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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

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Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

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Search words: rayth...23449

After Yet Another March - What is Relevant Anti-War Activity 5 Years In?

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday March 18, 2008 10:10author by Ciaron O'Reilly - Pitstop Ploughshares/London Catholic Workerauthor address London, England Report this post to the editors

..and why no mention of the Raytheon 9 by the Stop the War Coalition?

Well last Saturday, I headed off to the march in London on the 5th. anniversary of this war.

These groundhog day cattle drives through empty streets when the left goes marketing crazy in a confined space as you run a gauntlet of newspaper sales, recruitment drives etc always has the heavy potential to demoralise. So I thought I'd lower my expecations and set myself limited political objectives for the day. To be honest, I go to these things primarily to socialise and catch up with old comrades from campaigns of daze gone by.....

If yet another groundhog day cattle drive through the empty streets of London is not a relevant response 5 years into this war - what is?

Basically, nonviolent resistance to the war and proactive solidarity with nonviolent resistance is relevant. The war has never had popular support but there is little visible oppostion either.

I believe if 1% of those who marched against this war in 03 had gone into nonviolent resistance in the spirit of Ghandi and King to the point of imprisonment and the other 99% commited to proactive solidarity with the resistance (help feed the cat, pay the rent, deal with the hysterical parents, spread the word) we would now have a vibrant anti-war culture and movement and not be reduced to these biannual holy daze of obligation marches and the government would have a lot of trouble prosecuting this war. (It was interesting how many people I asked on Saturday "Why are you here?" who had the repsonse "I'd feel guilty if I didn't come!") If this campaign of civil disobedience had occured it would have had a dissident response from within the British and U.S. military.

The people who organise these rallies (the Labor Party - yes they happen to be the government presently blowing the crap out of Iraq & Afghanistan, the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party who have all the fervour and single mindedness of evangelical christians on speed but who in praxis (when you strip away the chanting & posturing) is pretty moderate, and the mainstream NGO's who like the others see the war and the anti-war movement as an excellent opportunity to promote their brand in a target audience) DON'T support or mention nonviolent resistance to the war or promote solidarity with nonviolent resisters before the courts , in prison or preparing for more NVDA.

So last Saturday, I set off for the march to increase awareness of the upcoming Raytheon 9 trial in Belfast in May . This is a significant resistance trial of 9 irish activists who nonviolently disabled the mainframe computer at Raytheon in Derry - during the 06 bombing of Lebanon. The Israeli military used Raytheon equipment extensively in their indiscrimate bombing that summer.

I got to the rally and their were thousands (maybe 10 max, down from 2 million in 03) passively milling about in Trafalger Square. I had brought with me my homemade "Free the Raytheon 9 - Disable the War Machine! " placard and unaccustomed as I am to wait for the official anti-war leadership - I began steet (soapbox without the soapbox) speaking to small clusters of folks about the Raytheon 9. Those not interested drifted away, those interested came in tighter. I did this 6 or 7 times before the main rally started and the amps drowned me out. People were excited to hear about the Raytheon 9 and they were exicted by the spontaneity and initiative of street speaking. They were probably relieved I wasn't trying to sell them anything or recruit them (although a R9 info leaflet would have been handy for those interested!). Nonetheless, lots of them wrote down the Raytehoen 9 website.

As I walked around the crowd with my placard during the rally I had lots of conversations with many people (some seasoned anti-war activists) who had never heard of the Raytheon 9, their action or their trial.

The Socialist Workers Party/Stop the War Coalition are well placed to make the Raytheon 9 trial very widely known throughout Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and internationally and encourage support for the defendants. They have chosen not to!

It is an important trial and should be a show trial of the arms trade in Ireland and Britain.

My pathetic cardboard sign and a few goes at street speaking to the assembling crowds was the only mention of this trial at the rally this past Saturday

When an SWP member took a break from selling the paper to ask me "How are those people doing?" My resolve not to get pissed off, by employing the praxis of lowering expecations of the rally, finally broke.

I responded "You tell me, three of them are your party members looking at years in jail. Why aren't they mentioned at this rally etc etc?"
A fairly heated debate ensued.

The debate concluded with my reponse "For all if it's rrrrrrrrrrrevolutionary rhetoric, your party are a bunch of moderates who rather provide a platform for Labor Party politicians than support anti-war resisters before the courts. You have hung out your own people to dry etc."

