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The Emperor Has No Clothes! - Off to Belfast to Confront a Butt Naked Bush!

category national | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Sunday June 15, 2008 21:25author by Ciaron O'Reilly - Catholic Worker/Plowshares Report this post to the editors

Raytheon Outta Derry, U.S.Military Outta Shannon, George W Outta Control!

featured image
(Not) Wanted : Bush

Since George W came to Belfast last time (03) over one million Iraqis, mostly women and children (Lancet Report) have been slain. Most of the U.S. troops doing the slaying have passed through Shannon Airport, Ireland, to get to their victims.. 4,000 of their number have returned in body bags, 20,000 with serious injuries (amputations, loss of sanity etc) they will never recover from and another 20,000 evacuated with injuries they should recover from. Thousands of veterans have suicided on return..

Living at the centre of empire - any empire - is generally relatively cosey. Keep ya head down and your mouth shut and you'll generally have a nice day. It can be kind of liberal and tolerant in the centre while on the fringes of empire the reality is fascism pure and simple You can say anything you want in the safety valve soundproof room of the arts in London , New York and Dublin (see the journo hack war cheer leaders and Irish war supporting politicians swaying to Leonard Cohen's denunciation of U.S. warmaking last Friday night for example)...try dissent on the imperial fringe and they even kill artists there ..........and students and church folks and trade unionists and the list is endless.......

Less than a hundred years ago Dublin was on the fringe of empire, it looked a lot like Baghdad today - death squads, torture in Dublin Castle, military occupation on the streets. Less than 20 years ago, Belfast was on the fringe of empire - state backed military death squads, torture, internment et al.

Ireland - north and south, has been fast tracked to the centre of empire. The deal is if we keep our mouths shut, our heads down, we can reap from the upward mobility within the U.S. empire. The imperial troops will only stop over at Shannon, they will wait until they get to Baghdad to do the raping, killing, torturing and home wrecking. The arms companies will produce their hi tech shite in Derry, it will be dropped on other people in other places.

In the Roman empire they had an annual ritual where everyone would "burn incense for Ceaser" to recognise the emperor's dominion. For the first three centuries Christians refused to do this, or serve in the Roman military, - for this we were criminalised. Not because we worshiped a different God. The Romans were quite flexible in conscripting God and Gods from defeated regions of Empire. We were criminal because we refused to take life - the image of God - in service empire.

So what are we asked to do as the Emperor comes to Belfast. The defeated dissidents, now ensconsed, are asked to offer hospitality, the rest of us are asked to maintain a defeated, if not diignified, silence.

Since George W came to Belfast last time (03) over one million Iraqis, mostly women and children (Lancet Report) have been slain. Most of the U.S. troops doing the slaying have passed through Shannon Airport, Ireland, to get to their victims.. 4,000 of their number have returned in body bags, 20,000 with serious injuries (amputations, loss of sanity etc) they will never recover from and another 20,000 evacuated with injuries they should recover from. Thousands of veterans have suicided on return.

Last time Bush came to Belfast there was tension in the air. We created it nonviolently on the streets http://www.indymedia.ie/article/60059 ....five years into this war, the war has no popular support and the visible opposition has evaporated from view. The opposition in Ireland to the war is massive and passive expressed clearly in the unanimous acquittals of the disabling and disarming
PItstop Ploughshares www.peaceontrial.com
and the recent Raytheon 9 www.raytheon9.org

It is important that people hit the streets in Belfast on Monday...downtown, Stormont, where they least expect it, wherever, whenever to confront the emperor to tell him and anyone in earshot that he has no clothes of credibility, that we don't believe him or his war. To break the consensus of silence on behalf of people being butchered is a powerful and worthy thing.

Today the British government attempts to remove free speech from their people in London http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/400898.html so the emperor can have an easy ride down the last bloodsoaked lap of his Presidency. Long after Bush joins Blair, Howard and that Spanish dude in retirement - the wars they kickstarted will still be claiming victims on the fringe of empire. The question will remain will it claim our spirit and our silence at the centre? All that is asked of us in Belfast on Monday is our silence and sedation - as Bush gets on with the killing, Raytheon gets on with the profiteering and our local politicians get on with the collaboration.

Good luck, and respect, to anyone taking to the streets.

Solidarity with anti-war resisters in jails & brigs and before the courts

Military
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/

and Civilian
http://www.soaw.org/article.php?id=1621

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com
author by Whitehall Updatepublication date Sun Jun 15, 2008 22:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

LINK-Update from Whitehall

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/401208.html

author by london photos & reportpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 07:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

LINK-Photos & (what seems to be an) anarcho analysis&tabloid headline from London

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/401236.html

author by from Jake Burns of SLFpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 08:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In 1978 we released a peace song for Ulster here it is

15.06.2008 14:33
Here is our 1978 song for peace in Ulster which made it into the charts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfOQ9b4GiyM

http://www.slf.com/

Jake Burns of SLF

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfOQ9b4GiyM
author by Righteous Pragmatistpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 08:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He overthrew Saddam Hussein and the Taliban and he gave both the Iraqi and Afghan people freedom and democracy.

