Independent Media Centre Ireland

Photos : Shannon Warport Demo !

category galway | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Saturday October 28, 2006 22:30author by TJ - Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Not in our name does Ireland facilitate US butchers!

Ciaron, Deirdre or Fintan will do the text, I'm sure.

Just some shots to whet your appetites in the interval?




Joshua Casteel
Joshua Casteel

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author by TJ - IPSCpublication date Sat Oct 28, 2006 22:44author address author phone






Possibly, Mairead & Somhairle from Galway?.
Possibly, Mairead & Somhairle from Galway?.

author by TJ - IPSCpublication date Sat Oct 28, 2006 23:04author address author phone

five !.


I should have been paying attention : either Tony Lagouranis or Stephen Lewis?.
I should have been paying attention : either Tony Lagouranis or Stephen Lewis?.

Eco Soc Paula
Eco Soc Paula

The Christisons
The Christisons


author by TJ - IPSCpublication date Sat Oct 28, 2006 23:25author address author phone

the last one.

Oi Pinocchio ! Your todger is AWOL from your face
Oi Pinocchio ! Your todger is AWOL from your face

author by cool jpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 03:29author address author phone

That as*-hole cop with the camera is the same state-stooge that has been sticking his recording devices in peoples faces at Bellanaboy in recent weeks including Joe Higgins TD who has made an official complaint to the garda commisioner about this mountached morons behaviour at a recent public meeting in Erris!!

author by Dr. Zarkov - AWI Corkpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:14author address author phone

Most of these pics speak for themselves.

Flatpack coffin courtesy of Dominic and AWI Cork
Flatpack coffin courtesy of Dominic and AWI Cork

Calm down, calm down it's nearly our grub time
Calm down, calm down it's nearly our grub time

What did we do to deserve this Sparky?
What did we do to deserve this Sparky?

Now modelling for Michael Guiney's special branch department
Now modelling for Michael Guiney's special branch department

A view from the hill
A view from the hill

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author by Dr. Zarkov - AWI Corkpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:25author address author phone

Love the Belmullet Bus sign in the window. Just shows how stupid these f**kers are that they didn't even think of removing the sign. We know what you did last week!

Tens of thousands of similar coffins have been needed in Iraq
Tens of thousands of similar coffins have been needed in Iraq

A threat to the state?
A threat to the state?

Flowers on coffin
Flowers on coffin

Anti-War Ireland (Cork) banner
Anti-War Ireland (Cork) banner

Garda Bus - have batons, will travel
Garda Bus - have batons, will travel

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Worker/ Pit Stop Ploughshares (personal cap)publication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:05author address Dublinauthor phone 087 918 4552

My name is Ciaron O'Reilly. I'm from Brisbane, Australia, my father is from Clara, County Offaly.

In Australia we have a tradition, whenever we speak publicly to acknowledge the traditional owners. To remind ourselves that other folks have been there for 40,000 years before we turned up. The aboriginal people will tell you, if you take care of the ancestors and the past, the present will oretty much look after itself.

I'd like to start by acknowledging this place where we are gathered today. This is Deirdre Clancy and my first time back since being led away in handcuffs in Feb. '03 Less than a hundred years ago this place, County Clare, was a lot like Iraq is today...a foreign occupying military was calling the shots, there was torture & the disappeared, Black and Tans roamed the streets.

I also know a lot of the people living in Shannon town today were burnt out of the north in the pogroms of the late '60's. I understand there is a sizeable Chilen community that feld the CIA sponsored coup that borught the butcher Pinochet to power. A lot of the folks in this town, like the three young men with us today, know a lot more about war first hand than I do.

Shannon Airport has been a place of death for most of the 2800 young Americans who passed through here and returned from Iraq in body bags - since we were were arrested back in Feb . '03. 10,000 more have also returned never to walk or talk again or with amputations and other permanent injuries. Shannon Airport has been facilitated the deaths of many of the over 600,000 Iraqis killed in this phase of the war. Some of the young men gathered with us today went through Shannon in service of the U.S. war machine. They are here to say no to the war and call on Irish people to demilitarise this airport.

Shannon Airport has also been a place of life and resistance from the disarmament actions to the trespasses, Irish people came here to say to the war. Shannon Airport is known throughout the international peace movement as a place of hope and significant resistance to the war.

It is important that we gather here today in whatever numbers. The culture of death and spirits of resignation, impotency, cynicism, despair tell us to stay at home and not come here today. We need to exorcise those spirits from ourselves and from this society, we can stop this war with nonviolent resistance and a culture of proactive solidarity with those who are resisting.

I believe if 1% of those who had marched against this war in Ireland, Australia, U.S. and Europe went into serious nonviolent resistance in the spirit of Ghandi and King and the other 99% proactively offered solidarity - we can demilitarise this airport and stop this war.

When the Pit Stop Ploughshares came to this airport in Feb '03, we didn't know what we would achieve or what was going to happen, if we could disable the U.S. war machine, how we would be received by the left or the church in Ireland, how many years it would take. We came in a spirit of nonviolence, community, resistance and solidarity and we maintained that spirit through 3 1/2/ years and 3 trials and the five of us have come out of that experience more commiited and resolute to ending this war.

Nonviolent reistance can be the most empowering experience of your life or most disempowering - it's all got to do with your own spirit and the solidairty of others. We gifted our liberty in carrying out an act of nonviolent disarmament at Shannon. The gifts that came back to us - financially, hospitality, transport, music, sloidairty actions, trial organising - were in the hundrefold.

I would like to quote Lt. Watada who is being held in contempt of the U.S. President for refusing to deploy,

"Many soldiers don't refuse this war en masse because, like all of us they value their families over their own lives and perhaps their conscience. Who would willingly spend years in prison for principle and morality while denying their families sustenance?

I tell this to you because you must know that to stop this war, for the soldiers to stop fighting it, they must have the unconditional support of the people. I have seen this support with my own eyes. For me it was a leap of faith. For other soldiers they do not have that luxury. They must know it and you must show it to them. Convince them that no matter how long they sit in prison, no matter how long this country takes to right itself, their families will have a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, opportunities and education. This is a daunting task. It requires sacrifice of all of us. Why must Canadians feed and house our fellow Americans who have chosen to do the right thing? We should be the ones taking care of our own. Are we that powerless - are we that unwilling to risk something for those who truly can end this war? How do you support the troops by not the war? By supporting those who can truly stop it, let them know that resistance to participate in an illegal war is not futile and not without a future".

There are people at great risk nonviolently resisting this war right now most of them are military resistaers and military families, there is also the Raytheon 9 and the Pine Gap 4 WMD Plowhshares and others. No matter what traditions their nonviolent reistance springs from whether it be the British and American militaries, Socialist, Republican, Catholic Worker, punk rock whatever....we need to be proactively supporting it.

When millions marched against this war, and the war went on - it wasn't anti-war opinion that failed, it was representative democracy that failed.

It is time now for direct democracy and nonviolent direct action to demilitarise Shannon Airport. If the Irish government fails to demilitarise the airport, one hundred of others will shut down the airport until it is demilitarised. There are 35 of us presently commited, we have Buddhist, Anti War Ireland, Catholic Worker, Irish Language, anarchist, London and Belfast/Derry affinity groups forming. Consider joining us initiating yout own affinity group or making contact.

-it will be an action with the element of surpise in timing.

-we will be commited to nonviolence in acting and repsonding to security forces

- we won't be doing property destuction

-we will continue resisting until all 100 are arrested

-we will be commited to each other through the court process in a spirit of solidairty

Once again thanks for coming to this place today!"

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author by Updatepublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 13:47author address author phone

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author by Snap Happypublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 14:06author address author phone

The first cop, with the very expensive camera was snapping hundreds of shots, presumably just to get a front shot of everyone to provide to his masters at Garda Intelligence, and the US embassy.
He scurried away when asked why he wasn't in Moyross taking photos of drug dealers or gunmen. He was asked this a few times, by different people and eventually replied "I'm not based in Moyross" - well, by the numbers on his shoulder, he'snot based in Clare either... but here he is, taking taxpayers money, to take hundreds of photos of taxpayers, who are gathered in a peaceful and legal way. He even had a female colleague whose duty for the day seemed to be to hold his Garda cap for him!