This was my experience in Ireland as we went through 3 trials for $2 1/2 million criminal damaage to a U.S. war plane being refueled at Shannon

The groups who organise these rallies primarily see the anti-war movement/ these biannual rallies as marketing/brand profile lifting opportunities for their party, newspaper selling and recruitment. They are the first line of policing of the anti-war movement. Whether they have been infiltrated (as were similar groups in the '60's) or whether such a strategy of groundhog day rallies, cattle drives through empty streets, centralisation, deflation and dissipation just dovetails into their short term aims - it probably makes little difference.

A good anarcho critique of the SWP, authoritarian and moderate left screwing the anti-war movement in Ireland can be found on the following link.....

Meanwhile from the platform ex Labor Party/Respect parliamentarian George Galloway suggests during his speech that maybe the movement has been "too peaceful and too legal" over the past five years hinting that Stop the War Coalition are going to start breaking the law and unleash civil disobedience soon…

This seemed to be an echo from five years previous when Tony Benn stated “I never thought I would say this but we have to take whatever steps necessary to stop this war. If that means taking direct action like blocking the roads and railways then so be it!” Five years on Tony Benn is sitll giving entertaining speeches but has avoided being busted while a million Iraqis 4,000 young Americans and 150 Brits have died.

Rather than Galloway and Benn flirting, posturing, teasing about NVDA as a response to the war....they should simply support the nonviolent resistance that is occuring (Raytheon 9, Trident ploughshares, my 2 CW community members who are being sentenced to day for Dsei resistance etc etc). It is the Socialist Workes Party/Stop the War Coalition policy to censor and marginalise nonviolent resistance to this war!

Nonviolent resistance can be the most empowering experience of your life or the most disempowering - it's all got to do with spirituality and solidarity. The resister's spirit is subjective terrain but solidarity is something we can all contribute to.

17 years ago I, and three others, broke into a B-52 Base in upstate New York on the eve of Gulf War 1. We were able to put a B-52 Bomber, on scramble alert, at Griffis Airforce Base out of action for three months. It didn't get to drop its naplam, cluster bombs and fuel explosives on the people of Iraq.

5 years ago I joined another 4 good folks in Ireland to disable a U.S. war plane at Shannon Airport.

The '91 crew were the longest serving political prisoners in the U.S. for resisitng that war. the nine of us have come out of those experiences, including 13 months in U.S. jails, three trials in Ireland, deportation from the U.S. etc - stronger than we went into it. We came out stronger because of our spirituality and the culture of solidarity that surrounded us!

As we grow as a movement to stop this war, the reistance is going to spring from the most unlikely of places! Our movement is going to be so big and broad that we are going to have different hairstyles, musical tastes, politics and spiritual traditons. Resistance is going to come from country and western fans in the U.S. military
it's going to come from rad Salvation Army kidz
anarchist punks
socialists and republicans

We have to develop a movement that whenever resistance goes down - we reach out to the resister offering proactive practical solidarity. The more solidarity the resister experiences, the easier the resistance is going to be. The more likely the resister will be back with more resistance!

We have to reject the censorship of anti-war resistance by those who try to manage the anti-war movement and organise these rallies.

Related Link:
author by resizer - (EUro East)publication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors



author by Support the 9publication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Update on Raytheon 9 case
Written by Goretti Horgan
The media gag on reporting of the Raytheon 9 trial has been lifted. This followed an application for judicial review of the gag by Shane O’Curry, a member of the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign.

Support the Raytheon 9
Support the Raytheon 9

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author by TD - Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaignpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Stop the War Coalition : Last Saturday's London demo photos




Brian Haw as unrelenting as ever
Brian Haw as unrelenting as ever

Conor Cregan of Cosantoiri Siochana to the right
Conor Cregan of Cosantoiri Siochana to the right

author by TD - IPSCpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors



Nick Broomfield; Director of The Battle for Haditha
Nick Broomfield; Director of The Battle for Haditha




author by redjadepublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Iraq war's cost: Loss of U.S. power, prestige, influence

'....a Georgetown University task force released last month.

"Restored respect will come only with fresh demonstrations of competence," the study said.

The numbers don't inspire confidence: Oil prices are at an all-time high, the dollar at new lows against the euro. Surveys find the United States' popularity and respect slipping in every part of the globe except Africa. A poll of 3,400 active and retired U.S. military officers by Foreign Policy magazine found that 88 percent agreed with the statement that "The war in Iraq has stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin." ''

more at

the American Empire: Down but not Out
the American Empire: Down but not Out

author by Aznarpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 22:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if you go to this link you can hear the reptile say the above on air to radio SER in Spain today by clicking on the play button.

author by Damien Moranpublication date Wed Mar 19, 2008 00:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jaysus Ciaron, are ya sure you weren't in Warsaw on the 15th? Because it was the exact same shite here.

