civil disobedience - when highlighting injustice and war and struggling against un-constitutionalism on the part of the state.
I don't think many people will run out and do copycat actions - there is no resultant "threat to rule of law". Since Ireland joined the world protesting against the current rash of wars - very few people had what it took - to take action - to sit in the dock & await a verdict. & amongst them that odd little group whom I always thought better suited to an eleven o'clock folk mass, or a campside fire bible chat - than bringing together so many people in respect of their actions and moreover the sincerity of the beliefs that at end - seemed to have defended them more than cold logic.
So if many others in Ireland or other countries do not run out in throngs now and disarm the hardward of NATO and USAF whether it be found in Ireland or elsewhere - it will neither demean the right to civil disobedience nor alter the logic of a type of conscientious objection which has extended from professional or conscript soldiers alone to involve all the population of any country involved in war....
It will simply mean there aren't many kathurlicks like the 5 about. That might be something to do with the quality of pope they choose. I hope the 5 get vocal on that sort of thing now when their celebrity status cools down. I doff my straw summer hat to ye.
+ .:. olé :-)
A BIG THANK YOU to the Catholic Ploughshares people! Some good publicity for Shannon, for those of you who are Catholics or even ex-Catholics, for direct action and for Ireland. Now, where do we go Nuin, Ciaron, Damien, Karen, Deirdre to buy a pliers, hammers, hydrogen balloons and finish this job? I reckon tis best to shop local and gather soon.
Joshua Casteel, a former US soldier who was an interrogator in Abu Ghraib Prison and who later achieved conscientious objector status, spoke in Limerick last night. This is the second US soldier to return to the Shannon area to speak against the violation of Shannon's civilian airport status. He is one of 400 ex-soldiers who have set up the Iraqi Veterans Against War group.
Joshua will speak tomorrow, Wed July 26th, at the Metropole Hotel, Macurtain St. 8pm.
Activists Found Not Guilty in Irish Ploughshares Case
Harry Browne compares the case to the one of Mary Kelly where a even more hostile court did not allow the lawful excuse defence.
Well done all of you for 3 years that must have seemed longer to you - but you did it so now theIrish government can be pressed to get rid of the US from Ireland and pressure other governments to do the same
Absolutely Brilliant in word as well as deed - BIG HUGS AND MUCH LOVE
Glasgow Kiss Brigade
Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army
Somewhere in Between
Well done. Peace be with you.
Dennis Haliday Chats To Supporters Ed Horgan, Sean And Con
Ploughshares And Solicitor, Never Leave Home Without One
The Five And Supporters Head To The Vigil
Supporters Listen As Nuin Speaks
May The Circle Be Unbroken
From a fantastic day.
In Memory Of Those Who Died
Tim Hourigan Remembers The Dead
Conor Cregan Mourns Those Who Passed Through Shannon To Their Deaths
These people won a great victory for humanity today. Get away from easy tabloid style attacks on a faceless institution and do some research into the background support and the grass root work of the kathurlicks. They're not all bad.
The ISN welcomes the acquittal of the five anti-war activists tried for their disabling of a US Navy warplane at Shannon Airport in 2003. The victory of the five, all members of the radical Catholic Worker movement, is hugely significant. Given that they were found to have had a lawful excuse for the action they took, since the jury unanimously found that they carried out their actions in the honest and reasonable belief that they were protecting the lives of innocent people in Iraq, it is clear that when presented with the true facts people are not frightened by but understand and admire non-violent direct action. This vindicates the view that direct action and mass protest are complimentary and that actions such as that carried out by the five, far from alienating people, can raise public awareness and help to build mass opposition to the war. This verdict is also a direct blow to the Irish government’s policy of collaborating with U.S. imperialism.
Now is the time to step up the pressure, especially against the use of Shannon Airport by the U.S. war machine, by building a democratic anti-war movement that respects a diversity of tactics and unites all those who wish to stop the shameful part being played by the Irish state in imperialisms wars.
The Ploughshares have endured and endured and thanking the good Lord for small mercies, have prevailed today. For sure, they are not allowing their souls to die ungodly in Bush's "armed madhouse". Along with Mary Kelly, Fintan Lane, Tim Hourigan, Eoin Rice, Eoin Dubsky, etc,are they not the antidotes to Ireland's despicable "neutrality"?.
I have been waiting three years to write this:
Well done Ciaron, Damien, Karen, Nuin, and Dierdre! Well done to the legal councils, and well done to all who stood in solidarity in my home city of Belfast and all over the world. I'm in the USA right now; wish I was there for the party!
But as long as those planes are still landing out at Shannon there's work to do. But let every Irish person hold their heads up and remember this day.
Stop The War!
Congrats to the justice system.
We must all do our small bit to prevent war crimes. God will not reward those who sit by and do nothing.
Hope is restored.
So, basically Irish law condones vandalism, the destruction of property and basic criminality.
As long as you believe you have good reason to do it.
"So, basically Irish law condones vandalism, the destruction of property and basic criminality. "no, the law condones direct action to protect the lives of the people of Iraq and soldiers themselves.
"A spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Dublin said that the embassy was 'very disappointed' with the verdict and would be discussing the implications of the case with the Irish Government officials once it had more information."
From the RTE report .....
Clearly very upset at the prospect of the end of the rule of (US IMPERIAL) law in Ireland ....
The rest of us may, I think, rejoice a little ...
News just reached us here this morning in the US,great news-Solidarity to all the five
A great step frowrard for thepeace movement!
Congrats to these amazing 3 women and two men. In a world running thin on role models, we have a great example of right over wrong. How non-violence takes more courage than violence. The jury is the people, speaking the truth where it is still safe to do so. That the jury was able to see/hear all the evidence seems to have left little doubt in any of the minds that were present. Read the final remarks of the prosecution and the 3 defense attorneys. I have never been so inspired!
Terrific boost for the war resisters worldwide guys!!
The WRI conference here in Germany of 200+ delegates from across the world sends its hearty cheers to the 5 Pitstop Ploughshares and their supporters (and the jury) for their success in bringing to the attention of the Irish government the true conscience of the Irish public.
Congratulations on your great result folks, they say never doubt that a small number of inspired people can change the world, in the fact it is the only thing that ever has! They also say bad things happen when good people do nothing, as was asked in court, why were the rest of us not doing something as well!?!?! I'm sure there is a family somewhere in Iraq tonight that are able to eat bread at the table because of the actions of you guys.
My money says the US embassy are so pissed at the outcome of this case that they will try to punish the government for the people having "made the wrong choice" as they see it. Wait 'til you see a big announcment in the near future, a US multinational will announce that is has decided to relocate out of Ireland. Of course our government are in the pockets of these US companies, hence why we effectively have had a US airbase operating out of Shannon.....
Well done folks, you are an inspiration to us all.
Congratulations to them! truly excellent work.
We are one step closer to a victory in getting rid of the american military from shannon...more pressure is needed!
KEEP ACTIVE ! ! !
Further to above, the US embassy are going to have stern words with the government subsequent to the outcome of this case??? What do they expect the government to do about it!?!?! The sheer arrogance of the US embassy saying this is fucking breath taking! Another example of the US thinking they fucking run the place, we see it in the partnership talks, (see the submission made by the US Chamber of Commerce to the government in relation to the national pay talks if you don't believe me, available at www.amcham.ie, basically a list of demands to the government, all of which appear to have been conceded, including a policy of blocking union membership for workers, its all there if you look).
We are being dictated to by vested US interests in this country and its about time we insisted that the government we elected should tell them to shut the fuck up and respect the system of justice we operate over here and other things Irish. It says somethingt about the corruption that must exist between the US powers that be and our government when the US embassy feels like it can even say it will be discussing the outcome of this case with the government. We can take from this that the US embassy expects the governemnt to put things in place so that this cannoyt happen again, probably by introducing some legislation for the future that provides for extradition to the US for trial in the event that an incident such as this ever happened again, giving the two fingers to the judical system and the whole adult population who could be called upon to do jury duty in a case such as this...
I was absolutely delighted to hear of the acquital of the Ploughshare Five. I really hadn't hoped for such a verdict - given all the technicalities of the law, but at least in this instance in seems justice was done. Typical that it took ordinary citizens willing to put everything on the line to try and achieve what a whole legion of spineless politicians should be doing. I would love to suggest to any of the Ploughshare Five that if they stand in my constituency I would gladly give them my vote, and make those useless grovelling cowards in Leinster House work for their money. American warplanes - or those of any other country - simply should not be landing and refuelling here, nor should rendition flights be passing through here. Our government claim there is no breach of our neutrality. I'd like to see them providing a hangar for Al-Qaida's use and try and continue with that line to George Bush. In spite of our Allied-freindly neutrality during WW2, this country has built up a history of neutrality that is one of greatest diplomatic assets. Though we are a tiny island with a small population and few resources, this neutrality has allowed us to speak with a disproptionately loud voice on the world stage, opened doors to Irish passports worldwide and ensured Irish UN peacekeepers are among the world's most respected. If our government squander this legacy - as they seem willing and even keen to do (I wonder what's in it for them? Being accepted into the Big Boys' Club maybe?) - we are most unlikely ever to regain it. We should fire the government in short order for their disobedience to the electorate. Now most of us are so busy trying to make ends meet and do our days' work (mortgages and debt make good obedient citizens of us all) that we don't have the energy to rock the boat, so double congratulations are really in order to the Ploughshare Five who act for those of us who would like to. My only fear is that, their ego bruised, the justice system and the Powers That Be will dispense with juries in similar cases in future to avoid embarrasing results. Don't let it happen! Remember sovereignty lies in the people.
Can't agree with you when you say that we should blame the government for us all being too busy having to work to pay mortgages and the like to be able to give time to efforts such as this. The truth is that we are all to fucking selfish. The "I'm grand Jack, so fuck the rest of you" mentality is where we are at now. Irish people are afraid to attend a protest, to be honest I can't wait til 2008 when apparently we are in for a mega downturn in the economy, then we'll see the cutbacks in the public spending that will hit us where it seriously hurts and finding our feet again.
The jury in Mary Kelly's case, a simulacrum of the Ploughshares, despite the outing of Hussein's WMD as obscene lies and the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo unveiled, still found her reprehensibly "guilty " of "unlawful damage" to the US Navy warplane that the Ploughshares subsequently, further, disarmed.
Today, surprisingly, in this context, another jury has exonerated the Ploughshares?. to me, at least, this is hard evidence that the Irish conscience has turned for the better since her miscarriage of justice (how could the Ploughshare jury ignore the ongoing Israeli blitzkrieg/slaughter on the Palestinian and Lebanese with the imprimatur of Bush?), is it is not apparant that the Irish conscience, as evidenced by the Ploughshares jury, has undergone a metaphysical mutation, whatever, and is no longer prepared to supinely accept the spoonfed lies of Bush, Blair, Ahern & co, todays verdict is the bedrock foundation of future positive actions a-la Ploughshares/Mary Kelly/Eoin Dubsky.
Who dares to continue what they started ??????.
well done from far off New Zealand
fucken excellent result
its not often we have victories so its well worth celebrating this important moral victory, and celebrating the fact that five very cool people are still out on the streets causing trouble!
Respect... for those brave enough to oppose the war.Tthat is what the ordinary people of Dublin have displayed today.The jury ,the public ,if only the goverment could do the same...
Tonight the shrine remains intact ,pity about our constitution...
Congratulations to the popele who won this battle.
A question or 2 :
Does this now mean that a legal precedent has been set in relation to the legality of destroying belligerent armaments passing through this territory? Is it now the case that It's not illegal to destroy belligerent weaponry on Irish soil ?
Regardless of the answers.
Fantastic action . Victory well deserved.
Congratulations to Ciaron, Nuin, Damien, Karen and Deirdre and all involved in the actions in Shannon and the ensuing campaign. Thank you for your personal efforts which gave the Irish people a way to voice outrage at the actions of their government in facilitating the illegal US war on Iraq. The people have spoken. This is a proud day. Well done.
