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(en) Ireland: International arms fair in Dublin announced

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 24 Aug 2004 07:48:03 +0200 (CEST)

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Today's (22nd Aug) Sunday Tribune announced details of a "major weapons
conference" to be held in Dublin's Berkeley Court on October 19-20th.
The conference carries the title: "less lethal weapons in peace and
war" - a great example of the Orwellian newspeak that the weapons
industry uses to describe itself. "Less lethal weapons" is a phrase
used to describe everything from stun guns and plastic bullets to the
new sonic bombs that have been deployed to "disperse" crowds in Iraq
and will see their first outing in the West during the protests next
weekend in NYC against the Republican National Convention.

The line-up of expert speakers reads like a proper rogues gallery and a
more provocative group could hardly be imagined. We have the CEO of
Taser International Inc., a major supplier of weaponry to the
occupation forces in Iraq. And "senior officers from the LAPD and West
Midlands [UK] police" - remember Rodney King? Remember the Birmingham 6
and the historical record of the West Midlands police in framing Irish
people in Britain. Now we are apparently inviting them here to teach us
a bit of their expertise in brutalising people.

Although the tribune is a notoriously unreliable source of information
(remember the fall of Basra!) the level of detail in this report seems
to give credence to the claims (unless they are the victims of an
elaborate hoax).

This conference comes at an opportune time for the anti-war and
anti-capitalist movement. Since the Bush visit there has been a lack of
focus for these movements and this conference is something that will
readily unite all of the people who have been active in the anti-war
and direct-action movements. Dublin Grassroots has also just got back
together after a well-earned summer break and with the experience of
organising the Mayday and Bush protests behind us, we should be in good
shape to mobilise for this conference. An anti-war critical mass has
already been planned for the start of October which should tie nicely
into the mobilisation and a general DGN meeting has already been
planned for two weeks from now. Also, the Grassroots Gathering will
take place in Belfast the following weekend, so there is a good menu of
events - both reactive and proactive - for people to get involved in.

The extraordinarily provocative nature of the conference, at a time
when revulsion at the war machine and the arms industry is running high
across the world, and the exceptionally obnoxious nature of the
speakers, means that it should be relatively straightforward to
motivate people around this. It also means that the arguments for
taking direct action against the conference should have some broad

Now, I assume that there will be some sort of protest organised by one
of the SWP fronts (IAWM? GR? ESF?). It is possible that the nature of
this conference and the various political pressures that they have
faced in the last couple of years will prompt them to try some sort of
direct action, but I don't think that really matters. The case for
direct action - shutting down this conference - is obvious and I think
that is exactly what we should be aiming to do. This represents a real
opportunity for all serious anti-war and anti-capitalist campaigners.
Are we going to sit back and allow them to peddle their stinking arms
so that they can turn around and use them against us tomorrow? Are we

Chekov - WSM/DGN

This story was first posted to indymedia and can be read with comments
at http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=66287

For more on resistance in Ireland to militarism see

[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement member, these
reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]

[From the Ainriail mailing list]

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