October 2014        

Ireland is a criminal accessory to war

It’s time to shout Stop!

The eighty-year-old Galway peace stalwart Margaretta D’Arcy, who was imprisoned twice this year for opposing US military flights travelling to war via Shannon airport, is continuing her peace campaigning. She is calling on people to join the peace demonstration at Shannon on Sunday 12 October to mark the thirteenth anniversary of the US military presence there.
      Margaretta D’Arcy in a statement said: “The never-ending war continues. It started with Afghanistan, and over the past thirteen years the war has spiralled out of control. Today large swathes of the Middle East have been enveloped. One bloody war leads to another, and so it will be with the latest battlefields in Syria and Iraq.
      “Once more Washington has cobbled together a ‘coalition’ to wage war. Up on Capitol Hill and in Westminster they vote for these wars; but in Ireland’s parliament there is no discussion, even though for thirteen years consecutive Irish Governments have consented to our participation in these conflicts. Since October 2001, Shannon airport has been transformed into a US forward operational military base for these wars.
      “President Obama has used the horrific decapitation of two American hostages to overcome opposition to his seventh war in six years. But the problem with this propaganda ploy is the president’s closest ally, Saudi Arabia, a repugnant kingdom, which routinely decapitates its prisoners in public without any civilised judicial process. Saudi Arabia is fanatical in its sectarian brand of Islam, Wahhabism. It is therefore no surprise that it has been the primary funder of ISIS in its religiously sectarian war in Iraq and Syria.
      “From our own history we know the dangers of sectarianism. Do we really want to be linked with this virulently sectarian kingdom? I don’t think so.
      “Since 2001 almost 2½ million troops and their weapons have passed through Shannon. Today the airport continues to be used as a US military hub, with troop-carriers landing most days of the week. Cargo planes licensed to bring munitions from the United States land regularly, including the military hardware used by the Israelis to murder and maim innocent Palestinian children.
      “Ireland is a criminal accessory to these wars. We have blood on our hands.”
      To mark the thirteenth anniversary of Ireland’s collusion in these illegal wars, peace groups from throughout the country are convening for a weekend of peace events at Shannon on the 11th and 12th of October. The main event of the weekend will be a public demonstration on Sunday the 12th at 2 p.m. at the airport entrance, under the “Welcome to Shannon Airport” sign.
      Musicians and photographic and other artists are invited to use the public spaces at Shannon to express their disgust at the airport’s thirteen years of involvement in “extraordinary rendition,” the transporting of weapons, and global warfare.
      In addition, groups of peace activists plan to hold an overnight peace camp and vigil at the airport from 2 p.m. on Saturday the 11th. This will continue until the main event at 2 p.m. on the Sunday.
      The Galway Alliance Against War will be organising a bus to the peace event; those interested in travelling should contact the group on 087 9159787 or galwayallianceagainstwar@gmail.com.

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