The Asst Commissioner stayed silent when asked how much this 'security' detail was costing the taxpayers, including the taxpayers that they were corralling in at Drumgeely.

I'd imagine it cost quite a bit, seeing as it involved about 150 cops in uniform, ranging from rank anf file garda, sgts, several inspectors, at least two superintendents, a chief superintendent, and an assistant commissioner. - and the Army helicopter, which seemed to be doing nothing other than providing noise by flying over the crowd.

Photocop getting mug shots for his Embassy masters
Photocop getting mug shots for his Embassy masters

Asst Commissioner & Supt J. Kerins look on.
Asst Commissioner & Supt J. Kerins look on.

author by antiwarpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 14:17author address author phone

A lot of these photos - understandably in some ways - are of the police rather than the anti-war event, which was highly photogenic in its own right.

There was a great atmosphere, about 250 people participated, very good speeches. Good open mike at the end as well. Former CIA operatives Bill and Kathleen Christison arrived just at the very end and expressed their solidarity.

The coffins - an adult's and a child's - with flowers placed on top by participants were put on the road in front of the entrance to the airport. Powerful symbolism.

author by Deirdre Clancy - AWIpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 14:30author address author phone

The photo with the caption suggesting it's 'either Stephen or Tony' is actually Stephen Lewis.

author by Updatepublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 15:08author address author phone

At the Shannon rally yesterday, Tony Lagouranis described his role following the destruction of Fallujah two years ago.

He was ordered to strip the bodies of the dead and search their clothing for inteligence. Both time I have heard Lagouranis speak it has brought the war home. He is concise, understated and powerful.
He speaks in Cork later this week, check events listing

The link below is his interview on Sky News Oct 25th

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author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 15:52author address author phone

The muppet who likes to be compared to Michael Collins has avoided answering questions about Shannon Warport being used by the Americans for their various genocide projects.

He was questioned by Roger Cole of PANA about his plans for the Warport, in the event of him becoming the next Prime Minister of West Britain.

Roger and Enda both agreed that Ireland was not a neutral country, Enda seemed to be happy about this however.

It seems (and I've said it before), that Fine Gael are ready for the back of the old shovel. Anyone wanna bet that Enda wont be the leader of the blueshirts come the next election?

Related Link:
Kenny refuses to say no on US military flights

author by Dr. Zarkov - AWI Corkpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 16:10author address author phone

Towards the end of yesterday's demo at Shannon, and just after the arrival of the Christisons, an innocuous looking pair of 'workers' passed were allowed out from behind the garda barrier. Both were wearing large laminated ID cards on which the letters I.C.T.S. were clearly visible.

I suspected they might not be ordinary Shannon airport workers - canteen staff or cleaners - so I tried to photograph the pair but they started to run until they got past me so I only got a rear view. I googled I.C.T.S. and there's lots of interesting stuff on the Net about it. Apartently ICTS is an Israeli owned but Dutch based company providing security consultancy to what their website refers to as "high risk environments"

There are suggestions (via googled sites) that ICTS knowingly left the shoe-bomber Richard Reid board a plane in Paris and were consultants to all of the airports involved in the 9-11 incidents (if true it doesn't give one much confidence especially in light of Margaretta D'Arcy's article elsewhere today (

Anyone have any more info on ICTS.

I.C.T.S. operatives evade Dr. Zarkov's lens
I.C.T.S. operatives evade Dr. Zarkov's lens

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author by Leader Reporterpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 16:36author address author phone

Although this is in this weekend's print edition of the leader, it's not on the web version.

Here's what it says.
Staff at airport claim that CIA prisoners are on US aircraft
by Leader Reporter

THE heated debate on whether the CIA has brought prisoners through Shannon Airport, took a new twist this week.
A number of staff at the airport are claiming that all the evidence at their disposal suggests that the intelligence agency is "unquestionably" bringing prisoners on aircraft through the County Clare facility.
Two airport workers who look after all supplies to aircraft at Shannon - except for Aer Lingus flights - claim that the evidence suggests that there are far more people on CIA flights coming through the airport than the official documentation suggests.
"You regularly have a situation where we are told there is just a cockpit crew, four to five cabin crew and 10- 15 CIA officers, yet, we are asked to give full lavatory service and water service as if the plane was full. It makes no sense said one of the workers.
A colleague confirmed that no one is allowed on the CIA flights and food is not supplied by them. "One day, a guy got on by mistake, and his mobile phone was destroyed by the electronic equipment they have, to make sure no one can take any pictures." he explained.
The employees claimed that senior Gardai and airport officials were aware of the situation regarding CIA flights.
"Some of the flights end up on discreet runways, really far from the airport. Some people come off them, and the Gardai are usually stationed there all night to protect the aircraft." he alleged.
He said that they had no problems boarding normal military flights.
"I have been on them loads of times having a laugh with the American soldiers. They let you hold their guns and are very nice guys." said the other worker.
"Why were are coming forward is because so many lies are being told. We actually have not seen the prisoners, but it is obvious that they are on board. These flights don't come everyday but two to three times a month." he stated.
The workers also stated that Israeli soldiers were arriving on flights and were being taken away by American aircraft for training.
"They are flown off to a secret destination for two or three days. We are warned not to have any pork onboard." one of the workers claimed.
A report by the Council of Europe earlier this year named Ireland as on of 14 European countries that had colluded in the transport of terrorism suspects. It claimed these rendition flights could only have taken place with either intentional or seriously negligent collusion.
At the time, Transport Minister Martin Cullen claimed that there had been no rendition flights through Shannon, and he said that the Government had received assurances on the matter from the Americans.

author by Libertypublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 21:25author address author phone

At one point Joshua said he was glad that the cops here give a better welcome than the ones in the States. He said that at peace rallies in the US, there would be cops with machine guns.

Perhaps that's part of Bush's anti-terror policy? He said that the terrorists hate our freedoms, so his policy to reduce the chances of more attacks, is to take away those freedoms - Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, NSA wiretaps, indefinite detentions,
The Bill of Rights... shredded,
Habues Corpus... destroyed.
"Free Speech Zones" in a country where EVERYWHERE was supposed to be a free speech zone. The man is destroying American rights at home, and American, Afghan and Iraqi lives abroad.

author by Tom Jpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 22:40author address author phone

Its amazing how the state police are allowed stick Garda cameras into peoples faces. This I disagree with. The idea of using cameras to film peaceful protests must stop. That infringes on Irish peoples civil liberities.

author by nuffpublication date Sun Oct 29, 2006 22:48author address author phone

People are over-focusing on the gardai. The protest got on quite well by simply ignoring the police presence and there was no confrontation of any sort. Instead of focusing on the garda presence, can people give us some report on the protest itself and some photographs of the event? Enough of this fascination with yellow jackets! Most people on the day just ignored them. The protest was about the presence of the US war machine so let's not go down a sidetrack here.

author by Here herepublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 08:31author address author phone

Agreed, the cops are a distraction.

They are put there by the suits to distract us from getting to them. In the early stages of ones activist career it might feel exciting that cops recognise and know you by name, it may make you feel important and significant. One should grow out of this.

It's like playing football, if your aim is to win ,you ignore the sledging and keep focussed. As soon as you start reacting you've lost the initiative and the game. The cops are there to sledge, intimidate with the endless videoing (imagine how boring this guys home movie collection is!) and primarily distract from the bureacrats who have transformed Shannon Airport into a U.S. base and a likely target a la london tube, madrid metro, australian 3rd. world tourist dives.

I too would appreciate it if people wrote more reflections on the day. It seemed to be a very sifnificant gathering.

author by Affirmation for Saturday at Shannon from Unexpected Quarterspublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 08:52author address author phone

"[T]he tragedy is that public opinion against the war seems to be reflected
nowhere. Incidentally, with the partial exception of Britain, this applies to
the antiwar movement elsewhere as well. Neoliberalism is the grammar of politics
in most parts of the globe and induces an institutionalized apathy. Imaginative,
nonviolent guerrilla antiwar actions seem to be the only solution." - Tariq Ali

See link for full interview....

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author by Deirdre Clancy - AWIpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:34author address author phone

'In the early stages of ones activist career it might feel exciting that cops recognise and know you by name, it may make you feel important and significant. One should grow out of this.'

