Shannonwatch, 22 July 2014
Shannonwatch welcomes attempts by TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly to inspect US military aircraft at Shannon earlier today. At a time when the airport may be helping to supply the weapons used by Israel to kill and main civilians in Gaza, it is vitally important that we have proper oversight of what is on the military planes at the airport. Despite repeated requests, the authorities refuse to search the planes to ensure they are not in breach of international law.
“We are being told repeatedly that there is no proof there are illegal weapons on the planes” said Mick Wallace. “It is nonsense to suggest that none of them are involved in military operations or that there are no weapons on board these planes, which is what the government says. But because the authorities won’t search the planes to find out if that is the case, people like us have to do it.” (more…)
The on-going humanitarian crisis in Gaza has in recent times once more reached such a level of frenzied depravity that it is too easy to become frozen in a kind of shocked paralysis. The fact that it comes amidst a persecution by the Israeli powers of the Palestinian people that has spanned many decades and the earthly lives of countless Palestinian souls, makes it seem all the more unjust and no less intensely disturbing.
Horribly stuck in a traumatic historical time warp, it is as if the crimes of past wars have achieved the ultimate victory over humanity by the perpetuation of these same crimes by their victims on other human beings.
The parallels between the terrible crime against humanity that was the genocide of the Jewish and other people by the Nazi regime, and the crimes against humanity and apparent genocide being conducted by Israel against the Palestinian people today, are so obvious that it seems redundant to even speak of them.
Yet in the face of an impotent international political system and an international community that, for the most part, remains resolutely silent in the face of such crimes, then failing to speak of these parallels (when recognising the sovereignty of all life) is a kind of treason: a betrayal not just of innocent Palestinian civilians but of humanity everywhere. (more…)
Afri invited Doug Weir, coordinator of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW), to Dublin on the 28th September to speak at a public meeting in the Central Hotel. (more…)
I want to express my solidarity with, and support for, Afri on the occasion of their 35th anniversary. I am proud that Leah and I have been Afri’s International Patrons for more than 25 years. I first came to know Afri when they invited me to a conference in 1982, which I was unable to attend because my passport had been confiscated by the Apartheid government of South Africa. However, I took up that invitation two years later in 1984 and visited Ireland at Afri’s invitation during the inspiring anti-apartheid strike by young workers in Dunnes Stores in Dublin. That strike was a unique and inspirational act of international solidarity by young people in Ireland and I continue to thank them for their contribution to the struggle for freedom in South Africa. I also commend Afri for the support which they gave to the strikers, including arranging for me to meet them as I went to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
That strike became a template for Afri’s work in the succeeding years. They have continued to be involved in education, awareness raising and campaigning on a wide range of issues from opposition to the dictatorships in Latin America throughout the 1980s to their support for communities affected by the activities of Multinational Corporations today. I have been impressed, for example, by the way in which Afri supported the Ogoni community in the Niger Delta before, during and after the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues, and how they have linked this struggle to that of the people of Rossport in the West of Ireland who are currently facing threats to their health, safety and environment by the multinational consortium which is seeking to extract gas in that region. Afri is admirable in that it has never shied away from making the difficult but necessary local global links.
Afri continues to work on a range of other challenging issues: such as support for the lifting of the blockade of Gaza; highlighting the dangers posed by global warming, climate change and peak oil; and campaigning against the ongoing obscenity of the global arms trade, costing more than 1000 billion dollars annually while a billion people in our world suffer from hunger.
Afri is a small organisation with a global reach, whose creativity and imaginative approach give it an ability to punch above its weight. Afri represents a dissenting voice that sometimes goes against the grain, an extremely important role in society, especially at a time when the dominant approaches have brought us to a situation of grave inequality and crises. I reaffirm my support for Afri, my congratulations on their 35th Anniversary and my belief that organisations like Afri are now needed more than ever and that they should be supported and encouraged by all who believe in democracy in Ireland and beyond.
PRESS RELEASE, 2 June 2010
Afri has expressed outrage and revulsion at the latest Israeli war crime, the attack by commandos on an unarmed aid vessel resulting in the deaths of at least nine people and the wounding of many more. Afri calls on the international community to ensure that those responsible and their political masters are held accountable for these murders of innocent civilians, which were executed in international waters. Afri expresses its strong solidarity with the peace activists on board the Rachel Corrie, including our patron Denis Halliday, and calls on the Irish government to use its influence with the United States (Israel’s main backer) to ensure that the vessel is allowed to complete its humanitarian mission to the besieged people of Gaza. (more…)
by John Pilger
“In Gaza, the enforced starvation and denial of humanitarian aid, the piracy of life-giving resources such as fuel and water, the denial of medicines and treatment, the systematic destruction of infrastructure and the killing and maiming of the civilian population, 50 percent of whom are children, meet the international standard of the Genocide Convention.”
Open John Pilger’s Article here
A moving artistic protest, organised by Afri, took place outside the Israeli Embassy, Pembroke Road, Dublin, at 12 noon on Monday, January 19th.
The artistic installation, by artist Tracy Walsh consisted of babies’ vests and tiny t-shirts placed on bamboo frames which were solemnly placed upright on the grassy ‘garden’ outside the Israeli Embassy. The vests, each bearing a message relating to Israel’s slaughter of Palestinian children, fluttered in the wind as musicians Steve Larkin and Eoin Dillon of Kila played a lament for the victims of the Israeli assault on Gaza. (more…)