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Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs in Shannon

category clare | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Tuesday January 08, 2008 16:08author by Seán Ryan Report this post to the editors

featured image

A short report describing the harassment experienced by protestors while displaying an anti-war banner at Shannon airport. The report highlights the fact that the Gardaí are either unaware of the law or do not practice it. This contrasts strongly with the claims by the government that gardaí are upholding civil and human rights at Shannon while at the same time facilitating the transport of US military supplies and CIA planes that are used for the transportation of torture victims.

Paul O’Toole, Elaine O’Sullivan and yours truly infiltrated Shannon Airport yesterday to unveil a banner that read “US Military Out Of Shannon,” outside the entrance to the main terminal building.

I use the term “infiltrated,” lightly. In truth, we’d overshot the Peace Camp and ended up on the approach to the security checkpoint in the airport. We were behind two other cars that were stopped at the checkpoint and we were watching a group of Gardaí who were unlawfully preventing a group of activists, who were on foot, from entering the airport. After a quick chat with the occupants of the two cars in front of us they were waved on and it was our turn. The Gardaí gave a quick glance into our vehicle and without a single question waved us on too. It was like a scene out of Star Wars, where the Stormtrooper allows Luke Skwalker and Obiwan into the city after Obiwan uses the ‘Force’ and tells the Stormtrooper that there’s nothing to see and that there’s no reason to stop them.

Paul parked the car in the short-term car park. We took out one of the banners that we’d brought and made our way over to the entrance of the terminal. Paul and I waited beside two Gardaí as Elaine went into the terminal for a trip to the ladies. When Elaine came out we made our way over to the other side of the entrance and unfurled the banner. Elaine and I held the banner and Paul took pictures. We were waiting for about ten minutes and freezing before we came to the attention of the Gardaí.

The two Gardaí that Paul and I had stood beside initially, came over to us in a very business-like manner and after the initial greetings they got down to business. We were informed that we were engaged in an unlawful activity and that we’d have to leave. The Garda speaking at this point, after being questioned said he was enforcing the Air Navigation and Transport Act - Section 8. I didn’t correct this Garda with regard to this - section 8 is the wrong section. Section 33 is the section that he should have been aware as being the relevant section. A Garda has no power to enforce a law he is unaware of.

Understanding that it was section 33 that should have been used, I informed the Garda that I was not in violation of the Airport Navigation and Transport Act and that we were at the airport for a lawful purpose. I told him that were we there to protest and asked him if he considered protest to be unlawful. He had no answer for this and told me that he was acting under the instructions of the airport police (sounds similar to the actions of the Gardaí in Rossport). I then told the Garda that he was bound by his oath where he promised to uphold the Constitution and my rights. He answered that he was only following orders. To which I answered that the order that he was following was an unlawful one and that I would not be paying any attention to it. After he got over his amazement that I was disobeying his order he told me that I would have to follow his order or that there would be action taken. At this point the (big) Garda that had been interacting with Paul and Elaine came over to me and demanded my name and address under the Public Order Act. I informed this Garda that despite the fact that he had no business using this act to demand my name and address that I would comply. I decided not to get into a semantics-based argument on this because Section 33 of the Airport Navigation and Transport Act allows for an ’Authorised’ person to demand my name and address without supplying a reason for this demand. However, the Garda had demanded my name and address using the Public Order Act, and he had not cautioned me before doing this. I decided to explore this with him before supplying my details. I asked him what reasonable suspicion fuelled his belief that we were about to provoke a breach of the peace. He had no answer for this and just parroted his demand that I supply my name and address under the Public Order Act. I asked him if he felt that I was either a threat to security or if I were likely to provoke a breach of the peace in his opinion. He could not or would not answer this either. These were grounds to ignore both him and his order, but I gave my name and address at this point for reasons that I’ve already gone into.

At this point Elaine was giving a running commentary to Tim Hourigan via a phone. Tim was stuck outside the Airport with other activists. Paul continued to snap pictures and to ask the Gardaí questions regarding their want to quell legitimate protest and at the same time enable and facilitate genocide. The Gardaí had no answers for Paul either.

At one point in her conversation with Tim and before I’d given my name and address, Elaine told Tim that I might be arrested. To this the (big) Garda answered that nobody had said anything about arrest. A squad car and an Airport Police van pulled up at this point and the two Gardaí left us to have a conference with them. Lots of Airport Police emerged from the terminal to glare at us at this point. In the middle of all of this I got a phone call from a concerned Niall Harnett. I told Niall that discussions thus far had been reasonable and that we did not feel either threatened or in Danger. To the credit of the two Gardaí they were both well mannered and at no point did they put a hand on us or our banner. We gave Niall the names and numbers of the two Gardaí and made arrangements in case there were any arrests made.

When the conference between the Gardaí and the Airport Police was over the two Gardaí came back to us. They stood talking with us and were blocking the banner from public view. Elaine informed them of this and asked them to move, which they did. The two Gardaí moved to my side between me and the Airport Police who were still glaring at us. The (big) Garda took Elaine’s and Paul’s details after this and then approached me asking me for my date of birth. I informed him that I’d already given him my name and address and that I’d be giving him nothing else. Realising that this particular game was going nowhere he did not pursue it further.

Whilst all this was happening a small wagtail came in for a landing a few feet to our rear. Paul immediately started to photograph it. Some six foot two ‘knob’ dressed in the uniform of an Airport cop came over to Paul and demanded that he stop taking photos as he did not have permission from Aer Rianta. Paul told this person that he was unaware of what law he was breaking. The ‘knob’ informed Paul that he was in violation of the Air Navigation and Transport Act. When questioned by Paul with regard to what section was being violated the ‘knob’ replied that Paul was violating “Sec - shun - thir - tee - tree” as he made a hasty retreat to hide behind the pack of Airport Police that had gathered outside the entrance to my left. The poor wagtail took all of this in his stride as did we and he continued to chirp merrily, oblivious to the bullshit going on around him. We have some footage of him which we’ve christened “The footage that the Authorities in Shannon didn’t want you to see.

We were asked a few times more would we be leaving by the two Gardaí, who were answered in the negative.

We displayed the banner for another ten to fifteen minutes before we succumbed to the weather and decided to leave of our own volition. The (big) Garda told me that he had joined the Gardaí for the right reasons as we were leaving. I told him that I accepted this without reservation, but that he should not allow himself to be used for unlawful purposes and asked him to research what constituted an ‘unlawful order.’ He replied that he would and we left to meet our friends outside the airport. Paul picked up the car whilst Elaine and I took the banner and displayed it to everyone we passed as we walked to the checkpoint where our fellow activists were interacting with a large group Gardaí.

One might be tempted to refer to our action as a victory of sorts, but on reflection this would be quite wrong. We were but a token representation of the group who’d made their way to Shannon to protest lawfully. We were lucky that we got to practice our lawful rights and we deplore the fact that others were unlawfully prevented from practicing their lawful and civil rights. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85694

Our experience begs that many questions be asked. A few weeks ago at a debate in the Oireachtas, which I attended in the company of Ed Horgan and Conor Cregan it was said that the Gardaí were currently engaged in training with regard to them being in a position to enforce Human Rights and specifically so at Shannon airport - this was specifically in regard to policing Extraordinary Rendition flights which frequent Shannon Airport on a frighteningly regular basis. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85567 How can the Gardaí enforce such lofty goals when they refuse to recognise basic Civil Rights? How can they ensure International Law is adhered to when they don’t even understand simple acts like the Air Navigation and Transport Act and the Public Order Act?

Here’s a copy of Section 33 of the Air Transport and Navigation Act. Please note that there is no prohibition whatsoever on photography or a requirement that persons seek the authorisation of Aer Rianta.

33.—(1) An authorised officer, in the interest of the proper operation, or the security or safety, of an aerodrome, or the security or safety of persons, aircraft or other property thereon, may do all or any of the following things—

( a ) stop, detain for such time as is reasonably necessary for the exercise of any of his powers under this section, and search any person or vehicle on an aerodrome;

( b ) require any person on an aerodrome to—

(i) give his name and address and to produce other evidence of his identity;

(ii) state the purpose of his being on the aerodrome;

(iii) account for any baggage or other property which may be in his possession;

( c ) order any person

(i) who refuses to give his name or address, or to produce other evidence of his identity, or

(ii) who refuses to state the purpose of his being on the aerodrome, or

(iii) who refuses to account for any baggage or other property in his possession, or

(iv) who gives a name or address or states a purpose of his being on the aerodrome which is known, or is reasonably suspected, by the authorised officer to be false or fictitious, or

(v) whom he knows not to have, or whom he reasonably suspects of not having, a lawful reason for being on the aerodrome,

to leave the aerodrome, or any part thereof, or he may remove such person from the aerodrome, or any part thereof, or he may arrest that person without warrant,

( d ) arrest without warrant any person- 4

(i) who assaults, or whom he reasonably suspects to have assaulted, another person on an aerodrome, or

(ii) whom he knows to have, or whom he reasonably suspects of having contravened section 12 or 19, or

(iii) whom he knows to have, or reasonably suspects of having, a stolen article in his possession.

(2) Where an authorised officer, who is not a member of the Garda Síochána, arrests a person under this section, he shall, forthwith, deliver such person into the custody of a member of the Garda Síochána to be dealt with in accordance with law.

(3) Where an authorised officer arrests a person pursuant to the powers conferred on him by subsection (1) (d) (iii), he may retain in his possession any article which he knows to have been, or reasonably suspects of having been, stolen until it has been established whether or not the article was stolen.

(4) A person who was ordered by an authorised officer to leave an aerodrome or part of an aerodrome, or who was removed from an aerodrome or part of an aerodrome by an authorised officer, shall not, on the same day, without the permission of an authorised officer, return to the aerodrome or the part of the aerodrome which he was ordered to leave, or from which he was removed, as the case may be.