I couldn't agree more with the person who said this. A relentless focus on the police can get really tiresome after a while. Sometimes I wonder whether some people secretly yearn to go to Templemore themselves!

I would like to see more photos of the actual demo itself, and of some of the people involved in the demo. Although some of the photos above are good, the demo is a bit overshadowed by the fact of the police presence.

author by dunkpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:59author address author phone

looks high time that they need to confront the other army and check these planes...

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author by dunkpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:00author address author phone

looks high time that they need to confront the other army and check these planes...

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author by Timpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:50author address author phone

I for one was very happy to see so many people come to Shannon, even some taking time off from Rossport, and other important struggles. It was a dignified protest and a great line up.
To have 2 people acquitted for their disarmament return to Shannon, as well as three former interregators and 2 ex-CIA turn up to speak was a real accomplishment, and I notice that the local knee-jerkers have had little to say about those guys.

I saw Mr. Lagouranis on Sky News Ireland. He spoke very well. Thanks whoever posted the link to youtube!

Well done AWI for organising this, and great to see such a diverse crowd.

author by Jonahpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 14:45author address North Dakota, USAauthor phone

A, some of them are in jail in Norht Dakota, USA, for disabling Weapons of Mass Destruction. See link................

More background info on former soldier Greg Boertje, vietnam Vet Michael Wallie ans Fr. carl Kabat OMI on ....................

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author by Apublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 15:17author address author phone

"To have 2 people acquitted for their disarmament return to Shannon, as well as three former interregators and 2 ex-CIA turn up to speak was a real accomplishment" Tim

Not only an accomplishment but with so many hooks you would think hard for the mainstream media to ignore! The state thought the gathering was so significant it deployed, as listed above, all the toys in its box (like the last scene in "The Blues Brothers", when Jake and Elwood are surrounded by everything that opens and shuts/ barks, trots and chops in the Garda kitbag was on display)

It shows what a censored environment we now operate in around an issue that has brought down the Spanish and Italian governments, shortened Blairs premiership, is big in next week's U.S. midterm elections. The Irish mainstream media is so gutless, housebroken, dumbdowned and complicit in this war it averts its eyes form all things Shannon with such enthusiasm.

The persistent filming by Garda of Irish citizens minimally exercising their citizenship is designed for one thing - to intimidate and discourage anyone exercsing their citizenship. Go back to Lidel and shop is the subtext. These Garda have spent the week defending transnational corporate power at Mayo and the weekend defending U.S. military poower at Shannon, they are not protecting the citizens of Ireland. We had a captive audience and we should have addressed them politically and respectfully (as human beings) at some point yesterday.

The Special Branch know that a terror attack on ordinary citizens is "inevitable" due to the Irish government's collaboration in the U.S. war effort . They know it won't be the Irish elites who will pay the cost, but those of us who (if the attacks on London and Madrid are anything to go by) take public transport to work in the capital in morning. The government has a game plan for when this happens, how to ride the hysteria and fear that will surely result. their agenda, as it has been elsewhere will be to kill the messenger and continue to shrink civil liberities. Whether this 3, 6 or 12 months away the paradigm will surely shift again things will get tighter, demonstrations like Saturday more difficult and the media more censored. the time to nonviolently act up and speak against this war and Irish involvement in it is now.

author by Updatepublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 15:23author address author phone

100 Americans Killed in Iraq in October, most would have passed through Shannon Airport./

80 Iraqis Killed on Monday Alone
See link for more info.....

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author by sickboypublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 15:30author address author phone

LINK-100 Americans Killed in Iraq in October/80 Iraqis Killed on Monday Alone

Wow, maybe you got some pictures of them? I wanna see a dead un so i can laugh and jeer at them

maybe you should start to hand out sweets to celebrate as well?


author by Máire - Peaceful Means Campaignpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 16:34author address author phone

The following alternative words to Clare's Dragoons were written especially with Shannon in mind.

For original tune, history and words of Clare's Dragoons, see:;ttCLAREDRG.html

Admit that Might is Never Right

Empires built on force give rise,
To yet more plans to battle and to fight.
To combat evil, first we need,
To admit that might is never right.
Reducing countries to the stone-age,
If with their policies we do not agree,
Is clearly a waste of God-given talents,
Stupidity to the nth degree.

No ‘Viva la’ to US Dragoons,
No ‘Viva la’ to other armies too,
Let’s build a world of justice and love,
Which reflects the Peace of God above.

US soldiers pass through Shannon
And head to where their bombs are to be dropped.
It’s more than time to face this issue,
Collaboration with them should be stopped.
Many feel shame & humiliating anger,
As people cry while their dearly loved-ones die.
May amends be made to all the victims,
Whose homes and lives in shatters lie.

We should always try to listen,
To informed opinions & enlightening debate,
Hear the grievance of those suffering,
And help them overcome their hate.
Peace on Earth is always possible,
By following just a very simple Truth,
Revealed in all the Christian gospels,
Of Matthew, Mark, and John & Luke.

Returning Good for every Evil,
Is the only way of genuine true Peace.
Goodwill leads us to seek forgiveness,
Thus grace from God we can release.
Love is shown to be more powerful,
When searching for a better way to build,
A world where harmony will always lead
To no more people being hurt or killed.

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author by TJ - IPSCpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 19:07author address author phone

to the Real McCoy !

Tony Lagouranis
Tony Lagouranis


UL student from Co Down
UL student from Co Down



author by TJ - IPSCpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 19:25author address author phone

Raison D'Etre ?.


Saintly Colm
Saintly Colm


Maggie Ronayne (R) & Global  Women's Strike activist
Maggie Ronayne (R) & Global Women's Strike activist


author by TJ - IPSCpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 19:52author address author phone

ones !


Justin & Bill
Justin & Bill

Ruari & James's handiwork : they stooped to conquer
Ruari & James's handiwork : they stooped to conquer


Another "price"  on its way to Albright & Ahern?
Another "price" on its way to Albright & Ahern?

author by moipublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 21:25author address author phone

A couple of hundred at a Shannon protest wasn't bad at all. The crowd looked sizeable on the road and the banners and placards added good colour to a sombre, and touching, procession. The recent anti-war march in Dublin (which I also attended) had about 500 people so to get 250 (and maybe more) on this was not bad at all. The placing of the coffins at the gates of the airport was a striking moment, I thought. Rally afterwards was very good as well. Open and with interesting speakers. Upbeat overall, and I think most people left re-invigorated.

Worth travelling for. I think it was important to do this because Shannon is where the complicity is happening.

author by Ciaron - DubCatholic Worker/Pit Stop Ploughshares (personal capacity)publication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 22:37author address author phone 087 928 4552

For me it was the first time back to Shannon since the Pit Stop Ploughshares arrest 3 1/2 years ago. We five spent a year banned from entering the entire County of Clare and the next couple of years banned from a 5 mile radius of the airport until we were acquitted last July This is the first call out for the anti-war movement to head to Shannon this year - and the year is nearly up.

Good scene on the Dublin bus. Lots of good folks who are serioius about opposing this war. Sat next to Harry who is working on an article on the Pit Stop Ploughshares action/trial/acquittal. Maybe we could have tried the speed dating technique of everyone in the aisle seats (or those who were into it) getting up and moving every 15 minutes. A little dosie do may have been a good networking opportunity, retrospect is 20/20 vision. Fintan, Harry & Anthony seem to be doing a sterling job getting the show won the road.

There were Belfast folks, Dutch, English, Australians, the 3 U.S. vets, and 3 U.S. Catholic Workers on the bus. Mike works for "GI Hotline" advising folks on how to get out of the military. Katie's brother has been in Iraq for a year and has just had his tour extended.

Touchdown Lidel carpark. The Cork crew are there with the coffin. Good community vibe amongst the sure can do Cork crew. Galway bus turns up, lots of folks dressed for Haloween, they get into the sombre vibe and make it look like a Mexican funeral, day of the dead kind of thing. Ed, Conor and Tim who have done so much Shannon based activism over the years are there and lots of other good folks.