Polska Partia Pracy (Polish Worker's Party - they got 1% in the most recent election) had about 120 of their members in the March 15th demonstration. 99% were wearing bibs promoting their union. The only one who didn't look like a clone was their cult leader, Boguslaw Zietek, while puffing on a cigarette, waited for the media to notice him (despite having nothing to do with the org. of the demo.) I have nothing much against this union. They have waged some important struggles. But hell, if your going to attend a demonstration against war and the proposed US missile defence base for Poland surely the least you can do is be somewhat subtle in terms of your political marketing strategy.

30-50 members of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions Sierpien 80 (PPP's trade union) were carrying flags of, yes, their trade union. Not a fucking anti-war slogan (creative or uncreative) or alternative proposition in sight from them.

Once the crowd started moving, off they creeped to the front of the demonstration with their banner 'Polish Worlers Party' behind the leading lorry and sound system - but the Stop the War Coalition, ever clever, deployed 5 14/15 year old kids to walk 10 metres in front of the lorry carrying what was at least a relevant slogan for the demonstration: 'Nie Chcemy byc okupantem, tarcza' (We don't want to be occupiers or a shield).

And that is why we have ruffled many feathers here by announcing that the anarchist-organised demonstration in Northern Poland on March 29th against the proposed US missile defence base (10 ground based interceptors), which will be the first at the potential scene of crime, is following the guideline of a NO LOGO demo (all groups are invited and encouraged to come but requested that their party/org. name remain a minimal part of the banner, placard, poster, etc.). It remains to be seen whether people will abide with the request not to use it as a marketing opportunity.

It seems that this is an important time to invite the public into a demonstration that is not dominated by wannabee politicians, but that is focussed on emphasising the need for ordinary people participating and speaking up for themselves through Hyde Park style debates (which also has a long tradition here).

Related Link:
author by Ciaronpublication date Wed Mar 19, 2008 08:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Folks,

looks like my ciaronx yahoo account has been hacked

I'm being denied access

and friends around the globe are receiving deperate appeals from me stranded in africa!

i'm in london and fine

if you need to contact me
dublincatholicworker at


author by redjadepublication date Wed Mar 19, 2008 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''.... each year of the war has been characterized by a central lie by the Bush propaganda machine.

Year 1: "There is no guerrilla war."
Year 2: "Iraq is a model democracy."
Year 3: "Zarqawi is causing all the trouble."
Year 4: "There is no Civil War."
Year 5: "Everything is calm now." ''

more at

author by Mary Anne Grady Flores - Ithaca Catholic Workerspublication date Wed Mar 19, 2008 22:08author address West Bank, Palestineauthor phone Report this post to the editors

For photos go to:

Dear Friends,

I'm writing from Hebron, at the CPT apartment in the West Bank,
Palestine. This Palm Sunday morning approximately 67 of us
participated in a presence with prayer at a check point in Bethany,
also known as Azarea. Jesus raised Lazarus (Azar) from the dead
shortly before he began His journey to Jerusalem to face His own
torture, crucifixion and ultimately His resurrection.

We chose this check point to exemplify how Palestinian Christians and
Muslims, who, for years have traveled with others into Jerusalem to
visit the holy sites, are not allowed to pass through the check points
and the apartheid wall. Thousands of Palestinians are cut off from
employment, access to hospitals, health care, access to worship in the
churches and mosques in Jerusalem, access to their own family members
who may be on the other side of the wall. We carried banners asking
"Where Could Jesus Go?" with a picture of the wall painted through the
words and gave out leaflets that read the same. We later passed them
out to thousands of internationals and locals who processed through
the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. We plan to carry these banners again
and pass the leaflets out to the many thousands who will process
through Jerusalem on Good Friday. We ask that you act in solidarity
to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and stop the apartheid
wall, this Holy Week.

Nora Carmi of Sabeel said, "Today, what we are doing is re-living this
memory [of Jesus] and challenging the authorities in the same
nonviolent, peaceful way, that Jesus did . . . A few soldiers with
their guns and their tear gas, are not going to stop us from praying."

Israeli border police arrived and threatened to fire tear gas at the
worshippers, but they continued with some Scripture readings. While
the group were completing their event on the grounds of a local
religious community, the border police came and again told the
worshippers to disperse.

