Today was a beautiful day, at least in Ireland, where no bombs were falling, and no refugees were drowning as their boats sank while they were fleeing from the wars in the Middle East and Africa. At the beautiful Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, John Kerry was being awarded the Tipperary Peace Prize, for allegedly stopping wars and getting rid of Syrian chemical weapons. The truth is that it was Russian ; President Vladimir Putin who persuaded Syrian President Assad to get rid of his chemical weapons, not John Kerry or the US.
John Kerry and the US have not stopped any wars in recent times. But the US has begun wars, and is continuing to engage in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere.
It is simply outrageous to award the US Secretary of State a Peace Prize at this time, just as it was outrageous to award Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. Some of us felt obliged to speak the truth on these issues and protested first at Shannon Airport as John Kerry arrived on United States Air Force 2. We then travelled to Aherlow to protest outside the Aherlow House Hotel where a large force of Gardaí and US special security agents and CIA dudes with dark spectacles, provided security, overseen by the Garda Helicopter. No money was spared for this operation, yet there is no money to end the homeless crisis, or the hospital waiting lists, or to enable Ireland to take its fair share of refugees.
In all we had over 15 protesters, from Galway, Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary, Kerry, Cork and Limerick.
John Kerry's entourage then left Aherlow and headed off towards Limerick in a large convoy escorted by ten or more Garda BMW motorcycles and numerous Garda squad cars. We protesters packed up our peace banners and headed towards Limerick also, but then discovered that the John Kerry entourage had stopped in the village of Boher, at Pa McGrath's thatched pub, for one of those excruciating Irish leprechaun tourist promotion events, no doubt accompanied with pints of Guinness. Well we decided to give this entourage a bit on indigestion with the aid our a loud hailer and some peace flag waving just outside the pub as we mingled with worried looking US special agents (Get Smart types) accompanied by Irish special branch types most of whom seemed to be wearing pointed toe light brown shoes. We were eventually asked to move across the road, where we continued to inform the mixed assembly of US and Irish "dignitaries" what we though of their peace prizes, bombing of Middle Eastern countries, torturing of prisoners, and US military use, or abuse, of Shannon Airport.
John Kerry eventually exited the pub and got into his limousine, so he no doubt had an earful of what we thought of US warmongering. While John Kerry is not the worst of these warmongers, and did protest against the Vietnam war as Vietnam war veteran, as US Secretary of State he represents a country that has been in gross breach of the UN Charter and has perpetrated multiple war crimes. He even managed to wave to us as he passed in his limousine, as we continued to shout US MILITARY OUT OF SHANNON.
Video (Part 1): Anti-War Protest Against Award of Peace Prize to John Kerry, Pa McGrath's Pub, Ireland, 30-10-2016
Video (Part 2): Anti-War Protest Against Award of Peace Prize to John Kerry, Aherlow House Hotel, Ireland, 30-10-2016