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Shannon Airport - Still Aiding and Abetting War

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Thursday January 01, 2009 20:20author by John Lannon Report this post to the editors

Campaigners to continue their peaceful opposition in 2009

As another year begins, peace and human rights activists in Ireland’s mid-West continue to oppose the role of Shannon airport in war and torture. The first events of the year will include a Peace Camp commemoration on Jan 6th, followed by the regular monthly vigil on Jan 11th. Monitoring of known torture/rendition planes and military flights will also continue in 2009 as part of the ongoing efforts to end Irish complicity in war and illegal trafficking of prisoners.

The first Shannon vigil of the year is the Peace Camp commemoration on Jan 6th. Organisers are inviting members of the public to join them in expressing abhorrence of the brutal wars being conducted, condoned or supported by the West at this time, and to help knit a gigantic peace banner. According to the organizers the knitting, as a communal activity, will serve as a symbol to unite people in solidarity and mourning against the complicity of the Irish Government in the Afghanistan and other wars. And as more and more reports come through of the appalling Israeli massacre of Palestinians, Nollaig na mBan or Women’s (Little) Christmas is an opportune time to remember the innocent lives taken or destroyed by forces that care little for the suffering of others.

The Peace Camp commemoration takes place on the sixth anniversary of the original peace camp at Shannon and will run from 11am until 9pm in the evening. Details are available from http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90370 and http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90358.

Shannon Airport has been central to the suffering of Iraqi people since the time of the original peace camp in 2003. In the last six years, hundreds of thousands of US troops have passed through the airport lounges on their way to or from occupied Iraq. Having gone nervously on a mission that lacked legal legitimacy and moral authority, many were directly involved in the death of Iraqi people. Others were killed themselves, bringing unnecessary tragedy and sadness to American families. Today as almost 5 million Iraqis are forced to live as refugees, without homes, and in dire need of humanitarian care, Ireland’s response is to continue to ferry more occupation soldiers, military equipment, arms and munitions to the region, and at the same time impede Iraqi applications for asylum here in Ireland.

While the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars continue to envelop innocent victims, the ferocity of the most recent Israeli massacre of Palestinians is quite shocking. After six days of air strikes, nowhere in Gaza is safe. Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, has said his government does not want another ceasefire with Hamas. Instead they want to kill and maim civilians, and block the medical supplies needed to keep innocent children alive. The illegal and indiscriminate killing of women and children is now being condoned by the failure of the Irish and other governments to impose any sanctions against the genocidal Israeli state. Indeed Shannon may even play a direct role in the brutal repression of Palestinians; Israeli planes and crews have in the past used the airport, and even today there are no assurances about the nature or ultimate destination of the military cargo going through the airport.

As US and British forces continue to occupy war-ravaged Iraq and Afghanistan, and their Israeli counterparts kill innocent Palestinians in their homes, there are countless other crises and oppressions that barely receive a mention in our busy lives. The people of Zimbabwe are living through a nightmare; Somalia is once again facing a humanitarian and security crisis; the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo suffer violence, poverty and health epidemics while the West profits from their rich resources. These and other victims of greed and unresolved conflict will be remembered at the Peace Camp commemoration in Shannon on Jan 6th.

As efforts to end Shannon airport’s use as a war base continue in 2009, people from all walks of life are asked to support the monthly vigils (second Sunday of every month from 2 – 3pm), and to let the Irish government know that nothing justifies complicity in the bombing, maiming and prolonged starvation of innocent victims of war, or in the illegal torture of our fellow human beings.

Details of all organised events and regularly updated information about Shannon’s complicity in war are available from http://www.shannonwatch.org.

author by Edwardpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We know that Shannon airport was used to resupply Israel with munitions including attack helicopters during previous attacks that it mounted against Lebannon and the Palestinians. There is now a likelihood that war supplies or re-supplies from the United States to Israel will be transported through Irish airspace and through Shannon airport to Israel. A Kallita Air flight has been refuelled recently at Shannon.
Shannon is still being used on a daily basis as a logistics war-hub for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with at least two plane-loads of US troops on OMNI Air planes each carrying up to 300 armed US troops. Other US military aircraft and CIA associated aircraft are still regularly refuelled at Shannon. Details can be obtained at www.shannonwatch.org.

author by listenerpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At the SWP/people before profit, iawm 'rally'' in dublin yesterday in support of the Palestinians, there was nothin said about shannon and its role in supplying Israeli military with weapons and aircraft supplied bybthe US govt to massacre them....hmmm

author by anonpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 15:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

D Ahern always argued it was the usual practice of 50 years to allow US troops to land, this archive shows otherwise.
US planned to use Shannon to transport troops Washington wanted to use airport without clearance
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1231/1....html

author by analysispublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A shipment of U.S. arms was due through Shannon in the weekend following the acquittal of the pitstop ploughshares during the Juy/August 06 bombing of Lebanon. Due to heightened state of public discord with ongoing Irish complicity in various U.S. wars this shipment was redirected to Prestiwck in Scotland where its security was serously compromised by Trident Ploughshares who were coincidently having an annual Hiroshima anniversary peace camp in the vicinity. A hippy was busted in the pilot seat from memory!

The following shipment orignally destined for a stopover in Shannon was again redirected and met met by a large number of protesters at Prestwick and was redirected a second time to RAF Middenhall in England. It would be interesting to know if these shipments went back to as business as usual through Shannon as the heightened state of public discord declined. Would be interesting to know if they are ongoing to Israel now?

SWP/IAWM have little interest in making the direct links with Irish complicity in the present raising of Gaza (they were against makig Shannon the focus at the height ofthe anti-war movement in 03...it might beg the logical questiion of direct action intervention in Ireland (or at least supporting it when it happens, they don't). They prefer to safely cheerlead for arm struggle from their comfort zone. IAWM is a shell SWP company that has been inflated this week to secure media profile and access for their local electoral ambitions. They will abandon Gaza as they have abandoned Iraq and Afghanistan as the media spotlight moves on.

author by fortherecordpublication date Sat Jan 03, 2009 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Department of Foreign Affairs - Statement by Mr Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland to European Parliament ? TDIP Committee http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=27211

Dermot Ahern [quote]Our economic ties are equally significant. It is well known also that the United States military personnel have for over 50 years been flown through Shannon Airport, and that this continues to-day in relation to the transport of troops to and from UN mandated operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.[/quote]
http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/03/19/story923...8.asp
Tonight Mr Ahern said to withdraw a facility that had applied for more than 40 years would have been seen “as a hostile act and it was not something I was prepared to do”.

author by One of uspublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The only way to end the use of Shannon for military purposes is to make it impossible for the Irish government and their US allies to do so.

That would take all of us. All of us out there, every day.

All of us getting arrested until the gaols couldn't hold all of us. And the rest of us outside those gaols protesting and bailing each other out.

All of us doing so much, making so much noise, and disrupting so much business- as- usual that it would be impossible for the media to ignore us or blacken all of us. Because it wouldn't just be the usual suspects in Exploited t-shirts- the ones who they always take photos of. It would be all of us; business people, housewives, grannies, students, shopkeepers.

It would take about 3 weeks to a month... But only if we had all of us.

The political parties wouldn't know what to do. They'd hem and haw, but in the end call or some kind of restraint etc.

But it would work. We'd have changed Irish history. All us us would.

The only downside is that the SWP would take all the credit. Oh well... Small price to pay, really.

This is my daydream, and it's keeping me sane.

Sincerely,

One of us

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