(5) Any person who obstructs or impedes an authorised officer in the exercise of any of the powers conferred on him by this section, or who fails to comply with any lawful requirement of an authorised officer under this section, shall be guilty of an offence.

(6) In this section, "authorised officer" has the same meaning as in section 15 of the Act of 1950 (as amended by this Act).


(Big) Garda deals with Elaine
(Big) Garda deals with Elaine

Paul between two apple trees planted in memory of dear friends
Paul between two apple trees planted in memory of dear friends

author by Coilínpublication date Mon Jan 07, 2008 23:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the detailed account of fruitful dialogue with the gardaí, Seán.

Sorry I couldn't be there myself to participate this year. Maybe next time.

A few questions strike me:
1. What powers does anybody have to prevent any member of the public from entering the airport with the intent to engage in lawful expressions of his or her political convictions?
Put it another way: Under what circumstances and under what acts of the Oireachtas - if any - do the airport police or members of the Garda have the right to obstruct paths or roads into a civilian airport?

2. What and where exactly is an aerodrome? Were you on an aerodrome when the act was cited at you?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were standing outside the checkpoint at the entrance to the airport? - Or as soon as I passed it?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I took one step into the terminal building? - Or one step out?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were a US soldier sitting in the transit lounge?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were a CIA officer or a prisoner shackled to a mattress on board an aircraft (e.g. N475LC) on the runway at Shannon?

3. What provisions are made for the designation and registration of Irish aerodromes?
What authority performs these functions, and how can the register be viewed?

4. Does every member of the airport police constitute an "authorised officer" for purposes of enforcement and interpretation of the Air Navigation and Transport Act?
Are there any more specific criteria or processes by which they do, and any more specific criteria by which they do not?
Does every member of the Garda Síochána constitute an "authorised officer" for purposes of enforcement of the Air Navigation and Transport Act?
Are there any more specific criteria or processes by which they do, and any more specific criteria by which they do not?

5. What powers do the airport police have to give instructions to members of the Garda?
What obligations do members of the Garda have to obey the instructions of the airport police?

6. Under what circumstances is an aerodrome considered to be a public place?
Under what circumstances is an aerodrome NOT a public place?

Beir bua agus beannacht Bhríde,
Coilín.

author by admgpublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 00:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. What powers does anybody have to prevent any member of the public from entering the airport with the intent to engage in lawful expressions of his or her political convictions?
Put it another way: Under what circumstances and under what acts of the Oireachtas - if any - do the airport police or members of the Garda have the right to obstruct paths or roads into a civilian airport?

Gardaí and Airport Police may prevent access if the authority in charge of the aerodrome (ie Aer Rianta) refuses right to admission. This is under common law.
There are more reasons but I won't go into them now.

2. What and where exactly is an aerodrome? Were you on an aerodrome when the act was cited at you?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were standing outside the checkpoint at the entrance to the airport? - Or as soon as I passed it?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I took one step into the terminal building? - Or one step out?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were a US soldier sitting in the transit lounge?
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were a CIA officer or a prisoner shackled to a mattress on board an aircraft (e.g. N475LC) on the runway at Shannon?

An aerodrome is the area under the control of the aerodrome authority and designated by the Irish Aviation Authority. This is the area within which the Airport Police have jurisdiction.

3. What provisions are made for the designation and registration of Irish aerodromes?
What authority performs these functions, and how can the register be viewed?

The Irish Aviation Authority designates aerodromes, I presume they have a registration available.

4. Does every member of the airport police constitute an "authorised officer" for purposes of enforcement and interpretation of the Air Navigation and Transport Act?
Are there any more specific criteria or processes by which they do, and any more specific criteria by which they do not?
Does every member of the Garda Síochána constitute an "authorised officer" for purposes of enforcement of the Air Navigation and Transport Act?
Are there any more specific criteria or processes by which they do, and any more specific criteria by which they do not?

All members of the Airport Police are authorised officers under the act.
All members of An Garda Síochána are authorised officers under the act.

5. What powers do the airport police have to give instructions to members of the Garda?
What obligations do members of the Garda have to obey the instructions of the airport police?

Airport Police have no authority to issue instructions to members of An Garda Síochána, it in fact operates the other way around.

6. Under what circumstances is an aerodrome considered to be a public place?
Under what circumstances is an aerodrome NOT a public place?

All aerodromes are considered a "public place" as defined under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994. This does not however mean that members of the public may have access to them, this means the various sections of the public order act may be utilised by a member of An Garda Síochána anywhere in an aerodrome.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 01:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some well thought out answers have been provided by admg, and I've been saved a pile of work.

I'd like to explore two of them. Common law does indeed apply in the Airport as it applies everywhere else. The Dublin Airport Authority are quite right to ban certain people from the airport. People loitering, terrorists and drug dealers spring to mind straight away. Protest on the other hand is quite another matter, it is the foundation of democracy, indeed it is said that dissent is the highest form of democracy. In other words, protest is a very lawful activity. I can see why dissent or protest could be limited or indeed banned in certain circumstances too, for example: 30 people with banners roaring at the top of their lungs and marching around in a pub might unfairly disrupt business. This is why the Public Order Act and others exist. When a person who protests within the bounds of the Public Order Act and suffers a ban in spite of this s/he has been discriminated against. To date Aer Rianta/Dublin Airports Authority have not said publically, nor have they put in writing that protest in all its shapes and forms is banned at Irish airports. I suggest that this is because they are aware of the penalties associated with discrimination. Instead, they covertly instruct their employees, the airport police, to enforce a ban on protesters and to use pseudo-definitions of the Air Transport And Navigation Act to accomplish it. To make matters worse, the Gardaí are instructed to do the same by an 'authority' other than the Justice Department.

The other area that I'd like to explore is admg's thoughts regarding Shannon Airport being a public place. There are some decent arguments that back this point of view up, I'll grant that. However, the Public Order Act can only be asserted in relation to a member of the public and by definition can only occur when a member of the public is present. This leads us straight back to the fact that protest is a lawful activity and that Aer Rianta/Dublin Airport Authority have not banned dissent.

To finalise, when an authorised person, be s/he Garda or Airport Police, invoke either the Air Transport And Navigation Act or indeed our old friend the Public Order Act, they are bound to interpret either as they are written and intended. Enforcing the law has no room for improvisation or those who practice it.

author by paul o toolepublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was a sad day to see members of an organisation which prides itself on being 'guardians of the peace', trying to prevent the activities of peaceful protestors in a public forum.
When the Gardai in question tried to assert that the protest was un lawful it became sadly, quite farcical.
When questioned about the crimes of genocide taking place, and Shannon facilitating this genocide the reply was a stock 'we dont have any opinion on this'.
As my police escort to the ticketing machine left me, I was outside the building, alone, except for one garda and I started asking him questions about Shannons role in Genocide and he said again that he had no opinion. I said if you diddnt have your uniform on woukd you have an opinion then...'I dont have an opinion.......
I told him that the Irish government knowingly supplied Sadam Hussein with beef while he carried out attrocities on his own people, and that they facilitated and supported Sanctions which killed 1,200,000 children under the age of five. He said that this was my opinion, I replied that... 'this is not opinion but fact.'
I said that this Airport has becone like the gates of Auchwitz to bring war to the Middle East to kill innocent people like you and me...do you support this?....'I have no opinion, Im just doing my job.'
But you are getting paid to do this-you might not have an opinion but you are profitting from genocide ...he replied....'thats your opinion'.
Thats fact' I replied.
I told him that Willy O'Dea FF TD, made 410% profit on investment in an irish oil company called Petrel resources 1 month after the invasion of iraq. That Ireland makes 5 billion on parts for guided missiles used to kill children every day, and that schrapnel taken fron childrens dead bodies originated here in Ireland and that 80% of the men sent to kill innocent people in the middle east use Shannon and you protect them...he replied...(rep)...

I asaked if your job entailed protecting the Irish Constitution...he said yes.
I asked if he were familiar with section 28.He asked what that part was about and I said..neutrality and forigen relations.
He said no Im not familiar with that.
I suggested he should familiarise himself with it and he might realise he was actually breaking the law himself.

I asked him if he thought that he could organise a group of Gardai to take a stand and refuse to protect a dictator like Bush?...He diddnt think so.
I said that I have met a couple of gardai who really diddnt like what they were doing in Shannon for all the obvious reasons and that he could hook up with them and organise a protest to refuse to do the work of a dictator...'he said he just joined the gards to do a job and protect the public'.....I said that I had the highest respect for the profession.

As I walked away from this very nice man (I mean that) I asked him would he be here when they invade Iran, they estimate the death toll could reach the millions very quickly, ...no reply...I said if I couldent organise a group of cops who cared about justice to make a stand within the ranks that I'd quit. I waved goodbye and he waved back.
When I got back to the peace camp 'food not bombs' were cooking up a storm- i think the 'movement' would have starved to death if it were not for them. The storm in the kitchen gave way to the storm from the Atlantic and we left for Dublin.
The killing of innocents will continnue and mabey nothing was achieved by the fifty or so peace campers, but at least it was a fitting anniversary of the first peace camp and we were joined in spirit by LIz Tully and her husband Robin Hennessey who passed from us this year at a great loss to all who knew them.

author by Coilín - Self-Appointed Activists and Citizens of Irelandpublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 15:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Thanks, admg.

Do you really mean to tell me that members of the Garda Síochána are empowered _under common law_ to enforce Aer Rianta's decisions to obstruct access to the airport? Or what exactly is the role of common law in this situation? - Since you mention it.
Does common law empower Aer Rianta to restrict access to the airport even in circumstances where such access is necessary for citizens to exercise our constitutional freedom to express our political convictions in the most relevant public place?
What legal means might citizens have recourse to in order to compel Aer Rianta to permit protesters to gain access to the public place that is the airport so as to engage in the lawful business of peaceful political protest?