We lift the coffin and start walking. It's a great focussed way to return to Shannon Airport, the ongoing scene of the crime. I can't see much got a coffin pushed up to one side of my face and we're at the front behind folks carrying the small white child's coffin. Get in step with the Cork lads and onto the road. Cops in yellow vests backing off, chopper overhead and dogs on leashes. Nice slow pace, lots of time to think about this war that escalates and expands and all the young kidz who came through Shannon and didn't come back alive. All those in Veteran Hospitals, in the ground and those who will find themselves on the streets abandoned and homeless eventually.

As we get closer to the airport, the three Vets take over form the Cork guys in carryng the coffin. These guys are so young. They are courageous breaking with family military tradition, military peer group pressure to speak out against this war and the things they did in Iraq. Having spoken to them in the days before they are serious, they know it's going to be along war and presently there is little visibility of an anti-war movement here, in the U.S., anywhere. It's great to be returning to Shannon in their company.

We lay the coffin down, folks move forward to lay the flowers. The symbol and ritual are powerful, the mood is serious and sombre. There is a sense what we are doing is significant. A sense that it is impotant to come to this place and say "no!"

We pretty much turn our back on the forces of the state and head up the nearby hill for a rally. The Vets share their experiences of passing through this airport on the way to war, the nature of that war and call for Ireland to withdraw its complicity.

I call Carmen in NYC. He's happy to hear of our effort at Shannon. He says the next wave of resistance brewing is amogst National Guard who Bush will try to send back to Iraq a second time in the new year. He says many of them will rebel and refuse to go. He says the ones refusing now are not unpopular in the rank and file military.

There is more opposition coming out of the military - both grassroots refusal and elite dissent - than is coming out of the U.S. democratic party, social democratic Labor Parties in Britain/Ireland/Australia, the academy, churches, liberal cultural figures.

I think it was important to go to Shannon last Saturday. It would have been shameful if we had not gone this year as 1100 troops passed through daily to and from this war. It was something we could not not do. We are at the beginning of a very long war. One that will probably come home to Ireland - as it has to London, Madrid, NYC - because of the ongoing role of Shannon Airport in refueling the U.S. war machine. I think we should go to Shannon in numbers at least twice a year and set the dates soon so people can clear their calenders, so we can be joined by more internationals. We should have an element of nonviolent direct action/civil dosbedience each time we go.

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author by anonpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 22:54author address author phone

It was important to go and an emotional event in some ways. would've been bad if there was no large protest at Shannon this year and this was exactly what was needed. Good mix of people as well from Catholic Worker to Socialist Party to Eirigi to Greens to IPSC to anarchists to lots of 'non-aligned' people. A goodly crowd.

author by anonpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 23:02author address author phone

In fact one of the most interesting things about the crowd was that a good few were probably what the left terms 'non-aligned'. There were almost no paper sellers and the majority of people present were ordinary types. I mean that in a positive not in a derogatory way. I've been to lots of anti-war protests where the majority present are far left members or grassroot/hippy/anarchist types and, while I love to see them on demos, it can feel like the ordinary folks are missing. A lot of the people on Saturday's demo were seasoned anti-war activists but a satisfying number were also people I've never seen before. Of those I recognised, it was a wide cross section of Irish progressive politics. It was good to be there.

author by politicopublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 00:27author address author phone

Left political groups with banners attending were EIRIGI, Workers Solidarity Movement and Socialist Party.

author by Anon - Selectivity watchpublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 00:53author address author phone

' Fintan, Harry & Anthony seem to be doing a sterling job getting the show won the road.'

Er, not to mention Colin, Deirdre, Dominic, and various others who put a lot of work into this.

author by Janepublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 00:54author address author phone

with the face of Harry Browne.

Not in our name ... in the name of the butchered Iraqis , we ...
Not in our name ... in the name of the butchered Iraqis , we ...

author by Janepublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 01:05author address author phone


Another omission to be adjured :  Fintan Lane (at the apex of the Triangle of Goodness)
Another omission to be adjured : Fintan Lane (at the apex of the Triangle of Goodness)

author by Ciaronpublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 01:19author address author phone

"Fintan, Harry & Anthony seem to be doing a sterling job getting the show on the road."

A specific reference to keeping the Dublin bus moving, getting folks on board, collecting fares, chilling out the driver etc etc

A number of us put a lot of work, international contacts and money up front to get the vets over. It was a relatively small group who did the organisational work, publicising etc which is a reflection on the present weakness of the anti-war scene in general. There was a hope this organisational base of activists would expand as the date drew closer but this was generally not the case. It will be good to get together and review it all and see where we go from here.

Congrats to all who made the effort to come, spread the word, organise local talks for the Vets etc.

author by Updatepublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 04:11author address author phone

Related Link:
author by Updatepublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 07:26author address author phone

Related Link:
author by anti-war irelanderpublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:39author address author phone

Certain people do enormous work for AWI on an ongoing basis but naming names in relation to a single event is never a good idea. Lots of AWI members throughout the country and lots of people NOT in AWI worked on this demo, but what's to congratulate? The US war machine is still embedded in Shannon airport and we still have work to do. AWI is work in progress.

Good demo but we need to move on to the next action now. Work to be done, war machines to be expelled. :-)

author by Cork AWIpublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:44author address author phone

Two of the former US interrogators - Tony Lagouranis and Stephen Lewis - will speak tonight in Cork alongside Bill and Kathleen Christison, former CIA operatives.

Organised by the Cork branch of Anti-War Ireland, the public meeting will be at 8pm in the Quality Hotel (formerly Shandon Court) on John Redmond Street.

Admission free - All welcome!

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Ploughsharespublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 16:54author address author phone

OK, one more time, the names mentioned were in specific reference to the accomplishment of keeping a bunch of strong willed people on a bus and moving. It did not occur to me that these 3 were members of AWI. I'm not a member of AWI - like othe people who put money up or worked on Saturday. Nort even in grade school would I have been accused of being "Dublin centric" while writing a piece on a bus trip form Dublin.

The report piece I have written is pretty much a subjective reflection. (The speech deals more with the objective political reality) I was impressed by the affinity group style solidarity vibe coming off the Galway and Cork buses. It would be good to hear some subjective reflections from those communities about the day, the possibilities for future anti-war resistance etc As stated a good chunk of the Dublin bus weren't Dubs and it's a bigger town.

I think the movement has always lacked on an organising base in Limerick. That U.L. can have a Peace Studies Department and 1100 troops landing daily nearby and no connection being made between campus and runway has been pretty sad. the lack of a Limerick parish taking up the militarisation of Shannon as a social justice focus would ahve made a lot of difference.

It would be interesting to know how many people came to Saturday form Limerick, Clare and the local area. How much pre-publicity and organising happened in those areas pre-Saturday. A locally driven weekly presence/anti-war vigil at the airport would be good. I know the Quakers pull off a weekly anti-war vigil in Brisbane, maybe someone could suggest it to them down that way. if it's a regular time other folks will drop in and partcipate if in the vicinity.

Amyways it woul dbe good to see other folks reflections here about the war.the movement, the obstacles and possibilities in Ireland.

author by Updatepublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 19:04author address author phone

Related Link:
author by Nick - Nonepublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 01:40author address author phone

Personally, I won't hear a bad word against the Gardai. It was great to see so many of them supporting us by marching alongside us, among us, behind us and in front of us! They even brought their dogs and horses for the day! Now if only we had yellow jackets and blue pants too, then we could all be one big happy family... On Sunday night I passed through the centre of town about 3am, and it was absolutely full of drunks. People staggering everywhere, falling out into the street in front of cars, fights half breaking out here and there. And not a Guard in sight, anywhere, literally! Probably they were willing to miss all this fun so they could loyally freeze their butts off still minding the planes up in Shannon.

Good demo, but I'd say the estimate of 250 is a bit much, I reckoned more like 150. Indeed I remeber thinking there were nearly as many Gardai as there were protestors.

It was a pity that none of the media organisations (except Clare FM, I think) bothered to cover the event. They couldn't have known there'd be such a low turnout, so obviously it's a bit of a non-issue for the media.

I feel certain that there are many more out there who wouldn't attend an anti-war march, but nonetheless don't support the way Shannon is being used by the US military and CIA (I don't think anyone has a problem with is being a civilian airport). I hope their opinion translates into votes at election time. But we all need to get the message out to them, canvas those doors...

