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Voltaire Network

Green Party Deputy Mayor Attacks Anti War Activists while State Doubles Security at Shannon!

category national | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday November 03, 2006 13:25author by Article by Gordon Deegan Report this post to the editors

Following article appears on P. 8 of "Clare People" 31/10/06.
The article reveals the tension that exists sonce the declaration following the Ploughshares acquittal that nonviolent dorect action will be employed to demilitarise the airport if the Government fails to demilitarise the airport. The initial State repsonse to the declaration has been to deploy 40 Garda and redeploy the army to protect the U.S. war machine from the nonviolent direct action of the the peace movement. The Green Party emerged out of the nonviolent direct action of the German anti-war movement, strange that Councillor Meaney can remain a member of the irish Green Party while supporting the U.S. war effort and attacking the Irish peace movement! Go figure?

The increased costs of policing Shannon Airport this year are linked to the outrageous threats by anti-war activists to shut down the civilian airport, according to Clare's Deputy Mayor, Brian Meaney (Green Party).

He was responding yesterday to figures released by the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, showing that the cost of policing Shannon this year had almost doubled.

The cost this year of the ongoing Garda operation at Shannon to the end of September was €1.31 million, excluding salaries.

This is almost double the €738,018 that was spent on the operation in the entire of 2005.

Minister McDowell revealed that, since 2002, the State had spent €4.2 million on Garda-related security at Shannon Airport.

In a Dail reponse to Green Party leader, Trevor Sargent, Minister McDowell said that he was satisfied that the Garda policing arrangements at Shannon "remain both necessary and appropriate".

The annual breakdown in costs is: 2002-€486,603; 2003-€762,999; 2004-€975,091; 2005-€738,018; and €1.3 million to the end of September in 2006.

Minister McDowell said, "The Garda authorities are required to allocate resources in an appropriate fashion to protect critical State infrastructures in accordance with assessed threat, so it is the latter which ulitimately determines the associated costs."

Cllr Meaney said yesterday, "The security costs for Shannon are very significant, especially when one takes into account that the numbers going through the airport are dropping considerably.

"However, the increase in costs of security must be linked to the outrageous threats by anti-war activsts that they wished to shut down a civilian airport, which plays a massive role in the west of Ireland."

During the five-year long operation, security at Shannon has been breached on a number of occasions and twce in the space of five days in 2003 when anti-war activsts attacked a U.S. Navy plane.

To date this year, 250. 220 have passed through the airport, last year the trooptraffic contributed €9 million in profits to the Shannon Airport Authority with 340,600 troops going through Shannon.

author by Sean Gpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Meaney hasn't the spine to have principles on this. And Brian, check your website... principle, and principal are different words.

Too scared to point out that the airport hasn't ENOUGH cops to be a military facility, he's picking on the

But he was arguing in favour of US troop movements BEFORE Ciaron O'Reilly's recent call to arms.
Ed Horgan slapped him down with a letter about "Clare Greens going Red White and Blue" and that shut him up for a while, but with an election looming, Meaney's at it again, condemning the peace activists, and not the facilitators of murder. What cost security compared to 655,000 (and climbing) Iraqi lives, about 3,000 soldiers dead and 33,000 injured for life?
Like FF, and the PDs and FG, Brian knows that Iraqis don't vote in Clare in large numbers...
In reality Brian Meaney is worried about his seat and nothing more.
His main intereat in green politics in bio-energy, and he runs a bit of business that way too.

His site says that he loves politics, and has great respect for all politicians.... really?

author by Ordinaryirishguypublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 21:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I honestly think that he made a good point. Massive amounts of tax payers money is being wasted on securing Shannon Airport because of threats of "non-violent" direct action by the "Peace" Movement.

Why not take your protests to the Dail more often? It would probably cost both you protesters and the state LESS than protesting at Shannon.

author by Chuck Demawlpublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 00:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors


"non violent" in quotes? As opposed to the violent, and armed people and munitions that the gardai are securing?

"Peace" in quotes? Ooh, how begrudging are you? They want to stop a war, send the troops home ALIVE and let the Iraqi civilians remain ALIVE. The cops are doing the states work in facilitating the transit of armed troops and weapons. Because the cops won't take a small stand in ignoring illegal orders, and instead, standing up for the rule of law, then it falls to other people.

OIG asks :
Why not take your protests to the Dail more often? It would probably cost both you protesters and the state LESS than protesting at Shannon.

Chuck Replies :
Why not stop the US military using Shannon, that would cost the protestors nothing, and stop the taxpayer having to subsidise the US military war effort, which we've been doing to the tune of about 10,000 per day. That's a LOT more than what the cops are costing us, so Cllr. Meaney and OIG are talking rubbish, afraid to criticise the state ( so why isn't Meaney in FF?) and picking on the peaceniks instead...

author by misreadpublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 08:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cllr Meaney didn't write the article and stuff about the 'threats', he was just pointing out the cost and is the Green parties tactic to show the waste of it.

author by Anti-Warpublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brian Meaney has never once turned up to an anti-war demo in Shannon. He is of the opinion that it would affect his election prospects. Meaney will do, say, or get into bed with anyone or anything that will get him elected

author by Chuck Demawlpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 03:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Let's look at Brian's choice of words...

