Solidarity with Guantánamo prisoners at Shannon

Activists from Dublin, Galway and Limerick gathered in Shannon today to call for the closure of Guantánamo Bay Detention Centre and to demand a full investigation of Shannon's involvement in the unjust detention and torture of hundreds of men there.

166 men remain imprisoned in Guantánamo despite President Obama’s promise to close it. Obama made that promise when he first took office in January 2009, and despite the fact that over half of the men being held (86 in total) were cleared for release by an inter-agency Guantánamo Review Task Force in 2009.

In recent months the men have been subjected to aggressive cell searches which included the seizure of personal items and the manhandling of their copies of the Koran. In despair, and after 11 years of imprisonment without trial, over a hundred of them have resorted to hunger strike.

Hunger Strike at Guantánamo - Last Resort for Men Being Detained Without Charge or Trial Obama's promises to close Guantánamo Bay detention centre, a total of 166 men are still being held there. The vast majority of these have been imprisoned for more than 11 years without any charge and without a fair trial. 86 of them have even been cleared for release by the Obama administration, yet they remain in captivity.

A recent Global Reaearch article points out that these men are been lawlessly held in Guantánamo. They’ve been tortured, abused and ill-treated. They’ve been denied their fundamental rights. And in order to keep them there US Supreme Court decisions were bypassed.

I am Bradley Manning

From our friends in Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW). Well done to them for highlighting the case and plight of Bradley Manning ....

Here you have Bradley Manning one thousand days in prison. I hope that in a military court martial that begins in June that the ultimate resolution to it is that Bradley Manning does not have to spend the rest of his life in jail. But I’m not too sure about that….I think the US Government is going to make an example out of Bradley Manning. They want to scare everyone. They don’t want whistleblowers.” Retired US Colonel Ann Wright speaking in Galway 18th February 2013

Report shows true cost of War in Iraq

This week marked the 10th anniversary of the illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies. The war will ultimately cost the U.S. a staggering $2.2 trillion, far exceeding the initial government estimate of $50 to $60 billion. Hundreds of thousands of people have died as a direct result. Terrorism in Iraq has increased dramatically, with  tactics and fighters being exported to Syria and other neighboring countries. And Iraq’s health care infrastructure remains devastated from sanctions and war.

More than half of Iraq’s medical doctors left the country during the 2000s, and tens of thousands of Iraqi patients are now forced to seek health care outside the country.

Marking 10 Years of US-Imposed Suffering Iraq, and Irish Complicity

Veterans for Peace in Shannon, 10th March 2013

On a cold, wet day in Shannon, members and supporters of Shannonwatch were joined by Veterens for Peace activists from the UK and US. The protest marked the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies. This illegal act, which began on 20 March 2003, was not mandated by the UN and had no legal or moral basis. Yet the Irish government supported it, and gave the US military open access to Shannon Airport.

The Veterans marched from inside the airport to the location of the protest outside. Meanwhile Gardai were out in force despite their industrial action over pay cut, denying some protestors access to the airport.