Shannonwatch are shocked at the imposition of a €10,000 fine on peace activists Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers for taking a peaceful action against the US military use of Shannon Airport. Despite being acquitted on two charges of criminal damage and trespass, they were still found guilty of interfering with the operation, management or safety of the airport.
The prosecution ploughed methodically through its case in the second day of the trial of the Shannon Two. Since the defense has already stipulated to most of the factual statements that the testimony was meant to establish, the main new information the jury got from today’s witnesses was that defendants Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff were model arrestees, pleasant, cooperative, and compliant, and that the airport’s chief security officer has no idea whether weapons are moving through the airport he guards.
The trial of the Shannon Two got off to a faster than expected start on Monday, moving through jury empanelment and the prosecution’s opening four witnesses.
The two, Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff, were arrested March 17, 2019, at Shannon Airport for going onto the airfield to inspect U.S. military planes at the facility. They carried a banner that said, “U.S. Military Veterans Say: Respect Irish Neutrality; U.S. War Machine Out of Shannon.” Millions of U.S. troops have been moved through Shannon Airport since 2001 on their way to illegal wars in the Middle East, in violation of Irish neutrality and international law. Kauff and Mayers were attempting to either inspect the planes or to get Irish authorities to do so, but they were instead arrested.
The trial of US peace activists Kenneth Mayers and Tarak Kauff who are also members of Veterans For Peace began today (onday 25th April) at the Circuit Criminal Court, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8. Both are former members of the US military and Kenneth is a Vietnam War veteran. Kenneth and Tarak arrived back from the USA to attend their trial of Thursday 21st April. Here is a report from Day 1 of the case.
Background: Why are Kenneth Mayers and Tarak Kauff facing trial by Jury in Dublin?
On St. Patrick’s Day 2019 over three years ago, Kenneth and Tarak entered Shannon airport to attempt to search and investigate any aircraft associated with the US military that were at the airport. When they entered the airport there were two US military aircraft at the airport and one civilian aircraft on contract to the US military.
The trial of US peace activists Kenneth Mayers and Tarak Kauff who are members of Veterans For Peace is due to begin on Monday 25th April at the Circuit Criminal Court, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8. Both are former members of the US military and Kenneth is a Vietnam War veteran.
On St. Patrick’s Day 2019 Kenneth and Tarak entered Shannon Airport to attempt to search and investigate any aircraft associated with the US military that were at the airport. When they entered the airport there were two US military aircraft at the airport and one civilian aircraft on contract to the US military. They were prevented from searching these aircraft by airport security personnel and Gardai and were arrested and detained at Shannon Garda Station overnight.
Today as in many other days US military is using and abusing Shannon Airport to fuel its wars in the Middle East and its proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. The Russian war in Ukraine is totally without justification and a huge mistake for Russia and of course is disastrous for the people of Ukraine who are caught up in a new Cold War between the two superpowers. This hasbeen turned into a devastating assault that is killing thousands of innocent Ukrainians and thousands of Russian conscripts, and displacing millions of people.
On Sunday March 13th the Shannonwatch peace vigil at the entrance to Shannon Airport called for Russia to cease its invasion of Ukraine, for the US military to leave Shannon Airport, and for every effort to be made by the Irish government to invest in making peace not war. At the time of the vigil, there was a US troop carrier at the airport. It had been refuelled at Shannon earlier in the day on its way to Poland, and was on its way back the USA possibly to collect more armed US soldiers.
At our monthly peace vigil at Shannon airport today, we had over 20 peace activists protesting against all wars, including the war in Ukraine, and the continuing the US supported wars in the Middle East.
We were accompanied at Shannon by Omni Air carrier N828AX on contract to the US military. It had most likely delivered a plane load of armed US soldiers to Rzeszow Airport in south East Poland close to the border with western Ukraine. It was refuelled at Shannon earlier this morning on its way to Poland and was on its way back the USA this afternoon possibly to collect more armed US soldiers.
Shannonwatch condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and expresses its solidarity with the innocent civilian population now suffering as a result. The invasion is a gross breach of international laws and a huge tragedy for the people of Ukraine. We urge the Irish government and others to seek diplomatic resolution to the war, and not to support a dangerous or provocative NATO response to Russia’s actions.
So far today at least five aircraft on contract to the US military have refuelled at Shannon Airport on their way from Pope Air Base, Fort Bragg NC USA to an airport called Rzeszow-Jasionka in south east Poland which is just 90KM from the western borders of Ukraine. Another such aircraft is due at Shannon shortly after midnight tonight. These are all probably carrying up to 200 armed US soldiers, which means that about 1,000 US soldiers are likely to have passed through Shannon today.