Paul, well done on constructive dialogue with the garda. Do you reckon we should print out some of the more relevant articles of the constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann - particularly those regarding neutrality and freedom of expression - and have them on hand to distribute to members of the Garda as part of their ongoing education and training?

Best,
Coilín.

author by admgpublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paul,
The questions you asked the Garda were unfair. A Garda cannot express his opinion on any political matter or Garda operation. It is his job to follow orders and to uphold the law.
A Garda's opinion is irrelevent, when he signed up he swore to uphold the constitution, the law and follow all lawful orders. The Dáil and the Courts decide what is lawful and what is not, this is the place to question and bring up your grievence. Questioning a Garda who is just carrying out his duties as directed is not.

Coilín,
In relation to common law and aerodromes they are despite coming under the definition of a "public place" as per the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 a private place. Under common law the owner, management or his/her agent may tell you to leave, If you refuse to move they may call the Gardaí who can then remove you.
In this case an Airport Police Officer would constitute an agent of Aer Rianta.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I hereby solemnly and sincerely declare before God that - I will faithfully discharge the duties of a member of the Garda Síochána with fairness, integrity, regard for human rights, diligence and impartiality, upholding the Constitution and the laws and according equal respect to all people [2005][No.20] Garda Síochána Act.2005.

While I continue to be a member, I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all my duties according to law, and I do not belong to, and will not remain a member form, belong to or subscribe to, any political party or secret society whatsoever


The above oath is the oath that each Garda makes before taking up his or her duty.

Any person can ask any Garda any question they desire. With regard to Paul's questions: they each relate to violations of the oath above and therefore do not come under the guise of questioning lawful orders. A Garda, if s/he should fail to recognise an unlawful order, it should be pointed out to him or to her at the earliest possible opportunity, and at each and every opportunity thereafter. Discussing these issues in the Courts is not possible unless one is dragged before one. We already know the position in the Dáil and they know ours. Our position has been a constant whilst the Dáil has been in a continuous state of denial and backpeddling.

With regard to the use of Common Law: What written or verbal complaint has been offered to the Gardaí by Dublin Airport Authority/Aer Rianta? How can it be possible that many activists have been arrested under both the Air Transport And Navigation Act and the Public Order Act, without a single conviction and not a singular mention of 'trespass?'

Shannon Airport is a public place and no amount smoke will change that.

author by Niall Harnettpublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors




Great article Seán and good to see comments examining the law in these situations and exposing the criminal behaviour of the Gardaí.

author by dunkpublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 14:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all out in shannon in the rain.
Very well spoken the wise woman from clare.

Thanks niall for videoing, youtubing and linking.
Tek systems move on for greater communication, IMC, any chance of you-tube and related files thumbnails appearing in image gallery?

solidarity from Barcelona
dunk

author by paul o toolepublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To Amdg.
I believe i have every right to question anyone on anything, the only stupid question is the one not asked. With regard to asking questions of police officers- I would never have asked them anything if they diddnt show up and they themselves started to ask questions.
A person expresses his or her beliefs by their actions. The politics of the Gardai is obvious in my view by there presence. Mabey one of them might question their seniors as to where they get the right to undermine the constitution and take part in killing innocent civilians and children in another country.
The silence of the Gardai, the Church, politicians who say they oppose this genocide is deafining. I have asked priests to comment and have been met with silence. RTE wont ask questions. Eamonn Dunphy, Miriam Callaghan, Ryan Turbidy, Gerry ryan, Joe Duffy, Pat Kenny, Bono, Geldoff, Kevin Meyers, John Waters ....no one asks questions...Why??... Their wage packet, their carreer, their position. And by this they are part of the problem by helping to sustain this veil of 'normality' as we wage war on children.
They have no problem questioning activists and slaughtering them in the press with each others help, like the bullies and cowards they are.
So ADMG, Im sorry if you think it insensitive of me to ask a few simple questions of a Garda who sought to circumvent the law by moving protestors along attempting to highlight the mass murder being facilitated in shannon with their help, but i just felt compelled to given the death toll so far. I was just making sure that someone knows that I dont stand for the bloodshed which they are responsible for-ALL OF THEM.

author by Apublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors


On the 6th.anniversary of Guantanamo opening, there will be a vigil at Shannon Airport to Shut Down Guantanamo and stop the refueling of CIA rendition flights at the airport.

Vigil 4pm - 6pm
Friday January 11th.
Shannon Airport

More info contact
Niall: nialldolan17 at hotmail.com
Ph. 0851086497

author by Contrarianpublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 17:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Do you reckon we should print out some of the more relevant articles of the constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann - particularly those regarding neutrality and freedom of expression - and have them on hand to distribute to members of the Garda as part of their ongoing education and training?"

Bunreacht na hÉireann DOES guarantee freedom of expression but the exercise of this right is not absolute. It is "subject to public order and morality" (Art 40.6.1)

And, contrary to widespread opinion, (or wishful thinking) Bunreacht na hÉireann is entirely silent on neutrality. Not one mention of it in the entire document.

author by paul o toolepublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 17:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are you suggesting that there was something immoral or that someone was going to breach public order?. The constitution clearly defines neutrality and Irelands role and objectives when dealing with international issues but the Govermnent are trying to re-define what neutrality is and how we participate in international affairs - in breach of our own constitution to facilitate ongoing illegal wars against defenseless nations, but not before they disarmed them twice with UN help .
Do you suggest that protestors should be limited to 'peaceful protest' and go home silently while Fianna Fail, the P.D's and now the Greens wage war on innocent people.

author by Contrarianpublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 18:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The constitution clearly defines neutrality"

No, it doesn't. Doesn't even mention it, yet alone define it.

author by Coilín - Self-Appointed Activists, Taxpayers and Citizenspublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On review, while some of admg’s replies are useful and informative – thanks! - some others strike me as evasive on key points. By this I mean that they avoid or ignore the key question I am asking and in some cases provide information that looks like an answer to my question but does not actually answer the specific question I am asking.

I don’t know whether this is because admg fails to notice important distinctions – which would be an odd error for anybody with legal expertise to make – or whether she/he misunderstands what I am looking for, or does not know the answer, or cannot easily answer in a few words, or does not want to disclose certain information, but, whatever the reason, I do see that it is so.

Two examples of particular interest:

---

1. I asked the following question:
“Do you really mean to tell me that members of the Garda Síochána are empowered _under common law_ to enforce Aer Rianta's decisions to obstruct access to the airport?”

And admg replied:
“Under common law the owner, management or his/her agent may tell you to leave, If you refuse to move they may call the Gardaí who can then remove you.”

In other words, I asked whether common law empowered the Garda to _stop people going into_ the airport, and admg gave me a reply that tells us something about when the Garda are empowered to _take people out of_ the airport. So that’s not an answer to the question I asked.

I don’t know why admg answered a question I didn’t ask, maybe it was just a lapse of attention to key detail, but I’m still asking about the role of common law in empowering the Garda to _obstruct access_ to the airport.

If you are willing to explain it to me, admg, please start from first principles re common law as it applies to restricting access to (allegedly) private property, and the role of the Garda in enforcing such common-law restrictions.

You might please start by drawing analogies: Let us say that Seán Ryan says he’s going to come into my front garden to denounce me as a kidnapper, gun-runner and serial murderer who has bribed various authorities to protect myself from prosecution, and I call the Garda to stop him, because these are entirely spurious accusations, motivated by his own, irrational hatred of frisbee-players. The scurrilous rabble-rouser has not yet arrived outside, but I can hear him coming along the street, chanting slogans. Please proceed from there?

(Please exclude the outrageous and unthinkable assumption that any member of the Garda might abuse her powers in return for a fat brown envelope. And please ignore the possible role of the Garda in _removing_ people from private property, for the time being.)

---

2. Also, I asked:
“What and where exactly is an aerodrome? …
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were standing outside the checkpoint …
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I took one step into the terminal building? …
Would I be "on an aerodrome" if I were a US soldier sitting in the transit lounge? …” etc.

This was admg’s reply:
“An aerodrome is the area under the control of the aerodrome authority and designated by the Irish Aviation Authority. This is the area within which the Airport Police have jurisdiction.”

This provides some useful information about who controls and designates an aerodrome, which seems to be consistent with information provided on www.iaa.ie. Thanks for that.

However, it avoids questions about “where exactly” the aerodrome is. Let me ask my question in another way:
How might the bounds of the aerodrome at Shannon Airport be defined or described?
For example, does the aerodrome at Shannon Airport include the car park and the road all the way to the security checkpoint, and even outside it?
And does the term “on an aerodrome” cover CIA kidnappers and prisoners on board an aircraft parked on the runway?

---

I always find it a very interesting riddle to try to figure out why somebody avoids the question that was asked, or answers a different question. And I do like to get the answer to my question in the end, as the answers in these cases are often vastly more useful than the answers that come readily.

---

Finally, I am perplexed by admg’s assertions that, although Shannon Airport IS a public place, it is NOT a public place but a private place. Of course, there may be different definitions for different purposes, just as a man is not a man when it is a woman or a chess piece. But still!

Would you please provide a list of all the different definitions of “public place” for purposes of interpretation Irish law?
And a list of all known definitions of “private place”? Thanks in advance,

Beir bua agus beannacht,
Coilín.

author by airport union guypublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 20:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't know about Shannon but at Dublin Airport the aerodrome boundary is immediately at the turn left into the airport off the old Swords Road. From here on in it is under the control of the airport authority. The boundary can be seen in a different colour tarmac (no, really!) on the road. Any picket at the airport is advised not to picket on airport property so we picket at the three entrances. Main airport roundabout, old Swords road entrance and back entrance north of the airport. Hope this helps. I'd imagine in Shannon, the boundary extends at tleast as far as the security hut.

author by Damien Moranpublication date Wed Jan 09, 2008 22:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

....to those who continue to keep a presence at Shannon. If every 'peace group' in Ireland decided to co-ordinate their activities and prioritise Shannon just one day a month the pressure could be kept on the gvt. and the authorities sufficiently enough to keep the issue alight. All one needs is a banner, a rain jacket and a bus eireann ticket. On Friday morning we will be gathering at the U.S. embassy, joining the visa queue dressed in Guantanamo outfits and requesting we gain admission to the gulag in Cuba to deliver spoons and seeds (their lawyers report that the inmates use their plastic spoons and the seeds from their food to plant in and around their cells) to the prisoners who continue to resist their imprisonment and brutal treatments by doing some community gardening.
60 cities worldwide will participate in the demonstrations on January 11th, the 6th anniversary since David Hicks (now freed in Australia) counted amongst the first brought to Guantanamo Bay.

