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No Red Arrows in Galway. No Israeli butchers in Gaza

category galway | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Sunday May 31, 2009 13:39author by TD - Free Palestine Campaign Report this post to the editors

Bread and circuses over Galway Bay, depraved appetites down below

Yesterday, in the Galway Alliance Against War organised 99 Red Balloons Peace Event, revulsion and outrage were expressed against the highjacking of the relatively pristine Volvo Ocean Race to piggy back a display by the RAF Red Arrows over Galway Bay, touting militarism with their bullshit antics in the sky and catering to the desensitized appetites of the faithful down below - some of whom, in the throes of their warped morality hurled abuse at the peace mongers assembled in the Spanish Arch Plaza.
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The rally was graced with the presence of activist and US singer song writer Dave Rovics who was highly condemnatory of Israel's recent blut-fest in Gaza (see Youtube Video).

Galway City Councillor, Catherine Connolly (LP), Dermott Connolly, Galway County Councillor (SF) and Galway County Councillor, Seosamh Ó Cuaig (Independent Socialist Republican) also attended and addressed the protestors.

Enough pollution was spewed in the sky by the ecologically hostile Red Arrows without GAAW adding to it and even though all the balloons were biodegradable, ecology friendly GAAW did the decent thing and refrained from releasing them.

Related Link: http://www.davidrovics.com/

David Rovics taking the dais
David Rovics taking the dais

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Caption: GAAW : 99 Red Balloons Peace Protest Against Red Arrows


author by Niall Farrell - In a Personal Capacitypublication date Sun May 31, 2009 15:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Big Tommy's report, including the video footage, gives a wonderful taste of our 99 Red Balloon peace event yesterday at Galway's Spanish Arch. There was as usual a splendid combination of politics and culture.

As Dette McLoughlin, GAAW's convenor, said the appearance on stage of David Rovics and his fellow US singer Shawnee put paid to the lie that we are somehow anti-US American. In fact, in the crowd was a US tourist. She identified herself as being from a group called NC Choices for Youth. It is opposed to any military presence at events. The lady explained to me how the US military force themselves into all types of events with the aim of recruiting more cannon fodder for the US army. The aim of NC Choices for Youth is to offer young people real choices and that does not include a “career” in the military. She corroborated GAAW’s view that the Red Arrows display is a recruiting sergeant for the British military. Exactly what Ireland does not need in these bad economic times.

One slight correction to Tommy’s superb report: Cllr Catherine Connolly is not a member of the Labour Party she is a former member and is now an independent. The confusion probably also arose because her sister is a Labour Councillor and was also in attendance at the peace event. Alas, she was the only Labour councillor there.

Throughout the term of the last Galway City Council six councillors consistently opposed the Salthill War Show and stood side by side in their opposition. Whilst Mayor three of them refused to officiate at the opening of war show and two of them spoke at the two previous 99 Red Balloon Events while holding the mayoral office.

However, there’s an election on and elections seem to do funny things to politicians. We have the Fianna Fail gombeen councillor, who fears losing his seat, so in an effort to gain publicity and votes he told the media that GAAW should be “run out of town”. A view the powers-that-be in Galway would agree with. So association with GAAW might lose votes, as the media does not convey a positive image of our peace activities.

There is one great way to defeat these pro-militarist reactionaries and it is summed up in the Labour movement slogan “Unity is Strength”. Unfortunately, four of the councillors who had taken a principled stand in the past didn’t turn up for the event and did not convey an apology – they are Labour’s Tom Costello and Billy Cameron, the Greens’ Niall Ó Brolchain and Danny Callanan who was in Sinn Fein, but resigned two years ago for some unknown reason. Galway’s Labour TD Michael D. Higgins wasn’t in attendance either.

The Connolly sisters were not so camera shy, they stuck to their principles. And two Galway county councillors joined them: Seosamh Ó Cuaig a Conamara stalwart of the socialist republican tradition and Dermot Connolly the Sinn Féin councillor from the Ballinasloe area. Maith sibh!

author by paul o toolepublication date Sun May 31, 2009 20:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Couldent make it, but im always intrigued and angered at the ignorance and arrogance of ordinary people against other people outlining their view. A view that opposes murdering millions.....Jesus wept...
As Jim Page (folk Singer ) says ...'You have the right to free speech until it becomes effective'....

author by Frank Adam - private citizenpublication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 21:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rather strange then, that Ireland which has no enemies still maintains the insurance of a defence of six brigades plus air squadron and coastguard patrol vessels, that all need recruits - and do "Socialist Republicans" retire at night without locking their doors and shutting the ground floor windows?

