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(en) Statement on Direct Action, Shannon, March 1st by GNAW by bdurney

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(News and headlines: http://www.afireland.cjb.net/)
Date Sun, 9 Mar 2003 16:36:07 +0100 (CET)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> Detailed plans for direct action on March first.
A few weeks ago Grassroots Network Against 
War called a 'direct-action' protest at
Shannon Airport. We have undergone a debate 
within the island-wide network to
formulate, in as democratic and open a way as 
possible, a plan that we can propose to
people in advance. Following this process of 
debate, culminating in a delegates meeting
this weekend in Galway, we can propose the 
following plan. 

We will attempt to engage in a mass trespass at 
Shannon airport. This action will be an
example of mass non-violent civil disobedience 
in the tradition of Gandhi's salt march. It will
be a purely peaceful protest. We intend to signal 
our opposition to US warplanes refueling
at Shannon airport and to indicate that we refuse 
to sit back while our government, acting
in our names, gives material assistance to a war 
that will be both brutal and unjust.

We intend to dissemintate this information 
widely so that people who come to Shannon on
March 1st can make an informed choice as to 
whether they wish to participate in this
action, and if so on what level they wish to be 
involved. This is not a secretive or elite action,
nor are we hijacking anybody's movement. Since 
calling this protest we have met with
other anti-war movements and have always been 
clear that direct action will be part of
our protest on March 1st. Since we called this 
protest, other anti-war movements have
called demonstrations for the same time at 
Shannon, which will operate on a different
basis. We respect their right to organise protests 
in a manner that they see fit and will
continue to do everything in our power to 
co-ordinate with them to ensure that there is no
confusion among or between the protests.

We reject suggestions, carried in some of the 
media that this indicates a split in the anti-war
movement. Within any such broad movement 
there are a range of different viewpoints on
suitable tactics and methods to employ. We see 
this diversity as a sign of strength rather
than division. If others within the anti-war 
movement wish to distance themselves from any
approach that goes beyond symbolic protest, we 
will continue nonetheless to seek unity of
purpose in the movement and respect for 
diversity of tactics.

Here is the detailled plan for the direct action 
on the day:

1) The assembly point for the protest will be in 
the carpark of Shannon Shopping center at
2pm. As soon as the crowd has assembled we will 
address the crowd and explain this plan
again and indicate how people can participate 
and on what levels they can do so. 

2) We will form into 2 sections, one for people 
that wish to take part in the action (signalled
by white flags) and one for people that wish to 
support the action and show their solidarity
but do not wish to take part (signalled by pink 
flags). These 2 sections will proceed to march
to the airport with the white section in advance 
and the pink section behind.

3) Once inside the airport and parallel to the 
fence on the main approach to the airport,
those in the white section will link arms and 
form a line, one deep, facing the fence. The pink
section shall retreat to a safe distance behind 
this line to observe.

4) The line will walk towards the fence with arms 
linked and once we reach the fence we will
attempt to pull it down. Once the fence has been 
dismantled we shall cross it and shall
remain in the grass verge on the other side of the 
fence. We will not attempt to occupy the
runway or to reach any planes, the purpose of 
this action is to demonstrate that the state
can not secure the 'warport' against the anger of 
the people.

Q. What can I do?

For this action to succeed we need a critical 
mass of people. We need you. Direct action
means YOU do it. However, you do not have to 
be a super brave commando to take part
in this action. There are a number of different 
levels that people can participate on and all
of these are important to the success of the 
action. Everybody has a part to play. 

A) Take part in the trespass. Join in the line. 
Help pull the fence down. Step across the fence.

B) Take part in the line but do not trespass. You 
can show your solidarity with the action by
linking arms and joining in the line but not 
participating in the dismatlement of the fence
and not crossing the fence once it comes down. 
This would mean that you have not
broken the law while still taking full part in the 

C) Take part in the trespass but not the line. For 
those who do not wish to be involved in
confrontational acts, stay back from the line but 
engage in the tresspass once the fence
has come down and the situation has calmed 
down somewhat.

D) Be an active observer. You can take part in 
the action as an active observer by not
taking part in the line but observing it and being 
ready to respond to events, linking up and
swarming about to prevent the police from 
attacking or arresting people. Create diversions,
look out for others, chant, sing. 

E) Be a solidarity observer. A space will be set 
aside, marked by pink flags, where people
who do not wish to run any risks of arrest or 
physical commotion can stay and observe the
protest, and show their solidarity with those 
willing to engage in civil disobediane. This is 
imporant since the presence of observers makes 
it much more difficult for the police to
engage in violent or aggressive behaviour 
towards the peaceful protestors.


We should emphasise that, although this is going 
to be an entirely non-violent protest, those
who participate in it do face certain risks. The 
risks to solidarity observers should be very
small, while for those who take part in the line, 
there is a certain risk of arrest or violence from
the police. We believe that, given the current 
political climate, the state will be very
reluctant to be seen to be overly aggressive 
towards protestors, therefore we do not think
that the risks are exceptional. However, it is up 
to everybody who participates to seriously
consider the risks before they take part in 
anything of this nature.

Together we can do it. We can form a force to 
free the skies of Clare from the US war

Grassroots Network Against the War.
A non-hierarchical network of groups and 
individuals active against the war, formed at the
Grassroots Gathering in Belfast in September 

Grassroots Network Against War
087-7501473 (dublin)
mailto:ggantiwar@yahoo.comIf you want to 
create a file, visit that file with C-x C-f,

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