End Irelands complicity in the oppression of Afghan Women
The Women’s Peace camp Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of March, at Shannon airport, as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations, was certainly worth while. Women and some men came from afar.
They came from Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Westmeath, Dublin, Clare, Galway and Connemara, women activists, women who had never been to Shannon, women community theatre artists; plus a film crew from Tralee who had been sent there by their lecturer to make a film -- they had never been aware of Shannon with its rendition of prisoners, daily flights of American soldiers, military hardware going off in the cargo planes refuelled at Shannon, some of them would have been too young when the big demonstrations were taking place -- after all there have been 8 years of Afghan war and our involvement. The most notable change for us was the lack of garda presence, whether it is the cost of overtime, cutbacks or the go-slow in which the garda are taking part, but the most sinister current aspect of Shannon (which after all was built for civilians) is the open presence of armed members of our defence force. There was a military cargo plane on full view of all the people going off to catch planes, meet planes, arriving and departing: there they were, two Irish soldiers, guns visible and ready for use: if we had climbed over the fence in the absence of gardaí, would we have been shot? On the Sunday we had advertised ‘an action rally’ and the gardaí did turn up, but not before we had successfully blocked the narrow road to the airport. One side we completely blocked for traffic leaving the airport; on the other side, being aware of passengers’ tensions before travel, we slowed them down for a minute, then let them through. The gardaí arrived with their usual bluster, “Get off, it is for your own safety, etc -- we will arrest you.” We refused, and in the end they had to make a traffic diversion just using one lane. The traffic anyway was diverted in the other sense by the strange sight of women dressed in white burqas stretching out in the middle of the road like shadowy ghosts of the women murdered in Afghanistan by so-called friendly fire. Have our seven soldiers seconded to nato been advising nato members on which villages to attack?
Statement of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) on the International Women’s Day: --
Today, on the 8th of March, Afghan women are mourning for the gang-rape of Bashiras and Saimas, for being flogged, for being auctioned in open market and for their young daughters who put an end to their miserable lives by self-immolation. But the perpetrators of all these crimes are forgiven; therefore they enjoy complete immunity; and are still holding their official positions and tightening it through plundering our people and country. Though we don’t expect anything different from the most corrupt and dirty puppet regime of the world, the pain of Afghan women turns chronic when the world believes that the US and NATO has donated liberation, democracy and human and women rights for Afghanistan; whereas, after eight years of the US and allies aggression under the banner of War on Terror, they empowered the most brutal terrorists of the Northern Alliance and former Russian puppets, and by relying on them, the US imposed a puppet government on Afghan people. And instead of uprooting its Taliban and Al-Qaeda creations, the US and NATO continue to kill our innocent and poor civilians, mostly women and children, in their vicious air raids.