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Shannon Peace Camp 3rd Anniversary.

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Wednesday January 11, 2006 17:49author by Conor Cregan - Na Cosantóirí Síochánaauthor email info at cosantoiri dot org Report this post to the editors

Na Cosantóirí Síochána.

On Saturday 7th of January we returned to the doorstep of Shannon Airport after a three year absence to hold a 24 hour vigil to mark the third anniversary of founding a peace camp in protest against the use of the airport by the U.S. Military as pit stop for George W Bush’s War on Terror.

The official starting time was set for 4pm but as always these events have a set up crew who arrived on site at 11am. The lads from the Rossport Solidarity Camp brought down the marquee from Mayo and Tracy Ryan of the Bitchen Kitchen Started to prepare the evening meal. We were soon joined by two member of the An Garda Siochana who took our names and addresses. The senior of the two guards Sgt Con Ryan then started to get annoyed when we refused to give our date of births and even lied to our faces that we were obliged to do so under law. After he realised that we would not be forthcoming with this tantalizing morsel of information he left and started his own vigil at Shannon Airport by walking up and down the road occasionally rotating with another pair of his flat footed colleges. Over all the Guards maintained a dignified low profile through out the 24 hour period spent at Shannon.

Through out the day, people arrived, and we started to have a good feeling that the camp would be well attended. The previous march at Shannon organised by the “Irish Anti-War Movement” was a poorly attended and sorry affair causing low morale thought out the peace activist community in Ireland. Then around 4pm we numbered around fifty people and then all of a sudden around fifty more people arrived together making sure that it wasn’t the just “the usual suspects”.

There was quite a lot of interest from the mainstream press leading up to the event with radio interviews, a mention on RTE and newspaper articles. And the hungry press hounds arrived at the camp promptly for their pictures, sound bites and quotes. The big question of the day was “we as the Shannon Peace Camp calling for the Government to inspect the planes”? As this would fit nicely as a follow up to last weeks head line the Council of Europe and Human Rights Watch had called for the inspection of suspicious planes at Shannon Airport. There was a look of disappointment on their faces when we told them our demands.


We demand the Irish Government

Stop Shining the Shoes of the George W Bush and pals.

Stop facilitating George W Bush’s “War on Terror” and realise the expectations of the 150,000 people who marched in Dublin on February 15th 2003


Stop the CIA using Shannon Airport for the purpose of Extraordinary Rendition or any other illegal activities.

Stop The U.S. Military refuelling at Shannon or other airports in the Republic while in transit to Theatres of War

Stop the U.S. Military over flying Irish Airspace while transit to Theatres of War.

We applaud all peace activists in Ireland who have acted to uphold the constitution of Ireland and worked for peace throughout the world.

We started with an introduction by Tracy Ryan and Conor Cregan, (founding members of the first Peace Camp in 2003) who welcomed everyone, reminding people why we had returned to Shannon Airport. Since we were last here;

Over 600,000 U.S. troops have passed through the Airport. Over two thousand of them have did not enjoy the duty free facilities that Shannon Airport is famous for. One these men, PTE Casey Sheehan, was the late son of Cindy Sheehan who has staged her own protest camp outside George W. Bush’s range in Texas.

Over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, 40,000 of them children, have been murdered and more have maimed, orphaned and left homeless.

Society in Iraq has plunged into anarchy. Where the people liberated by the Collation
Of the Killing are denied the prospect of paid employment as companies such as Halliburton, Kellogg and brown and countless others have carved up Corporate Iraq bringing people from developing counties who risk there lives.

Civil War is looming in Iraq if not already in progress with suicide bombers striking on a daily basis.

Secret prisons, Extraordinary Rendition and Torture Jets have been exposed with Shannon Airport’s integrity being dragged into disrepute.

Many of our friends have been dragged through the Courts and convicted for trying to highlight the war crime that is now Shannon Airport.

And Bertie Ahern revealed he is a socialist.

The second part of our vigil started shortly after when we planted a tree to remember and celebrate our friend Emma Carroll who sadly passed away in December. This service was attended by several members of the Carroll Family and friends including her father Aiden, sisters Mel and grace, and Emma’s boyfriend.

Emma Carroll RIP.