Our group was made up of about 30 Palestinians, including local
community members of Azarya, including the mayor, members of the
Sabeel Community ( a liberation theology activist community based in
Jerusalem), members of MEND (a Muslem community activist group), 40
internationals, many who where with the Chrisitan Peacemaker Team from
Hebron, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Diocese of Detroit,
international press, including Reuters, AP and the Catholic News

Mary Anne Grady Flores
Ithaca Catholic Workers
West Bank, Palestine

For more information, contact Christian Peacemaker Teams: 022228485

For photos go to:

Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical initiative to support
violence reduction efforts around the world. To learn more about
CPT's peacemaking work, visit our website Photos of our projects are at A map of the center of Hebron is

The same map is the last page of this report on closures in Hebron:

Related Link:
author by Deirdre - Formerly of the pitstopspublication date Thu Mar 20, 2008 01:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with much of what Ciaron says but have stopped looking toward the left as a whole (with some exceptions, obviously) for meaningful resistance to human rights abuses. I don't wish to follow slavishly what is defined as the left agenda, particularly if it's to do with what some dead Russian bloke, or blokes, carved in stone at the start of the twentieth century in circumstances that were socially and culturally incredibly different from what we face today.

Many NGOs, with several honourable exceptions, have their own agenda and are not looking to address systemic issues, and it is now acceptable to talk about 'human rights' as a career path, with good promotional prospects, etc., in some sectors. Vocations and callings seem to have gone by the wayside in Celtic Tiger Ireland. The same career human rights workers (that's not to say some aren't very well intentioned) will clearly feel threatened by those doing NVDA and acts of sabotage against war, particularly if their NGOs are already on the ground in Iraq, waiting for the bombardment. In many cases, these groups specialise in disaster and tragedy management, rather than in disaster and tragedy prevention. They see people who do political acts of dissidence as problematic. Their funding often relies on not criticisng acts of war or other manifestations of foreign policy that cause human rights tragedies. They often have a symbiotic relationship with governments, ironically, given that they call themselves NGOs. I am not saying these organisations don't do good work in certain cases, I am just saying it would be naive to expect them to support NVDA.

There is nothing like the experience of going through a long legal process for NVDA to alert you to the hypocrisies on the left and in the NGO sector. There are countless people who will laud NVDA-type resistance if it's done at a safe geographical or historical distance. But if it occurs on their own doorstep, they don't want to know. (Some of) the same people who may seek to rub shoulders with Daniel Berrigan when he visits Ireland will tut-tut any action inspired by his life's work and, worse, seek actively to silence those who engage in such actions. The same is true of NVDA that isn't faith-based.

I've spent about the last year absorbing a lot of what I saw and experienced during my three-and-a-half years going through the courts. And, while there was much joy and laughter, and some great examples of humanity (sadly, some of those now deceased, such as Handa Shonin San), there were also countless examples of the capacity of human beings for duplicity, sham sanctimony, speciousness and outright unsavoury behaviour - and I'm not talking about either the guards or the Prosecution. You see the very best and the very worst of humanity when you do a serious act of NVDA. You do see a lot of hypocrisy, unfortunately.

I think, and I've thought for a long time, that for real resistance to the horror of modern warfare, we have to look beyond the established left. Many of the meaningful and most sincere expressions of support I experienced were from ordinary Joe and Josephine Soaps on the street who were interested in faith-based nonviolent action and felt genuine distress about the lives lost in Iraq. That needs to be harnessed. Ciaron, I empathise to a large degree with your groundhog day experience, but it's like a broken record at this stage (no offence meant!). It's time to move away from the frustration with the established left and think laterally towards something new. Most of today's left is living in the past, trying to fit today's reality into templates from 100 years ago.

Ciaron says, 'Nonviolent resistance can be the most empowering experience of your life or the most disempowering - it's all got to do with spirituality and solidarity.' My response to this is that it is both. For me, it was easily - and unexpectedly - the most empowering experience of my life, particularly the purity of intent in the hangar. But aspects of the experience were extremely disempowering as well, and oddly enough, this had nothing to do with the court process. In court, there are checks and balances, rules of interaction, structures. People are refined and civilised, even when they are disagreeing. Mostly, I found court itself a welcome relief from the ins and outs of the movement, with its personality politics and its multiplicity of dysfunctionalities.