One of the US Vets gave a short speech and he added that he overheard a local saying "these protests are costing us money" adding that he would be ashamed to make such an argument. I hope that this was the opinion of an isolated local, and that the people of Shannon realise that no one wishes any hardship on them. But it is not good enough to spend the Euros and simply not care where they come from. Indeed I am certain the same local who voiced the above opinion would be the first to protest if a brothel opened up, or drug dealers started their trade on their doorstep. Shannon needs to think of ways to expand its civilian traffic and wean itself off its dependence on blood money.
In any case, even if we don't consider the moral aspect, I wonder exactly how much these flights are actually contributing to the Shannon region as a whole? I'd bet it's not as much as the propagandists would have us believe.
BTW - as for protests costing money: the protestors all had to eat somewhere and many shopped in Lidl etc., afterwards.

A child lays flowers
A child lays flowers

Joshua Casteel
Joshua Casteel


author by mepublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:47author address author phone

Lidl and other traders in Shannon town centre always do well when anti-war protesters gather to march on the airport, yet the local business community still whinge. They haven't been so bad in recent times (no major protests!) but back in 2003 and 2004 the Clare Champion was full of these people going on about the "damage" that protests were allegedly causing to the local (i.e. Shannon) economy. In reality, they clean up everytime protesters arrive.

With regard to numbers, it's kinda irrelevant in some ways but I beg to differ strongly with your 150. I actually counted as we left the centre of Shannon and it was clearly over 200. It's never possible to be completely accurate but I'd say between 220 and 250. The numbers dropped at the rally which is always the case, as some people drifted back to town. The problem with a rally in an out-of-the-way place like that is that there's no passing trade. There's no pedestrians passing who might stop for a moment to listen. This happens at city centre rallies, whereas in Shannon the numbers just diminish and aren't augmented. My guesstimate is that about 150 stayed around for all the speeches.

Good demo.

author by Anon.publication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:41author address author phone

How could it have been 150??? Three buses travelled (Dublin, Cork, Galway) - I was on the Dublin bus which was completely full (about 54 people). On top of that there were lots and lots of folks who made their own way there. There were also locals - I talked to a woman who lives just outside Shannon. I met many Dublin folks who had NOT been on the bus. Take a look at the photos of the crowd heading up the road. There was easily 250 present. Out by the airport I agree it didn't seem like that after we settled down - big open space and people drifting back to town in ones and twos - but even there it was a healthy crowd. The atmosphere was very positive and the gardai in their yellow jackets and with their various pets (dogs and horses) looked ridiculous.

Btw, how much taxpayers money is wasted protecting the US war machine? Why don't the business people get on their high horses about that?

author by Upbeatpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 13:41author address phone

This article in this week's Clare people shows the state has doubled its spending on security for the U.S. war machine at Shannon, see link.....

The negative comments on ths thread contradict the reality on the gorund. The nonviolent direct action movement against Irish involvement in the U.S. war on Iraq has been hugely successful. The state has doubled its spending on response to the statement at the Pit Stop Ploughshares acquittal press conference that nonviolent direct action would be used to demilitarise the airport, if the government fails to do so. Cowen's '02 assurances to the U.S. Ambassador that "the opposition to U.S. military use of Shannon would blow over and the movement would dissipate" have been hollow as real tension presently exists with the army redeployed and 40 Garda deployed following the Ploughshares acquittal.

While state security expenditure has doubled, troop movements through Shannon have dropped by 2/3 since the Ploughshares 3rd. trialin July '06. World Airways, one of the company's that fled Ireland (for 4 months) following the Mary Kelly and Ploughshares disarmament actions Jan/Feb '03, has now permanently relocated to Lipzig, Germany.

Last Saturday's demonstration was significant, looked and felt great and was taken seriously by the state. The people who came left feeling empowered and hopeful. What more can you ask? Why didn't more people come when there is massive passive opposition to the war. You'll have to ask them!

author by EX ICTS workerpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 14:37author address author phone

What do you want to know?????

author by anti-warpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 14:58author address author phone

Obviously a question for whoever posted the original comment.

With regard to the workers at the airport, it should be noted that Fintan Lane of Anti-War Ireland made the point at the rally that they were there before the war began, are not the enemy and must be reached out to by AWI through the trade union movement. Industrial action against the through-traffic of US military would have a huge impact. This point was backed by the Socialist Youth speaker during the open mike period.

On a related point, we see top trade union bureaucrats speaking on occasion at anti-war rallies in Dublin. Talk is cheap. Let's see some action. Most workers in Shannon are unionised. Should these trade union bureaucrats be asked to speak at anti-war rallies if they won't act on Shannon?

author by anonpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 15:45author address author phone

I travelled all the way from dublin for this demo. It wasn't worth the trip, there seemed to be no actual idea of how to get the us troops out of shannon from any of the speakers, some of them just blindly called for an end to the war - as if they were in any position to deman that.

Low points of the day included..

- 9/11 truth people peddling their conspiracy rubbish.
- Childs coffin leading the march, what moralistic crap.
- Christians everywhere, one even tried to say the rosary over the loudspeaker!
- Asking the gardai to break ranks, do you actually understand the nature of the police at all? Never going to happen.
- An idiot jumping on the bonnet of a locals car then screaming in her window at her, no wonder the locals hate us.

I'm sure some people put in lots of hard work but a further effort is required if we are to actually win the battle in Shannon.

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Worker/Pit Stop Ploughsharespublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 16:11author address author phone 087 918 4552

Low points of the day included..

- 9/11 truth people peddling their conspiracy rubbish.
That's what you get in a movement that doesn't practise censorship. Everyone has the right to distribute literature. Jut say no, if you're not intrested. If you've got the energy engage them in debate.

- Childs coffin leading the march, what moralistic crap.
1 million Iraqi children (under the age of 5) UNESCO died under the administrations of Bush Sr. and Clinton. when they were both in Ireland for the recent Ryders Cup, there was no protest at all. It was important to rember the kids killed and being killed.

- Christians everywhere, one even tried to say the rosary over the loudspeaker!
As a Catholic I didn't appreciate people being conscripted into the rosary. They guy shoulda coulda invited folks to say it with him over near the coffin etc. You're going to have to get over your prejudices if you want to be part of a mass movement. If you prefer a hip elitest scene/subculture maybe this isn't the movement for you?

- Asking the gardai to break ranks, do you actually understand the nature of the police at all? Never going to happen.
Police breaking ranks, turning a blind eye, leaking information happens all the time, happening in Iraq right now!
I think we could have made a more direct speech to the Garda, a captive audience. The way to unite cops is with the attitude you seem to have

- An idiot jumping on the bonnet of a locals car then screaming in her window at her, no wonder the locals hate us.
Didn't hear about ths incident. People with mental health issues or drunk or high are often attracted to anything that moves. Experienced people should intervene with the support of those gathered.

See link to Clare Peolpe article (comment or above or in Other Press" section) the war escalates, Irish involvement (troop movement through Shannon) decreases, government security expenditure doubles. Retrosepctive is 20 20 vision, but maybe if serious nonviolent direct action had followed the Mark Kelly & Pit Stop Ploughshares actions in '02 maybe the four compamies that fled would not have returned. Maybe World Airways factored in the history of NVDA at Shannon and the 60,000 U.S. troops (& military bases) in Germany as they decided to abandon Ireland. Who knows?
What we do know is that we have to build an anti-war movement based onnonviolent direct action, solidairty and direct democracy.

Unlike yourself, most people left Saturday upbeat, glad they had made the effort to come and hopeful about future efforts. Where it goes from here, we'll have to see. We're in for a long war so your going to have to temper that youthful urgency with some marathon perspective.

In terms of Shannon workers - it has been them, not the government, that initially exposed the transit of munitions and prisoners through the airport. Whether trade union bureucrats represent the interest of the trank and file is doubtful.

Related Link:
author by anon & on & onpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 16:28author address author phone

Unlike yourself, most people left Saturday upbeat, glad they had made the effort to come and hopeful about future efforts. Where it goes from here, we'll have to see. We're in for a long war so your going to have to temper that youthful urgency with some marathon perspective.