Congratulations. Your actions was inspiring. The US, Irish, British and Australian governments should take note. Congratulations again.
Yes, the warmest congratulations to the vindicated prophets, their supporters, the jury and the people of Ireland from Seattle, USA.
Lashed to the wheel
Whipping into the storm
Get up Jonah
It's your time to be born.
The chain starts to break at its weakest point.
I have to challenge Dunloh Tom on some overly optimistic thoughts,in Mary Kelly's case she had to defend herself was held in the west, was not allowed alot of her witnesses adn most key was not allowed the lawful excuse defense, so maybe actually in a perverse optimistic way the coutnry consciousness hasn't changed.
Just got the news - can't believe it!
Congratulations to all of you (although I met just Karen) - love and solidarity from Ukraine!!!
This is definitely an inspiration for all of those who fight for the just cause.
Just pity that this way is not available in other parts of the world - I've just seen Russian courts from inside during the G8 in St.Petersburg. Justice didn't come anywhere close those places...
Will be celebrating with you!!!
Just had a quick look along the newsstand this morning and very few pics used of the 5 on the fornt pages which is VERY dissapointing. No metion on M Ireland between 8 and 9am although it could have been mentioned before that. While 5-7 live yesterday led with a discovery of an ancient manuscript rather than this decision!
Daily Ireland has the five on its front page and the IT has it mentioned at the top of its News Brief section on the left of the front.
yes again we see how much we have been taken over by US imperialism, how much of clout do they have when it comes to what goes into our mainstream media. i wonder what will be the outcome of their embassy discussions with our ministers now that they are "very disapointed" with the verdict. after this mornings news, in the "whats in the papers" section again there was no mention of the 5, instead they talked about a man who had his windows tinted and a court found that to be ok as celebraties do it.
State agenda is to have as little discussion about this verdict as possible.
with discussion, Irish feeling might realise we are fast becoming the 51st state, stand up for justice and do what we did 90 years ago : break the chains of imperialism
anyway, a media sorce that is going from strength to strength, democracy now, has it up on healines
they might have a piece later on, check back @ 2pm
Congratulations to Ciaron, Nuin, Damien, Karen and Deirdre and their legal team for their effort & sacrifice over the past three year. We are in your debt. Thanks.
I've had the privilege and luck to have met Ciaron, Damien, Nuin, Deidre,Karen and to call them friends. They are great inspiration for us all.I'm very happy to hear that this 3-year long nightmare finally ended in victory, even if we couldn't be there physically, we have been thinking of them and keeping fingers crossed.We're having a party soon with friends to celebrate!
Best of luck to what they are going to do with their life and hope they will visit us here in Budapest!
Congrats from Munich
Just heard the news, congratulations to the CW5. An interesting verdict to say the least. The first thing that comes to mind is a concerted and organised campiagn to finish off the job , tear down the fence and continue the dismantling of US warplanes.
Solidarity from Munich/ Amsterdam comrades.
The Workers Solidarity Movement congratulates the Pitstop Ploughshares 5 on their victory in court, and congratulates the jury who delivered a verdict which placed a greater value on Iraqi lives than on US warplanes.
A jury of ordinary people, hearing evidence from both the state and the defendants decided that the five brave women and men are not guilty of any offence.
The crime is the war in Iraq. The crime is allowing Shannon Airport to be used by the US military. Refuelling of US warplanes at Shannon should stop at once.
The government has treated with contempt the massive opposition to Ireland's participation in this bloody war. It's now up to all of us to organise for mass action at Shannon to stop it being used as a pitstop by warplanes.
We send our solidarity to anti-war activists everywhere, and to the trade union and progressive secular forces in Iraq who oppose both the occupation and the brutal sectarian forces
"If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it ..."
"Ain't no stoppin' us now. We're on the move!!":
Sydney Morning Herald coverage, c/o imc-email list: Australian peace activist on trial in Ireland cleared
The newly formed Youth Action Network (a broad alliance of youth environmental and social justice activists) today pledges to take non-violent action at Shannon airport in the run up to the general election. We will ensure that this national disgrace is highlighted internationally and that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the PDs and the moderate and complicit opposition parties WAKE UP AND ACT! We will go through the courts, to the jails and to the jury of the land!
Let us rise!
Definatly one in the eye for this cess-pitt of a government. Highlights the need for independent juries as opposed to government appointed puppets aka Justice Finnegan in the Rossport 5 case!!
Thank you for the inspirational actions and thank the Irish people for recognizing that the will of the people trumps all the powerful governments of the world.
We will do our best over here to spread the word of your success and hope to inspire more such actions here.
(Not free to access story) Irish Times Headline from 13:34 today:
'Anti-War Activists aim tro shut down Shannon'
(Free to access story) Ireland Online headline:
'Activists refuse to rule out more attacks on US planes'
The guy with the tache, doesn't have dreadies, I think last link on last post should have been this one..
Back to work and suffering now from definite withdrawal symptoms!
I felt the need to convince myself that Tuesday actually happened, so I've spent some time trawling through news websites. The following is today's report in the Irish Examiner of yesterday's excellent and very professionally run (well done Damien!) press conference in Buswell's Hotel:
The 5 are on the front of D Ireland again for the second day in a row.
Congratulations!! What a wonderful outcome. I 'm in awe of your commitment and dedication and I hope this serves as in inspiration to everyone that ordinary people can make a tangible difference in the struggle for international human rights. Party hard, guys, you certainly deserve it.
Who is willing to do time or be dragged through the courts is the question.
Predictibly the indo buried the story towards the ar*e end of the paper and focused on the "cost to the tax-payer" and the need by the Irish government to prostrate itself in front of the state Dept . Throw in a few predictible idiotic comments on the matter by I-Spy and what you get is the usual pathetic drivel on such issues by O'Reilly's empire!!
Made my day when I got a text from my dad today!
Somebody mentioned civil disobedience, just as I once mentioned it to describe Ulla Røder's actions against Trident, but it turns out that, strictly speaking, the Ploughshares actions are not civil disobedience, because this term refers to deliberately breaking the law, e.g. breaking apartheid laws in South Africa with view to creating bad case and provoking changes in unjust laws.
The actions of Ulla Røder and the Pitstop Ploughshares are - strictly speaking - not civil disobedience, because, as the jury demonstrated on Tuesday - they have not broken the law, but upheld it.
This is not to say that people must not engage in civil disobedience if there are unjust laws, or in lawful disarmament actions if the law provides for them, but the distinction is useful in considering what consequences we might expect to suffer and what objectives we might hope to achieve if we engage in the one or the other.
Be careful out there! :-)
Thanks again to the compassionate, courageous Ploughshares people, and to the intelligent jury people, for making a bit less shameful to be Irish.
Plowshares comes out of the (U>S>) Dorothy Day founded (1930's) Catholic Worker movement & the Berrigan brothers led draft board raids of the 1960's anti-Vietnam War period.
The English part of the movement took a secular Ghandian turn following the acquittal of the "Seeds of Hope@ ploughshares group in Liverpool (1996). One of the acquitted women Angie Zelter founded Trident Ploughshares 2000 to shut down Faslane Trident Base in Scotland. This small recent tendency in the Plowshares movement may speak of "civil disobedience", but the radical Catholics in the U.S. speak of divine obedience & nonviolent resistance if anything.
The following is a website that covers the basics of the movement & a chronology of all the plowshares communities since 1980. The Pit Stop Ploughshares were the first to be acquiited by a unanimous jury decision. Prett historic......
in the transcript from the audio of Faith of Our Fathers (found at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75453 ) Ciaran points out the simple facts of the lack of unity within the irish anti war movement (not the IAWM but all groups, individuals, anyone who cares and does something to end the war)
‘We’ll use people power to shut down Shannon’
Now that they have succeeded in getting justice they are taking it to the next level and attempting to inspire others to carry on their, MLK's and Gandhis tool of non violent civil disobediance (as noted here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77486&comment_limit=0&c...60983 )
Have there been any statements from the "head of the irish anti war movement", Mr Richard Boyd Barrett, after the successfull outcome of this trial, are the IAWM now supporting the call to once and for all as Damian stated ‘"Kick the US military out of Shannon.”‘. I hope there has been or that they will quickly come. Now is the time to bridge gaps, unite and work together. If that means IAWM agreed marches along with more and more mass group tresspasses of shannon ( as successfully happened when Bush came 2 years ago http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65270#com...80308 ) so be it, but the CW5 have proved that direct action gets results
heres what Ciaran said back in April:
COR: Well, I guess, the authoritarian Left and the moderate Left who were running a fairly big anti-war campaign at that stage – a hundred thousand people marched within two weeks of us doing the action – and they did not mention us from the stage…or call for support for us while we were in prison. their objective was to marginalise us. I’m not sure what the reason was. I suspect it was that…they basically saw the war as a marketing opportunity for their political groups – that they weren’t that serious about opposing the war; and they saw us as some kind of political competitors; which eh, we had neither the interest nor the resources to compete with running the anti-war movement in Ireland.
The people who wee running it (both the authoritarian Left and the moderate Left) were very much against the politics of direct action :-):…it might be outside their comfort zone. I was quite surprised how few people were willing to be arrested against this war in Ireland…There was just maybe 50 or 60 I think. Considering that there’s 900 troops going through Shannon every day and they’re willing to risk their lives and legs and sanity to prosecute the war. The people who were willing to risk peril or arrest and loss of liberty were quite few in number. …The people who did risk arrest, there wasn’t much ritual for supporting them either…A lot of them were left quite isolated. A lot of our support came from Catholic Worker communities in the United States and our international contacts.
It is not just up to the anti-war movement whatever that is to demilitarise Shannon, one has to call all of Ireland to do so.
What is there to celebrate?
Liveline on RTE Radio oNe is currently discussing the Daily Ireland front page article calling for Shannon 5 to get freedom of city.
Tom dude...Catholics have a pretty good reputation at celebrating.
We celebrate the conscience of 12 jurors in such a dumbed down environment as modern Ireland (dumbed down by the mainstream media, the churches, the education institutions, the reactionary youth culture etc etc), The jury made a great call thats sent a message of hope around the world, had the U.S. ambassador summoning the Irish government to the embassy for another colonial dressing dwon.
I've spent the day doing radio interviews with Australian, Canadian, U.S., English & Co. Clare media. I gotta haul my ass out a bed to make it to Channel 3 7am Breakfast Show tomorrow. I get word from my brother Sean that ther's a peacenik crew out hassling the "USS City of Corpus Christi" nuke sub docked in our hometown of Brisbane. The U.S. Navy can't make a move in any hemisphere without runing into an O'Reilly at present!
i plan to go hear Joshua Casteel tonight to heasr about his experiences as an interrogtair in Abu Ghraib, then bolt up to the Lower Deck for the anarcho gig. Tom "Man if you're not busy being born, you're busy dying...."
There hasn't been this much tension in the Irish air about the war since we did our action 3 years ago! If the state hoped that the Catholic Worker would gratefully, quietly retreat with an acquittal- they made the mistake (like many good peple) that trial was all about us! Wrong, it's about the war and Irish complicity in it. It's not about getting off , it's about getting it on.
The state can do this the easy way or the hard way. Demilitarise Shannon Airport or we will nonviolently shut down the airport until it is demilitarise it.
There use to be an airport at Rome, upstate New York, USA
it even won the best security award for the U.S. Air ForceIN 1990. It had lots of B 52 Bombers taking off and hundreds of nuclear weapons stashed around the base. After 2 plowshares actions we closed that base down to such an extent that commercial rock'n roll moguls held the Woodstock '99 Festival right there on the empty runway -just to make that Swords into Plowshares point!
We'vr done it before, we can do it again!
