Monday's vigil outside the GPO - 'US military out of Shannon now!'

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Monday's vigil outside the GPO - 'US military out of Shannon now!'

Post  Hermes on Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:01 pm


Yesterday the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague indicted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. The Sudanese are not signed up to the ICC but this has not prevented the indictment.

Despite the fact that this indictment was pushed by the US, the news of its happening must have sent a few cold shivers up and down the War Criminal in Chief.

Facing the increasing hostility of the world, the US population at large are rapidly realising that they have been falsely led into a blood-soaked campaign of terror and genocide in the Middle East by those who are sworn to protect and represent them.

Politicians in Ireland too must have felt the cold shivers at the thoughts of this indictment. They know that: “I was only following orders,” does not cut it as an excuse in The Hague. Every day, a thousand or more troops still pass through Shannon Warport, a supposedly civilian airport on the west coast of Ireland. They go to their deaths and to bring death to others, mostly the innocent. Many return home shells of their former selves and shells of what they might have been. We the Irish could have said “no.” But we didn’t and we’ll never know what effect it might have had on our American friends. They might have listened. Instead we patted them on the backs, rifled their pockets and pointed them to the Middle East. What must our friends think of us now, as they begin to come to their senses and realise that we sold our friendship for a few red cents and acted like mindless sycophants.

The sad truth is that we did say “no.” But just as we said “no” in the recent Lisbon Treaty referendum, our voices were not and are not being listened to. Our elected government and supine opposition have other needs, other masters and they dance to a different tune. And it’s neither an Irish reel nor jig.

The Hague beckons and I hope that many feel the cold wind that wafts in their direction.

Telling it as it is

Yesterday, on Monday 13th, less than two handfuls of individuals and I took up positions and banners outside the GPO on Dublin’s O’Connell St. to remind ourselves and the world, that we have not forgotten our shame and that we have not forgotten that we have given assistance to war crimes and that we still continue to facilitate crimes against humanity.

It was a privilege to be in the company of such individuals, two of whom happened to be Colm Roddy and Ciaron O’Reilly.

Colm was dressed it his Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit and provoked thousands of stares and many conversations as the good folks in Dublin went about their business. Colm is one of Ireland’s best known and most loved activists and is to be found anywhere where someone might care, the US embassy, Leinster House or indeed Shannon Warport itself.

Ciaron, the famed Catholic Worker, who was acquitted for disarming a US navy plane in Shannon with a mattock, went about, placard in hand, telling folks about our ongoing complicity and war crimes. His down-to-earth manner and approach facilitated dialogue between strangers that resembled old friends in deep conversation. There was much nodding of heads. Not one head shook.

For anyone interested in joining this vigil, it takes place on each Monday between 4pm and 6pm outside the GPO.



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