Yes but unfortunately that was the saddest thing about the day. Marching with a coffin up to a line of police then giving speeches to each
other is enough to ease a few peoples guilty consciences but certainly not enough to get the troops out. You know this yourself which is why you took that hammer to the plane, a lot of people there don't want to take hammers to planes or even do the tough work of building a strong movement. Shaking your hand and congratulating you for doing it for them seems to suffice, If I were you I might just despair.

author by anon2publication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 16:30author address author phone

Anon should get a life. He or she shouldn't bother attending anti-war demos anyway coz it's clear we've got a serious sorehead on our hands. I didn't see any 9/11 conspiracy material being distributed, though I can guess which individual was doing it. The rest of your moaning is just bullshit. You sound like either a troll or some f**ked up cynical whinger who went along looking for things to complain about.

Get a life.

author by anon & on & onpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 16:33author address author phone

I criticise from a position of support. I want the anti-war movement to be better and so I contribute my dissent. It's healthy and it's democratic. You can listen or not but if you dont want me in your movement then you're no better than Boyd Barrott and the IAWM.

author by anon2publication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 16:47author address author phone

Your skewed perspective on the day wasn't shared by the vast majority of those who attended, who left feeling re-invigorated, glad that attention was being focused back on Shannon, glad that we'd returned to the scene of the crime. You sound like somebody who was looking for your 'leader', looking for some magic bullet that will end Irish complicity. Is that what you want? You sound incapable of recognising where the anti-war ACTUALLY is at the moment. It seems you set out to pick holes, to find something to criticise.

Your remark about the place being awash with Christians is laughable hogwash. The prayers (a couple of Hail Marys) were initiated by one person during the open mike session - and what do you think diversity is. Just the anarchist and/or Trot hard left? F**k everybody else?

This demo worked very well. It was important to get back to Shannon and, given the limited numbers, everything hung together quite well.

You seriously need to deal with your negativity and cynicism. Try a bit of DIY. If you don't like the way others are doing things, DO IT YOURSELF. AWI is doing just that. Why don't you do your thing?

author by anon & on & onpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 16:56author address author phone

Nice to see you can take even a small amount of criticism, well done. I support the work of AWI I do not however need to be flamed for expressing an opinion contrary to those above who think the demo was great. As for your strawmen, saying I want a leader or that I dont understand the position the antiwar movement is in then throwing around accusations of being a trot or anarchists, well maybe you could just calm down and take some criticism for once. Maybe even re-read the criticism in my first two posts properly, I deal with the fact that most people were happy with the demo - I am a minority who wasnt and who wants to see a real anti-war movement with real politics not some moralistic display of weakness from the left.

author by Conor Creganpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 16:58author address author phone

As one of the many "locals" attending I want to say the demo at Shannon went very well. The numbers was consistent with many other demos at Shannon and nothing to worry about. In fact the numbers were good compared to other demos. I got a sense that most people at the demo involved would be prepared to a lot more moblising for the next demo if this were to be taken seriously by the anti-war groups.

Something to ponder. Fair play to Anti War Ireland for taking the initiative.

One of the lowest points for me was getting verbally attacked at the pub in the town center after the demo. A very drunk father and son with Dublin accents squared up to me. They felt I should have something better to do with my time (maybe sitting in a pub with them all day would be better) and I should get a job. They seemed surprised that I was from Shannon when they instructed me to go back where I came from but not as surprised as I was that they didnt know who I was. Everyone who has lived in Shannon for some time knows me, especially people with a view on the airport.

The sad thing was that their drunken spew was just the same old propaganda sold in the tabloids imported from abroad. Anyway after a while we got to talk on a some sort of an even level and they apoligised.

The story of someone jumping on a car? I would of thought I would of heard about that by now. If this is true I am sure I will hear some saying this at the local community radio tomorrow.

I feel like thanking everyone one for coming to my town to demonstrate their view on the airport but that would be arrogant as it is a national and an international issue of life and death for many.

Several of us got talking about organising something over the Christmas period so if anyone would like to get involved get in contact. (No undercover cops need apply) You can email me at



author by anon2publication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 17:17author address author phone

First off, you didn't put your 'critique' in anything but a wholly negative way, so don't be surprised when it's seen as negative cynicism. Now let's deal with your points:

- "9/11 truth people peddling their conspiracy rubbish.'

Really? I was there from start to finish and never saw nor received a 9/11 conspiracy theory leaflet. There was present, however, a particular woman from outside of Dublin who specialises in distributing this rubbish. Perhaps she handed out something. Dunno. What do you want? You want her banned off demos?

- "Childs coffin leading the march, what moralistic crap."

"Moralistic crap". I don't know how to respond to this! It may have escaped your notice but children get mashed along with others as imperialism trundles along. You want the human aspect of these wars to be omitted? You want us to dehumanise the horror of war. the point of the coffins was to make it clear that Shannon airport was assisting the US war machine to KILL people! It was powerful symbolism in my opinion.

- "Christians everywhere, one even tried to say the rosary over the loudspeaker!"

I've dealt with this above. Utter bullshit. Won't even humour this.

- "Asking the gardai to break ranks, do you actually understand the nature of the police at all? Never going to happen."

I agree. A couple of speakers did call on the gardai to break ranks. You and I might agree that it's a waste of words but, hey, anything that undermines morale might be helpful in the long-run. Anyway, this call was made by individual speakers and wasn't a theme of the demo.

- "An idiot jumping on the bonnet of a locals car then screaming in her window at her, no wonder the locals hate us."

Never saw it. Not saying it didn't happen but, if it did, it was a seriously minor sideshow and completely out of order. Where did this occur? Give us some details so we can confirm or otherwise this claim. Nobody mentioned this to me and I saw none of this type of shite happening at the demo. Details please.

If you feel strongly about how the anti-war movement should go forward, why not put these ideas forward at meetings? Instead of sniping from the sidelines, get in there and make your arguments, do your thing. You praise ciaron for his action at Shannon - that took just five people (two of whom spoke on Saturday last). Why not get together with others and follow the Ploughshares example? Less sniping, more action and you might get less flak when you launch broadsides against what other people are doing.

author by Ciaron (after a couple of rums) - Dublin Catholic Worker/Pit Stop Ploughsharespublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 20:08author address author phone

Hang in there buddy...this is a very abrupt medium, so don't take the abrupt responses to personally (especoally when your psosting anon!)

Remember Che Guvera's advice....when they advance, we retreat!

The NVDA will come when they least expect it! We have massive passive opinion behind us but the activist anti war scene is presently a remnant rather than a the element of surprise when confronting the state is crucial. You hae to have minimalist militant expectations when you tell 'em your coming like last Saturday. But it was important to go, it would have been shameful if we hadn't gone (small affinity group actions this past year withstanding) all year. To go with veterans of this war who transitted through Shannon was a powerful experience.

There weren't many folks at the firs "Clash" gig either, but those who were remember it and it has become significant for a lot of us. It has taken opn mythological porportions just like last Saturday will when we end this war.

author by EX ICTS workerpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 21:30author address author phone

outreach if you keep bothering workers like that muppett did by trying to photo the two ICTS lads on their way home from the demo.They are the kind of people that have the low down on whats going on in the US planes,and know the strength or weakness of the security,etc.Might be handy to know them rather than bother them and trying to make out they are some sort of Mossad chracters.

author by anti-warpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 21:39author address author phone

Don't disagree with that.

author by Conor Creganpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 21:42author address author phone

So when are we going to the the information you gathered while you worked at the airport?

author by anti-warpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 21:57author address author phone

Conor Cregan is readily available to receive such info, as is Ed Horgan. I'm sure you know how to contact them.

author by Nick - Nonepublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 03:30author address author phone

To Ciaron and Anon -

I am sorry to see you're both upset (for different reasons) about the 'guy who tried to say the rosary'. As the guy in question, let me make a few points:

1) the protestors who arrived in Shannon on that day were from all shades of the spectrum: left, middle and right, political and non-political. While there were specific groups with specific agendas, everyone brought their own personal touch. After all the speeches etc., had been made, the mic was 'open' to anyone who wished to say something.

