Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Friday, July 12, 2019

VFP members stuck in Ireland after anti-war protest

Yesterday the Irish High Court denied U.S. Veterans For Peace (VFP) members Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers appeal of their bail conditions requiring them to stay in Ireland until their trial. "As soon as the judge opened his mouth," said Tarak, "I could tell he was going to deny the appeal. It's clearly political."

This means that Tarak and Ken could be required to stay in Ireland for years, much longer than any possible penalty for their charges should they be found guilty.

The judge said that if their charges are moved from the Circuit Court in County Clare (where it's not possible to get a fair trial regarding Shannon Airport) to Dublin, he might reconsider the question, as the Dublin Circuit Court is backed up for years.

Seven members of VFP from the U.S. came to Ireland in March 2019 to show solidarity with Irish peace activists who have been campaigning for years with nonviolent direct actions at Shannon Airport since 2001.  Kauff and Mayers entered Shannon Airport on St. Patrick's Day this year to search and investigate an Omni Air plane carrying up to 300 armed U.S. troops to the Middle East.

When brought before the court the day after they were arrested at Shannon, they were denied bail and held in prison for 12 days, until a high court appeal against their unjustified imprisonment could be arranged.  Their passports were seized and they've been held in Ireland ever since.

During the intervening time they've been bannering, leafleting, doing media, and speaking to the public and parliament members about the U.S. military use of Shannon.

It is likely that the prime minister of neutral Ireland was coerced or otherwise persuaded by President George W. Bush to allow Pentagon and CIA aircraft to land and refuel at Shannon Airport in Ireland on their way to Washington's wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

It appears that Tarak and Ken are being used by Ireland and the U.S. to make a point to others.  The message: don't bother coming to Ireland and trying to shut down Shannon.  It's become a U.S. air base in spite of Ireland's professed 'neutrality'.

Parts written by Edward Horgan (VFP Ireland) and Ellen Davidson (VFP New York City)


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