Ditch think big, this just isn't an Irish issue. Shannon Airport is the Eoropean gateway for the U.S. war machine to get to Iaq. We have already heard from Euro based nonviolent affinity groups in the past 24 hours ready to shut the Eurogateway for the U.S. war machine to kill kids in Iraq.
hey ciaran, congrats again and thanks to you and all, see yez in porcos
liveline slot went good, Damian got to outline his slot for a while, then airspace was given over to a US born priest now living in Ireland who seemed opposed to the left seeing as they seem to be all anti-US, Damian came back and outlined he was not due to friends and family there
Joshua, who is speaking tonight, also spoke, came across very well, plugged tonights gathering in ATGWU so hopefully more irish people will turn up
also, i emailed Richard Boyd Barrett, Kevin Whigfield, Sinead NI Bhroin and the general IAWM email with the above post, asking for unity, I await a response
Ex Abu Ghraib interrogator and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War[IVAW], Joshua Casteel speaks
porco dio gig: Black Tax (UK) + Heroic Doses (UK) + Roosky + The Mo7s
democracy now interview with ciaran: March 7th, 2005 (with full transcript)
Trial of Irish Peace Activists Opposed to U.S. Military Use of Shannon Airport Begins in Dublin
Why are you mailing boyd Barrett and Kevin Wingfield and the IAWM? So what if they turned around now and applauded the Pitstop Ploughshares? They offered no support when it was needed over the past three years, minimal solidarity and they actively worked to marginalise advocates of direct action and civil disobedience (PP5, Mary Kelly, etc. etc.). The IAWM/SWP also worked to characterise those who supported a mix of direct action/civil disobedience and mass demos (Fintan Lane, WSM, etc. etc.) as political lunatics.
The IAWM/SwP is doing its own thing. They do some good work but will never support a radicalisation of the movement. Leave them alone, be nice to them and let's get on with doing our thing. We can allow them to set the pace or we can build a new movement. I'm for building a new movement.
Nobody wants unity with the IAWM, just aslong they don't press release against others.
As Kieran from the IAWM and Fintan ffrom AWI said in their recent messages, Tuesday's verdict was a very unexpected and a dizzying event.
There is no question that it is, or could become, a tipping point for all of us in the anti-war movement in Ireland. Particularly for those working in the Anti-War Network for the last 3-4 months.
The SC of the IAWM, engaged as it is this and next week in the nationwide Joshua Casteel tour and Saturday's demo re: Gaza and Lebanon has already agreed to host a meeting of all anti-war activists with a view to working together and discuss strategy and tactics re:the September 23rd demonstration.
I propose now that the date of such meeting be Saturday Aug. 12th at 2.00 in the afternoon in Dublin's Teachers Club. Open to all, members/supporters of organisations and non-aligned activists alike. The only item in the agenda to be the September 23rd demonstration. A similar proposal, based on the decision mentioned above, I have also put to the IAWM SC. Facilitation etc of such a meeting can be discussed in situ.....
Would welcome any publc responses.
You think bringing people together to build for another aimless IAWM 'national' demo constitutes unity??? We can 'unify' building for the IAWM/SWP??? This way of working is played out. A new movement is needed.
Where did september 23rd come from, is it a UFPJ/ Answers/SWP-US date (to coincide with...? ) or did it come from the SWP/STWC in England to conincide with the Labour conference?
congrats from nairobi. you guys rock. big hugs,
Massive congadulations to the Pitstop Ploughshares 5. Disgraceful that ye had to be put through 31/2 years of this whilst innocent all along.
Ye are an inspiration to all. A model to aspire to.
The Catholic Worker is taking the next two weeks to analyse how many people it would take to Shut Shannon Down until it is demilitarised.
We are also analysing our resources here and internationally to see what we've got in terms of sustaining such a mass nonviolent resistance (folks who commit will blocakde, trespass, occupy until arrested & jailed). Others who cannot commit to that level of nonviolent resistance will do essential infrastrfucture work...legal, logistics, transport, outreach to Limerick, Shannon, Irish Garda & Army and workers at the airport..
We will then hold a press conference with some hi profile folks and others willing to get busted resisting the war at Shannon.
We will then give the government a certain date to demilitarise Shannon and return it to civilian status whereby it doesn't provide nourishment to an illegal immoral war machine involved in the invasion & occupation of Iraq AND ceases to be a likely terrorist trarget in this ever expanding war.
If the government fails to demilitarise by the date set, we will begin to blocakade, occupy, lock on, sit in, disarm and nonviolently resist.
In the meanitme, we will be running nonviolence/affinity group training workshops with experienced trainers around the country
Shannon Airport is the Europeon gateway for the U.S. war machine to Iraq, we expect to be joined by nonviolent anti-war resisters from both Europe & North America at this bottleneck for U.S. troops deploying to the invasion & occupation of Iraq. We hope to be joined by trade unionists, artists, Iraq War Veterans (British & U.S.) and church folks.
We will be interfacing with student organisations, anti-war groups, church groups in Ireland and internationally over the next couple of weeks.
Fianna Fáil Senator Brendan Daly today contacted the Attorney General in relation to the case. He has requested that the DPP consider taking the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Brendan Daly is a pro-war gobshite. Anyway, what's he doing interfering with the 'independent' DPP?
audio recorded from
Sinn Féin Councillors Killian Forde ( http://www.sinnfein.ie/news/detail/15236 )
proposes the Pit Stop Ploughshares be given the 'Freedom of the City' award
and debates John Cavenaugh (spelling? who is this guy?!)
Damien Moran debates Mike (an American caller living in ireland for 13 years and a Pastor)
http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/2-damopastor-rte-27j...6.mp3 (3.3 megs/14mins17sec)
Joshua Casteel, US Military Vet and ex-Interrogator at Abu Ghraib, tells his story to RTÉ
http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/3-joshua-rte-27july0...6.mp3 (1.8 megs/7mins43sec)
if someone wants to help out - would be much appreciated if someone could transcribe bits of these debates for indymedia.ie - especially bits of Damien and Joshua speaking.
The State cannot appeal a not guilty verdict by a jury. It should be easy to lampoon him about this. He is allegedly a Legislator but he does not understand how the Criminal Justice System works.
Well what do you expect and the speakers held their own but boy was Davis reluctant to be even interviewing such people, he keeps a neutral tone of voice while using the typical media tricks.
The three speakers were excellent, very precisily backing the action and jury verdict and making their points.
Derek showed his distaste by constantly referring to this mytical anti-americanism, Damien immediatly pointed out that he and others were protesting Ireland's complicity in the war not just Americans. That the wasn't against troops or american people but the present american governments warmongering.
I sent a mail pointing out,
Its not just that America is involved in this war, its because we are involved in this war. Ireland has been a refueling point for 3/4 of the troops and equipment transported to the illegal war in Iraq. We are protesting because we, our government are involved.
He later suggested along with the pastor guy that the left only protested against American wars, Davis has no arguement against Damien simply stating he was too young when Russia invaded Afghanistan, something most pro-war people can't get their heads around when talking about young protestors.
The got the reactionary caller quota just right, 2 for 2. At first the guy seemd quite reasonable but then he started going on about Damien actions could usher and Islamic take over of Europe???
He also said why weren't they protesting againt the war in the Congo, he displayed convinient emotion as he described how 4 million had died in the ongoing war and then spoke over Damien and cut him off as he said he was protesting against a war that Ireland had alot of involvement in and even as Derek said the Ireland had been mute on the subject its a huge difference as we aren't transport soldiers and weapons to any side in the conflict (I hope).
He didn't even say goodbye and talks for talking to Damien as he went to a break.
Derek misused the word violence numerous times in the interview, but was corrected by Damien as they hit a metal warplane and he allowed 'the pastor' to suggest that they were as bad as the Islamic terrorist crashing into the trade center without criticism or comment and Damien answered with simply 'who did they kill', might they have saved some people from death or injury'.
The pastor quickly got into quoting the bible, at Damien to see who had the better memory? And then unbeleivably suggested the Jesus thought that nobody should rise up against even the most repressive governments no matter how bad they were? Did we really hear that right. This guy has obey your governement, obey so deeply ingrained in him.
When he spoke to Joshua, he responded with increduality, asking to start off with,' were things really that bad in Abu Gairib?'
As the former interrogater spoke of the maybe 5 out of a hundred or so Afghani men he interogated who actually were either criminal or fighters, Davis was very very quick to turn them into future terrorists seeking revenge, although Joshua didn't pick up on this.
He again asked whether what Joshua was telling was the 'ungrained truth', and you could tell that he didn't believe the former soldier and that was what he was imparting to the listener.
Ploughshares reflection time
How do we win?
We're all here to stop this Fucking war
Having hope in this strange time
Strange things are going on in Latin America
November 30th 1999 changed the face of the political landscape forever
Ploughshares reflection time and ultimatum to state ,
ploughshares are taking 2 weeks for reflection etc, following this will be, it seems, a statement / request / demand to the Irish government/ the state to demilitarise shannon (using the verdict as a mandate from the irish people for an end to complicity) by a certain date, and failing that then civil society will act to do the job that the state has failed to do.
Im presuming this also takes in the fact that the Gardaí have still not properly investigated whether or not rendition flights are moving through our neutral territory with illegally captured "terrortists". and with their lack of "investigation" then it is up to the "justice inspectors" of civil society.
Friday 11th - Sunday 13th including IAWM S23 Shannon Mobilisation
2 weeks after CW5's reflection time is the IAWM discussion for S23 (how exactly that date is called, by who, why etc still unclear). that date has been earmarked for the Anti-War Network to come together to talk about 1 thing only; the S23 Mobilisation. Perhaps taking that and including that in a wider weekend of radical dialogue, workshop, film, experiments, socialising, action, eating, dreaming....... would be a most effective thing now that momentum is gathering. I agree with above poster, it is not enough to only seek to engage with and mobilise the present Anti-War Network( in all forms, especially many many smallsize direct actions that are far more difficult for the state to deal with than the agreed upon march followed by talks from the platform [of course these will happen and are most welcome]) but we have to move beyond and mobilise Ireland and beyond. At this point it is essential to remember what has happened on this little island before 90 years ago; empires rise, empires fall, sparks get things going....... ( http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75643 )
If there is interest in making this happen and willingness to put in the work to make it happen, it will happen.
How do we win?
Micheal Albert, founder of Zmag ( http://www.zmag.org/ ) talks about the "The Stickiness Problem" (http://www.zmag.org//ZMag/articles/jan98albert.htm )
in which he points out that many people have come and gone from the movement, why is this, how can it be remedied and what that might lead to. I feel we have a lot to learn from this and over the past year have made massive strides in creating spaces, acts, events, systems to allow us to get "stickier"
heres 2 audio files which sum it up (much thanks to Redjade for assistance)
Whats wrong with the left - its not sticky
http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/lifeaftercapitalism_...1.mp3 2.16 mins
making the movement Sticky - how to do it
these are audio cuts from the "Life After Capitalism" that was referred to earlier (http://radio.indymedia.org/news/2004/08/2286.php )
We're all here to stop this Fucking war - , or previous attempts in making things Sticky
Afer Bush's visit to Ireland 2 summers ago a strange, heated discussion happened in Liberty Hall at the IAWM AGM (Irish anti war movement, annual general meeting) in which attempts were made at a wider discussion about the situation in regard to solving the problem of ending Irelands assistance in the war. issues of Indymedia printflare Issue 6 (July 2004) - "anti war special " ( http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/jul2004/05pfjuly200...1.pdf ) were freely distributed and it was pointed out that a second political action had happened, in which a mass tresspass happened in the airport, alongside the largely attended IAWM march along the route agreed previous with the state. The point was to show that there were other ways of doing things, ways of organising, ways of listening to new people, ways of collectively dreaming and taking action, ways of using alternative media. Anyway things got heated:
indymedia coverage of discussion: Indymedia criticised at IAWM conference
( http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65858 )
IAWM coverage: Report from the IAWM meeting
( http://irishantiwar.org/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?ms...002O2 )
all this led to the outburst: "We're all here to stop this Fucking war".