Further if UK can recruit in Ireland - and more Southern Irish served in HM Forces in '39 - '45 than Northern Irish - what is going on in the Irish economy?

author by Tommypublication date Fri Jul 31, 2009 07:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Free Palestine! It was always theirs to begin with! We must free these people and stop these awful crimes from being commited to them! Most Israeli people have no idea what they are doing to this people because they turn a blind eye to it all! They will never understand. The government should be put back in the hands of Palestine and Israel will finally know what it's like to be oppressed for the first time in their history!
Free Palestine! Enslave Israel again!

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Jul 31, 2009 13:37author address author phone 087.2178138Report this post to the editors

Close readers of the Faustian pact between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to keep out the troublesome Lefties In Galway City Council will have read that this was done to facilitate what passes for development in Galway and to re-instate the Salthill Air Show. This cynical and money-driven opportunism was arrived at by the business interests sitting on the Council, not by any notion of the good of Galway's citizens - even less by issues of morality - many of whom have been terrified by the noise and 'spectacle' of the flying murder machines over Galway Bay. The Galway Advertiser newspaper have recruited a 'columnist' whose fist effort was merely a swipe at the Galway Alliance Against War as people who did nothing and so forth - the kind of student-level attack one might cheer in a college bar. It was a righteously uninformed piece which, among other absurdities, suggested that all technical innovation was worthy of praise - even, one might reasonably assume, the Atom Bomb. Let's hear it for Hiroshima! Galway City Council, with some notable exceptions, has proven incapable of resisting its in-built nature, which is mercantile, smug and unaccountable. Money denied elsewhere will be found to recreate the Salthill Airshow bash, even in a city verging on bankruptcy. And a compliant local media will sing its praises. It is a City Council with virtually zero cultural awareness and whose members too often hide behind silence when posed an awkward question. I believe that only a concerted public awareness campaign can prevent the burghers of Galway from imposing this Salthill Airshow, like some quick-fix Macnas parade, on a city whose citizens deserve to be treated with more respect. The artists and writers of Galway have decidedly a role to play in protesting against the moral indifference of those in the Council who would support the return of the Airshow. We need to understand that the Airshow is merely a conduit for American and British military propaganda; as a friend of mine, an ex-US fighter pilot, has assured me, in his time flying at air shows was considered a patriotic and important propaganda duty. It was NOT entertainment but an exercise of military force. And let us be clear - any US pilot who stands on Irish soil in uniform can be arrested for representing the military of a foreign power, unless he does so by direct governmental permission.

author by Frank Adam - private citizenpublication date Tue Aug 11, 2009 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Poor Tommy ! When was the government of Palestine ever in the hands of Palestine?

The only Palestine administration ever, was the British Mandate run by High Commissioner and district officers - though the towns elected councillors and the admin appointed the mayors in the Turkish style.
After the British gave up, the bit that became Israel was Israeli while the rest went: Gaza to Egyptian military government ; and Nablus and Hebron Districts became "The West Bank" of Jordan run from Amman - again by district officer.

Currently the civil government of: Gaza, Hebron and Nablus Districts is the Palestine Authority - The PA - but being in a condition of active civil war and surfacing from a war it gratuitously waged unsuccessfully on its Israeli neighbour, it is not very successful under the double whammy of its own doing.

Peace will come as the oil era fades - peak oil is in 2020 at latest. As the World no longer affords and then no longer needs Arab oil or gas, the subs for UNWRA will shrink and the people concerned will move to where they can earn their bread.

author by Matty Grovespublication date Sat Aug 22, 2009 15:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Salthill Airshow was merely an exercise in military muscle-flexing by the US and UK and it had not doubt the intended effect of making some young adolescents believe that death is fun and delivering it is merely a video-game. It is policy of governments all over the world, where it is possible and feasible, to organise such displays masquerading as entertainment. The US has set up a new 'border post' and advertised it as such at Shannon airport. Not a whimper from our we're-for-sale government; in the face of this, for one thing, a return to the Salthill Airshow would merely be playing into the hands of US John Wayne-style adventurism, a major component of which is economically bullying its way into other countries. The Galway Alliance against War has consistently, to their credit, fought off the hypocrisy and double-speak to make a public point about the airshow and I cannot imagine how they can be attacked for it. We should say a resdounding No to any attemnpt by Galway;'s commercial barons to bring back this death-machine exhibition.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Aug 24, 2009 01:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Couldn't agree more. Well said.

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