Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Integrity

Derry Anti-War Coalition and Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign. Supported by Shannonwatch.

This Mother’s Day (March 14th) at 3.00pm the Derry Anti War Coalition and Foyle Ethical Campaign will re-launch the Black Shamrock badge to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with integrity. The event will take place below the Derry Walls above Fahan Street where a large image of the Black Shamrock will be unfurled from the walls. It will be co-launched at a vigil at Shannon Airport, also at 3pm on Sunday. 

The Black Shamrock image represents a mourning for the loss of Irish neutrality, including the use of Shannon airport to accommodate war traffic and the presence of Raytheon in Derry, and was designed as a way of visibly declaring opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It rapidly became a national peace and anti-war symbol with over 50,000 sold to date raising awareness and money for various campaigns across the country.   Shannon Airport has been vital in the occupation of Iraq with 5,000 American troops passing through this ‘civilian’ airport every week to or from war; the airport itself making profits up to 8 million and costing the taxpayer up to 5million for security for U.S troops.   

Pertinent to Mothers Day is the epidemic of birth defects recently reported in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. After initial denial of white phosphorus usage in the offence during 2004, Americans later admitted using the chemical as "conventional munitions", and not a chemical weapon (Col. Venable speaking to the BBC 2005). The chemical burns fiercely through skin until it is deprived of oxygen and is suggested to be linked to the increasing amount of birth defects in Fallujah since the attack that used it extensively during the assault.

An increase of up to 15 times more birth deformities have been reported in the last year and doctors of children’s hospitals are calling for an investigation into the rising epidemic and for a clean up of toxic chemicals left over since the war began. Children are being born with extreme nervous system problems, tumours and terrible defects. Fallujah general hospital's director and senior specialist, Dr Ayman Qais says ‘The rise in frequency is stark – from two admissions a fortnight a year ago to two a day now’.

On this Mother's Day DAWC and FEIC call upon all citizens to demonstrate support and solidarity with mothers in Fallujah and across the world who are effected by the indiscriminate atrocities of war, and to join the Black Shamrock campaign against Irelands position in the war. Amongst others attending the launch on Sunday will be the 9 women who are still facing charges for opposition and non-violent action against the Raytheon facility that has recently left the city. The trial begins on the 4th May.

The Re-launch of the Black Shamrock in Derry hopes to see all members of the community coming together on Sunday at 3pm to mark the ongoing effects of war and Ireland’s participation in it. There will be plenty of badges to take home and wear on St Patrick’s Day.

Anti war campaigners from the Shannonwatch campaign will hold a monthly vigil on Sunday in conjunction with the re-launch of the Black Shamrock and offer their support to Derry in the campaign against war crimes. More information can be found at www.shannonwatch.org.

The Black Shamrock was first launched in Derry in 2004 as a pin on paper image to mark the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and subsequently commercially produced as a bag in 2006 to mark the 3rd anniversary of the war.

To contact DAWC / FEIC phone (+44)7513806141 or (+44)7803268790.

To contact Shannonwatch, phone  (+353)87 8225087      begin_of_the_skype_highlighting


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