Another Long Day in Court for Peace Activists Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy

Peace activists Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy were back in Ennis District Court today (Sept 14th) as a result of charges arising from their peaceful peace action and attempt to search US military airctaft at Shannon Airport on May 25th. Here's a summary of the day's proceedings from our court reporter.

It was a long day for the two activists today in the Ennis courtroom. There was a massive list and the court sat right through the lunch hour. There were a few supporters too who shared the ordeal with the two activists, including a well known ShellToSea spokesperson who drove all the way from Mayo to show solidarity.

Dave was called first, eventually.

Inspector Tom Kennedy told Judge Durcan that the DPP had responded to the file sent by the gardaí and had chosen not to pursue a case in the circuit court. There were no new charges either.

Ex SAS Soldier and Veterans For Peace Activist Ben Griffin Speaking in Galway, Sept 9th 2016

On September 9th, ex-SAS Soldier and Veterans For Peace activist Ben Griffin spoke at an event organised by Galway Alliance Against War. Among other things he talked about the brutal scenes he witnessed in Iraq that led to him leaving the army and speaking out against war.

Ben was brought up in a military family, joined the army cadets at 13 and became a soldier at 19. He served in Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fifteen Years of Direct Action at Shannon

Since the shameful handover of Shannon Airport to the US military in 2002, a small number of peace activists have taken it upon themselves to take direct action to highlight the criminality of what is going on there. The latest two actiwists to take action, Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan, will appear in Ennis court on Sept 14th. This is not a full hearing but we nonetheless call on as many supporters as possible to get there to support them.  

Direct action comes at a personal cost for those who act. But because it is a physical act, it often speaks louder and deeper than anything activists might say or write. In effect, the action itself tells the story.

The list below provides a timely reminder of some of the direct action events at Shannon over the years. Thanks to a long-time friend and supporter of direct action and anti-war activism for compiling the list.

International Day of Peace Wed 21 September 2016 - Invitation to Peace Vigil in Dublin

From Veterans for Peace Ireland

Here are some extracts from the UN's website for this international day of peace.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The Day's theme for 2016 is "The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations ... in September 2015. ... It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

Marking 15 Years of Terror since the US Invasion of Afghanistan: A Weekend of Events at Shannon Airport (Oct 8/9, 2016)

Shannonwatch is hosting a series of events at Shannon Airport on October 8th and 9th to mark the 15th anniversary of the illegal US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Please email us on shannonwatch@gmail.com if you are interested in attending some or all of what is planned.

Background

15 years after the US invaded Afghanistan on the pretext of a "war on terror" and on the flawed basis of UN resolution 1368, the country is in chaos. So too are Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Palestine and Syria where hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in brutal attacks on the ground or from the air. Millions of people have had to flee from these conflicts, only to be met by more brutality when they sought refuge in Europe.

Agreement to Allow British Fighter Planes into Irish Airspace Further Erodes Neutrality

On Monday last it was revealed (Irish Examiner) that an agreement was reached some years ago between the Irish and British governments about protecting this country's airspace from terrorist threats. It appears that civil servants from the Department of Defence, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) entered into a bilateral agreement with British counterparts which would allow British Tornado fighter jets to shoot down aircraft in Irish airspace if they are hijacked by terrorists for a 9/11-style attack.

The agreement permits the British military to conduct armed operations in Irish sovereign or Irish-controlled airspace, and was taken without consultation with the army.

Shannonwatch are extremely concerned at this further erosion of Irish neutrality.