The anti-war movement is full of opportunism and recruitment drives for other purposes, yes, but that's not the only flaw and it's easy to point the finger at the SWP, who I will say are at least organised and competent. There are countless problems and failings throughout the movement and, from talking to others from other countries, particularly women who experience the movement as silencing and male-dominated (ironically, given that more women on principle oppose war), it's not a problem that's isolated to Ireland.

As for few people giving a hoot in London about the Raytheon Nine, that's predictable. The same groups would probably be quick to claim them for the purposes of a press release if they got a legal victory. At least there's a strong activist community in Derry to support them, I guess; probably more so than exists in Dublin, given how used those in Derry are to organising and how much more motivataed they seemed in the short time I was there about a year ago.

author by Ciaronpublication date Thu Mar 20, 2008 09:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Salutations Deirdre, see you soon hopefully

"I agree with much of what Ciaron says but have stopped looking toward the left ..."

I guess it's pretty subjective and depends on where you come from in terms of expectations you are branded with (and it's only expectations that cause disappointment) yep i pretty much came out of catholicism, australian labor party, irish republicanism, the left. That's where my expectations and disappointments are located.

"Many NGOs...... "
I agree with your analysis here, but it's also interesting to recognise the space that is now colonised by corporate NGO's that use to be the territory of more grassroots and community groups.

"(Some of) the same people who may seek to rub shoulders with Daniel Berrigan when he visits Ireland will tut-tut any action inspired by his life's work and, worse, seek actively to silence those who engage in such actions."

I'm being interviewed in London today by a U.S. documentary team producing a work on the legacy of the Berrigan brothers. Going into the ploughshares action at Shannon I assumed the 1,000 who had turned up to hear Dan Berrigan in Dublin in July 02 and the positive reception to the "Would You Believe" episode a couple of months later would be a solid suppport base for our action. As Phil Berrigan would often say it ended up being a case of "warm friends cooling" when the Berrigan legacy touched down at Shannon Airport.

"I've spent about the last year absorbing a lot of what I saw and experienced during my three-and-a-half years going through the courts."

None of us imagined that it would be a 3 1/2 year trawl through the courts. I guess we could have gone to coourt in Kilrush, 4 months after we did the action at Shannon - but we successfully applied for a change of venue to the Four Courts. It would be over two years before our first trial. The B-52 disarmament cases at Fairford (England) also dragged out (due to applications that went to the House of Lords) and now it looks like the Raytheon crew are going to thier first trial nearly two years after the action (due to the Prosecution's desire to move the trial from Derry where they are not confident of securing a conviction.)
From experience, being out on bail is not freedom and (especially when there is no definite trial date set) can be exhausting and potentially dissipating for the resistance community.

"I think, and I've thought for a long time, that for real resistance to the horror of modern warfare, we have to look beyond the established left."

Well yes beyond groups not serious about engaging the war but seeing the war as a marketing opportunity. If they manouvere correctly (and this what they put their energy into) the war gives these groups a profile, a significance, marketing and recruiting opportunities they would not otherwise have. They see it as a success if they run a campaign into the ground, recruit to their organisation from the campaign leftovers and move on. Maybe some libertarian groups have the same attitude (the specific campaign...rossport, shannon etc.... is only relevant as a basis of spreading anarchist ideas, recruiting etc), dunno?

You can either waste a lot of energy battling them on their own terrain in front groups they have designed and control or walk away exhausted and cynical. I think the small actions I took at Saturday's rally was an alterante form of self activity and creative engagement that spread the word about the Raytheon 9.

"groundhog day experience,"

It's probably not so much the groundhog day aspect (which it isn't as it keeps shrinking 2 million-2,000 London, 120,000 - 500 Dublin, 100,000 - 800 Sydney etc etc)'s more the "Cattle drive through empty streets" aspect that pisses me off...the movement is being policed/stewarded in more ways than that just unfortunate or is more sinister?

One of the full time organisers for Campaign Against the Arms Trade was exposed as a spy, Tariq Alis right hand man in the '60's was a police agent, one of the brothers on the verandah in that photo when King was shot was working for the FBI, the Provos seemed riddled. So yes the question remains are the anti-war movement bureaucrats shit at doing their job (engaging, resisting the war, solidarity with those who do) or they shit hot at doing their job - killing off the anti-war movement?

author by JBpublication date Thu Mar 20, 2008 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As Ciaron is so fond of saying, more resistance came out of the military than the civilians.
So how about we put less energy into our banner waving, and platfrom sharing, and put it where it works best.
A March of 100,000 in Dublin will do nothing to end the war. It won't even stop the use of Shannon.
The same time, energy and money put into supporting war resisters, particularly those US soldiers, marines, sailors etc, who refused to follow illegal orders and are being court-martialled for it.