Related Link: http://cia.bzzz.net/6_years_on_shut_down_guantanamo_now
author by Edward Horganpublication date Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I fully agree with Damien above that monthly protests at Shannon on an on-going basis are essential to keep the pressure up. I have previously suggested that different peace groups from around Ireland, or simply small groups of individuals should come to Shannon and engage in a variety of different protests. Rather than specify particular dates each month, perhaps any Saturday begining at 2 pm should be the target. As the weather improves, overnight peace camps on Saturday nights should also be undertaken.

Given that 40,000 lbs of US bombs were dropped in one bombing raid this week, and that over one million Iraqi peope have died as a result of this unlawful war, surely peace loving individuals and groups around Ireland can share one hour occasionally in solidarity with those suffering and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As Damien suggested all that is needed is one car load, or a few bus tickets, or for the more enterprising, a Ryanair ticket, and a few hours of your time.

Dont forget also that 20 March 2008 is the fifth aniversary of the begining of the Iraq war. This calls for a very significant protest at Shannon around that date. Since 20 March is a Thursday, I suggest that Sat 22 March would be the best occasion for this protest.

author by EUroBlogger - (eastern frontier)publication date Thu Jan 10, 2008 14:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

UK civil servant cleared in CIA rendition secrets leak case
UK prosecutors Wednesday dropped charges against Dennis Pasquill, a civil servant in the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office who was accused of leaking secret documents about CIA rendition flights to the New Statesman and the Observer newspapers in violation of the Official Secrets Act. Pasquill's lawyer said the decision to drop charges showed that Pasquill's actions were in the public interest. The Foreign Office said that leaks are "absolutely contrary" to good government and indicated that Pasquill may still face internal discipline. BBC News has more.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2008/01/uk-civil-...n.php

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Pitstop Ploughsharespublication date Thu Jan 10, 2008 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the proposal of different groups organsing monthly gatheinrg at Shannon is a good one. I think some local group starting a weekly (regular time) vigil at the airport would complement it.

What local activist/organisers would need to do in terms of supporting the monthly gigs is to list very clearly what could be offered to groups travelling down to Shannon for their turn at the monthly gig eg. accomodation (locals could ask around churches for crash spaces, sympathisers for billets, media outreach facilities to be turned over to the specific group thereby varying the spokespeople and approaches, legal back up sympathetic local lawyers to be used sparingly etc.

If you can make the weekly and monthly times the same each time this will make it more accessible and can be factored in by international activists travelling through Shannon and Ireland.

I also think their should be two major mobilisations at Shannon annually that are supportive of nonviolent civil disobedience eg. Faslane, School of the Americas www.soaw.org etc

This is going to be a long war some of our thinking has to be longterm.

I also think the suggestion below has merit and wonder if the peace studies unit at Limerick University have the capacity to facilitate such a seminar

"There is a theory held by some if the movement had swung behind the proposal to occupy the runway on March 1st 03, on the back of two successful February disarmament actions by MK and CW5 (and the resultant 4 U.S. companies abandoning Ireland as consequence), it could have been game over. The U.S. deciding that 3 major breaches of security were too many and that the Irish state couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery in terms of securing the airport and U.S. troop movers. The context of public consciousness was laid by the peace camp in the January.

It would be interesting to have a seminar examining the peace camp, the Mary Kelly action, the Catholic Worker/Ploughshares action, the failed libertarian initiated occupation of the runway. What went wrong?, what went right?, what was the significance?, how vulnerable was the Irish state at that point to being forced out of the war?, at what point did the window of opportunity slam shut and the movement die?"

author by gerry mpublication date Thu Jan 10, 2008 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to all those involved in actions against the US military use of Shannon.

However, the main photo illustrating this article is a very clear example of how protesters can get distracted from their main purpose.

In the picture, a protester can be seen lecturing a clearly uninterested garda while holding a banner.

The rights and wrongs of the policing of the protest are clearly what the article is about, but the message on the banner (which after all was the purpose of the protest) cannot be made out.

I think this shows that sometimes it's possible for activists to lack discipline about what they are there for.

The government and establishment use the police to make the protesters look like criminals who need guarding, AND to distract the protesters from their original aims. Thus the protest starts to look and sound like a protest against the police , and the activists seem to be involved in a war of words with the gardaí and the airport security, when actually the protest should be aimed at the government's support for the war.

In a time of complexity it is important to stick to a clear coherent message.

Discussing the finer points of the constitution with a garda (and remember most gardaí are so poorly educated, they would find it hard to get jobs outside the police) is a waste of activists' time and resources.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu Jan 10, 2008 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dr. Larry Forness of the American Military University, an expert in torture methods amongst other shameful skills, in the following lecture delivered to his students shows that the US is not confined to the technique from the Middle Ages called 'Waterboarding.' Technology combined with barbaric intent makes for efficient cruelty unimagined hundereds of years ago and unimaginable to decent people now. This lecture was circulated amongst the US military. It was leaked to wikileaks by the same person who leaked the authenticated Guantanamo Bay operation manual some months ago.

http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Torture%2C_interrogation_...gence

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu Jan 10, 2008 18:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An audio interview with Ed can be found on the Limerickblogger http://www.limerickblogger.org/blog/

The interview itself can be found at http://www.limerickblogger.org/blog/?p=4541

author by Mark O'Connor - Gluaiseachtpublication date Thu Jan 10, 2008 21:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry I couldn't make it.

Good video Niall.

(some myspace solidarity; I put it on www.myspace.com/markoconnor, reachin out to the rockers).

Well done on demonstration,

le grá,
Mark.

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/markoconnor
author by Edwardpublication date Fri Jan 11, 2008 22:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I understand where Ciaron is comming from on this, but I am not sure it is a good idea to put further considerable time and effort into analysing what might or might not have gone wrong with the peace movement in the early months of 2003.
We did a very considerable amount in 2003, and since then. We also should not exaggerate what might have been achieved. The reality is that there was a very considerable adverse public reaction to the damage to the US warplanes at Shannon in 2003, partly because the war in Iraq had not yet stated, but also because many Irish people place an unduly high value on property and what they consider to be "law and order", not to mention the very real selfish interests in jobs and the possibility of profit being made from the war in Iraq.
It is likely that public opinions have changed somewhat in the meantime, in the light of the appaling death toll in Iraq, but also in the light of the Irish Government sell out at Shannon on the Aer Lingus Shannon/Heathrow issue.
The selfish gene in the Mid West has been hurt.
My view is that we should move on and deal with the situation as it is at present, and take whatever actions are appropriate in the present.

We can never get it 100% right 100% of the time.
We can only ever act in the present moment, and make plans to act into the future.
We cannot undo what happened in the past, although we should review what happened and hopefully learn from it.
It is also possible to 'learn' the wrong lessons from the past, because the present situation has moved on and is now very different from the situation that prevailed in 2003.
There are opportunities to take appropriate actions at Shannon on a daily basis, if the will and people are prepared to take action.

Also, too much emphaisis is being put on the very few peace activists in the Mid West, to take the lead on these issues. Its time for the 'followers', or the hurlers on the ditch to take responsibilty for doing something about Shannon themselves. Take new initiatives and by all means ask for assistance from the Mid West activists. We have been offering this assistance for years, without very much take up. As Damien mentioned above, all it takes is a few people and a few bus tickets, and the over 66s have free travel!

Doing nothing in the face of the gross human rights abuses being facilitated at Shannon is always wrong.
We must do what we believe to be right, because it is right, but always with the caution and humility that sometimes we may be wrong. This is the reason that violence against people must never be perpetrated.
It is also important to remember that the term violence applies only to living creatures, especially people. One can damage property, but not cause pain to property, and therefore the term violence does not apply to property.
The Jury in the Catholic Workers trial found that the damage they caused to the US warplane was not criminal damage. It was therefore a justified effort to prevent that particular piece of US government military property being used by US soldiers using to do "violence" to innocent people in Iraq.

The only time to act is now, and only now.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Pitstop Ploughsharespublication date Sat Jan 12, 2008 07:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Many thanx Ed for all the work you continue to do down there.

I believe you are wrong about the timing of the Aer Rianta high court injunctions. This is historically significant to me as I was questioned on "Democracy Now" (U.S.) to the effect of the CW5 action on the closing, or vacating, of the peace camp at the beginning of Feb 03. (An illusion that caused some bad blood between some peace campers and the imprisoned CW5 in early 03).

It would be my understanding that the A.R. injunctions were issued in response to the action of Mary Kelly - at that time media spokesperson for the peace camp and who did not (unlike CW5)issue a specific press release or statement taking individual responsiblity for the disarmament action she undertook. Thus to the media and the world, Mary's action initially appeared as a considered peace camp action and the Aer Rianta injunction process against the camp began at that point.

The injunctions should not had led to the end of the peace camp - up to that time the most significant development in the anti-war movement in Ireland. But the anti-war leadership paniced as it would panic over anything significant in those months, and closed the camp. In retrospect maybe their wasn't the bodies or the energy to sustain the camp for more than a month under any significant pressure from the state.