This post is not a cheap attempt at causing further division and i have no wish for the old "our side are better than your side" type rubbish that used appear on this site. more about the various political angles, solutions etc here: http://struggle.ws/wsm/shannon.html
We all have our differences and id ask that sectarianism be put aside in realizing theres a job at hand, its a big ask, but its winnable if we realize there is diversity, accept and celebrate that, support each other in our various campaigns, actions etc as best we can - keep it real, keep it positive, keep it creative, keep it enjoyable = make it more sticky then chances are, we will win.
Having hope in this strange time
I'd just like to point out that it is a very special time, strange things are happening, it might seem a bit shit here in Ireland at present (that is untill this great verdict finally happened) but remember what else is going on in the world and have HOPE that we will win, and more than that, a BELIEF that we can win as opposed to just fighting the good fight (which is another of Micheal Alberts points, loosely referred to here http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=68510#com...00759 )
Strange things are going on in Latin America, perhaps the next place for a spark to ignite could be Ireland?
recently the SWP organised for Roland Denis, Venezuelan activist and former member of Chavez Government, to come and talk in Ireland. ( http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76827 ) He talked about the revolution but also its power lying in the social movements he is part of and maybe we are part of (in the global family sense). It seems to be a lot more sticky over there....
anyway in an audio from democracy now the following day Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said: "From here, I say to the North American empire that instead of thinking about a transition plan for the Cuban revolution or for the Venezuelan revolution, they should be elaborating on a transition plan for themselves because this century the North American empire is going to end." ( http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/13/1420259 )
November 30th 1999 changed the face of the political landscape forever.
But then, the anarchist century has only just begun.
To finally wrap up this perhaps too long piece i'd just like to make a pointer to N30, which was the day the WTO got shut down by civil society in Seattle, the battle of Seattle (even though nearly all the violence came from the US state). This time saw creative ways of blockading, new ways of organising and acting, new ways of communicating; this was when the indymedia phenomen came into being:
related audio and video pieces about N30
WTO montage c/o free radio santa cruz
globalisation and the media c/o undercurrents ( http://www.undercurrents.org/ )
"November 30th 1999 changed the face of the political landscape forever" is a line from Fritjof Capra's (co-creator of the centre for eco literacy http://www.ecoliteracy.org/ ) book the hidden connections.
and "But then, the anarchist century has only just begun." is from this essay "Anarchism, Or The Revolutionary Movement Of The Twenty-first Century" ( http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=4796 )
by David Graeber who you can listen to talking about his views here on radio4all: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php?op=program-info&prog...nav=&
so bottom line : it could be a strange few weeks, you never know what way things could turn. 1 sure thing though; if things keep going as they are at present, life ends for our species. therefor there is a huge onus on us to take action, and if that brings some meaning and pleasure in this life, great......
so long and deep thanks to all 5 of the Pitstop Ploughshares for giving us all HOPE again.
Have you stopped to think about the hundreds of workers in the airport who could loose their jobs if you go and occupy the airport,let alone the businesses in the local area ie hotels etc who count on these military flights to make a crust so they can survive and feed their familys?
Have you thought of all those workers at Auschwitz who were put out of a job when they closed that holiday camp?
"2 weeks after CW5's reflection time is the IAWM discussion for S23 (how exactly that date is called, by who, why etc still unclear). that date has been earmarked for the Anti-War Network to come together to talk about 1 thing only; the S23 Mobilisation. "
Not true. This "date'" has not been "earmarked by the Anti-War Network" to talk about S23. The sept 23 demo is something the iawm came up with without consulting anybody else least of all the Anti-War Network, which they have treated with contempt. MichaelY of the iawm has called on people to meet to help build the sept demo but this suggestion has sfa to do with the Anti-War Network. We're not pack mules for the iawm/swp. Why didn't they put the same energy into supporting the pitstop ploughshares?
(how exactly that date is called, by who, why etc still unclear).
It's to tie in with the UK Stop The War Coalition's (UK SWP front) NATIONAL day of protest, which coincides with the UK Labour party's annual conference.
Got to be in tune with the mothership, don't you know.
thanks for pointing out origins of S23, whatever the origins theres people heading down, to the average man on the street this is the big day - the protesters are coming, think a variety of approaches would be the best
be good if people here on imc-ie could veer more to the positive, creative suggestions for how to solve things,
interested to hear what people think about the sticky idea
on another forum: http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?t=13118&postdays=0...rt=96
theres much discussion about the 5.
apparently 4 of the 5 have spoken on clare fm http://www.clarefm.ie/ and things are getting heated about loss of jobs when the warport is shut down, and yes the lads have concerns about jobs and ideas for solutions - would be really good if we could source audio clips of these
theres written news updates from the site:
Anti-War 5 want to "Shut Down Shannon Airport"
i got in late last night to the abu graib talk, 4 of the 5 were there and it seems that there had been some discussion about the mass demo vs direct action. would have been good if many people here with genuine concerns went to the swp/iawm talks to put foreward alternative ideas, as they do succeed in getting in the "new" people to the movement.
and all this concern of their authoritarian control and lack of openess is adressed in the sticky idea outlined above
did anyone listen to the audio?
This is a great verdict, though late in coming. It illustrates, however tardily, that justice can be done, and, by extension, that the use of Shannon by US military aircraft is a crime against the people of Ireland, as well as being an insult to them; we now know that no promises or statements from the US concerning the use or Shannon as a stop-over can be believed. In the UK, they have now discovered that the US flew armaments to Israel through UK airports. Incredible bravery and moral courage was shown by the Ploughshares people. I would hope that Irish writers and artists, some of whom too often toe the line when it comes to criticising the US, realise that it is there duty to protest too. Congratulations, folks!
I passed the Four Courts on my way to an anti-war public meeting last night and noticed that the shrine in memory of the dead, created by the Pitstop Ploughshares following their acquittal on Tuesday, is still in place. The names of the dead still hung from the tree and the flowers remained where they were put on Tuesday. Interesting, I thought.
I thought this letter in the Irish Examiner was to the point:
"Let’s return the favour to US justice system
IN view of the US embassy expressing concern at the verdict of the Dublin jury in the Shannon warplane case, I hope that our embassy in Washington will express concern every time a US jury recommends a death penalty.
The Pit Stop Poughshares received more support from visiting celebrities & artists than Irish ones. Dedications from Joan Baez, Kris Kristoffesen, a "Presidential Pardon" from Martin Sheen, a benefit gig from David Rovics. Dedications from Alex Cox, Mark Thomas, Ken Loach (England), Paul Laverty (Scotland) and Heather ("Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"). Irish exceptions were Liam (Hot House Flowers) playing at a gig, Kila dedications and O'Snodaigh brothers playing at several benefit gigs, dedication froim Damien Dempsey, thespian Donal O'Kelly did several gigs.
Not many pro-war U.S. celebrities are willing to do moral lifting tours for the troops in Iraq. This is different ot the Vietnam war, because after 3 1/2 years of U.S. occupationof Iraq, the celebs don't regard the environment secure enough to guarantee their safety. Jessica Simpson recently did a tour and returned apacifist. Anti-war celebs Robin Williams, George Clooney & Henry Rollins motivated by their symapthy for the troops, even if opposed to the war. Neil Young sees the irony that no one younger has come up with anti-war album, forcing him to churn out a series of sing along hymns on "Living with War".
Maybe Irish artists/celebs are anxious about access to the U.S. market. Given the recent detention of Christy Moore at Hollyhead under the PTA maybe they've got a pooint! Bono & Bob Gelodof adopted a "don't mention the war" position in the lead up to the G8. Ironic as the war came home to London on the last day defelcting the public gaze from them and their agenda.
Richard Nixon onced invited Eartha Kitt to the White House to perform. Eartha Kitt accepted, stood up, denounced the war an walked out.
The Catholic Workers have an excellent DVD on the FTA (Free the Army) Tours done by Jane Fonada, Donna Sutherland & others around military bases in U.S. & Asia denouncing the Vietnam war and encouraging resistance in the U.S. military.
And end this bullshit complicity in imperialist wars. IAWM, AWI, PSP, ETC. ETC.
Put your money where your mouth is, organise to finally shut down this warport.
Send the right message
As regards "the US embassy expressing concern at the verdict of the Dublin jury in the Shannon warplane case", this was a Jury decision, so the U.S. embassy can go take a hike, skidaddle, vamoose, get lost. Anyone else would be hauled up for 'Contempt of Court' for much less.
U.S. are redeploying 5,000 troops into Baghdad.
Their attempts to Iraqise the War (tookikng them a lot longer to grow this desperate and Vietnamise that war back in the early '70's) has failed. The U.S. are losing the war militarily in Iraq. The British are losing militarily in Afghnaistan.
British military leadership are telling their politicians, let the opium fields alone this harvest season. They can't afford to take on the source of 90% of British bound smack. The poliicians (none who have been to war) are telling them that would be inconsistent with law and order policies back home.
Lnink to 5,000 U.S. deployment to Baghdad.....
Marches large or small by themselves don't work.
and its obvious for the others that ploughshares are looking outside of Ireland for people to do actions which lead to arrests.
Referencing Mr Statin the obvious,how fucking dare he compare shannon to a nazi war camp!!i mean where the hell is your head at man!!If the military was to pull out of shannon the jobs lost would be massive and the money lost for the airport and the surrounding areas would have massive implications.Not only that but companys like DELL etc around the country might see this as an anti american thing(which it seems to be at this stage) and might just decide to pull out of this country and i would like to see you people try and explain your actions to a big bunch of angry unemployed people!!
I refer you to the Pit StopPloughshares "Statement of Faith (see link
I'd point out to you the sentence "Just as the railroad tracks to Auschwitz brought people to their deaths, the runways of Shannon bring death to the people (of Iraq)"
This is an important document to familairise yourself with in the coming months as Shanon is shut down by nonviolent civil resistance. You, like the army, police, workers and itizenry will have to decide which side you're on!
The "Statemnt of Faith" (of the Pitstop Poughshares) was the document the police omitted to place in the evidence bag when it was taken the jury rom. (A coincidence, you decide?)
The jury returned to the Judge and demanded this document. The jury affirmed the document and the $us 2.5million disabling of the war plane.
Implicity they have judged what cotinues at Shannon Airport today as a crime, nonviolent resistance to it as a duty!
The jury was randomly selected from the streets of Ireland. They have spoken unanimously in refusing to convict a group people wo got up in court and saif what they did and why they did it. As the defendants stated "The Irish government has no popular mandate for servcicing U.S. war planes at Shannon Airport!"
My understanding is that the CW'S and friends are spending a few weeks checking their resources (locally, nationally and internationally) and assessing the task of closing Shannon Airport down with nobviolent resistance. If they make the assessment that they have th numbers and resources - they will hold a press conference and give the government in which to demilitarise Shannon Airport. Failing the demilitarisation of Shannon Airport and its return to civilian status and off the most likely targets to be hit in he western world AQ list....they will then move into nonviolent resistance. Resistance will be based on a commitment to nonviolence and affinity group structure.
The Catholic Workers have met with the local Bishop Walsh previously to reflect on the moral implications of having a functioning warport in his diocese servicing a colonial military in an illegal war.
The CW's plan to meet agan with th Bishop and raise the idea of setting up a fund for Shannon workers to leave thier jobs and be supported in an intiial period of unemployment (This project will be modelled on a similar one intiated by Bishop Mathiessen in Amirillo Texas in relation to his flock leaving the Pantx nuclear warhead factory in the mid-80's). CW's will also be discussing with the BIshop the concept of "sanctuary of the church" for U.S. military to jump ship in Ireland and seek sanctuary from service in the illegal immoral war on Iraq.