We should work to stopping the use of Shannon, but also put efforts into helping the Iraq Veterans Against War who are doing the work on the ground, in the US. Then we might start to see some better use of our energy.

author by DC Resistancepublication date Thu Mar 20, 2008 14:47author address Washington DC, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors


You must click on the link above to watch a very short video of one of
many decentralized and very creative protests in Washington DC in
recent days to oppose the occupation of Iraq.

This particular action took place inside the Union Station in DC at
5:00 pm on March 18.

Related Link:
author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Thu Mar 20, 2008 16:39author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone Report this post to the editors

It is always better to focus on those that are supporting the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine and the very real possible war in Iran, rather than each other.
There were always going to be different approaches on how to deal with the decision of the Ahern Government to support Bush's Wars. But its was the Ahern Government that decided to terminate the long standing policy of Irish neutrality and support these wars.
Now with the global economic system in deep trouble as a consequence of the €3 trillion war, the end is in sight. The US and their allies just do not have the money to fight these them.
Since 1996 PANA has opposed the process by which Ireland was being integrated into the UE/US/NATO military structures in order to ensure Ireland's full and active participation in the resource wars of the 21st century, war in which the defeat of the EU/US/NATO axis including Ireland was the only inevitable outcome. All those who in what ever way opposed Mr. Ahern and his allies shold feel they are playing a part in the defeat of the EU/US/NATO axis. One more battle is ahead. The referendum on the Renamed EU Constitution (the Lisbon Treaty) in June. This will be a major battle between those that support war and Imperialism and seek a yes vote against those of us who support democracy and oppose war. Whatever our differences we need to campaign for a no vote.
A no result would be a major victory not only for the whole peace movement in Ireland but throughout Europe.

Related Link:
author by Limperpublication date Thu Mar 20, 2008 19:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Movements can ebb and flow for a wide range of reasons and factors. Low turnout does not mean that there is any reduction in opposition to the war and occupation by the vast majority. All the lower turnout means is that people attending a march is down. Many factors in this. I think Ciaron O'Reilly is showing his analysis as too empirical. I don't draw negative conclusions about ordinary people just because of an election result or becasue of a low turn-out on a wet Saturday. Ciaron O'Reilly says that this cattle-herding marches are irrelevent. Possibly, but far better then praying to an non-existant god (if he did exist he'd support the war as all his servents are pro-establishment, eg. your pope, GW Bush, Blair, et al).

author by 7 Arrested Memphispublication date Thu Mar 20, 2008 23:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seven people were arrested yesterday (March 19) after sitting in for several hours at Senator Bob Corker's office in Memphis, TN. The seven were part of a group of nearly 20 which included members of the Memphis Pax Christi chapter who had protested outside and inside of the senator's office for a number of hours on the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

Those arrested included Peter Gathje of the Emmanuel House Community in Memphis, Jacob Flowers who is the executive director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, George Grider a Vietnam veteran, Dennis Paden who teaches in the county jails, Ceylon Mooney a student at Christian Brothers University, Kathleen Kruczek who along with Gathje helps to run Manna House a place of hospitality for homeless persons in Memphis, and Jessica Buttimore, a local peace activist.

The arrests came after these seven refused to leave Sen. Corker's office when he had refused to agree to hold a town meeting in Memphis that would address the Iraq war. Corker is a strong supporter of President Bush's war policies. The seven were arrested on Criminal Trespass charges.

author by 5 arrested Worcesterpublication date Fri Mar 21, 2008 05:52author address Worcester, MA, phone Report this post to the editors

YOUTUBE & Report....

This morning at the federal courthouse in Worcester, after attending
mass and with about a dozen supporters outside, Mike Benedetti, Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, Sandra McSweeney, Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, and Roger Stanley entered the pre-lobby, knelt, prayed for an end to the war in Iraq, and said a rosary. People came and went from the courthouse, though additional participants weren't allowed to enter.