I'm afraid you are also wrong with this statement,

" there was a very considerable adverse public reaction to the damage to the US warplanes at Shannon in 2003, "

I did not experience this "adverse" reaction in Limerick prison for a month, I did not experience this reaction on the streets of Ireland for 4 years, I did not experience this reaction signing on at cop shops for 4 years, I did not experience this reaction amongst any juror who found me not guilty of $2 1/2 million damage that was not criminal.
I experienced a lot of affirmation from the general public who would recognise me easily due to my unique hairstyle (20 years without a haircut next month! woo hoo!)

The adverse reaction came from the Irish and U.S. warmaking states and the poor quality, self appointed leadership of the anti-war movement in Ireland, who decided to marginalise the resisters, and the resistance, and milk the anti-war phenomenon for all it was worth newspaper sales, recruiting into the parties from yet another defeated extraparliamentary movement, mainstream media profile facelift. That's whether the "adverse reaction to the damage to U.S. warplanes at Shannon" came from.

I would find an academic/ activst seminar very worthwhile on a number of levels. It would be good to have expertise such as Eamonn Crudden with more of a critical objective eye about the peace camp, MK, CW5, M1 failed occupation of runway and maybe Harry Browne and colleagues who are presently involved in academic research on the Irish media and the war.

There was a time when we could have taken Ireland out of the war, that time has long past. The moment was missed partly because of poor leadership. Limerick needed to be an organising base. It has never been that due to lack of personel and resources. It needed to be not only an Irish but a European and international organising base - seeing Shannon as the world's bottleneck for how U.S. troops get from North America to the Middle East theatre. The moment to convince any group with a capacity to put resources and personel based in Limerick has long gone.

We have to build from the bottom. A local crew needs to commit to a weekly vigil at Shannon, same time each week and publicise it so it's easy for folks passing by to drop in. (This is not impossible from a crew of 12 in Brisbane we have been sustaing weekly vigils of 4-6 for the last 6 months at Enoggera from where Australian troops deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan) Then the monthly camps with a list of Limerick resources groups from around the country can access. Then a biannual mass mobilisation with a samller group doing nonviolent direct action.

You have to get the rituals right. There needs to be good organising as well as courageous activism.

Many thanx for gathering down there this past weekend.
20 of us gathered at the U.S. embassy in London yeatsrday on the 6th. anniversary of Guantanamo opening. Report to follow.....

The three flashpoints for a certain type of struggle have been Shannon, Tara and Rossport. It would be worth analysing the trajectory of those campaigns.

author by lulupublication date Sun Jan 13, 2008 14:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Now Shannon loses the Heathrow slot to Belfast, & becomes even less a civilian airport, we'll see how it goes with militarisation & policing in the "Free Zone". Are Shannon workers expected to be more grateful for USAF air traffic now they've fewer civilian flights?

author by CWpublication date Sun Jan 13, 2008 23:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Longtime anti-war protester Brian Haw was badly beaten and arrested at a protest in London today. See link for full details

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/01/389308.html?c=on#c187503
author by JPpublication date Mon Jan 14, 2008 06:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Labor Government announces that British forces will being Afghanistan "for decades". The Pakistani President warns U.S. forces not to come across the border. The possibility of a USAF carpet bombing of northern Pakistan grows.

John Pilger reflects on how the war is going

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/01/389131.html

author by Jimbobpublication date Mon Jan 14, 2008 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Firstly, someome above made the point that it's not about protesting against Gardai, or riling them up. Very True.
But it's the goverment tactic, of evading questions in the Dail, ignoring the people on the streets, and putting the cops in the middle to suppress it, that gives people the right to put questions to the police about what is going on at Shannon, and how they feel about ignoring the law about war, torture, explosives, troops, while being heavy handed and dishonest about allowing peaceful protest at the airport.
Also, it is a good idea to put some moral pressure on the cops, they actually need a bit of calm debate on it, cos the pressure on them to turn a blind eye, is a bullying hierarchical pressure that appeals to their fears. We should counter balance that and help them to find the courage to resist unlawful orders, and speak out against what is going on. The worst that can happen is that they will end up on ten years traffic duty outside Ennis or Donegal. And while that sucks as a career move, compared to having to explain to your kids why you allowed bombs to transit the airport to kill other people's kids, it;s not a hard call once you put your guts and your morals ahead of your fears.

I would point out to Coilin, that you don't have to seek the definitive answer from ADMG. It's clear enough the situation. The Gardai, and a warrant card carrying member of the APO police (always ask them to show it, they are REQUIRED BY LAW to produce it) can ask you to leave the aerodrome if they believe that you don't have lawful purpose. They DO not have the right to prevent you entering if they have made no effort

Now, by any definition of the law, Peaceful Protest is lawful, also, under EU and UN laws, ratified here, we all have the right to give and receive information, so if we wish to impart information in a peaceful way, that is a lawful purpose. The laws do NOT grant a definition of lawful purpose, nor make the APOs and Gardai the ones who get to interpret what a lawful purpose is. That's for the courts to interpret, and they've already spoken on the issue.

If they saw that a peaceful protestor is not there for a lawful purpose, respond thusly,
"I _AM_ here for a lawful purpose, to peacefully protest, and to impart information to the public about the illegal goings on at this airport. Furthermore, I do NOT believe that you consider this to be an unlawful purpose, and I believe that you are merely harrassing me and abusing the law" that being, said, go back to the protesting, leafletting,vigilling etc.

Cos, to be honest, they know they won't get a conviction. The above tactic HAS worked, even when they did arrest someone (Mr. Cregan methinks), and dragged them before Judge Mangan. The Judge admitted that it's not unlawful to peacefully protest at the airport.
We don't need permission from the Gardai, the Airport, or the courts to peacefully protest.

Therefore, the new cop tactic is to form a line, blocking you from getting there in the first place. They then rely on the protestor not wishing to 'provoke' an arrest by asserting their rights.
By merely saying "Garda, I have lawful protest, you are abusing the law" etc ...
and then walking calmly around the Gardai, you are NOT breaking the law.
However, by arguing with them, but NOT walking around them, you are allowing them to abuse the law by default. However, as one lady pointed out at Shannon, the Garda decision to line out, made the situation a lot more interesting to passersby who read the banners with interest...
Next time, do what Paul, Sean, Elaine and the others did. Just drive up, or get the bus in, and have the protest.
That puts the ball in the cops court, whereby if they do nothing, then you have space and time to exercise your rights to protest and inform people about the murderous use of Shannon, and they have to summon the guts to challenge you, rather than the other way around.
All you have to do is stand your ground, calmly and with dignitiy, like Sean and Elaine and Paul, and many before them, and then leave when you're ready.

And I'll leave you for now with this interesting snippet, from the Guardian, that reminds us, that even if we haven't stopped the war, we are putting some kind of restraint on the warmongers....

"Bush administration officials pressed NATO allies for months to fill gaps in troops levels in Afghanistan, but many allied governments face public opposition to deeper involvement there.

Gates said at the Scotland meeting that the administration had decided to tone down its appeals to allies, taking into account ``political realities'' faced by some European governments whose citizens may see less reason to intervene in Afghanistan."

excerpt from a story whereby commanders in Afghanistan want an extra 7,500 troops, the US will only send 3,000 Marines, and is having trouble geting NATO countries to send more, attributed to public pressure... full story at the link.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0%2C%2C-721....html

author by Margaretpublication date Mon Jan 14, 2008 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While I do agree somewhat with a previous comment that sometimes people can become distracted by shifting their focus to challenging Gardai at protests, I don't believe one should silently and unquestioningly stand by when the right to protest and other civil rights are walked on at Shannon or elsewhere.

I paid a visit to Shannon airport last Friday to mark the 6th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo bay detention camp. I arrived late for the vigil that had been planned and spent a few minutes in quiet reflection on the roundabout before the Garda checkpoint before going to the hotel at the airport for a cup of coffee with five other people who had turned up to mark the day.

There were quite a number of Gardai around the checkpoint area but they had no problem with the car I was travelling in going up to the hotel. We were followed to the hotel by a patrol car and when the remainder of the group arrived a number of Gardai waited in the lobby of the hotel and at the entrance until we had left. At no stage did any Garda speak to me or did i do anything untoward.

I left Shannon to return to Limerick on the dual-carriageway, giving a lift to someone who had gone to the vigil. I realised that I was being followed by a Garda car again and since I was nowhere near the airport I couldn't understand why. I was forced to pull in (flashing blue lights and all that). The Garda that approached my car had no reason to stop me. He asked my passenger for their name and he in turn asked the Garda's name. I asked the Garda if that meant he already knew my name but he didn't reply. I repeatedly asked the Garda why I had been stopped. He did not have a reason to give me other than that his superiors has told him to. I told him exactly why I had gone to Shannon and told him that this was the 6th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay camp. He eventually returned to his car and continued to follow me until I joined the main Ennis/Limerick road.

I had acted in a lawful manner at all times. I stood on a roundabout for 5 minutes and went for a cup of coffee. I have never had a Garda have reason to speak to me, caution me, or charge me on that day or ever before. I was very intimidated and shocked to be stopped in this way when I clearly had not done anything unlawful and can only deduce that it was purposeful intimidation. It is important I think to challenge such questionable behaviour and not to accept this as normal just because I had gone within a few hundred feet of the airport.

However, I realise that in the bigger scheme of things one night of upset for me isn't really important. I know, as well as many people who have been arrested for spurious reasons at the airport know, that I am one of the lucky ones. Despite harrassment and intimidation we are not likely to be abducted, held indefinitely without charge, without access to friends, families and legal representation and tortured. In challenging the unlawful and unethical behaviour of Gardai at Shannon, we struggle to be a voice for those who have been robbed of theirs.

author by Hokum.publication date Mon Jan 14, 2008 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Margaret, you're right to be annoyed about this, and most people don't realise until afterwards, what they should have done, so don't take this as criticism, cos I learned it the hard way too.

"The Garda that approached my car had no reason to stop me. He asked my passenger for their name and he in turn asked the Garda's name."