2) Nobody was 'conscripted' into saying anthing. I quite plainly said that, as a Catholic, I believed strongly in the power of prayer to stop the madness of war, and to that end, intended to say a few prayers. I pointed out that I didn't know the religion of those present (i.e no offence intended to anyone, though I can't imagine why anyone would have been offended, there was much bigger stuff to get offended about) but that anyone who WISHED was WELCOME to join me. My whole speech, including prayers - not even one decade of the rosary - came to less than four minutes. Some other people rambled on at far greater length than that about all kinds of stuff, so it wasn't as if I held anyone up.

3) I don't agree that I should have said my prayers quietly over at the coffin, anymore than I agree that those who came to express their views on the use of Shannon should do so quietly at home.

4) Anon said no one came up with any idea of how to shut Shannon down for military use. Well, I believe I did. I suggested we pray about it, and to prove the point, did just that (which wasn't easy believe me, in the current cultural climate in this country) rather than simply TALKING about it; and like I said, I am entitled both to believe in the power of prayer that AND express those ideas (and not just to myself in private). Did it do anyone there any harm? I don't think so. If you don't believe in God or prayer, then the few phrases I said can only be empty words, and of no consequence to you. Why get in a huff about them? If prayers do have some effect, then it makes sense to use them. But either way, surely I am entitled to voice my ideas etc.,

5) On the same note, you could say, what good is it for us all to go to Shannon and make all those speeches? None of the big media were there. In a sense we could have done it as easily in our living rooms, as we were just preaching to the converted. The Gardai present had evidently been in Belmullet the previous week and seem to be a select group of Guards specially picked for their loyalty to the system and aloofness from suspicion. I doubt the powers-that be would send any Guards there whose sympathies were in any way suspect. You can wish for the Guards to defect, but I suspect first they'll have to take the governemnet issue cotton wool from their ears.

Since the Catholic Workers movement was present, I was a bit disappointed that I was the only one to pray. A central plank of Catholicism is a belief in the power of prayer. Come on, it's time to get over this false idea that you are 'forcing' your religion on anyone by praying in public and have the strength of your convictions. Are you 'forcing' your views on people when you say Shannon should be dimilitarised, or expressing your right to make public your opinion?

I can understand what how some people might view Catholics, if they only have a hazy idea of them: something about the 'Church', the inquisition, 'intolerance' blah blah blah. Could I just remind you that the 'Church' is far more than priests or buildings etc., and ask you not to be so predjudiced. Let me be clear though: I am not trying to pick a fight here: we all have the same goal, though perhaps different ways of approaching it. That may ultiamtely be our strength. I am just disappointed that yet again Catholics are being reminded their place is on the back of the pluralistic bus.

author by Nick - Nonepublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 03:46author address author phone

Hi Ciaron, the last post was principally for the benefit of Anon, who seems to think that Catholics should not give their input into a cause that concerns a broad spectrum. I hope it was clear from my post that I did not think the demo was a bad idea, or I wouldn't have gone myself. But I have to say I am tired of having my faith a Catholic run down (e.g Anon posts). Why should prayer be the 'low point' of any day? That's a sad comment to make, in my opinion. If you hold beliefs, it is only natural they will inform your actions, and prayer plays a central role for Christians.

Anon: you say you want a 'better' anti-war movement? I have yet to see any concrete suggestions. What do you have in mind?

author by anonpublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 08:25author address author phone

we all know the union leaders rebuffed any efforts to connect with the workers at the height of the antiwar feeling, so they're useless what happenend to various staff who reported things and this story above It doens't sound like anything but maybe the MAWA guys know something of them?
ICTS seem to do aiport security for Canada air etc nothing special about them.

author by Ciaron - Dublin Cathol;ic Workerpublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:51author address author phone 087 918 4552

My originl proposal for the demonstration was to make space for multi-faith/no faith memorials for the dead....decentralised (spreading the cops out) and simultaneous. There were Buddhists, Quakers, Baptists, Pagans, Agnostics with us on Saturday. The date had been chosen because it was the eve of All Souls nd the 2nd. anniversary of Fallujah.

Having been a Catholic activist in this country for the last 4 years, I unsderstand people don't want to be identified as something they are not (same reason people get pissed of with the visual conscription of SWP posters etc).

We said the rosary after we disarmed the U.S. war plane at Shannon Feb '03, some locals are praying the rosary as they blockade Shell in Mayo presently, I have often said the rosary while blockading, occupying and being attacked by polie as it keeps me focussed and my ego and smart arse comments to a minimum.

When you started saying the rosary, I thought we were in for the LP version of it, i began to move toward you signalling that I would join you at the coffin to say the whole thing. You then agreed to shorten it and I was also surprised by how many people were responding to it, so I stopped and joined in.

Faith and spirituality are something people have to come to freely. There has been an unfortunate history here of collaboration by the church with colonisation, imposition and connivance with state power. So that's why folks are sensitive about imposition. As a Catholic in Ireland you have to be sensitive to that. And also encourage ither religious traditions to express themselves.

I think it would be great if a group of people went to vigilled and recite the rosary for peace at the gates of Shannon on a weekly basis. Praying for the young American men & women passing through to kill and be killed. Praying for the dead of Iraq. Praying for a conversion of our churches, tade unions, academies, media from a complicit silence in the face of this war.

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author by Conor Creganpublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 14:56author address author phone

I just looked down the back of the settee. I have found a couple of old pre-euro coppers and the remains of a lollypop that my nephew forgot to tell me about. So in terms of materal worth ? Thats what I would pay for any information you might tell us.

On the other hand the witness protection programme offers quite a salubrious deal. We could put you up at a seaside location with all the vegan food you could eat. This dumpster dive diet would be provided by our many talented chefs. Staying in a rustic but basic bender on the beach you would in gregarious company with some our four star activists. All your entertainment requirements will be well taken care of. After a challanging evening of political scrabble or debate on the merits of Engels taking a backseat you can sleep blissfully to the sound of the waves rolling in during the night.

Or if you have even a slight interest or gra for whats really happening at Shannon you come to the conference next week at UL.

author by Deirdre Clancy - AWIpublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 16:41author address author phone

Nick, thanks for your contribution to the open mic and please don't feel discouraged by the reaction of a couple of people on Indymedia. Ciaron has already explained he mistakenly thought you were going to go for the whole five decades - which wouldn't have been appropriate when people were getting ready to wrap up - and generally speaking, I think most people were fine with it.

I for one am glad you recognise the madness of war is inconsistent with the gospel. Yes, the institution of the church has colluded in colonialism and other abuses in this country, and some of us (myself included) do have serious issues with the hieracrchical nature of it, but that shouldn't mean that we try to undermine or scoff at people's expressions of personal faith, which can be quite a different thing. I am sorry this has happened to you here. Please don't let this put you off from further involvement in anti-war issues; your concern was obviously genuine and heartfelt, and we always need people like this around.

author by mepublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 19:59author address author phone

Here's the thing with an open mike: you're not going to agree with everything that everybody says!!! That's diversity and respect for diversity should be a key pillar of the anti-war movement. The open mike session at Shannon allowed participants to say why we were there. Open mikes can go badly wrong, but this didn't. 10 minutes were allocated for it with one or two minutes for each speaker - this meant that nobody could hog the mike and bore people to death with waffle or rants. Nick of the Rosary was one of about half a dozen people who availed of the opportunity. People should reflect before they go off on one about Nick - if Nick is banned coz you don't like his religion, who is next to be banned and then what's the point of an open mike? And then we're back to prearranged speakers with little flexibility on the day and people feeling alienated. Do we want to do things the IAWM way? I think not.

author by Nick - Nonepublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 02:15author address author phone

Hi Ciaron (and Deidre) - no problem, I appreciate what you are saying, and of course I do understand how the Catholic church (indeed Christianity in general) is viewed in this country. I know well that it has often sided with the ruling classes here, whether they were British or Free State or whatever (especially the higher ecehelons, rank and file clergy were often a bit more supportive of the little guy). It is indeed a shameful record, but I believe we may be turning a corner on that finally, with lay catholics asserting themselves more.
Anyway, I had to struggle with myself to take the mic, a lot of me didn't want to do it, but another voice kept telling me 'go on' (no Anon, I'm not mad!). Sure, some people might be put off by the religious thing, but you will find there will always be soemone who is put off by this or that, it can't be helped. If you tried to keep them all happy, you'd get nowhere. No doubt there are many Irish who don't get involved with the antiwar thing precisely because they see it as a kind of leftist, hippy, new-agey thing. That's often the kind of feeling I get when I knock on people's doors leafleting etc., (no offence menat to those listed as such, of course). So I try and explain to them 'look, I don't follow any party though I lean to the left and I am a Catholic, and the antiwar movement needs everyone'. I find people are often a bit surprised at that. I also believe prayer is required to achieve what we are trying to do, and there wouldn't have been much point in my going up to say that if I then proved myself wrong by not praying! Of course I intended to keep it short, but I guess that mightn't have been apparent. It occured to me later that many people mightn't have been familiar with the term 'decade' so they might have thought they were in for the long haul!! I think it does no harm for a wider public to see Catholics are behind this issue too.
So no offence intended to anyone, and thanks again for your kind words. Our opponents, the warmongerers, are very united in opposition to us, we need to be as united to stand up to them.