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author by lulupublication date Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well, did we think the war machine was going to say, "It's a fair cop" & stop when the saw a march? Seems to me that we're obliged to show our opposition somehow: for every marcher, there are maybe 3 or more other sympathisers who can't/won't/daren't turn up to show that they are against the killing, plunder, & New Authorised Version of the history of Bush & Blair's wars. For every Ploughshare, Raytheon, etc., activist, there are many with kids/people to care for, &/or mortgages or who are otherwise tied by responsibilities. Everything we can do to show opposition is a sign & encouragement to others who have their doubts about our 'just war'. There's such a range of causes & injustices to address that most people will focus on 1 or 2 - well done to Ciaron for publicising a less subscribed one which we forget too often.

author by Rogerpublication date Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:58author address Des Moines, Iowa, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Six Minute Video of March 19, 2008 - Occupation and arrest at US
Military Recruitment Offices in Des Moines IA

After 5 years of what people finally know is an illegal, immoral,
unjust war, peace people who new it was wrong all along, are still
standing up for the troops, and for the people of Iraq.

These peoplein Des Moines Iowa are bring attention to the insidious, anduntruthful nature of the military recruitments center, while sending young and old alike to fight and kill in this illegal endeavor. People all over the nation are protesting the war in Iraq as well.

Photo Slide Show: March 19, 2008 - Occupation and arrest at US
Military Recruitment Offices in Des Moines IA

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author by 7 arrested Tocjester IRS - Rochester (NY,USA) Catholic Workerpublication date Sun Mar 23, 2008 07:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seven of us were arrested on March 19 in front of the IRS office for placing a coffin the street and kneeling in mourning around it. They were part of a War Resisters call to do CD at IRS offices nationally

Arrested and charged with disorderly conduct were Eli Yewdall of St. Joseph's House CW in Rochester, Sister Grace Miller and Rita Lewis of the House of Mercy, Mike Connelly, Kathy Castania, Jake Allen, and myself. Three of us spent the night in jail, and our next court appearance is April Fool's Day. There was, surprise, surprise, no coverage of the arrests in the local paper or, as far as I know, any of the TV or radio stations.


Harry Murray
Rochester NY CW

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author by D.C. Resistance - Jonah Housepublication date Sun Mar 23, 2008 20:14author address Washington D.C., phone Report this post to the editors

The “war on terror” was lost in the very act of declaring it. The war on terror is terror -institutionalized, justified, legislated. How do we live in the face of the terror the US Empire inflicts on the world?
- not as innocent bystanders - part of the silent crowd, watching Jesus carry the cross to crucifixion, watching boxcars of people en route to the death camps or secret torture centers, observing our nation as $626.1 billion is spent on warmaking in 2007 alone, as our brothers and sisters fight and kill in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect our "way of life"

Good Friday comes before Easter. And the radical gift of Good Friday is Christ's revelation of the power and the truth of nonviolence. There is no easy way to create a world where men and women can live together, it will be accomplished by persons who have the courage to put an end to suffering by willingly suffering themselves rather than inflict suffering upon others.

With this as background, about 80 people gathered - to reflect and act together for the Holy Week "Faith and Resistance" Retreat, March 19 - 22. Student groups from St. Johns University and the College of St. Benedict's in Minnesota, as well as from Loras College in Iowa spent part of their Alternative Spring Break attending the retreat. An enthusiastic group of people from New Jerusalem Now in Philadelphia came. Together, we sought to understand the meaning of the cross of Christ as the instrument of domination in the time of Christ and how it continues in our own time in which weapons of mass destruction - the threat and actual use of them - are instruments of domination.

We brought that cross, that message and those weapons—along with our own bodies—to the Navy League Arms Bazaar at the Marriott Hotel to address the horror of 150 weapons manufacturers seeking to sell their new technologies for death dealing. Some of us went into the hotel and spoke out with banners, leaflets, voices—all were escorted from the hotel and down the drive. Some unfurled their banners and made that walk very slowly. Others remained outside doing street theater on the theme of the cross as a symbol of domination and execution in the Roman Empire, just as nuclear weapons are symbols of domination and execution now. They also engaged in spirited leafleting of people going to and coming from the arms bazaar obscenity.

