Ken and Tarak Start their Walk for Freedom

Saturday Sept 7th US Veterans for Peace Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers started the first stage of their Walk for Freedom at Limerick Prison. A crowd of around 30 gathered to see them off, with some accompanying Ken and Tarak for much of the first day's walking.

Those attending the send-off included MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, Limerick Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan, and Senator Paul Gavan also of Sinn Fein.

Shannon Song (tune of Galway Bay)

lyrics by Ann Shirazi with an assist from Ken Mayers (last two lines)

 

Do you know who flies across the sea to Ireland?

The US Army has the right of way

You can sit and watch the aircraft land at Shannon

Transporting troops and weapons every day

 

Boots on the Ground for Freedom

On Saturday, Sept. 7, at 10 am in front of Limerick Prison, where they were incarcerated, Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff, both U.S. military veterans will begin Boots on the Ground for Freedom, a series of walks through Ireland to promote peace and, as Kauff has written, "freedom to return home to our families, freedom from war, and the freedom to respect and affirm a strong and peaceful Irish neutrality." 

The two veterans were arrested at Shannon Airport on St. Patrick's Day for attempting to inspect an Omni International aircraft they believed were carrying U.S. troops and weapons in direct violation of international law. The plane was on its way to Kuwait. Mayers, 82, a former Marine Major, and Kauff, 77, a former U.S.Army paratrooper, were remanded to Limerick Prison where they spent 12 days before being released on 2500 euros bail each and surrender of their passports. Five months later, the two  peace activists are still here, but they are not silent.

US Military Veterans Walk through Ireland to Promote Peace

US Veterans For Peace members Tarak Kauff and Kenneth Mayers who are being held in Ireland by the Irish judicial system and the Irish State will be undertaking a very significant campaigning event starting on Saturday September 7th. This is a Walk for Freedom throughout Ireland.

The title they are giving to the walk is Boots on the Ground For Freedom

Fire on US Military Contracted Plane at Shannon Airport Raises Serious Questions

Shannonwatch are calling for an immediate review of the safety standards applied to US military and military contracted planes at Shannon Airport. A fire on an Omni Air International troop carrier brought the airport to a standstill on Thursday August 15th. This once again highlights the dangers posed by daily military traffic at a civilian airport like Shannon.

The troop carrier, which is reported to be carrying approximately 150 troops, was on its way to the Middle East. It had arrived earlier from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma USA.

"We know that it's standard practice for the troops on these planes to have their weapons with them," said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. "But what we don't know, because the Irish government refuses to conduct proper inspections of US military planes at Shannon, is whether or not there were munitions on board."

Solidarity with Kings Bay Ploughshares 7

We were delighted to welcome US peace activists Ellen and Teresa Grady to our August peace vigil at Shannon Airport on Sunday August 11th. Their sister Clare is one of seven Catholic Plowshares activists who entered Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary's, Georgia in April 2018 to expose the illegal and immoral nuclear weapons at the base. The seven non-violently and symbolically disarmed the Trident nuclear submarine base, and could face 25 years in prison for their action.  Some of them have already been jailed for over a year before trial.