Emma was a founding member of the Shannon Peace Camp and a committed peace activist from Effin in Co. Limerick.
Emma who graduated from trinity College Dublin with a degree in psychology went on to do a masters in Humanitarian Aid though the Department of Agriculture. She went on to work with the London based NGO Children in Crisis running an Educational Centre for street children in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2003. Emma organised a local soccer league with teams of local children whose jerseys where donated by her neighbours and friends in Limerick. After Kabul Emma returned to Ireland to work with the National Drugs Task Force in Clondalkin where she managed a unit working with addicts needing shelter and support.
Emma developed a form of cancer and was receiving treatment at the Mercy Hospital Cork. Emma sadly lost her battle with cancer on the 12 of December 2005 at the age of.
We of Na Cosantóirí Síochána and the Shannon Peace Camp mourn the loss of a good friend and cherish the memories we have of Emma at Shannon Airport in 2003.

http://www.childrenincrisis.org.uk/afghanistan.asp

Later into the evening people sat around the campfire as Mark O Connor entertained us with cover versions of pop classics such as the Final Countdown and something from Britney. Tracy from the Bitchen Kitchen was cooking up a storm serving a delicious vegan Curry, rice and pompidoms, Ties were forged over dinner with members of FEIC in Derry and Shell2Sea in Mayo who came to Shannon to show solidarity and share skills. Local Labour Councillor and former Mayor of Shannon Gregg Duff came to visit with the chairman of the local Sinn Fein Cumann Larry Donellon. They expressed an interest in creating a local Shannon anti-war group who might hold a weekly vigil at the airport.

After Dinner we enjoyed Shannon’s only cinema with Margarita D’Arcy’s award winning documentary “Big Plane Small”. This well made film documents Mary Kelly’s three trials in Ennis Circuit Court where she was charged with criminal damage for disarming a US navy C130 at Shannon Airport on the 29th January 2003. Margarita tells Mary’s story with honesty and humour that reflects Mary Kelly’s court battles in a fair and unbiased manner. Other films shown include “War on Trial” with the Pit Stop Plough Shares and unedited of actions at Shannon Airport.


During the 24 hours at Shannon over 150 people visited the Peace Camp. The Vigil was rebounding success with people who had visited the camp in 2003 returning again with gifts of soup and fire word showing their gratitude to the peace activists for sacrificing the home comforts for a day to highlight the war crimes being committed again the people of Iraq by the Coalition of the Killing.


Na Cosantóirí Síochána, the Peace Network was formed after a gathering of Irish & European peace activists in Co Clare in the spring of 2005. The collective draws individuals from various previous and current anti-war groups, is open to all and specific to none. We are committed to the non-violent direct action confrontation of the system that creates and perpetuates war as a negotiating tool in the resolution of conflict and international relations. More specifically, we demand an end to the use of Shannon Airport as a pit stop for war and torture.

Related Link: http://www.cosantoiri.org/aboutus.htm
author by Despublication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 18:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It fills me with great hope that our gallant police force are making sure that nothing will happen to the participants at the peace camp. Look on the bright side, nothing has ever happened to the American tourists who were just passing through. At least not in dear old Ireland.

author by A10publication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 20:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A hundred and fifty people came.And there was 150,000 on the streets of Dublin three years ago???????
so by my maths ,the intrest in the anti war movement is now to one tenth of what it once was three years ago????
Shouldnt this be the other way around??But I think we do belive in doing everything bass ackwardsin Ireland.

Also on one crazy demand.HOW WILL the Irish govt prevent US aircraft crossing Irish "airspace" Which BTW over a certain height becomes international airspace?????Force down US combat aircraft with our bunch of new propellor driven fighters.Once we figure how to get the machine guns mounted on them.Or will we threaten them with a battery of high reaching SAM missiles along the
West coast.???
A reality check helps once in awhile.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 20:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

QUOTE: "A hundred and fifty people came.And there was 150,000 on the streets of Dublin three years ago???????
so by my maths ,the intrest in the anti war movement is now to one tenth of what it once was three years ago????"

RESPONSE: Brilliant. Puts everything you say into context. Nice to see you living up to your usual accuracy. 150,000/150 = 1000.

author by Conorpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A10,Firstly, I am not inviting a debate with you as you really bore me but I do want to point someting out to you.
Forcing down the US Air Force out of our air space is an idiotic notion. We would expect the US to respect the sovereignty of the nation of Ireland. A concept obviously lost on you and perhaps the US too.

And on the Maths. oh my dear man!

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 21:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And the ability to make it happen and keep happening.

