Shannonwatch are inviting groups and individuals from around Ireland to join them in organising a series of peace events at Shannon Airport on the weekend of October 11th and 12th. The main event of the weekend will be a public demonstration on Sunday 12th at 2pm, calling for an end to the US military use of the airport.
The event is being co-organised and supported by a large number of groups including Shannonwatch, Galway Alliance Against War, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), the Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM), Afri, and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC). Bus transport is being arranged from Dublin on Sunday 12th and as a result a large turnout is expected (contact details for the bus are given below).
Over the weekend, musicians, photographic and other artists are invited to use the public spaces at Shannon to show their disgust at the airport's 13 years of involvement in renditions, weapons transportation and global warfare. At 2pm on Sunday 12th individuals and groups from all around the country will join together in front of the airport entrance, under the "Welcome to Shannon Airport" sign, to say that war planes are not welcome at Shannon.
In addition, a groups of peace activists plan to hold an overnight peace camp and vigil at the airport from about 2pm on Saturday Oct 11th. This will continue up until the main event at 2pm on Sunday Oct 12th. Anyone interested in taking part can get in touch with Shannonwatch for more details (contact information below).
October will mark the 13th anniversary of the unjustified US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Ireland and Shannon supported that invasion despite the country's proud record of neutrality. This support for unilateral declaration of war at the start of the last decade was continued when Shannon facilitated the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. That invasion caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and led to the current violent situation that exists in the country.
Since 2001, almost 2.5 million troops and their weapons have passed through Shannon. Today, the airport continues to be used as a US military hub, with troop carriers landing most days of the week. Cargo planes licensed to bring munitions from the US land regularly. Some of these may have been used to supply ammunition used by Israel to commit war crimes in Gaza.
The current Irish government and the Shannon Airport authorities have said they are in favour of additional military flights. That, and the recent decision to allow US fighter jets to fly over Dublin as part of an American football event at Croke Park, shows that Ireland is edging closer to full involvement in the military axis of the US, NATO and the EU. This goes against the wishes of the majority of Irish people, and is likely to drag us deeper into unnecessary conflicts in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
There is no legal, moral or economic justification for the continuing involvement of Shannon in global warfare. On October 12th the Irish government will be called upon to end the US military use of the airport.
It is time to reclaim our neutrality, to start promoting peace, and to demand respect for human rights and justice.
For more details on what is arranged for the weekend of peace events contact Shannonwatch at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 087 8225087087 8225087.
To book a place on the bus from Dublin to Shannon on Oct 12th contact email@example.com or phone 087 2611597087 2611597.
For information on travel arrangements from Galway phone 087 9159787087 9159787.