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Anti-war activists make their voices heard as Jack Straw attends EU meeting in Offaly

category offaly | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Saturday April 17, 2004 17:28author by Fintan Lane - Anti-War Irelandauthor email irishanti-war at excite dot com Report this post to the editors

Just received the following report from the EU Foreign Ministers anti-war demo in Tullamore:

Gardai were left red faced as a member of the Offaly Anti War Movement, Mr. Pat Touhey was arrested and detained at Tullamore Garda Station today. Mr. Touhey, a seasoned Activist scaled a tall tree within 50 Metres of the EU Foreign Ministers, despite the presence of over 300 Gardai in the vinicity. He berated the Ministers for over a hour about the war in Iraq with the use of a megaphone.

For further details please contact: Tullamore Garda Station 0506 21305, Dave Plunkett (086) 0629594 Chairman Offaly Anti War Movement.

Offaly Anti War Movement

author by anti-warpublication date Sat Apr 17, 2004 17:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

people always ask us
who we ar-re
where we come from
and we tell them
we're from everywhere
mighty mighty everywhere

author by Damien Moran - Dublin Catholic Worker & Pitstop Ploughsharespublication date Sat Apr 17, 2004 23:47author 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, and 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 shoes. The activist scene in Dublin may be small, but the activist scene in Offaly in 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 aand 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 greeted a speeding by Jack Straw (He 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 Europena 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 populations 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. 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
author by Michelle Clarkepublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 02:18author email michelle33 at eircom dot netauthor address author phone noneReport this post to the editors

Michelle says well done. The EU ministers will not forget their visit to Co. Offaly, Ireland.

The initiative in thought function left the Gardai unprepared and a speech against the War in Iraq to the forefront of the EU Ministers minds'.

Let's hope the content was such that there was no further space for irrelevant data

Peace Peace and more Peace

We do not agree with policy that Breaks the Rule of Law.

Let EU ministers retain the courage to stand aloof from England when the decision is made to go to War.

Michelle Clarke

Gandhi - 'you have to be the change you want to see'

Well done to the man in the 'tree' and the Gardai only able to ponder.

Last year I was easy game and four of 'them caught me' (minus badges) outside the Dail

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