If you want to protest maybe you protest against Muslim fundementalist terrorists who want to overthrow democracy and force us to convert to Islam.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowsharespublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 09:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok this seems to be round 5 in 8 years with Emperor Bush.

The first time George passed me by was 2001, when I dragged my sorry ass down to Trafalgar Square on my lonesome. I was gradually joined by some anti-Exonn green activists. We were then surrounded by a heap of cops and eventually these dark tited SUV's favoured by Salvadoran death squads and a limo sped by in spitting distance. I rememember the last of the SUV's had its back hatch open and their sat the secret service I assume tooled up.

What struck me at the time was this was George's first trip to Europe! This was a rich kid without the distraction of hard work who had never made it to Europe. (Remember Ronnie Reagan observing that George Jr. was a waster and remember Ronnie's work ethic standards weren't that high - "Hard work didn't kill anyone, but why take the risk?" direct quote Ronald Reagan.) So George was designated to run the empire and the world without much of a curiousity about the world. Before taking the gig as President, I believe George had only left the borders of the U.S. twice - once on a club med safari in Africa and once across the nearby Tex Mex border. His vice president Dick Cheney would be calling the shots from the low profile media shadows (when he wasn't shooting friends on huting trips!) Given Dick's dodgy ticker and George's disineterest in the job at hand the inverted joke was George was only a heartbeat away fro the Presidency!"

After the cavalcade sped by to Downing St., we made our way down to Buckingham Palace escorted by Lodon's finest. I remember giving a spontaeous speech about L.A. Catholic Worker friends in jail
for nonviolent resistance to the Star Wars program at Vanderburg Air Force Base. An english woman came out of the crowd to say her husband was presently in the same jail - a professional photographer hired by Greenpeace, he had been swept up at Vanderburg at another action. These were the daze before the war coming home to NYC, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The priorities of what was left of the internatioal peace movement at the time were Star Wars
and the U.S. low intensity conflict Plan Colombia. Those daze seem a long time ago and even though a huge anti-war movement has come and gone, Star Wars and the war on Colombia fell off the radar and grind on outta sight outta mind.

I had never felt empathy with Bush...even though I've tried, I'm a Christian it is my job to at least try! I think it is because of his attitude to the death penalty. When I was in a Texas jail for 9 months, the liberal feminist Governor Anne Richards would execute once a month. When George Jr. became governor of Texas he doubled the rate to once a week. I remember visitng Huntsville - the most active death row in the western world - on release. The site of Texan college kids barbquing and drinking whenever there is an execution. George never commuted an execution, brother Jeb in Florida ran a close second.

The next time I was to be i the vicinity of Emperor Bush was after he had well and truly pissed out his territory in Ireland, transforming the civilian airport at Shannon into a major hub for U.S. military for the invasion of Iraq. Shannon had done its job (It's still servicing the U.S. military and C.I.A.) and thousands were dead in Iraq by the time Bush came to Hillsborough Castle 03.

There was still a stong anti-war activist scene in Ireland and a large crew headed north o short notice. It was too big and too vibrant for the self appointed IAWM leadership and swept past their platform fronting off the RUC cops. The next day youngsters did NVDA in Belfast City Centre, the response by the RUC robocops to a nonviolent sit down was brutal.
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/60059
The lies George & Tony told to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq were by this time rapidly exposed - no WMD, no AQ links......

George returned to Ireland as leadup photo op callout for the Irish American vote in his 2004 reelection bid. The sychophantic Irish government responded by deploying the Irish army and blowing 10 million euro on 18 hours of security. We thought this - a psycho meglomaniac in a Castle - was a great backdrop for the staging of MacBush, Photos and report here
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/65767

This was to be the last effort of a broader anti-war movement in Ireland, the last large attempt to engage the role of Shannon in the ongoing U.S. war on Iraq. The anti-war movement is now an exhausted brand, among many, fought over by small Trot groups. There is very little creative thinking or engagement going on - the recent exception of course being the Raytheon 9 www.raytheon9.org who -along with the issue of arms trade in Ireland their action raised - deserved a lot more solidairty tha they got!

Why do we continue - we continue because human beings are being butchered in Iraq and Afghanistan with support of the Irish goverment and intsitutions - and we are still Irish human beings, rather than the housebroken Irish cosumer zombies they want us to be!

