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(en) US, Baltimore: 3/18 8PM Andrew Flood: Shutdown at Shannon Airport and the anti-war movement in Ireland

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 15 Mar 2005 07:02:20 +0100 (CET)

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Speaking Friday, March 18th, 8PM at Red Emma's in Baltimore, Maryland
Andrew Flood, activist and writer from Dublin, will be speaking on the
anti-war movemen Ireland, specifically on the campaigns surrounding the
U.S. use of Shannon airport. Shannon airport in offically 'neutral'
southern Ireland has been used for at least a decade to refuel US war
planes. Grassroots Network Againt the War (GNAW) held a series of direct
action tresspasses and property destruction.
"In Ireland, previous anti-war movements had limited themselves to
marching around the larger cities and listening to speeches. This time, we
saw the full range of debate and actions that have been common to anti-war
movements elsewhere for some time. Recognising the huge public support for
the anti-war position, significant numbers of activists argued for,
organised and took direct action against the war machine. Anarchists were
amongst those at the fore of promoting direct action against the war
machine. These actions were successful at driving out three of the four
commercial airlines, which had been flying tens of thousands of Gulf-bound
US troops through Shannon airport, before the war began. The acting head
of the US Embassy in Dublin, Jane Fort, blamed the "threatening behaviour
of protestors" for their decision to leave. "The combination of two
back-to-back incidents of real destruction would prompt any company to ask
if it would put people in harm's way, people who might be working on
planes or riding on planes."

"These withdrawals were significant because Ireland's location made it
quite useful for the US war effort. Official government figures revealed
that just over 20,000 US troops were flown through Shannon airport in the
opening weeks of the year. The Wall Street Journal of December 19th
reported that, in the January build up, "more than 50,000 US ground troops
are likely to flow into the Gulf region". It thus appears that over 40% of
these may have come through Shannon airport, showing the importance of
this airport to the US military supply chain.

"In Ireland, for this reason, almost all of the direct action protests
were targeted on Shannon airport. More than half dozen successful actions
took place, ranging from a large scale breach of the fence in October, to
physical attacks on planes as the build up to war escalated. Shannon has
been a target of Irish antiwar movements before, for it has been used to
refuel US military planes as far back as the Vietnam war. During the 1991
Gulf war, many of us marched around Dublin demanding 'no refuelling at
Shannon' - to no effect. In the years since many things have changed, not
least the growth of a libertarian network and a direct action culture."
- Direct Action against the war in Ireland, Andrew Flood

Andrew Flood is a member of the Workers Solidarity Movement, a specific
anarchist organization in Ireland.

More of Andrew's writing:

About the Workers Solidarity Movement

This event is hosted by Nemesis, a supporter collective of the
Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists (NEFAC)

Red Emma's Bookstore and Coffeehouse
800 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, Maryland

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