Good, as always, get the Garda's name, and, in a polite but firm voice ask the Garda why he's stopping you and why he's asking questions. You DO NOT have to give a Garda any information, if he cannot show that he's asking in an official capacity. It is an offence to refuse to give your name if your the driver, and he has stopped you under some road act, but if he stopped you just cos he felt like it, middle of nowhere, and he has singled you out, rather than stop you at a checkpoint, then he has NO legal right to demand your name.
When he asks you your name, ask him if he's asking the question for official purposes.
If he gives some glib answer like "I'm a Garda" or "Are you refusing to give your name" , reply in an even calmer voice that you are asking him the reason for his question, you will give your name, ONLY if he can explain what law he's acting under in pulling you over for questioning. (act like you have all the time in the world, don't get snotty with him, as this will just cause the red mist knee jerk response)
The idea is not to piss him off, but to make him explain and reflect on how he's using his time to harass law abiding citizens, while the airport is used to help to kill, maim and torture innocent people.

"I asked the Garda if that meant he already knew my name but he didn't reply. I repeatedly asked the Garda why I had been stopped. He did not have a reason to give me other than that his superiors has told him to. I told him exactly why I had gone to Shannon and told him that this was the 6th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay camp. He eventually returned to his car and continued to follow me until I joined the main Ennis/Limerick road."

That is HARRASSMENT. Pure and simple. It's not just cops doing their jobs.
His superiors do this all the time to try to discourage people from supporting these vigils at Shannon. Don't let it get to you, because that is the prime purpose of it. Glad to see that you gave him a dose of common sense and reminded him of reality. Maybe he'll mature a bit on reflection.

author by Fiona - Individualpublication date Tue Jan 15, 2008 00:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was one of the five people who went to Shannon last Friday to mark 6 years of Guantanamo.
I went as an individual Irish citizen who is deeply troubled by the continuing complicity of our government in the war on Iraq and the USA’s rendition programme (abduction, unlawful detention, torture, and no trial) and in our government’s continuing refusal to acknowledge the part it has played, and continues to play in the torture and death of my fellow human beings.
The mantra of ‘I’m just obeying orders’ excuses nobody from their complicity in these vile deeds.
From the moment I arrived at the Peace Camp roundabout in Shannon I was under constant garda surveillance.
When I attempted to follow Margaret to the hotel my car was stopped twice in the space of 100 yards.
The rudeness of the gardai at the airport entrance was extreme. When requested I gave my name but declined to name my passengers. I was then accused of holding up the traffic despite the fact that it was the gardai who had detained me. Only when Conor appealed to the senior officer in charge to allow us to proceed were we permitted to continue. We were followed to the hotel and our tail waited in the hotel lobby while we had tea.
We left the airport accompanied by an unmarked garda car and because we had reason to believe that a plane which we had questions about was due to land at around 7.00 pm. we went to the perimeter fence (outside airport land) and parked on the public road to await its arrival. Our tail with
three plain clothes gardai on board parked about 100 yards from us, directly facing us on the same side of the road. Within a couple of minutes a marked garda car pulled up alongside us. They rolled down the window and hammered on the door of my car attempting to shout at me from inside their car. When I declined to respond one of them got out of the car, shone a torch in my face and demanded that I open the window. I rolled down the window slightly and was ordered to open it completely. I declined as I was breaking no law and pointed out to the garda that he could hear me quite clearly. He demanded to see my driving licence. I held it fully open against the window where he could clearly see it, ably assisted by his powerful torch. He demanded that I hand it to him. I pointed out that the law required me to produce it, which I was quite clearly doing. He then attempted to insert his hand through the car window and grab the licence. I refused to deliver it to him. He took the particulars from it through the window. He then demanded to see my insurance certificate. I pointed out that it was not a legal requirement to carry it with me and that I was willing to produce it at my local garda station. I pointed out that he was wasting garda time as he was fully aware that I had an insurance certificate so he was wasting his time and that of the garda who would have to process it at my local station. He said that he was not aware of my having a certificate of insurance.
I asked the garda for his name and number which he gave. I then asked why I had been stopped as I was breaking no law. He pointed out that he had not stopped me as I was already stopped.! I asked why he wanted to see my papers he said that he was carrying out a security operation that evening. I asked if it entailed the examination of the plane which was about to land as it was there that the real danger to the security of the state lay. He said I would have to ask his superiors about that as it had nothing to do with him and he chanted the old mantra of simply following orders. And they departed.
The plane arrived. We got our photo of it and when we left we were tailed by our plain clothes escort to Conor’s house in Shannon. I was then followed for several miles until it was apparent that I was on my way home to North Clare.
What were the gardai guarding that evening in Shannon? With only five people keeping vigil there was a larger garda presence than there had been the previous Sunday at the peace camp with about 40 people attending. Who or what was passing through Shannon that evening that five individuals could constitute such a serious threat to the security of the state?
Like Margaret I have never been arrested, I am a law abiding citizen and what happened is plain harassment. The fact that I am known to the plain clothes gardai who tailed us clearly indicates the pettiness, and the harassing nature of the whole incident.

author by Ciaron - London Catholic Workerpublication date Tue Jan 15, 2008 05:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the great report, but I can't agree with your conclusion,

"The fact that I am known to the plain clothes gardai who tailed us clearly indicates the pettiness, and the harassing nature of the whole incident."

The conclusion is you (5 people) had the U.S. servicing Irish state worried! Why? They know how serious Shannon is!, they can't believe their luck that it is only the state in Ireland taking it seriously!, they know they are sitting on political powder keg!...they are worried by 5 (count'em, one hand, 5) people going to Shannon to point out it's role in the ongoing CIA kidnapping and rendition program).

Many thanks for gathering at Shannon last Friday and I hope you were reassured that you were part of a phenomenon that was occuring in 80+ locations around the globe on the same day.
For reports and pohotos of the pother 80+ sites check
www.witnesstortutre.org

in the coming days.

author by Contrarianpublication date Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fiona: "I pointed out that it was not a legal requirement to carry it with me and that I was willing to produce it at my local garda station."

Actually, the law has been changed. It is now a requirement to carry one's certificate of insurance when on a public road. In fairness, not many people seem to realise this. Even the Guards!

Also, I doubt whether showing a licence through glass counts as "producing" the licence for the purpose of the Road Traffic Acts. I would think the requirement is to produce the licence TO the Guard which requires some form of delivering it into his possession. Again, perhaps you didn't get the brightest and the best of An Garda Siochana. But quite a lot of them are very well genned up on every nuance of this sort of thing.

author by Walterpublication date Fri Jan 18, 2008 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This article is one of the most factually incorrect and exaggerated stories I've seen on the wire for quite some time.

The self righteousness of the writer is astounding, especially considering how many of his claims are simply wrong. Two of the ideas peddled in this article are so wrong as to invalidate everything that has been agued.

The first major inaccuracy is the notion that a Guard cannot enforce a law unless he can quote the section or sub section of the relevent act. This is just plain wrong, there is no way anyone could be expected to know the entire statute book of by heart, indeed even keeping up with the amendments alone would be nigh on impossible. Its only the charge sheet which must reflect the actual (sub) section under which the alleged offence took place.

The posts by Hokum are very dangerous indeed for anyone who should choose to believe him. This notion of a Guard acting in an official manner is totally bogus, as is the claim that he can't single a vehicle out for a stop. The Road Traffic act is very clear about this.

The notion that peacefull protest in any public place is always lawfull is also plain wrong, and this undermines the entire arguement presented by the writer. This "right" is not absolute in any way. As is the notion that entry to the airport is a right. This is incorrect - think about it for the moment.... do you think it would make sense that you can protest in the area of the airport that is air side, as in after the security checks ? Its a public area.... but the right of entry is not absoulte.

Oddly enough, production of a driving licence in its strictest sense means allowing the member to read it. Whether or not the Guarda could justify the position that he could not read the licence is debatable.

I could go on and point out other factual errors, but I think I've made my point. Finally the article is hardly a damning indictment of the Gardai - in fact their behaviour was excellent. They managed to disperse the protest without incident, and applied considerable leniancy and judgement. I can't see the problem, in fact I'm impressed with the restraint they showed.

author by Sharpeyepublication date Sun Jan 20, 2008 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh Come On Walter !

The other distraction, dealing with the cops, is the spill onto the debate afterwards, where some people will spend more time debating about the cops than about the illegal use of Shannon Airport to help kill Iraqis and Afghans and continue to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. Trolls love to complain when somebody who is pointing out a crime, refuses to be bullied for political purposes.

Cops don't like people knowing their rights, as it makes it harder to harass law abiding people when ordered to do so by higher ranking officers. The fact that most people are not familiar with the law
makes it easier for them, and they encourage that ignorance.

Now, you can, if you like, make "Walter" happy by spending your time trawling through dozens of criminal and road traffic acts on the Irish statue book, or you can realise that there is a reason which the acts are written in such a way, that shows that Gardai MUST be acting under the law, and not a whim to demand things.

eg. note how often the law includes phrases like "Any person who, when his name and address is lawfully demanded of him by such member under this section" (emphasis added) . Those conditions, are LIMITS to Garda powers.

IF the Gardai had general powers to demand the name and address of any person at any time without the suspicion of lawbreaking, then phrases such as that would not be needed in the laws.

"Walter" seems annoyed that people asserted themselves rather than give in to petty intimidation tactics. I'm sure "Walter" wishes that the Gardai had unlimited powers to do whatever the Government would want, and of course the loyalty to not enforce the law in situations that the government would not want it applied (e.g. CIA torture planes, cargo planes loaded with explosives at Shannon, armed men preventing the fire service from accessing a plane)

"The posts by Hokum are very dangerous indeed for anyone who should choose to believe him. This notion of a Guard acting in an official manner is totally bogus, as is the claim that he can't single a vehicle out for a stop. The Road Traffic act is very clear about this."