My last rendevous with the Emperor was in Sydney last year when he came to carve up the Asia Pacific region with fellow facists from Indonesia, China, Burma etc

The Emperor has the illusion of security ot through justice but through superior firepower, hi tech surveillance, shriking of liberty. It wasn't enough to stop these Chaser lads dacking them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H6pU4UbRYE

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H6pU4UbRYE
author by Righteous Pragmatistpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bush leaves office at the beginning of next year.
I'm going to miss him. He's a swell guy.
But you people are going to miss him even more.
Although I support McCain, I'm kind of looking forward to Obama and "change."
Obama is a charismatic positive person although I wouldn't touch his politics with a stick.
The anti-war movement will evaporate if he gets into the White House and everybody will be in love with America again.
Which means that Obama - who is just as fiercely pro-America deep down - will continue to advance the cause of freedom around the world.

author by dunkpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 13:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

good luck in belfast

Recently George Monbiot Attempts Citizen’s Arrest on Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, perhaps ye might be able to do something similar. Yes, chances are you wont get there, but still, trying to do so brings the message home...

related:
Alleging War Crimes, British Activist, Writer George Monbiot Attempts Citizen’s Arrest on Former UN Ambassador John Bolton

"I wrote a charge sheet detailing exactly the role that he had played in launching a war of aggression in violation of international treaties, which is a clear violation of the Nuremberg Principles. And I took a dossier of evidence down to the local police station. I asked them to act on it. But when they failed to arrest Mr. Bolton, I tried to arrest him myself, and I tried to get up onto the stage as he was leaving it. And I called out, “John Robert Bolton, I am arresting you for the charge of aggression, the crime of aggression, as defined by the Nuremberg Principles.” But I was caught by two very large security guards and pulled out of the venue very quickly. ..."

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/5/30/alleging_war_crim...riter
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/05/27/arresting-jo...lton/

author by dunkpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 13:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

fair bit of agro cops as 2500 people participated in demo against war criminal bush in london:
vid
http://player.kamera.com/irishtimes/index.html?serialid...13780

Blood on the streets as Bush enters via Brown's back passage.

"...As placards and sticks flew, a determined mass pushed at the centre. Police jumped to secure the barriers but to no avail. Soon they were in the air flying over the police line's heads.

Cops responded with vicious baton blows. Fingers and heads bled, stabs were made to the stomachs, people fell to the floor but the crowd pushed on. A senior officer ran the line shouting "No Arrests, No Arrests, orders from the top"..."
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/401236.html

film of bush demo whitehall yesterday
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/401258.html

War criminal Bush visits London, Blood on the streets
War criminal Bush visits London, Blood on the streets

author by Seanpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can anyone confirm reports that there is an Iraqi flag flying over Belfast City Hall? Someone sent me that info in a text.

author by brian stewartpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 14:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yes a flag was flown over belfast city hall, put up by 2 workmen? however after about 10 minutes it was removed by another workman ....

author by Infopublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For the record it wasn't workmen that took down the Butchers Apron and replaced it with the Iraqi flay. It was eirigi activists as demonstrated by the banner that they also hung off the side of the building.

This follows on from éirígí's chaining the gates of the US consulate in Belfast on Thursday of last week - See photo below.

Photos of Iraqi flag flying on City Hall to follow.

US consulate in Belfast on Thursday June 12th
US consulate in Belfast on Thursday June 12th

Gates Chained
Gates Chained

author by Infopublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 16:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A couple of photos of Iraqi flag flying over city hall and a banner drop on motorway bridge.

Iraqi Flag Hangs in place of British Union Jack
Iraqi Flag Hangs in place of British Union Jack

eirigi_action3.jpg

One of the banners that were dropped on main routes into Belfast this morning
One of the banners that were dropped on main routes into Belfast this morning

author by Watcherpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes it can be confirmed that eirigi activists removed the butchers apron from Belfast City Hall and hoisted the Iraqi flag, as well as dropping an eirigi banner over the side of the building.

It wasn't building workers.

The flag an banner was taken down by the foreman, apprently the workers wanted nothign to do with removing the stuff.

Fair play to eirigi in Belfast.

Banner drops, chaining the US Consulate and the flag and banner drop at City Hall.

Well done.

author by observerpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 16:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done firstly to Eirigi for the protests they carried out including the placement of the Iraqi flag on Belfast city hall. It would have been even more beautiful had they placed the tricolor beside it.

AS an irish republican disillusioned with Sinn Fein's apparent progression - I am disgusted that Martin McGuiness invited that scum to visit this country - who the fu*k is he to invite that asshole to this island -

It's a sorry sorry day in my eyes and a true illustration that power corrupts - Shame on you McGuiness and shame on you Sinn Fein ..... may you all rot together.

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'We're being guarded and questioned by
a number of PSNI Riot cops under section 44
terrorism act in Castlereagh Rd where Bush is due to pass'

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Jumped by 2 PSNI Riot cops who were guarding & questioning
me & M.C. under Section 44 of Terrorism Act on Castlereagh Rd. As Bush
passed I threw a small coffin marked with the name of Casey Sheehan
toward Bush's Limo. I dropped to my knees. Cops piled on top and held
me down until Limo and security passed.'


Casey Sheehan
{Cindy's dead son}
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_Sheehan

Casey Sheehan travelled through Shannon Airport to Iraq
Casey Sheehan travelled through Shannon Airport to Iraq

author by Confusion Cleared uppublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Construction worker Vs éirígí activist confusion cleared up. It appears that at least two éirígí activists dressed up as construction workers to gain access to the roof of City Hall - which is currently undergoing renovations.

