Pitstop Ploughshares, the U.S. Warplane they disabled, Irish Garda, Special Branch, U.S. & Irish Military arrive at Shannon to mark 10th. anniversary
Deirdre Clancy and Ciaron O’Reilly of the Pitstop Ploughshares community returned to Shannon Airport Sunday Feb. 3rd. 2013 on the 10th. anniversary of the action that disabled a U.S. Navy warplane en route to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This small airport in “neutral” Ireland became a major hub for the U.S. invasion, occupation and looting of Iraq. Most U.S. troops who deployed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq passed through Shannon Airport where their troop carriers were refeueled
On Feb. 3rd 2003, the Pitstop Plougshares were charged with $2.5 million “criminal damage” followng their nonvolent disabling of a U.S. Navy warplane. Initially remanded in Limerick Prison they were brought to trial three times over the following three years at Dublin’s historic Four Courts. In 2006 following two mistrials, the Ploughshares – Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran and Caron O’Reilly – were unanimously acquitted of all charges by a Dublin jury. Accordng to WikiLeaks released Dubln U.S. embassy cables, the action and acquittal sent shock waves through the U.S. and Irish government war conspirators.
Deirdre and Ciaron were joined on Sunday by sizeable contingent of Garda and anti-war activists from Dublin, Galway and Limerick. Many of those gathered mantain a monthly anti-war persence at the airport and ongoing opposition to the continued use of the civilian airport by the U.S. military and C.I.A.
The gathering began by reading the February 2003 action statement of Derdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran and Ciaron O’Reilly. This was followed by remembering the dead of Iraq, those soldiers who passed through Shannon to their deaths and anti-war activists who had resisted the militarisation of the airport who have sadly passed away over the past ten years. Imprisoned U.S. military whistleblower Bradley Mannng ,who passed through Shannon Airport to deployment in Iraq, was also remembered. Reflections were then shared by all gathered before mustard seeds were scattered as a symbol of hope for future nonviolent resistance at the airport.
Following the vigil seasoned planespotters, local actvist Tim Hourgan and “Veterans for Peace Ireland” Ed Horgan, witnessed the arrival of three U.S. military planes: two Hercules planes, presumably transporting weaponry, and the actual warplane the Pitstop Ploughshares had disabled 10 years previously!.
They also witnessed Irish soldiers being deployed to protect these 3 US aircraft overnight. U.S. personnel were brought by bus to a Limerick hotel for the night. More detailed report, video and photography to follow ………..
30: NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY #1 Shannon