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The Empire Strike Back! - White House & Indo Sic on to the Acquitted Ploughshares

category dublin | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Sunday July 30, 2006 16:57author by A Report this post to the editors

The Pitstop Ploughshares have never had an easy ride with the mainstream media. From the lies broadcast about the nonexistant assault on the Garda in the hangar. To the oft reported fabrication that the Irish taxpayer was picking up the "US2.5 million for repairs to the warplane. The powerful defense testimony was largely censored form the Irish media. Now the battle of the myths rages post-trial Alos a frightening repsonse form the White House to the jury's acquittal in Dublin.

Three articles appear in today's "Sunday Independent" (July 30th. 2006) in reference to the acquittal of the Pitstop Ploughshares. One is entitled "Acquitted peace activist protestor has many convictions: Cleared of $2.5million to a U.S. plane, Ciaron O'Reilly says he plans to force closure of Shannon".
I will deconstruct this article further later as comments when I have more time, I'm posting this now to alert folks to the issues and if they wish to purchase a copy of the paper for further analysis.

This article is written by Maeve Sheehan, it mention's Ciaron's long history of civil disobedience. The reporter refers to Ciaron's "record of violent protests", even though Ciaron is an internationally renowned pacifist and both Judge and Prosecution (who had in his possession Ciaron's "criminal" history continually refered to him as nonviolent.)

The article also refers to Brendan Daily (FF Co. Clare Senator) call to have O'Reilly investigated for "incitement", in relation to the statement that the airport would be shut down nonviolently if the government did not demilitarise it by a certain date. More on this aritcle (as comment) later.

2) The second article (Page 25), "The naivete of a nation incapable of taken a balanced view" by Emer O'Kelly libels the Pit Stop Ploughshares with the accusation "A crime is a crime, even when you don't like the vicitm. What happened at Shannon was a serious crime........" The ploughshares were unconvicted for their activity at Shannon. Emma implies they are guilty of criminal activity. Three of the Pitstops have no previuous criminal history. A case to answer methinks in terms of libel.

3) The third article celebrates the Ploughshares action and the verdict of the jurors. Soapbox (Page 36) columnist Gene Kerrigan pens "Welcome sanity when lunacy is so often applauded" celebrating the PItstop Ploughshares. He does raise the spectre that there may have been an immediate totalitarian White House response to the Dublin jury's decision......"On Friday, the Washington Post quoted from a draft law, being prepared to try those the Bush regime regards as "engaged in hostilities". It applies to acts from killing to damaging "protected property". Military Commissions will try suspects. Evidence need not be shown to the accused. The accused need not be present. The trial can be postponed for years. The accused will have a U.S. military lawyer. Hearsay evidence is admissable (and plentiful) when suspects are "rendered") to secret prisons fo torture.) The commission can give life sentences -or death. It's credible that future protestors at Shannon could be rendered into such "justice".

Was this White House draft late last week in response to the Dublin Ploughshares acquittal? Would have happened if the PItstops were found guilty? Is there a paradigm shift to move the 26 year old pacifist nonviolent disarmament plowshares movement www.plowsharesactions.org to the status of "enemy combatant in the war on terror"?

Related Link: http://www.plowsharesactions.org
author by GEpublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 19:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The US move towards facism is well and truly in place. Our client state status will ensure local cronies carry out the spade work on the emerald isle and you can be sure the Sunday Indo will be flying their flags!

We in the peace movement to not fear them.

We will continue stronger and more resolute.

Their crimes will be highlighted.

author by Apublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 05:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On this blog you will find a post "Guilty or Innocent: Ciaran O'Reilly".
On the post you will find a link to "Hack", a national Australian drive time radio program on Australia's youth radio station JJJ.

The interview with Ciaran comes approx 25 minutes into the program.
It is preceeded by stories on.....
- the Australian Labor Party rolling back on its opposition to uranium miing & export.
-U..N. workers killed by Israeli bombardment of Lebanaon.
-Israeli Conscript now living on Australia reflecting on her peiod of military services
-Health issues in the indigeneous community


Related Link: http://noguarantees.blogspot.com/
author by Apublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 05:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This 10 minute Canadian Broadcasting Commission radio interview with Ciaron O'Reilly was broadcast during the Dublin trial.
It was also broadcast across the U.S. on National Public Radio
Click on link below
Then click on Part 2 of "As it Happens"......