Fair play to ye Ciaron!

éirígí acitivists disguised as construction workers!!
éirígí acitivists disguised as construction workers!!

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 18:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Jumped again by 5 more vigorous riot cops.
Presently detained with 2 feisty Quakers & a freelance peacenik.

Unsure if we're under arrest. Find out when Bush departs.'

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Bush gone. Quaker Mark Chapman arrested. Rest of us freed.'

author by Anonymous - U.S.A.publication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 18:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Statehood for Iraq! Iraq for 51st State of the Union! No more Islamic Republics!

author by Taniapublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin did not invite George Bush to Ireland. The other Imperialist leader Gordon Brown did!

author by Noise Hackerpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.

éirígí
éirígí

Iraq
Iraq

Sin City
Sin City

Get Rich or Die Tryin
Get Rich or Die Tryin

author by Mike - Judean Popular Peoples Frontpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From the Belfast Telegraph.........

Related Link: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/tv/article3805346.ece
author by R,uthpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 20:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Belfast Anti war Rally was fantastic, news reported as a thousand people , mccann was espically excellent

author by Militantpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 22:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Firstly I would like to commend all those who took to the streets today in Belfast today.

But at the end of the day Bush was out in Stormont,thats where any demo should have been.
There is not a chance in hell of stopping Americas war by any action in Belfast but we should at least have made it as difficult as possible for Bushs visit to have gone ahead.
The utter banality of antiwar demos since 2004 has been ultra depressing and disempowering for so many.

At the end of the day we are talking about a man who is responsible for staggering figures of death and injury in several countries around the world,and all we can do is have a collective purging of our guilt by getting together for a few speeches.
Now I know people have thier lives to lead and all that but imperialism and war will continue until it faces real opposition wherever it travels,and I mean militant direct action.

The meeting in Stormont should not have been allowed to happen,by whatever means necessary.
It is long past time to stop walking in processions saying "Im not one of the bad guys" and instead taking their war to them.

Actions such as the Pitstops and Mary Kelly were brilliant (although I would moreso advocate a hit and split tactic) but the lack of imagination shown by the IAWM in their midst was staggering.
When are we going to actually attack Bush and the police that protect him when he and his successor visit??

Repression breeds Resistance.

author by Bo Ring Peacenikpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 22:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It may be boring showing resisitance to evil, but sometimes the banal can be easy as well.
People who boycott the more unethical companies, who cycle rather than drive as much as possible and grow their own food are resisting the system.
If that's your everyday effort, and you can make the odd protest and offer solidarity to others like the Raytheon 9 or Mary Kelly or the Pitstop Ploughshares, then you're doing a lot, and you're doing everything Bush and his cabal DON'T want you to do.
Keeping hopeful and striving towards a different way of living, not giving every penny over to corporations, and refusing to allow other peaceniks to feel isolated and weak.
It's that type of support base that makes direct action sustainable.

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 23:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the recent above discussions it seems there is a false dichotomy of protest today this way vs protest today that way.

The point is not to just protest and organise against Bush's brand on imperialism just when he shows up on the island for a few hours - but everyday in small but important ways. Just look at the accomplishments of people like Ed Horgan for the last 5+ years.

In case anyone needs a reminder of what to protest and why....

Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say. The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after "special weaponry" was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.

After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used a year earlier in Fallujah.

In addition, depleted uranium (DU) munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah. The Pentagon admits to having used 1,200 tonnes of DU in Iraq thus far. Many doctors believe DU to be the cause of a severe increase in the incidence of cancer in Iraq, as well as among U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War and through the current occupation.

"We saw all the colours of the rainbow coming out of the exploding American shells and missiles," Ali Sarhan, a 50-year-old teacher who lived through the two U.S. sieges of 2004 told IPS. "I saw bodies that turned into bones and coal right after they were exposed to bombs that we learned later to be phosphorus. "The most worrying is that many of our women have suffered loss of their babies, and some had babies born with deformations."

"I had two children who had brain damage from birth," 28-year-old Hayfa' Shukur told IPS. "My husband has been detained by the Americans since November 2004 and so I had to take the children around by myself to hospitals and private clinics. They died. I spent all our savings and borrowed a considerable amount of money."

more at
http://ipsnews.net/text/news.asp?idnews=42762

author by war crims detecter - Justice Not Terror Coalitionpublication date Mon Jun 16, 2008 23:49author address author phone 07983549472Report this post to the editors

Further to Ciaron's post...

'Jumped by 2 PSNI Riot cops who were guarding & questioning
me & M.C. under Section 44 of Terrorism Act on Castlereagh Rd. As Bush
passed I threw a small coffin marked with the name of Casey Sheehan
toward Bush's Limo. I dropped to my knees. Cops piled on top and held
me down until Limo and security passed.'

