Blogs

Public Disquiet over U.S. Military Evident at Shannon

Shannonwatch activists were joined by friends and anti-war colleagues from around Ireland at the regular second-Sunday-of-the-month vigil at Shannon airport on December 12th. We were delighted to be joined also by U.S. peace activist Chuck Fager who spoke at the Quaker Meeting House in Limerick later in the evening.

The recent wikileaks releases concerning Shannon, the U.S. military and renditions have re-focused attention on the Irish government's acquiesence to the Americans in the early part of this decade. However it is important to remember that these activities are still continuing, and that military and CIA planes still use Shannon. Sunday's vigil met with a huge amount of support from passing motorists, confirming what we - and the Irish government - have known for the past decade: that Shannon and Ireland's participation in war activities does not have widespread public support.

Send Letters of Support to Bradley Manning

In early July, the U.S. Army announced that they had charged Pfc. Bradley Manning  with violations including "espionage" for allegedly giving classified data to Wikileaks. Bradley who had been a specialist-class intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army is currently being held at the USMC brig at Quantico, Virgina. He was detained by the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) in May 2010 and held for several weeks without charges in Kuwait. Bradley now faces over 50 years in prison. He has been allowed only limited contact with his family and friends, filtered through his military-appointed lawyers.

Send a letter or postcard to Bradley today, thanking him for his whistleblowing of Iraq war crimes. 

Shannonwatch Response to first of Wikileaks Cables from US Embassy in Dublin

The message that we must take from the first of the Wikileaks documents from the US Embassy in Dublin is that not only must we continue to expose and highlight US military and CIA abuse of Shannon airport and Irish sovereign airspace, but that we must reinforce our activities and our effectiveness. In the interest of justice and truth, and in the interest of humanity we all have a clear duty to speak out and to take actions to prevent such gross injustices.

Irish Police refuse to search US Warplanes at Shannon

Garda Sergeant in Charge at Shannon airport asked Edward Horgan to produce evidence that the US Hercules warplane at Shannon was carrying dangerous munitions or war-criminals. When Edward Horgan attempted to go towards the airport to get such evidence he was prevented from doing so by Gardai.

Meanwhile about 1000 US troops and an unknown quantity of munitions may have passed through Shannon during the day.

And in Afghanistan, people died because of the US-led war of occupation assisted by some Irish Army soldiers.

October military flights through Shannon

October saw a drop in US Airforce (USAF) and troop plane numbers landing at Shannon and flying over. Shannonwatch recorded 58 troop carriers at Shannon in October compared to 68 the previous month. Over 200 commercial airlines carrying US troops or cargo passed through Irish airspace during the month.

In addition, Shannonwatch also logged 13 USAF executive jets, 5 Hercules C-130's and 8 C-9's (the military version of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 airline) at Shannon during October.

There were also at least two Volga-Dnepr flights through Shannon, and 3 - 4 Kalitta air flights (in the few days between 29th October and 1st November). Both carriers are known to transport munitions and military supplies.

October also saw a return to Shannon of some planes suspected in the past of being involved in renditions. These included N404AC on October 28th and Phoenix Air's N54PA on October 31st.

American Statement of Support for PANA and Shannonwatch

American Statement of Support for the Peace & Neutrality Alliance and Shannonwatch and their Opposition to Irish Participation in the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

As American peace activists working to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we support the efforts of our colleagues in the Irish peace movement to draw attention to and to oppose the use of Shannon Airport by the Pentagon as part of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In particular, we support the demonstration called by PANA & Shannonwatch for October 10, 2010, marking the ninth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.

Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy

John Feffer, Co-Director, Foreign Policy in Focus*

Tom Hayden, Peace and Justice Resource Center, Culver City, CA

Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action

Judith LeBlanc, National Field Organizer, Peace Action

Medea Benjamin, Co-founder, CODEPINK

Gael Murphy, Co-founder, CODEPINK

Dave Robinson, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

Ray McGovern, Tell the Word, Church of the Saviour, Washington, DC