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(en) Working Class Resistance #4 (WCR) - Shannon DA - A personal report - Organise! (Ireland)

From Al S <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Sat, 28 Feb 2004 11:55:33 +0100 (CET)

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My first encounter on route to the Shannon airport
base came the previous night when the public bus I was
travelling on was pulled over by the repressive forces
of the Irish State and two coloured people were
blatantly singled out and ordered to show some form of
ID to the Garda and Immigration Control. I raised an
objection to this degrading form of institutionalised
racism and was angrily told “shut your mouth up”. As
most people are aware this is a frequent occurrence on
public transport when crossing the border. It is also
the essence of a militarised Fortress Europe and all
its weapons of repression and isolation.

The next morning a couple of buses left from Liberty
Hall in Dublin including the UCD bus which I travelled
on. Despite the heavy police presence and thorough
search of buses just outside Shannon we managed to
safely arrive at our destination. There were at least
600 on the main blockade comprising a variety of
political groupings who felt collective direct action
was the most positive and effective method of showing
opposition to the occupation of Iraq and US military
refuelling at Shannon. I decided to go with the
‘Black bloc’ contingent which was much more
liberating, creative and empowering then just marching
from A to B and then going back home. The struggle
for freedom and liberty must be through the school of

As we arrived we realised there would be an
unpredictably tough battle ahead due to the repressive
police measures – but they never managed to break our
determination for human passion and liberty.
Our original plan was to get as close to the perimeter
fence as possible but although attempts were made this
proved to be unsuccessful on the day. There were
around 100 on the bloc made up of Grassroots Network
against the War (GNAW) who separated into affinity
groups with maps of the area, which facilitated
grassroots democracy and autonomous direct action. As
we marched from Aldi to the first roundabout we
decided to go into the woodland beside us to evade the
cops but that failed because it left us back at square
one although it was an amusing and adventurous
journey. On the main road to Shannon warport, we
attempted several times to get behind the Garda cordon
by going into more woodland and trying to get into the
nearby industrial estate but without success.

Food not Bombs were out in force which provided us
with energy in order to keep our resistance and
blockade sustained for a couple of hours.
However, despite the small set backs the main route to
Shannon was successfully blockaded for several hours.
The Garda attempted to provoke the bloc several times
by driving into us but they had to withdraw. Minor
scuffles broke out with the police and the bloc played
quite an efficient role in de-arresting people. Some
cars tried to pass us urged on by the police but had
to turn back – especially when a brave woman in a
wheelchair put her body in the way. Some enthusiastic
youths from the local community got involved in the
blockade that was good to see as some people looked
upon us with hostility. The heavy police presence
prevented more effective direct action as well as
conservative elements of the IAWM who basically told
us to conform to the ‘reformist’ rules of a blockade
(i.e. march from A to B say a few words and march back
again) and don’t carry out any action that might
damage “their” credibility and prestige.

Overall the profile of the Irish Government's
assistance of the US war machine at Shannon warport
has been kept in the limelight and hopefully with more
experience, co-operation and collective direct action
this aiming and abetting of the US will be brought to
an abrupt end. The anti-Blair/Bush/Bertie disease
must be eliminated as it is reactive as well as
self-defeating and only diverts attention from the
real causes of these barbaric wars of plunder, which
is capitalism. They all must go including the
authoritarian system which arms, finances, supports
and gives them so much bloody power!



>From the pages of Working Class Resistance #4 (WCR).
bulletin of Organise!. To distribute WCR, contact
Organise! at:



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