Four of us then walked up towards Loughview school to continue protesting there after the mafia-like convoy had passed.
Couple of hundred yards up Church Road we were stopped by riot officers. Some officers agreed to us holding a 'Justice Not Terror' banner there. More senior riot cops turned up... order given to clear us off & away from church road before the war crim buffoon came back down again... I objected to this infringement of our civil liberties and being manhandled and cajoled and refused to co-operate. Carried off along a residential side road (& fair play to the local residents, mostly women, who supported our action). Held for a couple of hours & charged with the usual disorderly blah blah, resisting yah yah, obstruction wah wah... expect pps to chuck it out, but would be a chance to test the limits of Terrorism Act 2000 Section 44 on peaceful protest...

Holding banners is too much... civil liberties squashed....
Holding banners is too much... civil liberties squashed....

Thanks lads - I can see basher bush now...
Thanks lads - I can see basher bush now...

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowsharespublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 09:58author address Back in Dublin - safe and sound!author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok, the day ended with about 5 PSNI riot cops stacked on top of me playing twister with a variety of my limbs and a obstructed glimpse of what seemed like an enormous disco ball leading the convoy of security vehicles and the Bush limo down Castlereagh Rd. back to Airforce One.

A lefty speaker outside of Stormont sneered that the Bush tour was "merely symbolic". Look mate the entire fuckin Presidency has been symbolic. This was not a 24/7 hands on "sure can guy do" Presidency. This was not Clinton who loved to press the flesh every which way or Daddy Bush well groomed in the CIA and who chose and groomed his son's advisors. This was George W on the last lap. The secular left, with illusions of being oh so scientific, continually misunderstand the significance of symbol and symbolism....but don't get me started that's another story.

I hit Belfast the day before Bush and the word was coming through from others that folks had hit the streets in London. My intention was to form a christian anarchist affinity group, at least a faith based one, to get us through the day with the emperor in Belfast. The idea would be avoid the usual lefty wrestling over who is leading the movement and remain self active and mobile and see what opportunities arose to confront the emperor.

I hooked up with Mark Chapman - no not the guy who shot John Lennon he's still sitting in Attica - my Mark Chapman was living in Liverpool during that unfortunate incident, which wasn't a great address at the time to go with his name. I had orgiinally met Mark in London in the '90's he was involved with MIl Rai ad others in ARROW (Active Resistance to the Roots of War). He is sound, softly spoken, understated and courageous - a local to the north. Mark also has a motorbike so that kept us mobile. We also put the word out to Jon from North Belfast a post evangelical christian anarchist goth punk and Rebecca from L'Arche who was unfortunately sick.

We whipped up a couple of placards Sunday night
"The Emperor Has No Clothes, Bush has No Clue, Resist the War!"
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikey_wikey/2585280062/

"and "Raytheon Out of Derry, U.S. Military Out of Shannon, George Bush Out of Control!"

Monday morning we packed Mark's "Justice Not Vengeance" banner and set off early to the city centre. We set up outside the Tesco and I started street speaking, Mark realised he had a dental appointment and pissed off, Jon arrived. We encouraged interested passers by to head to the City Hall for 12.30 where one of the socialist groups and a union were hosting an anti-Bush rally.

At 12.30 we headed there. It was a beautiful day and city workers were availing of the lunch break to make a statement against Bush, fair play to them! I was heartened to see a crew of young anarchist punks a sight that has all but disappeared from the streets of Dublin the last couple of years. The absence of a politicised youth subculture is like a canary karking it in the mine shaft...it's a sign your culture has totally gone shopping and is dying.

Photos from Belfast City Hall Demo
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88005

All of a sudden a contingent of young Shinners marched up in a disciplined fashion in white t-shirts (Now some of my best friends are Shinners, my Daddy is basically a Shinner and I like my dad!)...but it seemed a little awkward ( I don't know maybe it's always awkward with Shinners and the rest of the left in Belfast) but how can you be hosting AND protesting Bush on the same day? But then again SDLP youth were there and the Greens, so go figure it was a beautiful day, the weather was great but the acoustics from the speaker's platform were shite. So I thought, I'll just go to the fringe of the crowd and start another platform as, trust me, no one could hear a thing from the main stage.

So off I went into street speaking mode. I really think anti-war rallies should be run like this....a period of everyone who wants to - speaking on a soapbox about the war and how to stop it and then conclude with a central platform with a couple of key notes and some music. But the left are deeply ritualistic and trad that you would have Buckleys ever getting this idea up.

Anyways I don't know if it is Eamonn MCCann speaking style (he'd be loud enough unplugged) or the techies but the volume finally went up on the platform and so I shut up. Meanwhile some dudes had managed to fly an Iraqi flag form the top of City Hall...master stroke, really got the crowd going.

