IAWM Press Statement on Prince Charles visit to Ireland 18 May 2015
The Irish Anti-War Movement oppose the publicly funded visit by Prince Charles to Ireland given his connections to the British Military and his open support for undemocratic, despotic regimes.
Irish political leaders and the mainstream media are making much of Prince Charles’s impending visit to Mullaghmore as a personal event of closure and an act of reconciliation that will aid the Northern Irish peace process. Many Irish people may likewise see this as a useful act, just as they regarded the Queen’s visit. The problem is that Prince Charles and the British Royalty generally are not benign forces – they play a continuous role in promoting the British military and the arms industry around the world. Prince Charles is Colonel-in-chief of many regiments of the British Army including the notorious Parachute Regiment which killed 13 innocent civilians on Bloody Sunday in Derry.
The Sein Fein leader, Gerry Adams, has expressed the hope that the Prince’s visit will be “an occasion to promote reconciliation, respect and understanding". However Prince Charles has never expressed such concern for the victims of the wars waged by the British military in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Nor has he balked at his role in promoting the British arms industry which arms repressive regimes that have appalling human rights records. Professor Neil Cooper of Bradford University's Peace Studies Department has noted that: "There is a long history of members of the royal family supporting the promotion of the UK arms trade in the Middle East - and especially the Gulf …. It is accepted as part and parcel of the brief."
IAWM Press Statement on Chinese Premier’s visit to Ireland. 17 May 2015
IAWM CALLS ON IRISH GOVERNMENT TO RAISE HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN CHINA
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is visiting Ireland and will be met by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to discuss trade, investment and tourism links.
The Irish Anti-War Movement rejects the idea that Ireland’s relationship with Foreign Governments should be based solely on potential monetary gain. Instead we call for some basic regard for human rights and democratic principles. The Chinese Government respects neither of these things. It is a totally undemocratic, oppressive and authoritarian one-party state with a record of brutal suppression of the Tibetan people among others.
We call on the Taoiseach and the Irish Government to raise these concerns about human rights with Premier Li Keqiang in the course of his visit.
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IAWM BULLETIN 11 MAY 2015
1. IAWM AGM RESOLUTIONS
1. Irish Anti War Movement 2014 Annual General Meeting
21 February 2015, Teacher’s Club, Parnell Square, Dublin 1.
The Irish Anti-War Movement has voiced concern in the past that this battle is the beginning of a military project, which will in the future be used to play a role on the world stage to complement the N.A.T.O.’s aggressive militarist policies and strategies.
At the same time our involvement in this battle group is a continuation of the government’s policy to compromise our neutrality by stealth.
IAWM PRESS RELEASE 07 May 2015 – unpublished letter sent to Irish Times on 04 May 2015
LET’S HEAR THE TRUTH ABOUT SINKING OF LUSITANIA
SINKING WAS USED TO PROLONG THE MECHANISED SLAUGHTER OF WW1
the sinking of the Lusitania should definitely be remembered as one of the most horrific attacks of World War 1 but only an honest transparent investigation of the ship’s contents, the obfuscation by political leaders after its sinking and how the event was used to escalate the war will bring some closure to the memory of the huge loss of civilian life.
American author David Swanson in his book War is a Lie, claims that the Lusitania was “packed with American-made war material, including ten-and-a-half-tons of rifle cartridges, 51 tons of shrapnel shells, and a large supply of gun cotton, not to mention 67 soldiers of the 6th Winnipeg Rifles”. There has been much reasonable speculation that the ship sank quicker than it would otherwise have done because of secondary explosions caused by the lethal cargo, which was carried in defiance of American laws.
Multiple lies were told about the true nature of the cargo after the sinking. In particular the fact that there were soldiers, armaments and ammunition on board was denied by US Government officials, including President Woodrow Wilson causing his secretary of state to resign. Prior to its sailing, the German Embassy had published a warning in New York newspapers that the ship would be subject to possible attack because it was carrying such war supplies and soldiers.
IAWM Press Statement on judgment against Independent TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly 24 April 2015
The Irish Anti-War Movement condemns the sentence handed down to Independent TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly who were found guilty this week at Ennis District Court of ‘breaching Shannon airport rules’ when they attempted to search two US military planes at the airport last July. This sentence was issued despite the fact that reliable witnesses said categorically that weapons and ammunition were on board US aircraft, in clear breach of Irish law.
The IAWM supports Wallace and Daly and believes that only a hypocritical society can turn a blind eye to these injustices while condemning those who draw attention to this militaristic evil in our midst. By neglecting proper inspections the Irish government is by default allowing arms and munitions to pass through Shannon and failing in its duty of care. These weapons will inevitably result in the deaths of many people, including innocent civilians, elsewhere. Thus the government is bolstering the militarisation of the planet and supporting the false idea that the imposition of military might, rather than diplomacy, is an acceptable tool in international relations.
There is not one country which shows improvement as a result of US military intervention. On the contrary, we see the seemingly deliberate creation of failed state after failed state, resulting in huge refugee populations of displaced and insecure people, desperate to find a safe place for themselves and their children, often forced into the cruel hands of people traffickers, or death by drowning, in efforts to escape the harsh reality that Western powers have brought about with their military escapades.
IAWM Press Statement on Migrant Deaths in Mediterranean 22 April 2015
The Irish Anti-War Movement condemns the disgraceful response of the EU to the ongoing tragedy of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean.
The governments of the EU bear direct responsibility for these appalling events. Last November they deliberately cut funding for the sea rescue operation Mare Nostrum and replaced it with the agency Frontex whose priority is border control and which only operates within 30 miles of the Italian coast. The consequences of this callous action were predictably disastrous. It is also clear that this dreadful attitude is caused by these governments’ anxious appeasement of the racist and fascist right across Europe who have whipped up anti- migrant and xenophobic hatred.
There is also a deeper responsibility. The refugee crisis is the result of the catastrophic situation prevailing in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East – Iraq, Syria, Yemen etc. This situation has mainly been produced and exacerbated by disastrous military interventions, occupations and invasions by NATO and western powers. The Irish Anti-War movement has consistently warned that these interventions and wars would make things worse. Tragically this is the case.
When it served our rulers’ interests to invade Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan they claimed they were doing it for humanitarian reasons and money was no object. Now, faced with a real humanitarian crisis, they look the other way and there is no money.
The Irish Anti-War Movement condemns this hypocrisy. We call for:
1. No repetition of the failed policies of the past – no further military interventions in the Middle East or North Africa and a halt to arms sales to despotic regimes.
2. An immediate increase in Ireland’s, and other EU states’, willingness to accept refugees.
3. An immediate and large scale increase in sea rescue operations in the Mediterranean.