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Offaly - Event Notice
Saturday April 17 2004
01:00 AM

Saturday April 17th Protest against EU Foreign Ministers Meeting @ Tullamore

category offaly | eu | event notice author Friday April 16, 2004 13:40author by Damien Moran - Dublin Catholic Worker & Pitstop Ploughsharesauthor email dbamoran at yahoo dot comauthor phone 087 9638398 Report this post to the editors

Saturday April 17th Protest against EU Foreign Ministers Meeting at Tullamore, Co. Offaly

Saturday April 17th Protest against EU Foreign Ministers Meeting at Tullamore, Co. Offaly

On Saturday April 17th, 2004, members of the Offaly Anti-War Movement and the Dublin Catholic Worker will stage a vigil in commemoration of the Iraq war dead and injured and protest the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister's and Irish government's deep complicity in the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The protest will take place as Minister Brian Cowen and the Irish government host EU Foreign Affairs Ministers at the Gymnich Informal Meeting in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Damien Moran of the Dublin Catholic Worker, currently awaiting trial and a potential 10 years imprisonment for his part in disabling a US Navy Warplane at Shannon Airport on February 3rd, 2003, said: "Minister Brian Cowen's intransigence, during Ireland's term on the UN Security Council at the end of 2002, about the Iraq sanctions and it's 1.5 million death toll was deafening and tragic.
By allowing 172,000 US troops to land and dutyfree shop since January, 2003, warplanes to refuel and munitions of war receive Irish blessings at Shannon Airport, while enroute to wage an illegal and immoral war in Iraq, the Irish government and Minister Cowen have ensured that Ireland's traditional role as neutral peacemakers has been severely damaged. The Irish people do not want to be complicit in sending young US soldiers to their deaths or to facilitate them in killing the people of Iraq. If this government and Minister Cowen had any sense of morality they would immediately withdraw the use of Shannon Airport by the US military."
Shannon Airport has become a key European stepping stone in the occupation and privatised plundering of Iraq aand we demand that this unethical practice be stopped."
The protest and vigil will end at O'Connor park at 4pm Saturday evening

*Gathering in O'Connor Square, Tullamore Saturday at 11am
*Funeral March towards the Tullamore Court Hotel (where Foreign Affairs Ministers are meeting)hi jd, Please forward on to main news agencies, etc. Thanks

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by dmoranpublication date Fri Apr 16, 2004 13:41author address author phone 087 9638398Report this post to the editors

Vigil will end at O'Connor Square in town centre not O'Connor Park

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by Damien Moran - Dublin Catholic Worker & Pitstop Ploughsharespublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 00:00author email dbamoran at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone 087 9638398Report this post to the editors

Although being quite sleepy after working through the night at Ireland's only wet house homeless shelter ( low threshold shelter where residents can drink alcohol), today's presence by various groups protesting against the E.U. empire's foreign policies was a significant exercise in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Mid-East and especially Iraq.
Our braving of the harsh weather conditions the Midlandian atmosphere offered was a very worthwhile experience. About 30 people were present at the demo., including members of the Galway Palestinian Solidarity campaign, Offaly/Westmeath/Kildare Against the War groups, NGO Peace Alliance, SWP, Stop Bush Campaign, Another Europe is Possible, and various individual activists. Pardon me if I have left out any group.
Within 15 minutes of our arrival from Dublin at O'Connor Square 7/8 guards were assembling close to our vehicle, frantically flying by on their impressive motorbikes, horses, and sponsored guardian of peace watersproof shoes.
The activist scene in Dublin may be small, but the activist scene in Offaly is bacterially microscopic and I guess I should not have been surpised in receiving an early interrogation from an amicable helmet & leather guised man who went to school with my brother.
After a kind Inspector, drafted in from Drogheda for the two day informal meeting (code language for FF piss-up with Eurocrats), had offered to broker a deal about where our vigil/protest should take place we onward marched towards our coralled destination, 100 metres west to the main entrance to the FF-owned Tullamore Court Hotel.
The Galway Paalestinian Solidarity campaign had their flags in full flight as barriers greeted us and we assembled our props along the pavements.
Choral chants were carried by the prevailing winds towards the delegates hangover breakfast meeting, including 'US Military Out of Shannon' and 'Give Palestinians the right to return' . Banners included 'War is Terror is War', 'Stop Irish/European Co-Operation with Invasion of Iraq' and a speeding by Jack Straw was evidently delighted to see someone's bedsheet had been transformed into a banner reading 'Jack Straw - Blood on your Hands'.
Friendly dialogue with guards appreciative of the overtime, though ever-cursing the Artic conditions, was followed by the highlight of the vigil/protest.
At approximately 12 noon, Pat Tuohey from the Offaly Anti War Movement, armed with a WMD- white megaphonic device, had scaled a tree very close to the hotel hosting the not very dignified 'dignitaries'. Pat loudly and articulately declared that which our frozen voice boxes were struggling to achieve: that Minister Brian Cowen and his European colleagues were crucifying the poor and the weak with their self-interested participation in the Iraq war and failure to condemn Israeli and US intransigence towards granting the Palestinian and Israeli population's justice and peace.
As the dignitaries proceeded from their press conference via secret sub-bogland souterrains towards a grandiose reception at Kinnity castle, we held a short circular ritual for personal introductions and updates on the various brands of upcoming activism. Lunch at Lough's bar/restaurant (Pat Tuoheys workplace) was followed by a visit to the local Garda station to check in on Pat's welfare and status. He was released at 6pm and is being charged with trespassing and as Tim Hourigan jested, 'Failure to have a licence for a Megaphone Act, 2004'.
More details to follow.
Protest made 6-One News and Pat's WMD-assisted attempt to speak truth to power was evident in the background as Brian Cowen and Jack Straw were being interviewed. Thankfully it was not a monkey-puzzle tree he had scaled, or else he may have had to make a crash landing in the midst of BIFFO

(Brazenly Irresponsible Fianna Fail Official) Cowen's double-speak.

Much peace, respect and solidarity to those whom I was blessed to stand with today.

Damien Moran

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison - Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience," 1849


Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
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