Related Link: http://www.cbc.ca/radioshows/AS_IT_HAPPENS/20060707.shtml
author by Stevepublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 14:52author email flabbyvegan at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah I've read these articles already - these writers seem to forget entirely that the plane that was disabled was designed and deployed for no purpose other than to kill people. But instead they go on as if the five were a pack of hooligans running around smashing innocent people's property just to get attention. Disgusting altogether.

author by Ciaronpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 23:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was at the Paul Kelly gig at Whelans on Friday night, when the phone rang!

It was Maeve Sheehan, on the line from the Sunday Indo informing me they were doing an article on moi for the forthcoming edition. Maeve announced, like it was some kind of scoop, that they had discovered I "had been arrested in 3 different countries"
I replied, "Well six actually, if you count Scotland as independent and I always like to think of Scotland as independent!"

The title of the page 6 article reads "Acquitted peace protestor has many convictions" Subtitled "Cleared of $2.5m damage to a US plane, Ciaron O'Reilly says he plans to force closure of Shannon" There's a photo of me handcuffed, flashing a peace sign but not looking too happy. The Indo doesn't like portraying the Pit Stops as happy people. Photos in the Indo edition following the acquittal had 5 individual photos, none of us smiling. Contrast this to the more sympathetic Daily Ireland where it's a critical mass of pearly whites!

2nd. paragraph "Ciaron O'Reilly's record of violent protest has increased local concerns....." I have no record of violent protests, I have one "asault police" from when I was skinny & 17, bashed senseless & framed by Queensland Det JFJ who later that year was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for extortion. The body of Norm the Doorman, the main state witness against Det JFJ, has never been recovered.

Catholic schools in Queensland teach a unit on my nonviolent activism. I am presently in a class action suit with a guy from Cavan & 38 Aussies from the Melbourne 2000 World Economic Forum. According to the ombudsman 450 fully kitted up riot police stampeded us while we were seated & singing, batoning and kicking us in the head. During the entire stampede and two bashing incidents I experienced that followed, I did not throw a punch.

The garda in the Shannon hangar testified three times under oath, that I comforted him when he had a stress attack during the disarmament. Still Seamus Brennan has not retractred the slander that we assaulted & hospitalised a garda. In cross evamination, I defined violence as violating the image of God - human beings. Christian pacifists reject violence. We used nonviolent loving force to disarm this U.S. NAVY war plane (navy left out in the subtitle for this article and the photo collection provided by the police (Is it just me or are these people trying to strip our act of context?)

Para 3 "Mr. O'Reilly a self proclaimed christian anarchist...." Well it's a matterof academic record, look up "Demanding the Impossible- A History of Anarchism", look under "O" in the index, you'll find me wedged between Orwell and Oppenheimer!

Para 4"attacking the plane" well we engaged it and disabled it.

Para 5 "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 different countries....." (It's six and this factoid is presented as somehow unique, no jury is told of previous convictions of the defendant. That issue only arises at sentencing in front of the judge alone. But hey this is the country that gave us Brendan Daily, a lawmaker who thinks you can appeal acquittals. So go figure? (& see Para 6 for Brendan "I need pre-selection, lets round up a lynch mob" Daly.

Para 10 "His mother recently told Australian newspapers that her son has been protesting since the age of 12" (thanx mum but you omit to tell'em that it was you & Dad who dragged me out a week after Bloody Sunday in derry to attend my first protest.

Para 13 "He turned up in Britain in 1997, where he got conditional discharge in October that year after being convicted at Liverpool's Magistrates Court of criminal damage during proptests at the Royal Navy headquarters in Northwood, London"
What would I be doing in a Liverpool magistrates court on for an offence commited in Watford, London???? I didn't turn up in 1997, from 1996 I was living in community with young East Timorese men who had been orphaned & tortured under a British armed Suharto client dictatorship, it made a lot of sense to go to the Department of Trade & Industry offices in a beautiful slavery funded building on the docks. It made sense to pour East Timorese blood on those imperial marble pillars...a bit disappointing being charged with crim dam to four carpet tiles (really didn't have the same poetic ring as the marble pillars hilding up the colonial edifice!

Northwood 2001 was a few of years after the bombing of Afghanistan had commenced.