Sovereignty.

Solidarity and respects Conor

Seán

author by Elisa O'Donovanpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 22:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is really heartwarming stuff reading this-fair play to ya's. On the saturday night, my parents were entertaining mr col m whiley,local ff counciller up there in clare.He's a sound bloke and does a good job.I asked him did he know there was a three year anniversary peace camp going on up in shannon that evening he said he did.In the same breath he said how sad it was seeing all those young soldiers going off maybe to their death and how good it was that shannon airport was making millions out of the us stopover.I suppose that shows how much respect our goverment has for the value of human life.....

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Thu Jan 12, 2006 00:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Beautiful tent. Warm fire. Lovely food, music, chat and films. A pity this Peace Camp had to die so soon. Even in its short life, it gave strong and brilliant witness to peace.

Like Emma.

A beautiful remembrance of her too short life's work.
May her cherry tree always blossom

author by Fred O'Connorpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2006 00:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mary Kelly did not damage a C-130. It was a Boeing 737 (also known as C-40). If you have flown Ryanair in the last 10 years you have flown on a 737.

Eoin Dubsky defaced a C-130 dedicated to Search and Rescue..

Ed Horgan saw a Gulfstream landing once so he assumed it was a US Military flight and he thinks it might have been whisked into a hangar for some sinister purpose because he couldn't see it from the spectators' area, which looks over half the airport. Possibly it was one of the 1,000 business jet movements Shannon has each year that are refuelled in the area next to the Ryanair stands (which is not visible from the spectators' area). That would be fairly boring though, so let's let Ed pretend it was up to no good, whatever it was.

Sometimes I think you'd all be better off doing something more useful for a change.

author by Joe Sheehanpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fred,

You should pay attention yourself, when Ed, Tim or any others see a plane the first thing done is to get its reg, which is checked. That is how the CIA planes were first spotted at Shannon

author by Conorpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your are right about the C40 anyway fred!

author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On 9/11 America was attacked by Al-Qaida killing 3,000 innocent people.

Ossam Bin Laden and his Al-Qaida organisation were based and training in Afghanistan with the co-operation of the Taliban government which tyrannised its people.

America destroyed Al-Qaida's training camps killing thousands of terrorists and scattered Al-Qaida. The Taliban were overthrown and now Afghanistan has a constitutional multiparty democratic system and human rights for its people.

Saddam Hussein meanwhile was the only world leader to praise the 9/11 attacks apart from Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban.
He defied the will of the UN for years ignoring more than a dozen resolutions authorising inspections of his WMD programs.
For years he had given financial support Palestinian terrorists.
For years terrorist training camps operated by Ansar-Al-Islam north of Baghdad and attacks were launched against the Kurds.
Saddam had enormous mineral wealth in Iraq. with which he could eventually rebuild his army, weapons programs and fund terrorists in the future if UN sanctions were lifted.

Saddam was overthrown and Iraq is now a consitutional multiparty democracy and its people have human rights.

Terrorists have concentrated in Iraq because the survival of democracy In Iraq will cause democracy to spread to the rest of the Middle East. The focus of the terrorists attacks are the Iraqi people themselves who have died in their thousands in suicide bomb atrocities.
America maintains its forces because there can be no other strategy but to continue the war against these fanatics as the Iraqi government establishes itself and Iraqi police and army gradually take control.

Terrorists are continuing their attacks against various targets countries - Israel, Spain, Britain, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Chechnya, Ingusetia, Russian, Greece and while scores of 9/11 style attacks have been foiled on American soil by the security measures introduced under the Patriot Act. Recently terrorists attempted to destroy nuclear reactor in Sydney.
America and Western security agencies are fighting day and night to defeat the threat of Islamic fundementalist terrorism which threatens the peace of the entire world.

Iran, a country ruled by an Islamic fundementalist government, is presently defying the UN as its seeks to arm itself with nuclear weapons with which its hopes to wipe Israel off the map and attack the West.

Recently Al Choudary, an Islamic fundementalist, speaking in Dublin justified plans of terrorists to commit atrocities in Ireland against innocent Irish people.

The Anti-War movement has put its head in the sand, denying the threat to the world from militant Islam, instead it indulges in paranoia about American imperialism and declares the wars to overthrow dictatorships and kill terrorists and fanatical killers to be war crimes.

author by Jolly elfpublication date Fri Jan 13, 2006 14:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Any action against capital and it's endless oppressive wars should be welcomed.