"However, the increase in costs of security must be linked to the outrageous threats by anti-war activsts that they wished to shut down a civilian airport, which plays a massive role in the west of Ireland."

=====================

The threats to close a civilian airport? He couldn't have stated it accurately, as the demand to DEMILITARISE the airport, and RETURN it to purely civilian use
=======================

defending Meaney...

by misread :
Cllr Meaney didn't write the article and stuff about the 'threats', he was just pointing out the cost and is the Green parties tactic to show the waste of it.

======================================

No, lets be fair. The costs include 1.3 million for Garda and Army security,
and to date this year over 3,100,000 in TAXPAYER subsidy for US military flights, because the Pentagon won't pay Irish Air Traffic charges. These costs are incurred regardless of whether there is a protest or not.
The Garda and Army presence, is also partially because of the State's awareness that Shannon may be targetted by groups taking revenge for carnage in Iraq or Afghanistan. They play this down, but their own expert committee did make a report that the airport was a potential target.
And finally, if the Gardai are willing to clock up overtime corralling protestors, and guarding the weapons of death and destruction on their way to war, we should complain about having to pay for them doing the very opposite of their duty.
Brian Meaney would have better things to do that complain about what it's costing the taxpayers, if he's not going to lay the blame where it lies, with the people who decided to collude in this illegal war and occupation in the first place.

Brian is electioneering, pure and simple. The Greens should dump him, as unprincipled, but they want all the candidates they can get I suppose...

author by Green / Kildarepublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 14:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I don't recall any protests at the Aeroflot Moscow - Cuba flights that went thru Shannon. Now I wonder why that was. They paid their dues also, and nobody protested. Soldiers and arms passed above us and nobody minded.

Must be because they weren't Americans, just the cuddly USSR? Can we allow that there is a bundle of hypocrisy in all this, which Mr Meaney might just have figured out for himself?

author by Green / Kildarepublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 15:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I don't recall any protests at the Aeroflot Moscow - Cuba flights that went thru Shannon. Now I wonder why that was. They paid their dues also, and nobody protested. Soldiers and arms passed above us and nobody minded.

Must be because they weren't Americans, just the cuddly USSR? Can we allow that there is a bundle of hypocrisy in all this, which Mr Meaney might just have figured out for himself?

author by Dr. Zarkovpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 16:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aeroflot was and still is a civilian carrier - it carried passengers from Moscow to Cuba with a stopover in Shannon. I travelled on it myself. Passengers had to pass under a blacked out window from where they were photographed by the Americans.

I understand that the Department of Foreign Affairs allowed a small number of Soviet military flights through but it generally wasn't known about and was on an infitinitely miniscule scale compared to the present situation. I wouldn't have hesitated to picket them if I'd known about them.

I and others did picket a Soviet warship at Horgan's Quay in the late 1980s. In fact we were wedged between a US warship and a Soviet one on either side of Custom House quay. Sean Dunne of CND organised the event. For that matter I would gladly picket North Korean or any other warships or planes coming through this country, especially if they were involved in a war against their neighbours and using Irish territory for their refuelling. All military visits by foreign belligerants are unwelcome, the reality is that it is the US that is sending its troops through here in their hundreds of thousands - nobody else - hence the concentration on them.

author by Johnny Jordanpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 22:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Speaking on Shannon local radio Clare’s Deputy Mayor gives his view on the American war in Iraq, the Shell to Sea campaign and the Direct Action activists that have worn a path between Mayo and Clare.

As this site doesn’t offer me any audio rights I have put a link from the IMC site. Click the audio icon. -8.1m on the left.

http://www.indymedia.org/en/2006/11/874240.shtml

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.org/en/2006/11/874240.shtml
author by A10publication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

of Dr Zarkhov.The old blacked out window legend of Shannon raises it's head again.No one never seemed to have noticed that there were numerous blackned out windows all over the depture gates at that time??
Hmm,Aeroflot being a civillian airline,owned by the Soviet State,flying second echelon bombers,that can be converted within a few hours into warplanes and troop carriers.Which were never inspected either,nor were people who were genuinely going off to places to be tortured in Cuba or the Soviet Union,ever granted political asylum in Shannon.They were willingly booted and dragged back to the planes by Irish immigration and SB.So it is quite hyprocritical to say the Russians were not moving much thru Shannon.if there were genuine torture flights it was the Russian aircraft in the 80s and well known they were too.The left was silent on that.As they were recently when Aeroflot was caught this year sending a few attack helicopters to their pal Hugo Chavez thru Shannon

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Fri Jan 05, 2007 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But I suppose you are just being consistent by being wrong.
There were repeated calls to stop ALL military use of Shannon, and Ed Horgan's statements on this were published in the mainstream media. Other people made comments and protests that were not published or broadcast. Just because RTE doesn't cover protests of Belgian or Russian arms shipments doesn't mean that the peacemovement is selective.
So perhaps your Anti-American accusation should go to the media for thinking a story is sexier if it's more controversial. The Americans are supposed to be the good guys so a story about them is interesting. The old USSR was an evil empire, so no great shock or newsworthiness in them being warmongers... they don't see it as moral issues, just about headlines, which is why from the start, it has been the activists, not the media raising these issues and trying to get them heard.

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