Para 14 "In 1998 he was in Australia where he appeared before Darwin magistrates twice, where he was convicted of criminal damage and tresspass for the bizarre "exorcism of the USS New Jersey warship, a ritual he performed by sprinkling it with blood." What's bizarre is you let Hollywood define your understanding of what exorcism is. Read the scripture (Read Ched Myers "Biding the Strongman", Orbis Press, USA as a commentary). Also bizzare is that you have me exorcising a warship in 1998 that was decomissioned and dry docked in the early '90's. The exorcism happened during a public tour on a ship that had slain children in Lebanon & Vietnam and was being presented as a children's entertainment. in solidairyt woth the children it had slain and threatened to slay WE named it as something else by POURING blood we had smuggled on board & through the friskinf in black current juice botles. 1998 was ofr disabling uranium mining equipment on the Jabiluka mine site on the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki (the oldest Catholic city in Asia) by predominantly Catholic American bomb crew afterbeng blessed (by the later repentant Fr. George Zabelka) which then used the Catholic Cathedral as gorund zero for the atom bomb (NOW YOU TELL ME WHO AND WHAT IS BIZARRE BEHAVIOR?) We managed to close the Jabiluka mine site, the shaft has been filled in and the uranium miners have departed after hundreds of arrests in a nonviolent reistance campaign in one of thew world's most isoalted locales.

Para 22 "Ciaron was unrepentant this weekend" You got that right.

Para 23 "Fresh from his close shave with 10 years imprisonment for his alleged crime, O'Reilly plans to shut down Shannon Airport o stop US planes from refueling there" We're going to give the government a date to demiltarise the airport, they seem to be showing signs of progress this wekend turning away a U.S. resupply of bunker bombs from landing. A bridge too far for Ahern's populist politics, Refueled here today landing on Lebanon villages tomorrow. We'd like the spirit of the acquittal is a moving downi Shannon and in the inner circles of power. If the government does not demiliatrise the airport, remove it from complicity with the killing of Iraqi children and form being one of the world's most likely airports to be bombed as the wra comes home, the aorport will be closed nonviolently in the spirit expressed by our unanimous randomly chosen jury. Irish people don't want any war with the peoples of Iraq & Lebanon no matter what the posturing and deceits of the Irfish giovernment happen to beon any given day.

author by cool jpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 04:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No-one should be suprised by the lies and general gutter right-wing journalism that pervades every level of the Tony O'Reilly media empire which reads like the printed version of Fox news. Unfortunatly this seems to be a trend in the mainstream media in ireland with the Sunday times hurling lies and insults at anyone in recent weeks who they percieve is not signed up to their increasingly right-wing, unrestrained capitalist view of Ireland. Even more worrying is that the relativly restrained views of the Sunay Tribune seem to have been contaminated by pro-estaiblishment bias, with there highly in-accurate and insulting comments on the Corrib gas/ Rossport 5 issue.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We need more of this - as much as you can possibly deliver.

"Good on ya mate!" - and on all of your associates and supporters.

The Irish Independent? - ain't worth a flying "Castlemaine 4 x" is it?


For those who might not know, "Fair dinkum" is an old Australian expression which very roughly translates to mean "genuine".


"I met a lot of shallow types over there to do with the movie. They do this thing where they hug ya. My mum taught me that a hug was getting your hearts close to show love, a fair-dinkum thing. But these people are chunks of steel, like concrete mate." Steve Irwin (Crock Hunter).

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com/
author by OZpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dinkum has Cantonese roots meaning real as opposed to fools gold on the fields. Common exclamation by Chinese during the OZ gold rush (not common enuff they would prbably say!)

author by anonpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 15:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I thought Gene Kerrigan was quite complimenatary to you on the back page, but I can't forgive the page paper for their other writers, who continued to question the intelligence of the jury who Im sure had an inkling that you had previous encounters with war machines and the law.

author by Deirdre Clancy - Pitstop Ploughsharespublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 15:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What's Kerrigan doing writing for the Sindo? He's always seemed like a bit of an anomaly there, in that he's actually a human being.

author by Caobhinpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kerrigan had already forged his reputation before joining O'reillys gang of lackeys and sychophants as he came from the Irish Press which went belly-up in 1995. The shitrag he now writes for, eagerly to pick over the bones, quickly snapped him up hence his position as the lone voice of reason there, which would not be possible had he originated as one of o'reillys creatures.

author by geoffpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 18:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your posting, Ciaron, is quite interesting to read in itself, as well as being a rational resdponse. Perhaps the Sindo might consider publishing this piece. They have Gene Kerrigan as a writer for the paper, so they can appear "balanced". So give the lovely Maeve Sheehan a ring and see if they are willing, in the spirit of fair play, to publish this. More people need to see these few words you posted here, they are great!

author by Zpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Emer O'Kelly defames the character of at least 3 of the pitstops who have no criminal record at all, by stating that what they did was a crime. She and her paper should be sued for defamation of character.

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