Related Link: http://www.action-directe.net/
author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Jan 13, 2006 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Righteous Pragmatist,

I'd defeat each and every supposed argument you make, if I hadn't done so already and eleswhere on Indy, I'd add that many others have done the same. And yet you come back, with the same old drivel again and again.

Does your practice of democracy, include an ideological stance on dictatorship?

Does your understanding of democracy reduce to you abdicating your right to think, and humbly offering this right to your American betters?

In fact the only thing you state that I don't take issue with is, that you use the term "spread of democracy," like it is an infectious disease.

I understand that this was not your intention, but I agree with you nonetheless.

I' ll leave you to your delusions and suggest to you that democracy is a thing of evolution and thinking, and that parrots like yourself, invalidate democracy, rather than uphold or for that matter enforce the concept, and that you prevent it from growing and developing.

I wish you well, and I hope some day that you choose to examine your own words rather than just tossing them out without understanding. At least I hope your eventual excuse is that you do not understand.

Sláinte
Seán

author by Dr. Coilín Oscar ÓhAiseadhapublication date Fri Jan 13, 2006 20:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for your comments, Righteous Pragmatist. It's very valuable to have your critical thoughts thrown into the discussion, otherwise things might get very boring around here.

Since you are obviously knowledgeable and keenly interested in Iraq, I'd like to know what you think about a few things:

Would you agree with me that Saddam and co. abused human rights when they ordered the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Kurds from their homes during the Anfal campaign in the 1980s?

And would you agree that Bush and co. similarly abused human rights when they ordered the Air Force and Marines to expel hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in Fallujah in October/November 2004?

36,000 homes were destroyed at the time, and 150,000 people from Fallujah are still homeless:
http://www.antiwar.com/jamail/?articleid=8147

Pragmatically speaking, which would you rather have: a home and no vote, or a vote and no home?


Also, how do you feel, or what do you think, about the thousands of people who were killed by bombs during the "Shock and Awe" campaign and who will never get the chance to vote, because they are dead?


Best regards,
Coilín.

author by Bertie Loverpublication date Fri Jan 13, 2006 23:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have to agree with Righteous Pragmatist in what he is saying,these extreamists out there don't care who they kill or what country they target.I think anyone is fair game to them.Ye do bury ye're heads in the sand,if I'm honest I'm more afraid if what ye stand for than any terrorist out there.As a group you seem intent on destroying the grovernment of this country, can you answer me why and how is this helping any of the torture victims or any of the innocent civillians that are being killed.All you seem to be doing is tying the courts up,how is this helping anybody?Costing the taxpayer millions in court costs is not helping the torture victims or the innocent children is it?I wish war wasn't an option but in the world we live in sadly it is.One last point before I go,if a country declared war on Ireland tomorrow who would like fighting our corner for us,with an army of their size and power I would like America fighting on my side would'nt you.

author by jolly elfpublication date Sat Jan 14, 2006 02:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So the capitalists are at war with the Islamic world. It should be seen as an opportunity to attack, under any guise.

The tetra headed animal eats itself.............

author by shannonpublication date Sun Jan 15, 2006 13:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The United States??? most senior general and President George Bush???s principal military advisor on matters in Iraq stopped over in Shannon Airport at the end of last year.

see Daily Ireland article

General Pace made a week-long "morale-boosting" journey to Iraq at the end of last year in late December and he landed in Shannon Airport on his way to the occupied country.
General Peter Pace was sworn in as sixteenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September last year. In this capacity, he serves as the principal military adviser to the president, the Secretary of Defence, and the National Security Council.
Last year, he openly defended the use of weapons containing white phosphorus in Iraq.
"White phosphorus is a legitimate tool of the military.
It is not a chemical weapon. It is an incendiary. And it is well within the law of war to use those weapons as they're being used, for marking and for screening," he was reported as saying at the time.

author by righteous Pragmatistpublication date Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean Ryan says:
"I' ll leave you to your delusions and suggest to you that democracy is a thing of evolution and thinking, and that parrots like yourself, invalidate democracy, rather than uphold or for that matter enforce the concept, and that you prevent it from growing and developing."

If Saddam had not been removed from power there would have been a snowball's chance in hell of the Iraqi people democracy on their own. That's a simple fact!