Nope. It's actually true. You are free to go about your business if you are not breaking any law. If a Garda is not asking you an official question, then he is not invoking the law. A Garda does not even have power to stop you on the street without good cause, never mind expect an answer to a question.
IF he stops someone acting the gobshite outside a pub, he's acting under the Public Order Act and entitled to name and address.
IF he stops a car for speeding, he's entitled under the Road Traffic Act for name, address, to see the driving license, and ask for the insurance document to be produced.
IF his boss wants him to intimidate someone, discourage them from attending peaceful protests, he'd better keep his eye open for bald tyres, or expired tax discs, cos if he hasn't got due cause, they don't have to give him the time of day.

A Garda cannot single out a car for a stop without due cause. In fact the Road Traffic ActS are very clear about the circumstances in which a Garda has power to single out a car (i.e. a car not at a checkpoint) . These include, suspicion that the driver is intoxicated, that the car is defective, that the driver has been driving in a dangerous manner, failing to obey, that the car is overloaded,
Other laws provide for stops if the Gardai have reason to belive the driver is involved in a crime, such as carrying drugs, weapons, or is a fugitive from the law.

I put these points here not to feed the troll, but just to guide anyone else who wishes to brush up on the legal side of these things.

Of course "Walter" makes inaccurate assertions, but is even more hypocritical in his omissions.
You forget to add "Walter" that the Gardai have the right to stop a vehicle which they believe is involved in torture and to detain people for the investigation of torture.
I fact they are OBLIGED to do this. The wording in the Criminal Justice UNCAT Act is that they SHALL rather that they MAY.

Of course, the Gardai show no interest in inspecting these aircraft, of demanding names, or otherwise questioning these people. CIA planes, coming in undercover, registered to fictional shell companies, and not declaring a diplomatic mission are NOT covered by diplomatic immunity.
The authorities here of course, turn a blind eye to such goings on. Preferring to fret over the presence of 40 law abiding people acting out of conscience.

"The notion that peacefull protest in any public place is always lawfull is also plain wrong,"
It is subject to limitations mostly based on public order considerations. Did you witness the group of protestors, (which included two infants in prams) erupt into a riot?

"do you think it would make sense that you can protest in the area of the airport that is air side, as in after the security checks ? Its a public area.... but the right of entry is not absoulte. "

"Walter", you are totally factually wrong here, and I feel, deliberately misleading. The idea of a public area is "a place to which the public normally have access". Clearly, airside, which requires a passport and boardig card, and security checks does not fall under that category, and that's all clear in the relevant Air Transport Navigation Acts as well as the bye laws. Nobody has tried to argue that they have a right to 'public protest' airside. People who went airside, did so to disarm warplanes.
Your sad attempt to muddy the waters will fool nobody.

"They managed to disperse the protest without incident, "

they DISPERSED the protest? When did THAT happen? The protestors left at a time and method of their own choosing with no intervention from the Gardai.

"and applied considerable leniancy and judgement. I can't see the problem, in fact I'm impressed with the restraint they showed."

What impressive restraint would that be? The restraint not to push people around for pointing out the ongoing crimes at Shannon, (which I notice you do not even address) ?

author by Walterpublication date Sun Jan 20, 2008 21:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"A Garda cannot single out a car for a stop without due cause. In fact the Road Traffic ActS are very clear about the circumstances in which a Garda has power to single out a car "

I'd be impressed if you could point out where that is made so clear. The relevent act states - "A person driving a vehicle in a public place shall stop the vehicle on being so required by a member of the Garda Síochána." To make it easy for you , here is a link to the relevent act : http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1961/en/act/pub/0024/pri....html

"Its a public area.... but the right of entry is not absoulte. "....."Walter, you are totally factually wrong "

Well the airport bye laws agree with me, not you : "Each of the following is hereby prohibited: (1) entering an airport, or any part of it, when forbidden to do so by an authorised officer"

"What impressive restraint would that be?"

They showed restraint in, among many other things, not seizing the camera and the banner, and not arresting the protestors for failing to leave the airport upon their direction.

author by Sharpeye.publication date Sun Jan 20, 2008 21:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Obviously, at the time of being pulled over, the driver cannot be sure why the Garda is stopping him.
But, even in the act you quote it is littered with limits and quotes. You referenced s109. s108 above shows exactly the same limits I refered to that the stop must be in line with suspicion of defect or other breach of the law..
You can be pulled over for the purpose of producing your license, but once it is clear that the Garda is not acting under the law, you are entitled to drive off again after producing your license if the Garda refuses to give any valid reason for you to remain stopped. I have seen this done, and no arrest followed, precisely because the driver was not breaking the law.
Also, court cases have been won where a pattern of harrassment was shown, by Gardai repeatedly stopping the same driver 'just to check the license', when it was obvious that both the driver and the car were known to the Gardai for political or personal matters rather than criminal matters.

"Its a public area.... but the right of entry is not absoulte. "....."Walter, you are totally factually wrong "

Oh, Walter, what dishonest editing. I did prove you factually wrong, as my comment followed your assertion about protesting airside, and I showed that airside is a restricted area, and therefore not a public area. If you can't even be honest how can you be credible.

Well the airport bye laws agree with me, not you : "Each of the following is hereby prohibited: (1) entering an airport, or any part of it, when forbidden to do so by an authorised officer"

Bearing in mind the difference between a bye-law, and criminal law, (bye laws get struck down fairly often when challenged) you should note the following.
The provision for them to direct someone to leave, is grounded on NOT having lawful business.
That is also in the laws, and the air transport navigation acts.
This very point has been fought and won in the district court in Clare. I think the local judge (who nobody would suspect of being biased in favour of anti war activists) has a better grasp of this than you do. : )

You also spewed forth that ....

They showed restraint in, among many other things, not seizing the camera and the banner, and not arresting the protestors for failing to leave the airport upon their direction.

Under what right could they seize the camera or banner? There is no prohibition on photographs, other than needing to have prior permission to take photographs IF/WHEN you are AIRSIDE.
Please back up your ridiculous assertion that they showed restraint in not seizing the camera.

They did not direct the protestors to leave. They prevented them from proceeding. Very different situation. No law was broken, no restraint was needed nor demonstrated.

Also, most recently in Killarney District Court, Niall Harnett, who was present at Shannon, was acquitted under public order charges. The Gardai said he refused to give his name and address. Niall admitted that he had refused to do so, until the Garda showed what official reason he had for asking it. The Judge agreed with Niall, which contradicts your opinion yet again.

I also challenge you to adress the crimes being ignored by the Gardai at Shannon and their refusal to apply the laws to CIA torture jets etc. You've dodged that question a few times.

author by Walterpublication date Sun Jan 20, 2008 22:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"But, even in the act you quote it is littered with limits and quotes. You referenced s109. s108 above shows exactly the same limits I refered to that the stop must be in line with suspicion of defect or other breach of the law"

No it doesnt, have you even read the act? s108 deals with the right of a member to demand the name of a pedal cyclist and has nothing to do with motor vehicles. I quoted s109 almost in its entirity, it makes no mention of what you are claiming.

"The provision for them to direct someone to leave, is grounded on NOT having lawful business. "

No its not. I quoted the sub section in its entirity. There is no provision for having lawfull business. You are making it up at this stage.

"There is no prohibition on photographs, other than needing to have prior permission to take photographs IF/WHEN you are AIRSIDE."

Again, this is untrue. There is no mention of being airside in the bye law which states : "4.1. Each of the following is hereby prohibited:
......using television cameras or other photographic equipment the use of which in the opinion of Aer Rianta is likely to be contrary to the interests of security;"

"Under what right could they seize the camera or banner? "

The Aiport bye laws again : "4.2. An authorised officer may ... seize and detain for such period as may be reasonable or until the conclusion of proceedings any item used in contravention of this Bye-Law" Given the prohibition on photography I have outlined above, the camera could have been seized.

author by Sharpeyepublication date Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who said I was restricting myself to powers to stop motor vehicles? You made an assertion that one has to give ones name and address to a Garda even if he's not asking under some provision of law.
They can discover your name and address if they pull you over while driving, by demanding your license, which of course gives your name and address. That doesn't mean you have to volunteer to answer his questions, or give the name of your passengers, unless he invokes some other law.
And outside of the airport, if you're on a bike or walking or any form of transport not requiring a license then they are not entitled to discover your name or address from idle (or malicious) curiosity.
Inside the airport, they can use the byelaws to ask your name and address.

"The provision for them to direct someone to leave, is grounded on NOT having lawful business. "

"WALTER": No its not. I quoted the sub section in its entirity. There is no provision for having lawfull business. You are making it up at this stage.

Sharpeye:You quoted a section on denying entry, not on direction to leave. If you're already in then you may be directed to leave under certain conditions, If you haven't yet entered, you cannot be directed to leave. That's called logic. It will help you.

While pretending to have superior knowledge of bye laws and regulations, you seem to not be aware of, or not understand the Air Transport Navigation Acts, you will see that directing someone to leave can be done for many reasons, and you can be arrested for suspicion of doing something illegal obviously. But if you are not breaking the law, then the authority to direct you to leave goes like this.
"An authorised officer...may ...order any person...whom he knows not to have, or whom he reasonably suspects of not having, a lawful reason for being on the aerodrome,...to leave the aerodrome"

So, again using logic, unless they can cite you for something specific, all you have to do is give the lawful purpose for being there. e.g. Gathering evidence of a crime, peaceful assembly, going up for a cup of tea and a sandwich at the hotel.