Apparently the SP were organising a manifestation out at Stormont where Bush was due. But Mark was keen on going to Market St. PSNI station and demanding the police arrest George Bush as a war criminal. Now after spending 30 years in and out of police stations and 2 years in out of jail, I have an ethical opposition to calling the cops on anyone...maybe even George W. If he was willing to place himself under voluntary house arrest at the Crawford Ranch in Texas I'd be happy enough. And as I pointed out earlier I don't seem him as that significant in engineering the crimes he has put his name to. I also,as a rule, don't like going voluntarily into police stations. But you know when you're in an affinity group, or a community, you have to go along to get along or you end up on your lonesome with the other guy saying how come we only play the games you want to play etc. So we rounded up a posse of Quakers & such and headed down to Market St. police station.

I decided to play the silent guy in the background as Mark and the others did the talking. It seemed as though they had dome this before, they was pretty good at it. Listening in, it seemed like a reasonable request that this PSNI cop should immediately go up to Stormont and bust Bush. But the detective wasn't going to leave his plexiglass comfort zone...his best response line was
"I don't think there is any difficulty establishing where the man you are concerned about resides, if local authorities wish to take it up!"

So off to Stormont it was. Mark and the posse went for coffee and I was on foot with a lousy sense of direction and playing catch up. Did you know it's illegal to hail a cab in a 3 mile radius of Belfast city centre neither did I, but I finally got one. There was a good crew at the gates of Stormont..maybe 80, I dunno my maths is about as good as my spelling. It was a good cross section of socialists, the anarcho punks, libertarian hippy types, school kids, young and old and then this guy turned up who really stole the show for a while...check him out
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikey_wikey/2585281100/

The SP did a good job of chairing it and they had speaking equipment that worked this time. They even asked me to speak. I rarely get asked to speak at lefty events in Australia, England or Ireland ..not sure if the lefties think I'm too f'kin crazy or too f'kin good to have speak..jury still out on that one! This has led to a life of spontaneous street speaking and nodules on my voicebox.. Anyway fair play, a pluralist relatively open platform. We were there for quite a while - but if there was a criticism we packed up too early. I'm not sure if this was because the media had packed up or the younger generation of activists get to anxty about the crowd not being permanently entertained. Retrospect is 20/20 vision but we should have stayed until he left as Bush eventually drove out of those gates.

Photo from Stormont Anti- Bush Rally
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikey_wikey/2584454641/

Mark and I were back on the bike and we were under the misunderstanding the SWP and Dublin bus had headed to the school where Bush was going to gig at 4pm. We drove up Castlereagh Rd. hill into an increasing density of cops. The side street into the school was blocked by cops. We reversed and tried another side street, dead end, as we tried to re-enter Castlreagh Rd. we were stopped by a policewoman and told the road was closed for the Presidential convoy coming soon.

We decided to park the bike and consider our options. And then we suffered some artistic differences. Mark was keen to unfurl a banner "Justice Not Vengeance" (I think?). I remembered we had been given small replica coffins at the city demo. I took them out and scrawled Casey Sheehan on one and Rose Gentle on another.

I had met Casey's mother Cindy Sheehan in both Dublin and my hometown Brisbane. She had pretty much single handedly put the anti-war movement back on the radar by going down to Bush's Crawford Ranch and refusing to move until she met with him. His refusal to meet her was deeply symbolic of his attitude to the cannon fodder he has sent to kill and be killed in Iraq. Casey Sheehan passed through Shannon Airport to his death in Baghdad.

Rose Gentle had stayed with us at the Catholic Worker in Dublin. Her son, Gordon, was recruited by the British military at the dole office in Glasgow. He was sent to his death in Iraq. Long after Bush has retired to his Texas Ranch and Blair is reaping the big bucks on the international lecture circuits young soldiers like Casey and Gordon will be dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. I thought it might be a good idea and symbolism to slide these "coffins" under Bush's limo.

The cops had spotted Mark's unfurled banner and called for backup. A PSNI landrover pulled up and a bunch of Robocop looking guys spilled out of the back. Two approached Mark and one me. He asked me my name, I refused to give it. He then detained me under section 44 of the Terrorism Act.
I said "Are you sure you're not using the Terrorism Act to silence nonviolent anti-war dissent here?"
He said he wasn't, I was unconvinced.

Just at the moment a Quaker, Anne, arrived on the scene cheerfully greeting me "Hi Ciaron!"
The cop without breaking stride "Do you spell that with a "C" or a "K"?
D'oh

My sense that he was trying to keep me busy and blocked until the impending convoy sped by. I just stepped over my bag and held my ground.
When I saw the first vehicle with a strobe like siren, I dropped to my right and flung the replica coffin across the road.
Then there were two cops on me. From a weird angle I saw the Presidential limo speed by.
Once we all got up he searched and returned my bag and gave me a receipt for me being detained under the terrorism act.
I had recently seen the film "Brazil" now I had a sense I was in it.