America made the mistake of supporting Saddam in order to stop the Iranians during the 1980's rather than do the job themselves with their own troops - a spineless decision based on the American public pathological obsession with their casualties in Vietnam, are war that they had won militarily only to allow psychological defeat and literally hand victory to the Communist enemy.
Saddam was a thug and America knew it but was not prepared to do the dirty job of stopping the Ayatollahs them so they got saddam to do it for them.
They paid the price - It took 9/11 to make the American people understand that they could not remain an isolationist state - they would have to take their own security into their hands, not depend on the UN's holy writ, and destroy their enemies. Saddam is gone and the Ayatollahs were soon follow unless they give up their nuclear programs.

It is the anti-war left which is trying to undermine at every turn the democratization of the middle east fueled by their irrational hatred of the United States. The US brought their beloved Soviet concentration camp system crashing down. Stupidity has consequences and those consequences will be paid by the anti-war left who seem there is no irony in now siding with backward bronze age cultists who want to return the world to the the dark ages.
Why is it that you cheer on terrorists who behead women for wearing make up or not covering themselves from head to toe in burkas, murder homosexuals, blow up night clubs because dancing music and alcohol are supposed sinful believe that an imaginary entity called "Allah" willed it when he spoke to some ignorant camel shagger called Mohammed long ago in a desert cave?
The middle east is a backward volitile region full to the brim with religion crackpots.
It is up to technologically superior modern enlightened democractic nations to drag them out of the cesspit.
The US is the only country in the world that is prepared to roll up its sleeves and do what needs to be done. Barmy Christian beliefs may be strong in America but most Americans I know and the country that I am familiar with is ultimately guided by reason, scientific progress and that the desire for people through out the world to have the same quality of life as they enjoy.
This is the nation that invaded and saved Europe in 1945 and then gave it back it is people. Today they are doing precisely the same in 21st century Iraq.

author by mr jinkspublication date Tue Jan 17, 2006 09:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

there is no point arguing with most off the anti war guys here.. your point of view is either lifted off the site straight away or just replied to with the same old drivel they spout..

i have seen the video's of the terrorists beheading innocent people and it is horrific, they have no compassion whatso ever ..

anti war goons dont reply saying that the americans are doing the same thing cos they are not!! no where near it!! so go get a life and try do somethig constructive with yer lives.. Us planes will come and go in and out of here regardless of the pathetic little anti war movement..
having spoken to a few of the pilots on some of the military just to let ye know,, ye are a joke to them.. a couple of no bodies stiiring a little controversy around here.. over in the states its basically a laugh..
if the y leave here they will refuel in ramstein or prestwick.. no sweat off their noses..
will ye all run off to germany and scotland then to continue the campaign?? i think not!!!

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Jan 17, 2006 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And I'd like to further add, that it is my government, siding in this matter, ie. with the USA that I focus on, and naturally this leads to descriptions of crimes against humanity, that are commited in my name, and naturally this allows you to suggest my argument is one sided. This is simply because you look at it in a way that facilitates you using what is said as propaganda.

I suggest you take up some study on the topics you speak of.

And what these pilots you have spoken to have expressed as regards to the anti-war peoples, well thats as irrelevent as the rest of what you have to say.

Sláinte
Seán Ryan

author by Shane Quinlanpublication date Wed Jan 18, 2006 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is difficult to know what would happen in the power vacuum that would occur when Sadam Hussein died. However, I personally believe that the army and republican guard rank and file would have mutinied and sided themselves with the democracy camp in Iraq.
Lets face it America are only in it for the oil. I am sick and tired of people peddling neoconservative propoganda about America coming to Iraq to establish democracy there.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Jan 18, 2006 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another possibility might have been that the UN having established a foothold might have sponsored the most democratic looking of potential successors, and backed him.

Democracy established. Not as much barbarity needed either.

I'm very worried about this idea of forcing peoples to accept and practice a political or a religious ideology. Methinks it is the ingredient, for most of what we suffer today.

Sláinte
Seán

author by A10publication date Wed Jan 18, 2006 19:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The UN paid for it's overbearing arrogance by having it's Hq and it's over paid personel blown to smithereens .Despite being warned of the potential dangers of not adhering to security procedures as suggested by the US forces.If the Un was so willing to serve the Irquai people maybe they should get of their burrocratic asses andget down to Bagdad again?but maybe that wouldnt do,as there is a chance of being kidnapped or shot in this oppressed place.

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