Not only that but companys like DELL etc around the country might see this as an anti american thing(which it seems to be at this stage) and might just decide to pull out of this country
Dell are in Ireland because they make money, Period. They probably want the Irish to cop on and stop fuelling US warplanes so that they can keep on quietly making a profit. I'm sure they have intelligent security analysts that are able to distinguish between actions that are intended to stop US warplanes and torture planes being serviced at the failing Shannon stopover and a more general "anti-Americanism" directed against US companies. I'm surprised (ha ha) that someone concerned like yourself would try and create an impression that Dell (or other US companies using Ireland as an entrepot to the EU) are under threat ... maybe you don't really care about them and are just trying to fuel anti-protestor hysteria. (Could such a thing be possible?!!!)
I'm going to go into rant mode for a bit so please bear with me, what I have to say will make sense.
They make shite computers and fill them full of shite software.
A sovereign nation if it were sovereign could not be held to ransom by a parasite like Dell. Our government should be blamed if this parasite pulls out and its host dies, not activists. It is simple to assemble a computer, we should not require American hand-holding in this venture and we don't. It is our government who farms out our valuable labour to these parasites, instead of building an Irish infrastructure. By infrastructure I mean all aspects of it, not just those associated with transport and the flow and ebb of life in general.
During the mock famine, when a singular crop failed (spuds), food and other essentials were shipped out of this country at gunpoint and we suffered as a consequence. This can happen again, simply because fuck all has changed.
If one wants to remain a serf and a slave, all one has to do is to keep the status quo, and bend one's knee and kiss arse when it is required.
I see removing the war machine from Shannon as a vital necessity, but I see it as only the start of what needs to be done, not the overall goal. We need to reclaim our country, and we need to be responsible for our future, ourselves. That's what sovereignty is about.
Employment and the results of slave training - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74011
A sovereign nation if it were sovereign could not be held to ransom by a parasite like Dell. Our government should be blamed if this parasite pulls out and its host dies, not activists
Dell, or any other company, are not going to pull out of Ireland just because Shannon is closed to the illegal transit of US munitions, armed troops and torture planes. Companies exist solely to make money. Ireland, with it's compliant, low-unionised, english-speaking workforce allows "Made in EU" to be stamped on products created for US-owned companies thus avoiding tariffs. Dell would be stupid to pull out with the deal they get in Ireland. Only a hysteria monger would suggest that it's likely to happen. In all reasonability Dell is probably smart enough to wish Ireland were smarter about keeping neutral (like Switzerland or later Finland during the Cold War).
Government inaction may well result in the destabilising of Ireland's uniquely parasitical role in the EU. Goodbye boom economy.
TIME - Sunday July 30th. 10pm (Bribane time)
PROGRAM - ABC Radio National - Religious Affairs Program in Relation to the Acquittal in Ireland this week of Ciaron O'Reilly & the Pit Stop Ploughshares on charges of $US2.5 million criminal damage without lawful excuse to a U.S. Navy war plane en route to the invasion of iraq (3/2/03)
The ABC is organising a programme on non violence and civil disobedience for Sunday night. It flows out of Ciaron O’Reilly’s recent court case which acquitted him and other members of Ploughshares for damaging military aircraft in Ireland.
It will be on at 10pm on 702 Sydney, 612 Brisbane and all metropolitan and regional stations of the ABC across Australia.
The topic is on civil disobedience and the ethical/moral issues that acts like disarming/damaging war planes give rise to. E.g., when people take the law into their own hands to inflict property or human damage, what are the purposes and limits of such actions, and how are they justified? What examples have there been globally (obviously Gandhi, civil rights USA, campaigns for universal suffrage) and in Australia (protection of East Timorese asylum seekers, street march legislation in Qld, perhaps Franklin Dam, etc). Can one break the law in order to uphold the effective rule of law? How should society deal with people who act in these ways for what they believe is a greater social good? What do the pacifist traditions (anabaptists, Quakers, etc) and theologians like Bonhoeffer teach us about the value of human life and the steps which people/groups can legitimately take to protect/defend life?
I agreed to talk on it. I’m not sure if its talk back or not but if it is call in!. Cheers and best
Professor Kevin P Clements
How about a co-ordinated protest/blockade on the same day at each of the waypoints for US troops and weapons from the US to the EU to the ME. From Fort Benning Georgia (etc) to Shannon and Prestwick to Frankfurt(to Kabul)/Leipzig to Signella Air Base Sciliy to Camp Doha(etc) Kuwait to Baghdad (even).
I don't have the ability to organise this and it would be difficult to find good contacts at these other places, but it could be on a future significant date and provide a worldwide element that was part of whatever impact F15 made and provide focus like Baldonnel did and run on the back of PSP5's vindication. It would also show the USA' unique neo-imperialism with the hundreds of military bases in hundreds of countries in supposed soveriegn countries across the world, broadening it just from the ME conflicts..
see coilin attempt to highlight the route and network here...
The Sunday Times
July 30, 2006
If ‘lawful excuse’ is a legitimate defence, then I’m a banana
by Matt Cooper
The democratic credentials of the Irish public were on display last week when a jury in the Central Criminal Court voted to acquit five protesters who vandalised an American plane at Shannon in February 2003. What made the outcome so surprising is that this looked like an open-and-shut case.
The five had been engaged in an act of violence, they were arrested at the scene and they confessed to their crime. Then their lawyers produced an ace. They introduced a defence of “lawful excuse”, and the jury bought it.
The plane was attacked, the protesters argued, in order to prevent it playing any part in the death and destruction of individuals and property in Iraq. Somehow this defence worked and the five walked.
Precedence plays an important part in Irish law and this case has set down a new and potentially important one. Having succeeded in such spectacular fashion, we can expect criminal defence lawyers to consider the merits of “lawful excuse” much more frequently from now on.
“Yes Judge, I admit my client did it, but he had an excellent reason for doing what he did, so it wasn’t really criminal at all.”
Based on last week’s decision, any defendant charged with a violent act who can argue successfully that the crime was committed to achieve a greater good can feel confident their case will get a decent hearing. It’s a charter for the self-righteous.
read the rest...
Everyone knows Matt Cooper is a banana and is so with or without lawful excuse.
I see the Sunday Times is repeating the spin that has appeared everywhere else this week. Ie. that the defendants were protecting life and property in Iraq. Whilst this is true, it is also true and was made clear many times in the trial itself, that the defendants were also protecting their own lives and property and the lives and property of other Irish people. The Jury accepted this, why is it that the media cannot?
The Sunday Times has also missed the importance and point of the precedent that was set.
If it was a lawful and moral act for the five defendants to disarm the plane, what can be said of the Gardaí and the State who acted together to prevent this lawful act from being carried out?
From today's Sunday Independant. http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=...14435
You need to be registered to read this online so I'm posting the full article here.
Acquitted peace protester has many convictions
AN ANTI-WAR protester who was acquitted last week of attacking a US navy aeroplane at Shannon airport has convictions in three countries for attacks on military property.
Mr O'Reilly, a self-proclaimed Christian anarchist and peace campaigner, was cleared with four others last week of causing damage worth $2.5m to the navy aeroplane in 2003, after breaking into the hangar and beating the craft with hammers.
The five admitted attacking the plane, but used a provision in the Criminal Damage Act 1991 to claim "lawful excuse" because they were acting to save lives of Iraqis, American soldiers and Irish people at risk of terrorist attack.
However, the jury were not told that the 46-year-old Australian-born agitator has notched up dozens of arrests and has convictions in three countries for criminal damage and trespass on military property during "peaceful protests".
Brendan Daly, a Fianna Fail senator in Clare, has asked the Attorney General and the Minister for Justice to examine statements made by Mr O'Reilly since his acquittal which hint at future "actions" at Shannon airport. Mr O'Reilly claimed that the action was a matter of conscience and that he would be happy to do it again in the interests of peace.
"There is widespread unrest about this down here," said Senator Daly. "They did it before and they got away with it and the acquittal gives people carte blanche to continue to continue a violent campaign." The senator also wants the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider appealing the acquittals.
Mr O'Reilly has made no secret of his past, sharing details of his previous actions on Australian television just weeks before he was due to stand trial in Ireland.
In an interview with ABC network, the man who claims to be a devout Christian and university graduate and who works with homeless people and the disadvantaged revealed how he had disarmed warplanes, dismantled uranium-mining machinery and performed exorcisms of
His mother recently told Australian newspapers that her son has been protesting since the age of 12, but according to gardai who investigated Mr O'Reilly, his first court appearance was recorded in 1978 in Australia for public disobedience, and a litany of other more serious offences followed.
In 1991, he was jailed for destroying and conspiring to damage US Government property, after an attack on a B-52 bomber at Griffith Airforce Base in New York with other activists during a Gulf War protest.
"We spent quite a few nights outside the base itself. It was a base that had won the security award for the US Air Force that year. Then we just did our homework, said our prayers and set off into the base," he told Australian television last month. There they set about disarming the bomber by "hammering on it" and "poured a cross, in human blood" and spray-painted anti-war graffiti.
He turned up in Britain in 1997, where he got a conditional discharge in October that year after being convicted at Liverpool Magistrates Court of criminal damage during protests at the Royal Navy headquarters in Northwood, London.
In 1998 he was in Australia, where he appeared before Darwin Magistrates Court twice, where he was convicted of criminal damage and trespass for the bizarre "exorcism" of the USS New Jersey warship, a ritual he performed by sprinkling it with blood.
The same year, he was a member of the 'Jabiluka Ploughshares' group that disabled uranium mining equipment in the Northern Territory of Australia.
In March 2002, he appeared before a court in West Hertfordshire where he got a conditional discharge for causing criminal damage. A year later came the incursion into Shannon Airport with four other members of the Catholic Workers Movement - Nuin Dunlop, 34, Damian Moran, 26, Karen Fallon, 35, and Deirdre Clancy, 36.
They broke into a hangar housing a US Navy plane that was on its way to Iraq, and began attacking it with hammers.
They also built a shrine with rosary beads and bibles and photographs of Iraqi children.
During the "action", O'Reilly told ABC that he invited to Gardai to join in.
"In Ireland the police, in Gaelic they're called the 'Garda Siochana', which is the 'Guardians of the Peace'. So one would assume that they'd join in a peace-making action. But unfortunately they didn't and we were handcuffed and taken to Limerick Prison."
Known as the 'Pitstop Ploughshares', the five became a cause celebre in Ireland's anti-war movement, attracting supporters as diverse as Martin Sheen, the Hollywood actor, and the Bishop of Clonfert, John Kirby.
O'Reilly has compared his frequent arrests to the "arrests and execution" of Jesus and the Apostles and describing his brushes with the law as an "occupational hazard for a Christian in the first world".
"I haven't been arrested in three and a half years now. I've been on bail. It's the most well-behaved I've been," he told ABC.
Gardai and local businesses in Clare hope that Mr O'Reilly's good behaviour will continue.
Ciaron O'Reilly was unrepentant this weekend.
Fresh from his close shave with 10 years imprisonment for his alleged crime, O'Reilly now plans to shut down Shannon Airport to stop US planes from re-fuelling there. He said this weekend that the Catholic Workers' Movement, a Christian anarchist organisation, plans to recruit more protestors to occupy the airport in a mass act of civil disobedience and force its closure.
Nor is he worried about the consequences.
"The jury decided we had a legitimate reason for what we did," he said. "There was no dissenting voice on our innocence."
I didn't know that Matt Cooper was a banana, but there ye are...learn something new everyday.
Matt Cooper abuses language when he says that the five were engaged in "an act of violence".
Please write to the Sunday Times to complain and to clarify the concept of violence versus non-violent direct action:
Letters page contact details
# Letters to:
The Sunday Times, Bishop’s Square, Redmond’s Hill, Dublin 2.
Fax: 01-479 2421.
Letters should arrive by midday Thursday and include the full postal address plus a daytime and an evening telephone number. Please quote date, section and page number.
Similarly, Senator Brendan Daly abuses language when he says that "the acquittal gives people carte blanche to continue a violent campaign."