We began walking up the road, down the side street toward the school, we were stopped by cops half way up the road. The first bunch seemed happy enough for Mark and Ann to unfurl the banner and stand in silent witness. Then a more senior officer arrived and demanded the banner be folded and started frog marching a young German Quaker down the hill. I began to mosey off in that direction. Thinking I might be able to do an action down on the main road. Mark was putting up some worthy resistance to his civil liberties being crushed and was arrested. The cops weren't going to let us stand at the side of the road and began frog marching me and the two others accross the road. As I reached the other side I attempted to fling the replica coffin back on the road where Bush would pass. These new cops got pretty excited and a whole bunch of them landed on me and went into restraint holds. I tried speaking to them calmly, reassuring them it was a wooden replica wooden coffin not an IED.

From the bottom of the human pile I told them who Casey Sheehan had been and about meeting his mother and of all the other folks American, Britsh and Iraq who had lost loved ones in Bush's war. I saw a glimpse off the Presidential convoy pass. They got off me, detained me, eventually released me and that's the last I think I'll ever see of George W Bush. He never came to Europe before he was President and I can't see him coming again.

author by Mark - JNTCpublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:24author address author phone 07983549472Report this post to the editors

Further to dunk's comment on Monbiot's Citizen's Arrest of Bolton,
'Recently George Monbiot Attempts Citizen’s Arrest on Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, perhaps ye might be able to do something similar. Yes, chances are you wont get there, but still, trying to do so brings the message home...'
A few of us delivered a bunch of Citizen's Complaint to the police in Belfast as Ciaron reported...
It read:

CITIZENS COMPLAINT REGARDING GEORGE W. BUSH AT LARGE IN BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND, UK on Monday, 16 June 2008.

I, ………………….. resident at, ………………………………………….

Hereby make a complaint regarding the commission of war crimes and
crimes against humanity by George W. Bush.

These include:
1. Violating the United Nations Charter by launching an illegal "War of Aggression" against Iraq without cause, using fraud to sell the war to the public and subjecting military personnel to unnecessary harm, debilitating injuries, and deaths.
2. Violating International Law by authorizing the torture of thousands of captives, resulting in dozens of deaths, and keeping prisoners hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross.
3. Violating the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.
I wish investigations to be carried out with the aim of securing evidence of illegal activity by George W. Bush

Date:

Signature:

Eventually the duty officer accepted our complaints.
Make Trident History activists made a similar complaint on the possession and tthreatened use of nuclear weapons by the British Government and a few months later we each received a letter from the PSNI on headed notepaper saying that thay had investigated our complaint but had decided it was a matter for the police in Britain!

Telling the Belfast shoppers like it is
Telling the Belfast shoppers like it is

Citizens' Complaint to the Crimestoppers
Citizens' Complaint to the Crimestoppers

erm.. group hug or let's have him...
erm.. group hug or let's have him...

author by John Travoltapublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well man that last shot is staright pout of the less than critically acclaimed scientology bankrolled flick "Battlefield Earth". Don't like those guys in the uniforms chances at all.....check it out...
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3679099136/tt0185183

Related Link: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3679099136/tt0185183
author by CÓBpublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The DUP weren't particularly happy about that I guess.

http://www.dup.org.uk/articles.asp?Article_ID=3464

author by MM - NIPSApublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 15:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is a bit over the top. At the City Hall "a socialist group and a union" were having a protest. D'oh! The Irish Congress of Trade Unions represents more people in NI than the Orange Order, Apprentice Boys and AOH put together. The demo was also backed by the National Union of Students- USI
Ireland, Irish Palestine Solidarity Committee, Irish Anti War Movement and Mark's group Justice not Terror.

author by Ciaronpublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 19:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wasn't being cynical about your demo, I was outside Tescos promoting it.
Cynicism remains the 5th. column of the establishment.
A downtown rally was a good thing to do in providing city workers on lunch break an opportunity to express their opposition to Bush.

Going out to Stormont was a good thing to do as well. The nvda of raising the flag was good as well. Pity modern Ireland couldn't produce a cultural figure like Eartha Kitt (Nixon in the White House during Vietnam) to make a stand...but there you go, that's where we're at!

I've raised concerns on other threads about how much the war, presidential visits etc are seen primarily as opportunities for political groups to self promote and how much as opportunities to nonviolently intervene. The lack of proactive solidarity around the Raytheon 9 trial is an example of that.

Are we serious about resisting the war and being in proactive solidarity with those who step forward in risk to do so or are we not? The jury is still out on that one!

I also tend to agree with Tony Benn who recently stated he doesn't believe in protest he believes inn making demands

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com
author by Ciaronpublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On the issue of anti-terror legislation being used to silence nonviolent anti-war dissent, this 15 minute video has just been released on the net. It looks at the detention and deportation of nonviolent trainer and anti-war activist Scott Parkin from Australia in 2004.

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88028

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88028
author by redjadepublication date Tue Jun 17, 2008 22:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Massachusetts School of Law Organizing Bush War Crimes Trial...

"We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts of justice," Velvel said. "And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s."


read more at
http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/17/8241/44581/828/...37183

author by redjadepublication date Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''If Bush happened to fly over Belfast, he might have seen a message on a mountainside written especially for him: NO BUSH.

