Shannon Vigil To Mark 10th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

Representatives of Veterans for Peace from USA, UK and Ireland will attend a Peace Vigil at Shannon Airport on Sunday next 10 March from 2pm to 3pm. The vigil marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the US-led war of aggression against Iraq, which was in contravention of the UN Charter.

Veterans for Peace was founded in the USA in 1985, in opposition to US military intervention in Central America, and now has over 8000 members. Its objectives include bringing about a clearer understanding of the cost of war, in particular the US-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, to close the School of the Americas and to counter military recruitment efforts in schools. They have also undertaken significant humanitarian projects in war zones such as Iraq and campaigns against torture. In 2011 a chapter of Veterans for Peace was formed in the UK, on the initiative of Ben Griffin, and in 2012 Veterans for Peace Ireland was initiated.

Last month Colonel Ann Wright, a high profile member of Veterans for Peace who resigned her post as a senior US diplomat in protest against the Iraq War, visited Ireland, and included Shannon airport in her itinerary, as well as attending meetings in Dublin, Belfast and Galway. Her visit was virtually boycotted by most of the mainstream Irish media, presumably for fear of offending our US Government masters.

Ireland’s proud record of promoting genuine UN peacekeeping missions has been tarnished in recent years by the Irish Government’s complicity in the CIA torture programme and in war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan by allowing CIA and US military warplanes to refuel at Shannon airport.

This peace vigil at Shannon Airport on Sunday next is one the regular monthly vigils organised by Shannonwatch. It also marks the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies which began on 20 March 2003, and was undertaken on the basis of a lie about weapons of mass destruction that Iraq never possessed. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result, including thousands of American soldiers.

To its shame, and against the will of the Irish people, the Irish government supported the invasion. And the present Irish government continues to support illegal and unjust wars of occupation by the US, by allowing them to transit through Shannon Airport.

Monthly peace vigils will continue at Shannon for as long as Irish territory and airspace is being misused to facilitate wars of aggression and human rights abuses.  Additional protests and peace actions will also be undertaken to ensure that the Irish people are aware of these breaches of international and human rights laws being perpetrated by our government.

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