Please write to the Sunday Independent to reject Senator Daly's inappropriate comments:
Contact the Irish Independent
To send a letter to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or complain direct to the Senator himself:
Senator for Seanad Éireann
Cooraclare, Kilrush, Co Clare
Tel: (065) 9059040
Fax: (01) 6184534
Let's be perfectly clear about this:
As the jury in the Ploughshares case understood, violence is not a matter of the tools or the degree of force used, but of the consequences in terms of human suffering or relief.
It is an act of violence to drop a bomb from an aircraft onto an Iraqi city, it is an act of violence to shoot at civilians at a checkpoint in Baghdad, it is an act of violence to fire white phosphorus at rebels and other civilians in Fallujah.
It is an act of violence to kidnap somebody, it is an act of violence to cut off his clothes, it is an act of violence to give him a sedative suppository without his consent. It is an act of violence to send him to an internment camp and to torture him by waterboarding. It is an act of violence to force-feed him when he refuses to eat.
It is NOT an act of violence to hammer on an aircraft bearing the markings of the US Navy, any more than it is an act of violence to crush a car at the breaker's yard - assuming there is nobody in the car at the time, of course.
Delegates of the Pentagon committed many acts of violence against the people of Iraq by signing papers that blocked the import of water purification equipment, and even water tankers, under the Oil-for-Food Programme. These were acts of violence as they were performed in the knowledge that people would die of cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery as a result.
1. List of U.S. Holds as of February 28, 2001:
2. The Secret Behind the Sanctions
In contrast, the Pitstop Ploughshares engaged in non-violent direct action when they disabled a US Navy plane at Shannon on the morning of 3 February, 2003.
Read more about non-violent direct action here:
For example, slim but convincing:
Albert, David H. People Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory.
Would the 12 jurors have come to to the same conclusion if a US soldier had been attacked on his way to board a plane at Shannon to go to fight in Iraq? Would they have accepted the defences argument that it was justified because it would stop further bloodshed in Iraq? By their own twisted logic they would have to. Where did they get these jurors from? Clown college?
G.I....do some research, these people are Catholic Workers, it's been a pacifist movement since startrted by Dorothy Day in 1933. Try
these are pacifist plowshares actions from the 26 year old movement initiated in 1980 by the pacifist Berrigan brothers. Try
"Sorry this is a bit long! Some very basic questions on this call
1.What do we mean by direct action?
2. How can you include the disabled, elderly or people with children? 3. If direct action is going to involve civil disobedience then how do we organize it on a large enough scale to be affective?
4. How can mass direct action be organized democratically? 5. What level of direct action is acceptable to ordinary people?
6. The cost 7. When is direct action appropriate?
8. How do we counter the power of the state?
1. What do we mean bydirect action? The catholic workers action in Shannon is obviously direct action but what are the parameters for direct action? Does it always necessitate risking prison or at least a court appearance?"
2. How can you include the disabled, elderly or people with children?
I know a woman who didn't go on the May Day 2004 phoenix park protest because she had a small child and she felt that she couldn't take the risk. Another example is much more basic that is running on marches I think it is a bit of fun but I know that there are some people who because of age or disability simply can't run on marches and
especially for someone physical disability this could actually be
3. If direct action is going to involve civil disobedience then how
do we organize it on a large enough scale to be affective? The only
example of a large scale direct action I seen which had any success
was the protest at the Dail in 2003 however there wasn't enough people on that occasion to completely ring the Dail.
4. How can mass direct action be organized democratically? A small
group of people like the catholic workers can engage in a democratic
process amongst themselves and decide what they are going to do, but if the catholic workers had put up a post on the web saying "we are planning to disarm a US aircraft" they would not have been able to get anywhere near it. So by necessity they had to keep it small in order for it to have any chance of success.
5. What level of direct action is acceptable to ordinary people? This
question was very starkly illustrated by the "tearing down the fence"
incident at Shannon. I know of a few people who were not involved in a big way against the war but who were completely turned off going down to Shannon because of this call. This also resulted in a lot of people like the greens, labor and other groups pulling out of the protest. To my mind this incident illustrates a very basic thing. Not only do we have to consult people on the form of direct action, which is to be taken, but it also has to be considered what level of action most people are prepared to take for a particular cause. An example of successful direct action in some areas is the bin tax campaign where people are prepared to empty their own bins into bin trucks. This is a very simple but affective form of action it is also perfectly legal. This action had much more affect than getting people arrested and sent to jail for blockading depots.
6. The cost of court cases must be considered if a person or a group
of people take direct action and they are arrested they face a
situation where they may have to pay crippling costs, loose their job
and even their liberty. For example if the IAWM organize direct action
then we have to support all those who suffer financial loss as a
result of this action. We can't leave people high and dry and as
everyone knows the one thing that none of the anti-war groups have is a lot of money.
7. When is direct action appropriate? Student's organizations nearly
always stage a sit-in once a year. This is a very simple form of
direct action and it gets headlines but it doesn't really work. If you
look at the example of the picket outside the Silver Swan organized by
the Stardust Families and Victims committee. They didn't try to
prevent people passing their picket (very few tried) and they were
very strict about this point. They kept up a protest every day for 10
weeks until they got most of what they wanted. If I had been advising
them I would have said occupy the garage! And I would have been
8. How do we counter the power of the state? The catholic workers are going to set a date soon by which time the Irish government kicks the US out of Shannon as stated on 27th July at the Josh Castele meeting. If they don't then they want ordinary people to do it themselves. How exactly can this be achieved? If a load of people go Shannon we will simply be stopped at the flats and get no further. If we go down on a plane it will cost a lot of money thus limiting the numbers and also the airport can simply refuse to provide a stares, which means that nobody will be let off the plane or the plane will simply not leave Dublin. We know from past experience that the guards have gotten wise to the strategy of hoping that they will shutdown the airport for us.
so what are we left with. K'OS?
how do you demiliarise Shannon after 50 years?
Cooper interviewed me on the Last Word after the verdict. Although he was polite, it was clear from his demeanor he was disappointed by it, perhaps almost as disappointed as the US embassy! He also got a in a couple of questions in about the cost to the taxpayer. The ironic thing is, most of the cost to the taxpayer is the result of two collapsed trials, neither of which were our fault, but the fault of the judges who displayed (what could be perceived as) bias. And as Nuin has rightly pointed out, nobody talks about the cost to the ordinary Iraqi civilians (at least, very few in the mainstream media) of the bloodbath in Iraq. Cooper said in his Sunday Times article that we should feel lucky to have got a fair trial. Last time I checked, that was a basic human right, not a privilege for which we should feel grateful. As it happens, it took three attempts before we got something like a fair trial.
His article was full of inaccuracies about the whole legal process, and its sneering tone pretty much said to me there was a broader agenda there. Some mainstream outlets are still saying we did a criminal act (predictable from the Sindo), despite having been acquitted by a jury of our peers. This shows as much disrespect to the ordinary Irish public and their decision-making abilities as it does to us, and thus a great deal of arrogance on the part of the perpetrators of this view, as if they're the final arbiters in society and those who do jury duty are naive (a word used by one journalist). They didn't sit in court and listen to the evidence as the jury did - nobody reported on the trial. Some media outlets are still reporting prosecution evdience as fact, such as the idea that we 'ran into the hangar shouting words of God' (we entered the hanger surreptitiously and shouting nothing). And so the slander continues.
This is why it's so important to thank those in the activist community who have provided court reports for the last few weeks. I don't really know how to thank everyone enough who has contributed positively in this respect.
Here are just four straight factual errors in Mr Cooper's piece.
1 'based on last week's decision any defendant charged with a violent act who can argue successfully that the crime was committed to achieve a greater good can feel confident their case will get a decent hearing' Wrong - the lawful excuse defence does not apply to any old 'violent' acts - it is limited to damage to property.
2 'The vandals (as Mr Cooper calls them) did not leg it as soon as they had finished...instead they erected a 'shrine' ..' Wrong - that all happened before anyone entered the hangar.
3. '...it emerged that Judge McDonagh had attended both inaugurations of George W Bush..' Wrong again Matt, just the one.
4. 'Both Judges, in addition to Judge Joe Matthews in pre-trial rulings, ahd refused to allow the argument of 'lawful excuse' to be used'. Wrong - Judge Matthews had ruled the exact opposite.
But hey when your opinions are all banana-shaped to begin with who needs accuracy?
Matt's fifth howler:
'The five knew they were breaking the law when they attacked the aircraft'.
He may claim to be a banana, but I personally am not convinced - his reality is more pear shaped.
Deirdre, don't let morons like that journalist/entertainer Cooper get on your nerves. You did a brilliant thing, and you know by now what to expect from folks like that.
I wouldn't bother invoking words like "libel" so easily, both because I think Irish libel laws crap, and because I think people like Cooper are too well trained and protected for you to ever beat them on that front.
He either didn't understand the facts of the case before he wrote his article, or just didn't care to.
Here's a question for you and anyone else who may know more about the current legal situation in Ireland: What now for ploughshares-type actions at Shannon Airport after your case?
Kieran O'Sullivan's nonsense hardly deserves a response. A member of the Labour Party would be to the left of the IAWM/SWP position. Moderation fossilised. Time for a new anti-war movement and the best thing O'Sullivan and co. could do is quietly move out of the way and stop obstructing it. If you don't agree with diversity of tactics, that's fine: step back and don't undermine those who do.
Thanks for the kind encouragement, Eoin. I don't let them get on my activist nerves at all. I merely think it's important to point out the inaccuracies when they occur, if I have the inclination and energy. There are many others that have occurred that I have not bothered with. Also, I don't think I used the word 'libel' in my previous posting.
I also do wonder how well trained these guys are sometimes, merely from the point of view of someone who's worked as an editor for years, but that's by the by. In terms of them being protected, many thought the judiciary would protect the US administration's interests in Shannon - but a bunch of 12 normal Irish folks said 'No'. In that context, anything is possible!
Reflections on Ciarán O'Reillly's threatening statement to close down Shannon Airport(!):
The Catholic Worker Movement has every right to request of those in power in Leinster House to bring on end to the use of Shannon Airport as a stopover by the US military, I totally agree with this. But, I do not agree with the Catholic Worker Movement threatening to close down Shannon Airport (temporarily) by their actions (they have no right to do this!). This is an extremely stupid statement, nothing will turn people against ye more than threatening to close Shannon Airport down, as Shannon Airport is important to those living in its environs and to the Irish citizens who use it regularly and to the workers employed there, and it will be the ordinary people of Ireland that need to use Shannon Airport regularly that will suffer great inconvenience and lose out the most and not the US military (they can use other airports, it would be a minor inconvenience to them!).
I would advise against this action as I have supported ye up until this, but this statement really makes me wonder do you care at all about the ordinary Irish citizens and tourists who need to use this airport and the people who are employed there, the majority I'm sure are totally against Shannon Airport being used as a stopover by the US military. Feel free to attack US military planes, mar is áil libh, Ó in ainm Dé!, do not whatever ye do try shutting down this airport!!!
Bíodh ciall agaibh, le bhur thoil!!!
Slán agus beannacht Dé oraibh!
Shutting shannon would be inconvenient but what is the alternative until they stop allowing US military through, Death?
Really I think in the context of the slaughter in Iraq mass civil disobedience that shuts down Shannon for a few hours or half a day is mild. It's a pity it wasn't done before. Asking the government to stop the militarisation of Shannon Airport hasn't worked up to now. The government has blithely ignored this request, most notably when 100,000 people or more marched on February 15th 2003.
I would gladly miss a flight because I'd be aware that it's nothing compared to the plight of someone whose family have been blown to smithereens or whose limbs have been blown off by a cluster bomb in Iraq. If our relatively luxurious Western lifestyles must be sacrificed for a few hours, then so be it. Those lifestyles are maintained largely at the expense of the majority poorer world. Most civil disobedience causes a little bit of inconvenience. I'm sure those African-Americans who boycotted the bus services in the South to gain their civil rights were sick to the teeth of walking everywhere and I'm sure the white bus drivers were worried about their jobs. It is not the Catholic Workers who have the lack of perspective here.
