Shannonwatch are shocked and dismayed by another cancellation of their room booking for a seminar scheduled for Oct 8th. A number of international speakers are due to attend the seminar on US Imperialism & Militarization 15 Years after the Afghanistan Invasion, but as a result of room booking cancellations by three hotels in the Shannon and Bunratty area, new arrangements must now be made.
The Park Inn and the Oakwood Arms Hotel in Shannon, as well as the Bunratty Castle Hotel all initially accepted bookings for the seminar. Each then cancelled, claiming a mistake had been made. The most recent cancellation by the Bunratty Castle Hotel has come just 3 days before the event.
"It is beyond belief that three hotels would accept a booking and then discover they had no room available." said a Shannonwatch spokesperson. "We spoke with each of them on more than one occasion. We discussed room layout, audio-visual facilities and refreshments with them. We even provided credit card details as requested. Yet all three cancelled our booking, and were adamant that alternative arrangements could not be made to accommodate us".
"We have to wonder if the cancellations have anything to do with our opposition to the US military use of Shannon Airport over the 15 years since the Afghanistan invasion." said the spokesperson.
Shannonwatch is a group of peace and human rights activists based in the mid-West of Ireland. It monitors all foreign military flights in and out of Shannon, and has recorded landings of rendition planes over the years. It has also made submissions to national and international bodies including Oireachtas committees, United Nations human rights committees, and the European Parliament.
Speakers at the scheduled Oct 8th seminar include Robert Fantina who is the author of several books including 'Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy', as well as journalist and political analyst Gearóid Ó Colmáin whose work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle. The well-known activist, writer, and former member of parliament from Afghanistan Malalai Joya has also recorded a contribution for the seminar.
Shannonwatch are now making alternate arrangements so that the Oct 8th seminar can go ahead in Shannon at the scheduled time of 2pm. "We are urging as many people as possible to attend so as to ensure that our efforts to defend human rights are not defeated." said the spokesperson.