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(en) Ireland, Anti-War Action

From <clancy_terry@hotmail.com>
Date Mon, 16 Dec 2002 10:45:31 -0500 (EST)


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Shannon airport is a civilian airport stuck in the middle of nowhere
in the west of Ireland, it is probably the most westerly airport in
Europe (excepting Iceland) and I believe has an unusually long run
way.

It was used as a de facto military airbase in 1991 for the Gulf War,
and has been put to the same purpose for the war in Afghanistan and
for the up coming war in Iraq.

A small group of local activists have kept the airport under
surveillance for over a year now, and it has been recorded and
documented that:
American military planes are re-fuelling, civilian planes hired by
the American military are re-fuelling, and tanker planes, which re-
fuel combat aircraft in mid-air, are based in Shannon from time to
time.

There has been a noticeably increase in recent months with the build
up for war in the Persian Gulf.

During the war in Afghanistan the Irish government claimed that
troops seen during a protest there were on their way to Germany,
yeah, in desert camouflage!!!

They tried to keep things pretty quiet, but on St. Patrick's Day
Dubya let the cat out of the bag with fulsome praise for Bertie's (1)
gift of airspace and airports.

Still it didn't get much media attention, until a spray can was taken
to a transport plane in September.

Some weeks later hundreds of people turned up to demonstrate at the
airfield, and after a fence was surgically struck and decommissioned
by a small mob, one woman darted across the runway grounds pursued by
Keystone Cops.

First a pregnant pause and then she was followed by well over a
hundred anti-warriors, who soon faced threatened use of water cannon,
dogs and arrest.

Ten people were arrested, but released after the people occupying the
runway grounds refused to move until the arrestees went free, after
the airport road was briefly blocked, and after we all went down to
the cop shop to make sure they would get out.


A diverse ragtag throng of around 400 demonstrators gathered in
Shannon on December the Eight, accompanied by 200 Garda (2) (on two
shifts),  the Garda canine unit, undercover police, Special Branch
(3),  a police helicopter, plus Aer Rianta's (4) own security.

Well we must be doing something right.

We set off on an arduous trek into the airport, complete with music
from a shopping trolley sound system and a fiddle player.

Strangely absent were mass produced placards all bearing the same
slogan, so people had to make do with D-I-Y banners, homemade T-
Shirts, one coffin with `Irish Neutrality' written on it, various
Uncle Sam/Dubya impersonators, and a bunch of kids chucking flour
about the place.

A team of graphic design artists went to work on the truly crass,
kitsch and hideous giant yellow 1970ies  tail fin monument just up
from the terminal building.

A piece of public "art" that seems  to plead `paint me!', `paint
me!', in a whimpering despair filled voice every time you pass it.
With some paint, it was briefly transformed into a memorial to the
recently deceased anti-war activist Philip Berrigan and to the
innumerable Iraqi children slain by U.N. sanctions and the U.S. war
machine.

According to media reports military flights due to land in Shannon
that day were diverted to Preswick airport in Scotland.

A peace house has been established in Shannon, as a permanent base
for documenting the use of the airport for military purposes, and as
a step towards setting up a peace camp. Help is need with this
project, donations of both money and bodies would be appreciated.

Contact tim_hourigan@hotmail.com for more information as to how you
can help.

There is another demonstration at Shannon airport on January 18th.

(1) Irish `Prime Minister' (or Teashock) Bertie Ahern.

(2) Police.

(3) Plain clothes political police.

(4) Authority in charge of airports.

To get regular news updates from Ireland send a blank e-mail to
ResistanceIreland-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

To join the grassroots gathering discussion list for organising anti-
war action in Ireland send a blank e-mail to
gg-antiwar-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Anarchist Federation:
www.afireland.cjb.net

Stop the War:
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/stopthewar.html

Free Earth:
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/freeearth.html

No War But The Class War:
http://www.nowarbuttheclasswar.org.uk/



>From the haltWAR list, to join from this list, email
haltWAR-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

For dozens of anti-war documents and PDF files as
well as general information see
http://struggle.ws/stopthewar.html



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