Airport workers have caused major disruptions at Shannon and Dublin Airport before for their own benefit, as Irish labour law permits them to do. It causes inconvenience to passengers and businesses that depend on the airports, but sometimes it appears to be necessary.
Meanwhile what Ciaron has suggested (and others have suggested on this site since back in 2001, including at least Tim, Eoin, and perhaps Ed afaik) is only different in that it would
(A) be a direct act of solidarity with our victims in the third world (including, btw, airport workers), which for all we know may even save some lives,
(B) be a notice to militants that there's no need for them to demilitarise Shannon Airport
by force (even though the law may permit them to do so anyway), and
(C) help force an Irish public debate perhaps about Ireland's role in the world as peacemaker or warmaker's friend.
Considering all the loss of life and damage for which Shannon Airport is partly responsible (they can't say they didn't have a choice!) in Afghanistan and Iraq alone, I think the airport authorities and workers should thank goodness that there are still some people talking about demilitarising it nonviolently. (Those planning to do so by other means probably don't do press conferences before the act)
"Shutting shannon would be inconvenient but what is the alternative until they stop allowing US military through, Death?"
The invasion of Iraq by British imperialists and American capitalists and the bloody slaughter of Iraqi citizens will continue on regardless of whether Shannon Airport is used or not used by the American military. It will not make the slightest fucking difference to the death toll In Iraq.
Protests should continue at Shannon and appeals to those in Leinster House to stop facilitating the American war machine should continue, cinnte. But the sad reality is, they will go somewhere else (it was reported in the media recently, can't remember which one, that the US military were considering using another airport) and their war on Iraq will continue on without a hitch!
Any action that closes down Shannon Airport and targets Irish citizens (I'm talking here not only of tourists but of elderly people and people who are ill who need to seek medical treatment abroad who have to wait around in Shannon Airport for hours unnecessarily as a result of the threatened action if it's carried out!) causing them unnecessary distress.
This is really a fucking stupid statement by the Catholic Worker Movement and the majority on this island would not be in favour of the shutting down of Shannon Airport (it is not a fucking military airport, it is not owned by the US, it's an IRISH AIRPORT!!!). This threatened action will cause major uproar and invites hostile action. Nobody has the right to inconvenience Irish citizens in this manner and it is the ordinary people in Ireland, as usual, that will bear the brunt (and not the US military!) and for what, fucking nothing!!!
Feel free to attack the US military planes, if you wish, but do not target and punish Irish citizens, ye have absolutley no right to do that!
Bíodh ciall agaibh le bhur thoil!!!
"This is really a fucking stupid statement by the Catholic Worker Movement and the majority on this island would not be in favour of the shutting down of Shannon Airport"
Show me the wide-ranging poll you took - did you take one or is it just the word of you and your mates down the pub?
"(it is not a fucking military airport, it is not owned by the US, it's an IRISH AIRPORT!!!)".
It is a heavily militarised airport. As for the US not owning it, that's irrelevent to the argument.
"This threatened action will cause major uproar and invites hostile action. Nobody has the right to inconvenience Irish citizens in this manner and it is the ordinary people in Ireland, as usual, that will bear the brunt (and not the US military!) and for what, fucking nothing!!!"
Tell that to all the workers, such as taxi drivers, who have gone on strike in the last while - if you were consistent in your views you'd oppose the right to strike as well, as strikes cause inconvenience to the public. The consequences of kicking the US military out of Shannon could be quite powerful actually in terms of reaching the Irish-Americans who are undecided about the war. Nobody is saying it will stop the occupation of Iraq but it will send a strong message and is a step in the right direction. But then, why am I even bothering responding? When people use all caps and multiple expletives, it's usually a sign that they can't win an argument using reason alone.
"The invasion of Iraq by British imperialists and American capitalists and the bloody slaughter of Iraqi citizens will continue on regardless of whether Shannon Airport is used or not used by the American military. It will not make the slightest fucking difference to the death toll In Iraq"
Yes, sadly the so-called leaders (more rogue elephants really) will most probably ignore the temporary closure of Shannon in any protest -for the moment. Sadly, even the multitude of voices clamouring for them to halt their thoroughly evil and hypocritical wars are presently insufficent to persuade them to stop. They are thoroughly evil men (and women) dedicated to their evil-doing and it will take considerable effort and persistence to halt them. That does not mean we shouldn't try. Shannon alone will not make the quantum difference that is required. But to say it 'will not make the slightest f*****ing difference' is false logic. Indeed it will make a difference, when added to many other acts both here and in other countries. Each act in itself is hardly decisive, but taken together they can be.
Sheepstealer further writes:
"Protests should continue at Shannon and appeals to those in Leinster House to stop facilitating the American war machine should continue, cinnte. But the sad reality is, they will go somewhere else (it was reported in the media recently, can't remember which one, that the US military were considering using another airport) and their war on Iraq will continue on without a hitch! "
The government would be very happy for people to keep on protesting as long as it doesn't achieve anything. Even at that, protests are carefully regulated by the Criminal Justice Act - you can't just have people getting together on the streets in large numbers in a democracy demanding obedience from their chosen representatives, don't you know. governments are well practised in closing their ears and we can shout as loud as we like. That doesn't mean protests shouldn't happen - they are an important part of keeping awareness up and keeping pressure on. It's just that they are not sufficent in themselves anymore in the face of such willful disobedience from our government.
But as has been pointed out elsewhere on this site, airport workers, baggage handlers and the like have on occasion ground airports to a halt when it suited their interests. Sheepstealer is arguing that jobs will be lost etc., and of course I am sorry for anyone that would be out of pocket if the Americans stopped landing their military planes at Shannon. But it is clear by now that the military planes landing there are carrying munitions to wars where thousands of innocent people are getting killed and victims for torture. I believe that Shannon airport workers and the people in the region are decent souls who would not want to spend Euros in their local supermarket that came from such dirty sources of human suffering, anymore than they'd want the local economy to be supported by drugs or prostitution. Indeed, I know them to be decent souls, since many of them came out of their houses and joined us in the protest march against the visit of George Bush in 2003.
All kinds of planes land at Shannon and no-one has any problem with civil aviation. Shanon could try and diversify so that it would no longer need to depend on the military traffic. Indeed if US military got a better deal elsewhere (entirely possible under free market laws) they'd move out of Shannon in shot. they have no commitment to the region excpet as a cheap and convenient stopover with a compliant (and disobedient to its electorate) government. Indeed, as Sheepstealer writes, the US authorities are already transferring munitions to Israel via Prestwick airport (which is now the scene of protests) since the Irish government has finally decided (perhaps with an election coming and world opinion so vocal) to stop some of the flights through Shannon. Good! Let the protests continue at Prestwick, so those US flights will be blocked someday from landing there too, and so on. We can at least make it as hard as possible for them to carry on their warmongering conveniently, if we can't stop them outright.
Any action to temporarily shut Shannon down as a protest could be organised to affect military flights only and need not inconvenince civil avaiation or American tourists (who would always be welcome here). Nor would Shannon be shut down as an airport, simply it would be closed to military traffic carrying death and torture.
As suggested, if US military flights were only affected by the protest action, I would not have a problem with this action, but I do when it unnecessarily affects Irish civilians and tourists etc.
Just to make myself crystal clear, I have been at demonstrations outside Shannon Airport and all the major demos in Dublin against the US military's use of Irish airports on their way to carry out slaughter in Iraq. I do not approve of the US military using our airports. I don't believe Shannon Airport is reliant on the US military financially and that jobs in Shannon depend on US wars, I never ever in my life stated such a ridiculous thing nor I never would! I referred to the workers in that if regular actions of disruption to Shannon Airport were to happen, then jobs would be at risk, I don't know how many actions are being planned or indeed how long these actions to close Shannon will go on for.
As for workers' strikes, I'm in favour of some strikes, but not all, as something at least can be done in this country about employees' pay and conditions of work when people strike, and the Irish general public while terribly inconvenienced at the time, can put up with it better in the knowledge that there will be an end in sight and something worthwhile, good and constructive can be achieved by a workers' strike, which is quite separate from what is being discussed here and is very off topic.
With regard to this non-strike, this action to shut down Shannon will only inconvenience people unnecessarily, if people thought it would achieve something worthwhile like, bring an end to death and destruction in Iraq, people would glady support the action and put up with the terrible inconvenience, but this won't happen and the knowledge of the ineffectiveness of the action will make Irish citizens' extremely irate and will not gain further support. Sadly, no action taken by Irish citizens can prevent the US carrying out death and destruction in Iraq or elsewhere. Those in Leinster House, who could do something, have let Irish citizens down badly, by allowing themselves to be bullied by the US war machine into allowing them use our airports, even though they claim to be against the US's war on Iraq.
I have no problem with civil disobedience or other methods, but only if I believe they will produce positive results, I'm all for using any method if it stops the enemy, but shutting down Shannon Airport won't stop the enemy in this case.
Sheepstealer, The phrase "fucking stupid statement " is as an unhelpful as observing that your pseudonuym conjuires imagery of nonconsensual acts with a soft target speciies.
Just because the Catholic Worker/Plowshares have different poilitics than you doesn't necessitate they are "fucking stupid". They don't seek to "influence people in Leinster House", they don't intend to run for office, they don't vote! They are considering making a clear transparent statment that if the government doen's demilitarise Shannon Airport by a certain date, the airport will be closed down with nonviolent resistance.
Sheepstealer, educate yourself about Ploughshare/ Catholic Worker and you won't make so many mistakes in your generalisations
The effect of the Pitstop acquittal and the CW consideration of statement of intent has already had effect over the past weekend in terms of deployment and reinforcement for the Israeli slaughter in the Lebanon. From the BBC website "About 150 protestors demonstrated against refueling of U.S. planes at Prestwick/Scotland on Sunday. Two flights carrying hazardous material (bombs for Israel to drop on Lebanon) were diverted from Prestwick (civilain airport) to RAF Midenhall (military base) in Suffolk (England) on Saturday evening". This series of events followed the inital diversion of the Israeli bomb carrying U.S. flights from Shannon Airport, their original destination for refueling. Would the diversion have occured without the acquital of the Pitstop Ploughsares and the Catholic Worker publicise consideration of making statement to close down Shannon Airport if the Irish government does not militarise d the airport? I think not!
The CW proposal is already working, Shannnon is already being dimilitarised by the ploughshares action, acquittal and statement of intent. An unstoppable chain of events has been intitiated which will see the demilitarisation of Shannon Airport. The cessation of its role as gas station/ pit stop for the U.S. war machine on its way to slaughter the innocents. As surely as the U.S. sre losing militarily in Iraq, the ploughshares prophecy is winning at Shannon. You, like everyone, need to decide what side you are on! The redirection in Scotland after the redirection from Shannon, displays that the periphery is vulnerable in the war effort. This may explain why more media debate on the war is permitted in the centre (England & U.S.) and the censorship so heavy in the periphery (Irleand & Australia). Debate is censored, coverage of anti-war activity trivial in Ireland, because it is so vulnerable to go the way of Spain & Italy...from sychophantic supporter of the U.S. war to pro-active opponent of this illegal, immoral, unwinnable U.S. war.
War is very disruptive! When the U.S. military took Baghdad Airport and unnecessarily trashed and looted the duty free and shot up the Iraqi civilian airline planes, that was spretty disruptive. Serious peacemaking is also disruptive, ask the 5 pitstops living under restrictive bail conditions for 3 1/2 years - guilty of no crime. So the day Shannon Airport is nonviolently shut down - and it's coming soon - the war & kiling will be disrupted and maybe some civic activity that piggy backs on this assembly line of death. Notificationof possible disruption to civilian air travellers will definitely be made and may accompany a general call to boycott the Shannon Airport until it has been demilitarised.
"So the day Shannon Airport is nonviolently shut down - and it's coming soon - the war & kiling will be disrupted and maybe some civic activity that piggy backs on this assembly line of death. Notificationof possible disruption to civilian air travellers will definitely be made and may accompany a general call to boycott the Shannon Airport until it has been demilitarised."