Hundreds of locals who don't like Bush or his foreign policies climbed up the boggy, fern-thick hillside of Black Mountain over the weekend carrying bagfuls of white cloth. They used the blankets, towels, bedsheets and other garments to spell out the message in 100-foot-high letters that could be seen for several miles away, including in central Belfast.

Bush's advisers said he was coming to Belfast to see power-sharing in action. Ironic, then, that massive security arrangements ensured that the Northern Ireland Assembly was shut down for the day and virtually no members of the 108-member legislature showed up for work.

Normally, Monday would be the busiest day of the week with a full assembly debate.''


more at
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/16/europe/EU-GEN...s.php

author by Ciaron - Catholic Workerpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 01:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Playing the lowest rung in a game of "stacks on the mill, more room still...." with five PSNI officers on the Castleragh Rd. brought back a flood of memories. Not merely of collaspsed Rugby League (yes Union was always a game for toffs) scrums in primary school, but of the visits of heads of state.

I remember being ushered off, little flags in hand, to line the streets for the Queen's visit during 1970 bicentenial celebrations of Captain Cook. I had yet to hear the more sensible claim that "Aborigines Discovered Cook!" Maybe the kids at Loughtview won't let school get in the way of an education and look back at their day with different perspective in hindsight. I recall refusing, along with a bunch of fellow senior hgh school students with Irish names, to line the streets for the Queen's silver jubilee in '77 in my senior year. I remember big Br. Larkin being impressed with our gusto, as he administered our lunch time detention, if not with the declaration that we were on hunger strike for the hour - as lunch wasn't on the agenda anyways. I recall the headmaster not being impressed with stumbling across my solo Irish solidarity demo in King George Square later that day in the presence of her majesty and thousands of her devotees. I also recall earlier tv footage of ("All the Way with) LBJ's presidential visit to Australia during the Vietnam War and anti-war protestors in Sydney or Melbourne flinging themsleves in front of the Presidential limo.

It seems a long way from the sparsely populated sidewalks of Castleragh Rd. that witnessed King George's convoy scream pass on his way to the phot op at Loughtview school.
They really don't do the street lining thang for these characters so much anymore. I remember more recent times when our movement was so strong that King George had to call short the Presidential walk (up to Congress?) following his first inaugaration due to the amount of teargas fired at our movement disrupting proceedings - our people that way outnumbered his devotees. That day that should live as dissident memory and nourishes us still was over a million Iraqis and 4,000 U.S. dead ago.

Ones perspective on power and imperial machinations has a lot to do with ones location. For those Irish Republicans who got into bed with Clinton and woke up with Bush there must be internal difficulty unless the seductions of celebrity privilege, mainstream status and state power have quelled all self doubt. How different is it from the Australian and British Labor leaders who once marched against Vietnam and today send the latest cannon fodder to kill and be killed in Iraq and Afghanistan I dunno? I do know that from the bottom of a pile of cops is a good place for a radical christian to view presidential power as it passes.

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com
author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowsharespublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 14:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today's Dublin Metro reports that £300,000 was spent on policing costs on Bush's half day visit to Belfast.

Meanwhile back in the land of the free President Bush was confronted on 4th. of July by anti-war dissent (2 mins). The clips are kind of ironic as Bush responds that the U.S. of A believes in free speech the crowd applauds and those citizens exercising are disappeared by the thought police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jRj-pWbWJo&eurl=http://....org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDQv5CbhipI&eurl=http://....html

This is a 25 minute interview I gave for Hungarian radio before departing to Belfast for the Bush visit. I reflect on the Raytheon 9 acquital and the misuse of anti-terror laws to silence nonviolent anti-war dissent. Within 24 hours of giving this interview I was detained under the Terrorism Act twice.
http://lmv.hu/node/2762

Related Link: http://lmv.hu/node/2762
author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowsharespublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Daniel Elsberg did much to bring about the end of the Vietnam War. His arrest over the leaking of the "Pentagon Papers" exposed secret U.S.policy in conducting the genocidal war. His subsequent trial was one of the big show trials of the anti-war movement in the U.S. during the Vietnam period

By the by, Daniel's son Robert, edited the Catholic Worker in NYC in the early '70's. Robert presently overseas Maryknoll Missionary Publishers Orbis and has recently edited and released the diaries of Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day.

Daniel Elsberg has been arrested many time in taking nonviolent anti-war direct action sine his daze at Rand Corporation in the Pentaagon and in Vietnam with the state department.

This vid interview discusses how Bush has beefed up big brother in the land of the free!

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/07/daniel-ellsberg-on....html

Related Link: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/07/daniel-ellsberg-on-w.html
author by Follow up arrests in Englandpublication date Tue Sep 30, 2008 04:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ongoing arrests are taking place in England in follow up to Bush's visit to London.
For more detailed report and suggestions for solidarity go to this link....

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/09/409676.html

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/09/409676.html
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