29 August 2002 Edition

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Shannon warplane protest

A women's peace camp will be held this Saturday outside Shannon Airport. The event has been organised to coincide with World Peace Day, on 1 September. The camp will run for 24 hours, from 12 noon on Saturday, and will be followed by a rally/vigil.

The decision to hold the camp at Shannon Airport was made as a result of the 26-County government's decision to allow American warplanes to refuel there. In spite of Article 29 of the Irish Constitution, which affirms Irish neutrality and commitment to peace among nations, say the organisers, the government, without a vote in the Dáil or a national referendum, has allowed the US to use an Irish civilian airport as a military airport.

Since September 2001, over 500 US warplanes have landed at Shannon for refuelling. These planes have gone on to bomb Iraq 30 times since the beginning of this year, and to continue the bombing and killing of civilians in Afghanistan.

In addition, cargo flights of military hardware en route between the US and the Middle East continue to be serviced daily at Shannon. All this is done with blatant disregard for the safety of civilians who work at or travel through the airport.

The women will also be protesting against the 26-County government spending Irish taxpayers' money on projects connected with warfare. In 2001, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland confirmed that during the previous five years, over £20 million of taxpayers' money had been used to grant-aid Irish companies manufacturing weapons components (Irish Examiner).

Women at the camp will include veterans of Greenham Common-one of them Babs Greenwood an 80-year old great-grandmother, Quaker and peace activist.

Everyone is invited to attend the rally on Sunday.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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