What a load of shite the above statement is. Shannon Airport is not a military airport. Ye will really turn Irish people against ye if ye close Shannon Airport down, there's no doubt about that! I can't see many giving ye a céad míle fáilte romhaibh down at Shannon when ye turn up to close this airport down, which is vital for the economy down there (if things aren't bad enough economically in the county), any disruption if it is continuous, will have people up in arms! Why don't ye feck off and attack a US military air base or attack another US military plane and not be threatening to shut down Irish airports. Irish people did not invade Iraq and kill its citizens, they came out in their thousands against the US war on Iraq, so why are ye punishing them by closing down their airport.
Disrupt US military flights if you wish, but don't shut down Shannon Airport!
Dia ár sábháil!
Your credibility is draining away with every post, Sheepstealer. At this stage, anyone who believes that you are a genuine anti-war activist who has been down for protests at Shannon was verily born yesterday, and not the day before.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has rejected charges that is has already refused permission to Israeli-bound arms carrying aircraft, insisting there was no request made. The government has also denied it has refused request by military to transport consignments through Shannon of 600lb "bunker-buster bombs" that are responsible for of the worst damage in Lebanon.
Sheepstealer, where are you coming from with your 'appeal to leinster house', maybe you mean direct your energies at leinster house not workers but you are obviously confused about the Ploughshare if you supported them up to now yet want them to appeal to leinster house, you perhaps shouldn't comment on something you don't get. Do you not think some disruption to cannon fodder is worth some disrupion to tourists?
Shannon Airport Inc is not loyal to its workers so why should they be loyal to Shannon Airport Inc
Epitomises the central problem with the SWP/IAWM - their complete lack of imagination. Let's march till the cows go home. Everything else is bad, bad, bad tactics.
Gis a break.
"Your credibility is draining away with every post, Sheepstealer. At this stage, anyone who believes that you are a genuine anti-war activist who has been down for protests at Shannon was verily born yesterday, and not the day before.!
I would never ever call myself an anti-war activist. I approve of some wars, some wars are necessary, but not this one. I am totallly against the war on Iraq and have gone to all the major demos in Dublin and two in Shannon.
It is true I know little of the Catholic Worker Movement, but I did approve of their actions with regard to the US military plane, I've no problem with them attacking US military planes engaged in the Iraq war. My problem is solely with their threat to shut down Shannon Airport.
Would seriously piss Irish people off if the airport was closed down for civilian use. The whole point should be get the public on side not alienate them.
The Ploughshares have a lot of good will after the court case it would be a shame to lose it.
Sheepstealer does NOT have a point. The CW proposition, backed by many antiwar activists, is that it is preferable to shut Shannon UNTIL the US military is removed. No US military, no problem.
Hundreds are now dying every day in Iraq. The US proxy Israel is also slaughtering people in Palestine and Lebanon. Afghanistan remains under the boot of the US military. Enough is enough! If the US military are not expelled from Shannon airport, then the airport is fair game for NON-VIOLENT direct action and civil disobedience. If this was an industrial dispute over poor wages or bad working conditions, nobody would be in the slightest bit concerned about an industrial shutdown. In fact, it's about human lives and some of us take that seriously.
"If this was an industrial dispute over poor wages or bad working conditions, nobody would be in the slightest bit concerned about an industrial shutdown"
Yes they would they, they would be pissed off.
Irish people hate inconvience of any type espically if it is carried out by people proclaiming moral superiority.
If you want to make Ireland pro war go ahead.
sheepstealer in alot of these mythic 'ordinary Irish peoples' eyes you have already done what you're accusing the ploughshares of doing, disrupting Shannon airport, if you went on the demonstrations to Shannon you will have done that or disrupted traffic to the airport even for an hour, people will have read about _your_ antics at the airport and thought ""This threatened action will cause major uproar and invites hostile action. Nobody has the right to inconvenience Irish citizens in this manner and it is the ordinary people in Ireland, as usual, that will bear the brunt (and not the US military!) and for what, fucking nothing!!!"" and just like the airbase in texas its at far more risk from the free market and downsizing then protestors. What gave you the right to go to Shannon and threaten the jobs of local workers huh?
Maybe the Ploughshares wil be doing the workers favour doing something there not in a position to do.
In fact, it's about human lives and some of us take that seriously
Of course you do, as you take Irish peoples Livelyhoods seriously too, i presume that if you shut down shannon, you would compensate people who work there who are suddenly unable to pay their rent, all the business that depends on shannon and all the people that they employ
The fact is:
IRISH LIVES ARE IMPORTANT AS WELL
i am not saying do not do it,
Just be aware of the reactions and the consequences that you will recieve from the people you do this in the name of
Perhaps, since you keep shrieking from behind several different names, you can explain how Irish lives are at risk if "IRISH LIVES ARE IMPORTANT TOO" (always the sign of someone who can't argue when they start shouting in capital letters). Nobody is proposing to do anything that will place any Irish person in the slightest physical danger. What you are saying is that it's better for thousands of Iraqis to die than for a few flights to be delayed for a few hours. Anyone following your contributions can see that you're a dishonest pro-war troll, and possibly a cop.
If the US military is forced to abandon its occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, jobs will be lost in service industries left, right and centre, all over the world. The military-industrial complex employs a lot of people. So, should we argue for its expansion or demolition? I know my answer to that question.
The workers in Shannon airport are NOT the enemy. Nobody in the antiwar movement sees them as such. Most, if not all, were working there before the blood money was accepted from the US war machine. However, it is now a militarised airport, a cog in an imperial killing machine. What are our choices? Let it continue to be used to kill people because we don't want to discomfort ourselves and some Irish workers? Or insist that the US military be expelled come hell or high water? The issue is as important as any that have caused industrial disputes in the past. Indeed, it would be absolutely wonderful if the workers came out on strike against the presence of the US military, absolutely wonderful. However, attempts to connect with the workforce have been less than successful.
Time is not a luxury we have. It is our duty as serious antiwar activists to shut Shannon UNTIL and ONLY UNTIL the US military leave.
is that it is preferable to shut Shannon UNTIL the US military is removed. No US military, no problem.
A) I posted this, you are trying to say that i am somebody else?--Ask indy to compare IPS --i am 100% sure that they will tell you that they are totally different
B) The above quote will take a couple of hours?? Who are you trying to cod
COP ON to yourself and stop trying to insult Irish people
DO your shut down and watch the Irish people desert you in droves as you jepodise Irish peoples livelyhoods and jobs
If Iraqi lives are more important to you than Irish livelyhoods and Irish children getting fed and housed then shove off to iraq and do proactive work in YOUR name not do something supposeadly in Irelands name that affects Irish people
why do you people always accuse people of being cops if they try to point out the obvious to you or even post something that disagrees with what you have said?
"a dishonest pro-war troll, and possibly a cop." Whats with the abuse ?
Your attitude is the sort of thing that puts people off getting involved and leaves the anti war movement as a fringe pursuit (a very unsuccessful one at that if you measure success as being a change in government policy).
The key to this is to connect with more people.
Sheepstealer the phrase 'threaten to shut down Shannon Airport' are Senator FF Daly word's... why are you using them.
To read the Ploughshare words go to www.peaceontrial.com
The CW's plan to meet agan with th Bishop and raise the idea of setting up a fund for Shannon workers to leave thier jobs and be supported in an intiial period of unemployment (This project will be modelled on a similar one intiated by Bishop Mathiessen in Amirillo Texas in relation to his flock leaving the Pantx nuclear warhead factory in the mid-80's). CW's will also be discussing with the BIshop the concept of "sanctuary of the church" for U.S. military to jump ship in Ireland and seek sanctuary from service in the illegal immoral war on Iraq.
Sheepstealer the phrase 'threaten to shut down Shannon Airport' are Senator FF Daly word's... why are you using them.
Ó in ainm Dé!!!, my heart is fucking broke with ye! I was quoting what Ciarán O'Reilly (he of the great dreadlocks) said this fella said at the hands-off Lebanon demo last Saturday. I couldn't give a shite what someone in Fianna Fáil would be spewing out of them.
And yes, I probably did disrupt a bit of traffic down in Shannon Airport in the past when I was at the two demos, but that is not quite the same thing has closing down the whole feckin airport. I will support demos and will continue to support marches against the war in Iraq.
Jaysus you know, I'm withered writing this, I think this idea of shutting down Shannon Airport is a major feckin mistake.
As far as I know, and I trust someone will correct me if I am wrong, the arrangement between the Republic of Ireland Government and the United States Government regarding the use of Shannon Airport for U.S. military purposes constitutes an "international agreement" under Republic of Ireland law.
Why then has this international agreement never been "laid before Dail Eireann (the Republic of Ireland Parliament"? - as is required under Article 29. 5. 1° of BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN (The Basic Law of the Republic of Ireland). The full text of this core legal document can be viewed via the following page:
Where, I wonder, do Prime Minister Ahern T.D., and his political and legal associates in and around Dáil Éireann, think they get the authority from to blatantly violate BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN (The Constitution of the Republic of Ireland) regarding this particular matter?
Why does the Government of the United States tacitly approve and encourage such outrageous behaviour?
Last but not least, where is our so called "Guardian of the Constitution" - President Mary McAleese?
If, as seems to me to be the case, those referred to above really are all colluding to violate the Constitution of Ireland in such a major way, do they not fully qualify for the kind of description 80's tennis ace John McEnroe might use: "A disgrace to humanity"?
have a gander at this
Yup, dishonest pro-war trolls indeed, "la la" and "bla bla bla" and "sheepstealer" all included. The same dishonest blather from the lot of them
Cogar, Pigstealer, I have only ever used my nickname "Sheepstealer" here, I did not use any other name (why on earth would I do that?) All my contributions are honest as always, and I am not pro this Iraq war. I approve of some wars but certainly not this one.
Bíodh ciall agat!!!
I was aware of the High Court challenge involving Mr Horan, though I have never studied it properly. Thank you for the web site address containing all the information in question.
Leaving aside the High Court business involving Mr Horan, extremely important though it is, the matter I have raised relates to the Article 29. 5. 1° Constitutional issue of international agreements being "laid before Dáil Éireann (the Republic of Ireland Parliament)": for the specific purpose of debate and approval - or NOT - by Parliament (i.e. Dáil Éireann).
As things stand, and I realise I might be wrong, I have no reason to believe the Article 29. 5. 1° condition has ever been met as far as the "war plane" Shannon Airport agreement with the United States is concerned. Does anyone know of any records of significant Dáil Éireann debates on this subject?
It may also be worth my mentioning that in regard to a different, put possibly even more important "international agreement", namely the United Nations Aarhus Convention Agreement, it is definitely the case (to the very best of my knowledge) that it has not been "laid before Dáil Éireann": even though the Republic of Ireland signed this particular agreement in 1998.
As some will already know, the Aarhus Convention Agreement has truly MASSIVE implications for every man, woman, and child in the Republic of Ireland: and VERY benign ones at that. Unfortunately, and thanks very largely to the "traditional" media, there are still a lot of people I suspect who do not know a single thing about the Aarhus Convention Agreement - which is like "holy water to the devil" apparently, as far as the entire population of Dáil Éireann and Washington D.C. is concerned.
"Another fine mess you've gotten me into Stanley"?
Are you sure it's not your life that you are unwilling to disrupt by serious nonviolent resistance to the war machine.
Just be honest and cut the altruistic postering you feel a lil' threatened by what it would personally cost to make a serious dent (mind the pun!) in the war effort. That's going beyond the comfort zone of moral posturing aginst the war etc. Remember how the Pitstops ended their statement bythe Jesuit resisetr priest....
"Daniel Berrigan, who observes: ''We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price.
And because we want peace with half a heart and half a life and will,
the war, of course continues, because the waging of war, by its nature
is total - but the waging of peace, by our cowardice is partial.''