On Friday, we gathered early in the morning and entered the Pentagon grounds in solemn, silent procession. 5 people—Tim Fryett (The Simple Way-Philadelphia), Peter Pedemonti (House of Grace Catholic Worker-Philadelphia), Peter DeMott (Ithaca Catholic Worker Community), Susan Crane (Jonah House), Steve Miller (Baltimore)—sought to block the entrance and were quickly arrested; two others—Claire Grady (Ithaca Catholic Worker Community) and Eve Tetaz (Washington DC) knelt on the grass. Eve was dressed in sackcloth, remembering Rachel weeping for her children. All were charged with "disobeying a lawful order" and were released with a trial date of June 20, 2008

Two others were arrested, one as a result of a mistake, the other in solidarity so his brother would not be alone. They were also released and have court June 20, 2008.
On Saturday, at the White House, we read the names of Iraqi and American dead, as well as names of those in Guantanamo. Four were arrested for holding signs in front of the White House: Steve Baggarly and Kristin Sadler (Norfolk Catholic Worker), Bill Streit (Little Flower Catholic Worker) and Eve Tetaz (Washington DC). They were released later in the day and are ordered to appear in Federal Court in D.C.

Throughout the retreat we were enriched by reflections by Bill Streit, Bob Ludwig of Loyola University, Chicago School of Pastoral Studies, Sr. Margaret McKenna of New Jerusalem Now and Demissie Abebe from TASSC in Washington, D.C. These reflections informed and enriched our planning, acting and evaluating each action as we moved through out time together.

For photographs of the retreat, check out our website:

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author by Goretti H. - DAWC and SWPpublication date Tue Mar 25, 2008 14:30author email resistderry at aol dot comauthor address Derryauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks to Ciaron for his own soap-box spreading of the word about Derry Anti War Coalition members, the Raytheon 9. But he is mistaken about the support the Raytheon 9 receive from Stop the War Coalition in Britain [of which DAWC has joint membership with Irish Anti War Movement]. In fact, as I told Ciaron by text on the morning of the London march, Stop the War Coalition stalls on the route of the march were selling the Raytheon 9 pamphlet, as we were very thinly spread between demos in Belfast (where we had to be given that is where the trial will be) and here in Derry.

Since the DAWC action on 9th August 2006 which led to the arrest of the Nine, Stop the War Coalition has been very supportive, organising solidarity not just in Britain but using their contacts across the world to get solidarity from as far away as Korea and Japan - just as the Irish Anti War Movement has been very supportive in Ireland. IAWM action groups across Dublin and Ireland have raised over 10,000 euro for our defence campaign. I should say that we have also received support from Anti War Ireland and DAWC recently received a substantial donation from AWI.

As we have tried to explain on many, many occasions, the non-violent direct action which the Derry Anti War Coalition undertook is NOT in the moral/spiritual/giving witness tradition of the Catholic Worker or the individualism of some others involved in direct action. Rather it was PART OF the kind of mass opposition to war that groups like Stop the War and the IAWM have tried to build. That is why the DAWC does not make heroes out of the Raytheon 9 as some others do – there were a lot more than the 9 there on the day and they just happened to be the ones who got in before the cops managed to take control.

David Rovic’s open letter to the left (link above) is well worth reading. The left which he criticises is not the SWP variety which tries to make the anti-war movement open to the involvement of as broad a variety of people as possible (despite the vitriol that this position often brings down on us), rather his criticism is of those who do not recognise the importance of cultural activities in opposing war.

Finally, as a member of the SWP myself and one of those organising the defence campaign for the Raytheon 9, I want to say that Ciaron’s allegation that “It is the Socialist Workers Party/Stop the War Coalition policy to censor and marginalise nonviolent resistance to this war!” is just plain wrong and in no way reflects our experience.

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author by tomeilepublication date Tue Mar 25, 2008 15:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"But he is mistaken about the support the Raytheon 9 receive from Stop the War Coalition in Britain [of which DAWC has joint membership with Irish Anti War Movement"

I know that many IAWM marches and events coincide with STWC ones ,but I don't think that the IAWM is actually part of the Stop the War Coalition in Britain. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

author by Gorettih - DAWCpublication date Tue Mar 25, 2008 15:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My post says that the DAWC is part of both the Stop the War Coalition and Irish Anti War Movement. When the DAWC was established, there was a debate about whether we should join the Dublin-based organisation IAWM or the London-based one, Stop the War. In the end, someone suggested a kind of joint citizenship and it was agreed that we join both.

So, to be absolutely clear: I never suggested that IAWM was part of Stop the War. From what I understand looking at the international anti-war movement, their demonstrations coincide not only with each other but with demos in the US and across Europe and the rest of the world.

author by left-footerpublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 16:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Btw, there's a very good review of the DAWC Raytheon 9 pamphlet in the latest issue of Resistance, the ISN paper. It's by Harry Browne, journalist and AWI member.

author by redjadepublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 18:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is this downloadable somewhere?

the pamphlet and Harry's piece on it, that is

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