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 07:40author address author phone

Despite the slow progress, and sad toll on human lives, I take heart from the fact that the war and the warmongers have lost so much support, and now they clutch at straws to promote it, deflect attention, or attack their critics.

Take for example, "ANON" whose "Low points of the day included.."

- 9/11 truth people peddling their conspiracy rubbish.
They are entitled to give their point of view, and they mustn't have been ramming it down people's throats cos I didn't hear them or get a leaflet.

- Childs coffin leading the march, what moralistic crap
True, why would anyone object to wars killing kids on MORAL grounds?
- Christians everywhere, one even tried to say the rosary over the loudspeaker!
Was there a survey I missed? They checked our religious affiliations? intolerant garbage...

- Asking the gardai to break ranks, do you actually understand the nature of the police at all?
-Never going to happen.

You're wrong there. it happened in other countries, and it has happened here, and in Shannon to small degrees already. But you haven't been following the obvious ones, and the less obvious, are less obvious for a good reason...

- An idiot jumping on the bonnet of a locals car then screaming in her window at her,

The car drove (not at great speed) into a lagre crowd that was crossing the road. It knocked one leg from under one guy, who slipped and put his hand on the car, and then, surprise surprise, he had words for the driver. I was close enough to see this, and I would have heard screams if there were any. And by the way, 200 cops, and not one doing traffic duty when a prearranged march crosses a roundabout? what happened to the dangerous driver?

-no wonder the locals hate us.
Really? They hate us? Quite a few locals on the march, and I know more locals who support us.

Anymore intolerance or garbage for us. How about DRUNKS arrested after peace march?
Did you miss this from the files? Gardai took plenty of photos of these guys.
What's the real story?
On the day of the demo, some local lads were drinking up at Drumgeely (before the demo)... this is despite the signs warning of new bye-law about drinking in public in Shannon Town estates, and... dozens of cops who could have told them to go away...
instead, the demo arrives up, and the drunk chaps decide to wander in for a look. Like everyone else, they get photographed several times, by Gardai, before wandering away again. Later that evening, AFTER the demo ended, they got arrested on alleged public order offences. Now, how did this appear in the Clare Champion?

"The Superintendent [John Kerins] said that two youths were arrested who had been at the protest were arrested [sic] later on Saturday evening for public order offences. "These two young local men had been at the protest. It would appear that they became intoxicated and were abusive to gardai who asked them to leave".

Reads as if the abuse and request to leave happened AT the demo, and they were then arrested for this afterwards.

It's sad when Supt Kerin's has to resort to weasly insinuation to try to undermine peaceful protest. Not enough that they dragged down cops from Rossport, and the Army Air Corps helicopter, and made it very obvious that they were photographing and recording every single face, and surrounding us with cops, dogs and horses - no, Supt Kerins has to try cheap shots to tarnish the image of what was dignified protest. Well, I suppose, since he and others who ensure SNN is safe for US wars, don't have the law, morality or the majority of the public on his side, cheap propoganda is his best bet... he might even make Chief Super for this.

Meanwhile in the States, war critics get more numerous, and even the main stream media shows more semblance of a spine towards the administration.

People like Ehren Watada, Cindy Sheehan, Joshua Casteel, Tony Lagouranis, Stephen Lewis, Jimmy Massey and Kelly Dougherty pop up all over the place, and people are listening...

The latest response from the Republicans? A slick TV ad that portrays airtime given to critics of the war, as damaging to the morale of troops and emboldening the enemy.
"The enemy is watching, so are our troops"
Does the govt care about the morale and well being of it's troops? No. Not beyond making sure that they continue to follow orders, and not go the way of vietnam, where they disobeyed, went AWOL, or fragged their officers because they stopped believing in the war, and realised they were not powerless.
So long as they follow orders, they can be demoralised all they want, and when they come back, they won't find much help. reduced budgets for Vets programmes, no PTSD treatments for most of them.

So, that brings me on to another soldier. Alyssa Peterson. Army specialist Peterson, 27, was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne at the the prison at our Tal Afar air base in Iraq. According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a "non-hostile weapons discharge."

Recently, a US journalist did some Freedom of Information Requests into her death. Here's what he reported.

"Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed. ...".
She was was then assigned to the base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards, and sent to suicide prevention training. "But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle," the documents disclose.

My thoughts on this, besides how sad it is for a young woman to die like this, is that we all share part of the blame.
When ordinary citizens ignore reality and shirk responsibility and do nothing, or Gardai and politicians make excuses and shirk their duties, that responsibility doesn't just fall to the ground with a clatter. It gets shifted along the line. And in this case, it went to someone in a more difficult position. When a conscientious citizen takes a stand, they may get petty cop harrassment. When a cop takes a stand, he may get sent to Donegal... not to Fallujah or a court martial.
For whatever reason, Peterson didn't get out in time like Joshua Casteel, or maybe she saw more than they did (remember that Casteel & Co arrived in Abu Ghraib AFTER the scandal broke, and the Pentagon had cleaned things up, and as Casteel says, they moved the rough stuff outside the prison).
So, in this climate of no dissent and not enough solidarity, Alyssa Peterson took her own life.
Maybe if there was more honest media, and she could see how UNpopular Bush's war really is, she wouldn't have felt so alone.
Maybe she came through Shannon to go to Iraq.
Maybe she'd would have gone home through Shannon and still be with her family if she knew how many people agreed with her objections.

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author by Cindy Sheehan Solidaritypublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 08:08author address Washington DC, USAauthor phone

Caey Sheehan transited throught Shannon Airport to his death in Iraq. His mother Cindy Sheehan has become a voice in the U.S. for an end to the U.S. war in Iraq.

In this clip she calls out for folks to head to Washington DC - no matrter who wins the mid-term elections - to put an end to the war.

Watch the fabulous PSA that Peter Dudar and Sally Marr (Arlington
West:The Film) put together for GSFP for our action in DC next week.

Also, go to
for more info on the action.

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author by Sabrinapublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 20:34author address author phone a peace activists forum are not ingredients for a good recipy for peace. You will make a mess and end up throwing it down the sink.
Moral: Very sad comments and poor excuses (time) to make Nick feel small for his 3-4 mts intervention.
Pragmatic: Very serious lack of democracy in a crowd that preaches it.

War stars at home.
If you are unable to live in peace in a small crowd, with the same objective, for a couple of hours how do you expect to be able to convince the others that they should stop fighting and live in peace together?
How do you expect to have an impact on the "united" front of war supporters?

I welcome the idea of the rosary in Shannon, I will not be able to attend weekly but definitely monthly, as I travel from Cork.
If any local wants to support me in organising this I will commit to attend and advertise in Cork. ...Anybody?

Lastly, I am a coward and would have not prayed over the mic., would have not prayed at all that day but thanks to Nick I found the courage to respond to his prayer and that I believe made me a better Christian for that day.

So, thanks Nick, I have still lots to learn from you though..

Kind Regards

author by Updatepublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 22:41author address author phone

Casey Sheehan was brought through Shannon Airport to his death in Iraq. George Bush, the man who sent him, refuses to meet and speak with Casey's mother Cindy. Since setting up camp outside Bush's
Crawford, Texas, ranch last Summer, Cindy has been arrested numerous times for nonviolent civil disobedience against the war.

This is a recent song by David Rovics to Cindy Sheehan.....

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author by Updatepublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 19:14author address author phone

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