"WALTER":Again, this is untrue. There is no mention of being airside in the bye law which states : "4.1. Each of the following is hereby prohibited:

......using television cameras or other photographic equipment the use of which in the opinion of Aer Rianta is likely to be contrary to the interests of security;"

Sharpeye:
Again, the hysteria "Walter". Calm down, breathe, think. Anything that is generally allowed is not prohibited. People take photos at airports all the time. Including as evidence of illegal activity.
Taking photos is NOT prohibited. You are allowed to take photographs, if it is NOT being done in an attempt to subvert security of the airport. Only that narrow use of cameras is prohibited.
And how exactly could it be construed that taking photos of a demo was contrary to the interests of security? Recording the events at a demo is hardly the equivalent of taking photos of the security equipment (metal detectors) and other secure areas, for the purpose of planning a smuggling operation.
The last time I checked the notices at the terminal. There was a prohibition on taking photos in the restricted airside area without prior permission. I'd be surprised if that has been rescinded.

The Gardai made no assertion that the cameras were being used contrary to security interests, and therefore they would not be entitled to seize anything under section 4.2. (This has been tried and tested repeatedly. Guess who was proved right?)
So, logically speaking, yet again, your claim of 'restraint' is laughable.

By the way, I doubt many people are reading this far down the comments at this stage (except you and I.)

The people who have been at Shannon for a long time, know the laws, what is allowed and what is not, and there's little point having wet dreams about the powers that you wish the cops could use on them.

By the way, you have still stayed clear of what reason the Gardai have for their flagrant dereliction of duty in refusing to follow the Criminal Justice (United Nations Convention Against Torture) Act.

Is that one too hard for you to swallow?

Have a nice day "Walter".

author by paul o toolepublication date Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was taking pictures of a wagtail, a bird. It is hardly or a threat to security. Un less you think that highlighting the fact that Shannon is part of a genocidal machine to kill millions more civilians in the middle-east, and this might expose the most corrupt Irish government to questions regarding their support for this mass murder??. Wheres the threat?? their 'carreers'??
They are mass murderers, when this point finally sinks in then it will be realised that all who defend this 'government policy' in any form are part of the problem and bear responsibility, from the church for their silence to the gardai enforcing illegitimate law to the politicians from behind these spurious laws which enable them to rape poor nations.....
good nite..

author by Oiliféarpublication date Mon Jan 21, 2008 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a distraction to debate over the rights and wrongs of the Guards and their many powers. And senseless to waste time arguing with them. What the point of the action at Shannon? To get uppity with some Guard about what he can or cannot do? No. To play a "them and us" game like some great War of the Buttons? No. Let's keep eyes focused on the ball.

Like Jimbob points out it, sending the Guards in is part of the government strategy to sap energy from, distract from and blacken the protests, and waste our time. Suddenly instead of telling the world how plane loads of munitions and extra-ordinarily renditioned people are passing through Irish soil, we're giving out that some guard or another can't properly name the section of legislation that allows him to kick us off airport grounds. So what? Nobody cares and it doesn't matter. It looks silly, the message hasn't got across and the government are rolling about at how easily they can send us on fools' errands.

Like Jumbob suggests, just politely explain what you're doing, that you are rightfully and legally doing it, and walk away. There's nothing more to be said. We're not there to argue with the cops. The cops have been sent there to argue with us. Don't fall for it.

(And even if you do, don't blame the poor Guard. He or she is really just doing their job and their personal opinion on the matter, rightfully, has no bearing what-so-ever. Of course, if you rile them up, no more than if someone riles you up, they're going to get thick with you. But then that's what the governments wants too because you look foolish either way.)

author by Seanpublication date Mon Jan 21, 2008 15:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The word is Garda and the plural is Gardaí. It's an Irish word

author by Oiliféarpublication date Mon Jan 21, 2008 17:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Sheán, trí Ghaeilge 'Garda' ab ea an ainmfhocal agus 'Gardaí' an iolra. Sin fíor. Ach trí Bhéarla is inghlactha 'Guard' agus 'Guards' go coiteann. Nach chuala tú sin roimh a labhart?

author by Walterpublication date Mon Jan 21, 2008 20:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Folks,

Remember that knowing your legal rights will help organise a peacefull protest not hinder it. If people decide to break laws during the protest, well thats their choice .... but it would be most unfair to tell people they are entitled to do things which they are not.

I'm not going to keep responding to Sharpeye after this, its like talking to a wall. Anyone interested can read the bye laws and road traffic acts themselves on www.irishstatutebook.ie . People often take cameras into the airport to protest however, so I'm going to elaborate on this as they could potentially have the camera confiscated....

"Taking photos is NOT prohibited. You are allowed to take photographs, if it is NOT being done in an attempt to subvert security of the airport. Only that narrow use of cameras is prohibited."

At least you have climbed down from your assertion that phtography "is in no way prohibited". http://www.shannonairport.com/company/mediacentre/media....html I quote : "Authorisation must be received from the Airport Authority before filming, photography or radio interviews can take place on airport property." Once permission is received the following rules still apply : "Customers and staff may not be photographed, filmed or interviewed" And no, this is not just related to Airside : "The rules and regulations for filming / photography also apply to airside filming." Note the use of the word also. These can be found at http://www.shannonairport.com/company/mediacentre/media....html

author by Sharpeyepublication date Tue Jan 22, 2008 09:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors


At least you have climbed down from your assertion that phtography "is in no way prohibited".

1st point, don't put something in quotation marks if it's not a quote. Sharpeye did not say that photography is in no way prohibited.

Restricted means in some circumstances not allowed.
Prohibited means not allowed in any circumstances.
So, taking photographs is allowed and therefore not prohibited.
A media policy is not the same thing as a bye law, you are truly grasping at straws.

If you're not just shabby with your grasp of law and language, then you're just a scaremonger.

A couple of years ago two people had their cameras taken, and they were arrested by over zealous airport police. The court ordered the cameras to be returned, and all charges were struck out.

So yes, knowledge is power, and the knowledge of what has been tested in court is a pretty good one to know eh?

Also good to know is that the Garda Siochana are obliged to do all in their power to prevent torture, and to arrest people aiding and abetting murder, grievous bodily harm and theft.

Tell me Walter, have you been bombarding the Gardai with such detailed comments explaining to them how they are in dereliction of duty by turning a blind eye to war crimes?

Have you looked up the law in relation to aircraft in emergency situations.
Are you aware that once they have called the emergency services to an emergency, they are not entitled to refuse them entry?
Are you aware that this has in fact occured?
Are you aware that it is illegal to assist torture, or to impede an investigation into torture?
Did you look up any of those acts recently?

Or are you too busy obsessing over peaceful protestors and their terrifying cameras?

I'm not angry at you Walter, just disappointed.

author by paul o toole - Church of Springfield, Rev. Lovejoypublication date Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...To give 'legal' protection to the people involved in illegal wars, create enough 'plausible deniability' for them to continnue, create breaks in the chain of direct responsibility to clear them in the event of an arrest for their murderous campaign (unlikley).
Bush uses the 'interpreted' report on WMD to invade.
Bertie//Harney/FF/PD/Greens use the Attorney General to find a path of deniability through our legal system to justify their participation in the massacres they have participated in.
The golden rule they and their ilk use is to never mention the victims, the slaughtered, the dismembered babies, generations wiped out, the daily endless terror, the destroyed hospitals, the rivers of innocent blood and body parts running down the streets of the towns and villages in Iraq in the name of democracy.
And this crowd of cowards all go to mass........
As Rev, Lovejoy says...'it has to be moral, cos they just made it legal'

Walter ?, if your advice is to mean anything, surely you will concider the 1.2 million murdered with our governments help so far in this genocide, and not take the view that the Gardai are the victims, or am i being to rough on them. If I am, I am terribly, terribly sorry and do send them my deepest apologies for any unintended harm I may have caused to the delicate little chaps.

author by Walterpublication date Tue Jan 22, 2008 13:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sharpeye : "A couple of years ago two people had their cameras taken, and they were arrested"

I think thats put the debate finally to bed, if you take photographs in the airport you may be arrested, charged, and brought to court. You have prooved the original claim that "there is no prohibition whatsoever on photography or a requirement that persons seek the authorisation of Aer Rianta" to be totally bogus.

author by Sharpeye.publication date Tue Jan 22, 2008 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Walter, I'm starting to worry about you now. Were you feeling a bit dizzy when you wrote the following?
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I think thats put the debate finally to bed, if you take photographs in the airport you may be arrested, charged, and brought to court. You have prooved the original claim that "there is no prohibition whatsoever on photography or a requirement that persons seek the authorisation of Aer Rianta" to be totally bogus.

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Did you miss the part where the judge said that those people hadn't broken the law?
That's why the airport police haven't taken any cameras since then, cos they got an education in the law. It seems to have sunk in a bit faster with them than it did with you.
As for putting the debate to bed. I do recommend, by all means that you go lie down for a while...

And when you get up, you can tell us all about the laws you've read up on re prevention of torture and the duties of states to prevent torture, and arrest people they suspect of commiting torture,regardless of where the torture occured.

author by ClearAsMudpublication date Thu Jan 24, 2008 20:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I presume you are referring to Conor, Niall and Mags .... the dpp dropped the case, and the the judge struck them out for want of prosecution. No other rulings were made. Unfortunatly their actions were not deemed to have been legal as you suggest.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Jan 25, 2008 22:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They have not been found gulity of anything. They had the right to do what they did and no court has established otherwise. Trolls might see themselves as judges and juries. Reality argues otherwise.

author by Walterpublication date Sat Jan 26, 2008 00:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indeed Sean you are wholly correct, however the earlier assertion by a different contributer that "the judge said that those people hadn't broken the law" is a lie.

author by Coilín - Self-Appointed Freedom Writerspublication date Mon Feb 04, 2008 15:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please read the following report in Other Press:

Danish TV documentary details Greenland's role in CIA abductions
Icelandic customs officials now search every international flight
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86069

Note that Iceland, like Denmark, has been a member of NATO since its foundation in 1949:
http://www.iceland.org/nato/the-delegation/iceland-and-...nato/
If Iceland can search every international flight for victims of CIA abductions, why can Ireland not do likewise?

Best,
Coilín.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Feb 13, 2008 15:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors




Very interesting development...

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