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News ::
Nonviolently Resisting U.S. Military Flights, Troop and Munition Deployments thr (english)
09 Feb 2003
In the early hours of Monday 03 February, five members of the pacifist Catholic Worker movement cut their way into Shannon Airport to "disarm" US military forces at Ireland's main airport.
Faith-based Disarmament Action at Shannon Airport This Morning!
by Media Support Mon, Feb 3 2003, 4:30am
An Siochain Naomh Brid - Pit Stop Ploughshares
Nonviolently Resisting U.S. Military Flights, Troop and Munition Deployments through Shannon Airport, Clare, Ireland. (SPREAD THE GREAT NEWS!! EMAIL THIS MESSAGE AROUND!!!)

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In the early hours of Monday 03 February, five members of the pacifist Catholic Worker movement cut their way into Shannon Airport (see The peace activists poured human blood on the runway that has been servicing U.S. military flights, troop and munition deployments to U.S. military bases in Kuwait and Qatar. They constructed a shrine on the runway to Iraqi children killed and threatened by U.S./British bombardment and sanctions. The shrine consisted of copies of the Bible and Quran, rosary and muslim prayer beads, flowers, photographs of Iraqi children and Brigid's crosses. They then began to take up the runway, working on its edge with a mallet.

The activists approached the hanger housing the US Navy plane under repair. They painted "Pit stop of death" on the hanger's roller door, and began the dismantling of the hanger. Others entered the hanger to disarm the repaired US warplane.

The five activists were arrested by Gardai. They refuse to co-operate with bail conditions, have initiated a fast for peace and a call for mass nonviolent resistance to Irish complicity in the forthcoming war on Iraq. They are likely to be moved to Limerick Prison. The acts of witness will continue in and out of prison.

The Catholic Worker movement, founded by Dorothy Day in New York City in 1933, consists of small faith-based communities serving the homeless and nonviolently resisting war preparations (see
Ploughshares acts of nonviolent disarmament were initiated by radical priests Fr. Philip and Daniel Berrigan in the U.S. in the 1980s. These nonviolent actions have addressed nuclear and conventional weapon systems by enfleshing the prophesy of Isaiah Ch. 2. Some activists have been acquitted of all charges, others have received prison sentences of up to 18 years. (See

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We come to Shannon Airport to carry out an act of life-affirming disarmament in a place of preparations for slaughter.

Like the railway tracks that ran to the town of Auschwitz, the runway at Shannon has been militarized for service on an assembly line of death. The train tracks at Auschwitz brought people to their deaths, the runway at Shannon brings death to the people. The Irish Government acts in contravention of the Irish Constitution, International Law and divine mandate to service U.S. military aircraft, troop and munition deployments.

The U.S./British war on the Iraqi people, and for Iraqi resources, has been long and varied.The U.S./U.K. military has claimed over 2 million Iraqi lives
* in their financial and military support for the Saddam Hussein regime in the '70's and '80's
* in their hi tech bombing campaign of 1991
* in the 12 years of crippling sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people
* and now their plans to conquer and occupy Iraq

US/UK weapons manufacturers also continue to fuel the daily grind of death and destruction inflicted on the Palestinian people.

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We come to Shannon Airport around the Feast of St. Brigid, to disarm and disable the war machine. We hope to begin to take up the runway and ground military aircraft. We hope to be joined in this act of disarmament by those who encounter us. Citizens, police and soldiers wielding hammers brought down the Berlin Wall; we hope all will pitch in to take up this runway and ground planes servicing the war machine. We find this easier to envision than the further slaughter of Iraqi children that U.S. British and Irish governments wish us to consider.

We act inspired by Brigid and Irish traditions of healing and peacemaking. We carry out Christ's commandment to "love our enemies" by nonviolently resisting the slaughter of their children. We attempt to enflesh the prophesy of Isaiah Ch 2 and Micah Ch 4 "to beat swords into ploughshares".

We respond to the call of the prophets of Modern America. Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, who encourages us "to fill the jails with nonviolent resistance to war"; Martin Luther King, who warns us that we are confronted by "a choice between nonviolence and nonexistence". Fr. Daniel Berrigan, who observes: "We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price. And because we want peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course continues, because the waging of war, by its nature is total - but the waging of peace, by our cowardice is partial."

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* Deirdre Clancy (32) is an editor, writer and feminist activist with an interest in faith-based resistance to various structures of social control. She regards war as part of parcel of the system which demeans women; legalizes corruption of many different forms; discriminates against, locks up and labels the so-called "mentally ill", without questioning the sanity of the military-industrial system in which we are all complicit.

* Karen Fallon (30) is a Glaswegian-Irish peace activist. She is a scientist and a Trident Ploughshares pledger. She has lived at the Faslane Peace Camp for the past two years.

* Damien Moran (22) is from the Irish midlands. He spent three months in Haiti recently doing voluntary development work. A qualified geography and English teacher, he is currently studying theology and anthropology as a seminarian in Dublin.

* Nuin Dunlop (31) is an American of Irish-Scots-East Band Cherokee-Dutch descent. She has been working for several years in community service; in the Catholic Worker, hospital chaplaincy, and with the marginalised. She is a Catholic anarchist. Her activism stems from the belief that the Creator breaths life through everyone: War is the most serious violation of life. Born in the nation with the more weapons of mass destruction than any other, she is moved to respond to the current US-led assaults on life.

* Ciaron O'Reilly (42) is an Irish Australian. He is presently working at a homeless shelter in Dublin and is long time Catholic Worker and nonviolent resister. He was a member of the "ANZUS Ploughshares" which disarmed a B-52 Bomber in upstate New York during the 1991 Gulf War. He was also a member of the "Jabiluka Ploughshares" that disabled uranium mining equipment in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1998.

* (Co-conspirator) Caoimhe Butterly (24) was born in Ireland but spent most of her childhood in Canada and Africa. After finishing school, she moved to the New York Catholic Worker to work with the homeless. She has since spent three years working in refugee communities in Chiapas and Guatemala. For the past year, she has lived and worked as a solidarity activist in Palestine. In November she was shot by the Israeli military.

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* Write to the above prisoners c/- Shannon Peace House - 19 Inis Ealga, Shannon, County Clare, Ireland.
* Donate to the Ploughshares Defense Fund by making cheques payable to "Peace and Reconciliation" c/o Ploughshares, 134 Phibsborough Rd. Dublin 7 Ireland.
* Join the Catholic Worker activists in their prison fast and prayers for peace.
* Vigil publicly at Shannon Airport, U.S./British Embassies, Aer Rianta, Irish Government offices involved in war preparations.
* Gather with friends in communities of nonviolent resistance sit in, speak out, blockade.
* Offer solidarity to those travelling into the war zones of Iraq and Palestine to bear nonviolent witness.
* Offer solidarity to those in front of the courts and in jail for bearing nonviolent resistance to the war machine at home. See and

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Petria Malone - 0509 51321 (immediate)
Dave Donnellan - 087 9184552 (upon release)
Email - pitstop_ploughshares (at)

Photos available from Press 22 - 061 204 222

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RTE 1, Would You Believe, documentary on Ciaron O'Reilly and the Catholic Worker, October 24th, 2002.

RTE 1, Leargas, on Caoimhe Butterly in Palestine, December 2002.

RTE 1, News footage of December 8th on Catholic Worker direct action on the tail fin monument at Shannon.
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