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(en) Ireland, Come to Shannon to welcome Bush

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 26 Apr 2004 19:45:21 +0200 (CEST)


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The latest E.U.-U.S. summit is to take place in Dromoland
castle in Clare, in the west of Ireland, on the 26th of June.
Report on the organisation in progress for this.
George Bush is to land in Shannon airport on Friday the 25th, and
to be ferried from there to the summit place by helicopter, before
going on to a NATO meeting in Turkey.
Also present will be representatives of those E.U. states involved
in the war, such as Italy, Britain, and Poland. Seeking to iron over
their differences with the supposedly anti-war block of France and
Germany.

Supposedly "Anti-war" in reality anti any changes to the oil
contracts they signed with Saddam Hussein. Hopefully, for the
White House, making the finishing touches to the planned U.N.
involvement in Iraq post June 30th. The choice of Shannon
airport, is particularly apt, for it is this formerly civilian airport
which of late is being turned into America's garrison in Ireland. A
re-fuelling stop over for soldiers and weaponry on their way to
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

AMBUSH 2004! was initiated from a meeting attended by
representatives of Mid west Against Military Aggression, Galway
Grassroots Group, Cork Grassroots Group, and Dublin Grassroots
Group.

From our last meeting on the 18th of April we are proposing the
following strategy:

We have local protests before Bush arrives - these to be directed at
Top Oil, the company which re-fuels the American warplanes at
Shannon, or Esso, in view of their financing of Bush's election
campaign, and as a way of highlighting the oil-profit-war axis.

We echo the call for a demonstration at Shannon airport on the
night of Friday June 25th coming out of the initial Anti-War
Ireland meeting.

We propose this takes the form of a 'Hands Around Shannon'
carnival, an encirclement of the airport with candles, torches and
other light bearing objects, and drums, guitars, pots, whistles and
other noise making instruments, plus kites and whatever else that
makes a spectacle. Our aim is that the maximum number of
people come to participate in these protests.

We aim to establish an international peace camp in Shannon, at
least for the duration of the summit.

The next AMBUSH 2004! meeting takes place in the Halla Ide,
18 Thomas Street, Limerick, at 2pm on Saturday the 8th of May.

You can contact us at: ambush2004_info@yahoo.com

AMBUSH 2004! is for making a stand against any alternative
their system offers:

Against the U.S./U.K. war machine, and most particularly it's use
of Shannon airport as a military transit point on the way to Iraq
and Afghanistan.

Against the United Nations, dominated by five of the main
imperialist powers (Britain, France, the United States, Russia, and
China) - the permanent members of it's ruling "security council",
architects and colluders of the sanctions on Iraq whose effects
were described by a former U.N. bureaucrat as: "over one million
Iraqi civilians, including at least 500,000 children, have died since
1990. Genocide is the right word for such a sanctions regime."

Against the Franco-German block's plans for the militarisation of
the E.U. as a counter-balance to the United States.

Against a White House of the Republicans who led the onslaught
on Afghanistan in 2001 and on Iraq in 2003 up until today.

Against a White House of Democrats, who when it was previously
theirs Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dismissed the mass
murder inflicted by sanctions with "the price is worth it.".

The summit offers us a chance to demonstrate our rejection of
murder for profit in front of the world's press and T.V. cameras.
But most importantly it offers us a chance to gather at the place
where the Irish state plays it's role in the flow of blood, oil and
profit: Shannon airport. Where it happens. Where the war is in
Ireland. Shannon is part of the essential European logistical
support to the war in Iraq, without which the war could not
happen.

Shannon Airport: A Military Base

At least 1 in 4 American troops who served in Iraq have passed
through Shannon airport, 10,000 soldiers per month (TV3 News,
December 6th, 2003)

According to official figures 125,855 American soldiers went via
Shannon to the Middle East last year, that's just 10,000 less than
the amount currently serving in Iraq.

The latest official figures just released show that 35,926 troops
came through Shannon airport in the first three months of 2004.
16,797 of these came through on 161 flights in March, this is a
massive increase on February representing about half the total
(46.75%) for the 3 month period.

The American military's use of Shannon is not a minor incident,
but a crucial pit stop on the road to Iraq.

As American Ambassador James Kenny, recent target of protests
at Galway University, put it when questioned if this meant the
Irish government acted as an ally: "The Irish Government did,
yes. I will say they did."

But not just an ally of the United States, but of Israel also:

Last fall the Irish Examiner (3rd September 2003) reported that a
cargo plane carrying 28 Israeli 'Patriot' missiles, en route to the
U.S. for up-grading, made a planned stop over in Shannon in June
2001.

"Each missile contained 44kg of high
explosives and 498kg of rocket fuel. Despite the dangerous nature
of the cargo, four separate Government departments raised no
objections nor made any detailed comment."

Other media reports tell of a emergency landing by an Israeli
KC135 cargo plane in July of 2003. What that was carrying
remains unknown, not surprising given as it was being patrolled
around by 28 Mossad agents to make sure it remained an
'unknown'.

Not just providing succour to the U.S. murder machine then, but
the Israeli one also. Nor just that but creating a potential disaster
zone by planting an array of death dealing weaponry amidst a
largely residential area. All the more so when one end of the
runway is right next to a chemicals factory, and the other not far
off a highly toxic aluminium plant. Not to mention the normal
typical everyday highly combustible fuel one finds in airports.

While actual disaster zones are created of country after country
subject to America military invasion.

Re-kindle the Resistance, actions at Shannon in the last two years:

August 2002: Small demonstration ignores police attempts to halt
us and enters the airport grounds, causing war plane to leave
without re-fuelling.

September 3rd 2002: Ploughshares action where U.S. military
transport plane is re-painted.

October 12th 2002: 700 strong demonstration, towards the end of
which the fence around the runway grounds is taken down and
one hundred and fifty people participate in a mass trespass.

December 8th 2002: 400 people protest at the airport.

January 2003: Peace camp is established.

January 18th 2003: Inspired by the peace camp thousands join
protest.

January 30th 2003: Disarmament of U.S. military plane.

February 3rd 2003: Second disarmament of the same plane, after
it had been repaired.

March 1st 2003: Attempt at pre-announced fence breach and
mass trespass.

March 29th: Symbolic funeral march for Irish neutrality.

June 21st 2003: Small march is prevented from entering airport
grounds and blocks roads in response.

December 6th 2003: Attempted blockade of the airport.

There have also been innumerable vigils, one off peace camps,
regular surveillance of the military uses of the airport, some
actions against Top Oil, the company which re-fuels the war
planes, and in Dublin on February 14th 2003 the largest
demonstration in Ireland in 20 years.
===========================================
by Maratist - Galway Grassroots galwaygrassroots@yahoo.com indymedia.ie
* Ed note: Grassroots is a network of antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
initiative.


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