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A Blog About Human Rights
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Ed Horgan: I went to the European Parliament in Brussels to tell the Parliament what I knew of Ireland’s involvement in the unlawful rendition for torture process at Shannon airport. I insisted on linking the extraordinary rendition process with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the combined serial abuses of international law that these wars and the torture process involved. To a large extent I was telling the EU parliamentary special committee what they did not want to hear – “don’t mention the wars” – I told them anyway in the brief summary of my submission that the 15 minute time slot allowed me. My main submission was thirty-seven pages long, with 45 separate attachments and it became clear very quickly that very few had even read the executive summary of my submission, and some of those who did, read it only with the intention of trying to discredit it, and discredit me. The Irish Times report on Friday captured the tone of the parliamentarians response - “the witness failed to present the facts”.
My response is that the parliamentarians failed to read the facts I put before them. Sean O’Neachtain, FF MEP, standing in for Eoin Ryan MEP, was put forward to attack my submission, but failed to address any of the facts in my submission, including my statement that the Irish Government’s reply to the Council of Europe on Rendition for Torture was fraudulent and misquoted Article 40.4.1. of the Irish Constitution thereby giving the impression that foreign prisoners being taken through Shannon are specifically protected by the letter or wording of the Irish Constitution. Simon Coveney incorrectly accused me of calling Ireland a “rogue state”. My statement was that Ireland was “a rogue neutral state” and I explained this issue in detail.
Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan got a similar response from some MEPs and was accused of “disloyalty” by one UK MEP because he blew the whistle on the Government of which he had been an ambassador.
I emphasised through my written submission and my verbal submission that the rule of international law needs to be reinforced not trampled on, as many European states, including Ireland, have been doing.
1916 – 90 years on Bertie sends troops in against anti-imperialist demonstration
'They are at once the boldest and the most unmanageable of revolutionaries.
with our backs to the Military parade, we handed out flyers specially printed for the day. The front of the flyer contained details of the relevent campaign and on the back, a copy of the Proclamation with the associated text highlighted. For Shell2Sea and Save Tara ("We declare the right of the Irish People to the ownership of Ireland"); Residents Against Racism ("Cherishing all of the children of the Nation equally"); Cosantoiri Siochana's 'Nothing To Declare' / CIA renditions through Shannon ("We hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State"); and Black Shamrock flyers ("In every generation the Irish People have asserted their right to National freedom and Sovereignty"). Our placards had those same quotes with Black Shamrock posters pasted to the back.
Many campaigns, one simple message; Bertie you're a hypocrite - enact the Proclamation!
"But, hark! a voice like thunder spake, The West's awake! the West's awake!" This is a first hand account of what is probably the first anti-war demonstration on the campus of Glenville State College since the Vietnam era protests. Students are fed up with President Bush and his illegal war in Iraq that is costing the lives of West Virginia's youth which are being exploited by the military in promise for scholarships. We have arisen from our slumber and shall no long stand idly by as Bush and his cronies are destroying not only our country but the world of which all of us live!
I have sat in pubs all over Ireland and I think I heard John Denver's hit song "Country Roads" being sang in nearly all of them maybe even sometimes hummed during sunday mass. Well, this is a story about the land so endeared to Denver and revered with utmost consideration by you guys.
Most of the population would have been getting out of bed this morning with a raging hangover. Mid afternoon people would be wiping the crust from their eyes, and making their way into town for a fry up, trying to recollect all the hazy memories of the night before, when the crowds were out and everyone was fired up with enthusiasm.
Thus I couldnt help but think that this day was very fitting for the anti-war march in Dublin. Approximately eight hundred people marched from the Garden of Remembrance to the end of Grafton Street, stopping briefly on O'Connell Bridge for a barely-registered two minute silence, then looped around back to the GPO. At the start of the rally where people assembled for speeches, there were numerous references made to three years ago where 100,000 people marched in town. This march today just seemed like a bad hangover for the Irish anti-war movement (no capitals). Hazy memories of when the crowds were out and everyone was fired up with enthusiasm, now long lost to the mists of time.
On Saturday 25th Feb 2006, while Dublin was busy rioting against a loyalist paramilitary march, peace activists entered Shannon airport and conducted a peaceful protest against the use of a neutral civilian airport as both a staging point in the occupation of Iraq and as a conduit for the transfer of prisoners of the CIA in "extraordinary rendition".
From the newswire (Justin Morahan, Peace People): Colm and I decided to go in, drove to the car park, parked and went in to the airport. We wandered around for over an hour, sat in the observation lounge and saw three US planes, one Aer Lingus and one Ryanair, two small planes partly out of sight. Unfortunately, we had no camera. We also saw US troops passing up and down the corridor beind a glass panel opposite our window.
We had a cup of tea and decided to do the protest in the middle of the Departure Lounge where there were passengers waiting and people including staff to the left, right and upstairs. Colm took out his favourite poster (with Village pic as in previous vigil in Ranelagh see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74470) and I mine. As we stood holding the posters I started to say Ed McCurdy's poem "Last night I dreamed" and followed with an impromptu speech. Colm wore his Pitstop T-shirt.
Thu 05 Dec, 14:44
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