user preferences

Not Guilty - Shannon Five war resisters acquitted on all charges

category ireland / britain | imperialism / war | news report author Thursday August 17, 2006 22:25author by Sovietpop and others - WSM - personal capacity Report this post to the editors

Just before the start of the war against Iraq in 2003 five Plougshares activists gained access to Shannon airport where US war planes were being refuelled. Using hammers and axes they damaged one of these planes. Loyal to George Bush the Irish government has been dragging these activists through the courts but late last month a jury ruled that the actions of the defendents were justifiable as they acted to preserve life in Iraq. These are reports and statements from the WSM on the trial.

WSM Statement released after the verdict

Workers Solidarity Statement on the Pitstop Ploughshares 5
Thursday July 27, 2006

The Workers Solidarity Movement congratulates the Pitstop Ploughshares 5 on their victory in court, and congratulates the jury who delivered a verdict which placed a greater value on Iraqi lives than on US warplanes.

A jury of ordinary people, hearing evidence from both the state and the defendants decided that the five brave women and men are not guilty of any offence.

The crime is the war in Iraq. The crime is allowing Shannon Airport to be used by the US military. Refuelling of US warplanes at Shannon should stop at once.

The government has treated with contempt the massive opposition to Ireland's participation in this bloody war. It's now up to all of us to organise for mass action at Shannon to stop it being used as a pitstop by warplanes.

We send our solidarity to anti-war activists everywhere, and to the trade union and progressive secular forces in Iraq who oppose both the occupation and the brutal sectarian forces.


Not Guilty; Shannon Five acquitted on all charges
Wednesday July 26, 2006
by Sovietpop

Scenes of great joy and relief at the Dublin Four Courts as the Catholic Workers/Pitshops ploughshare five were acquitted of all charges.

In a statement after the verdict the five said 'The jury is the conscience of the community chosen randomly from Irish society. The conscience of the community has spoken. The government has no popular mandate in providing the civilian Shannon airport to service the US war machine in it's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

In 1996 in Liverpool the Jury acquittal of the four 'ploughshares' women contributed to the end of arms exports to the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia and the independence of East Timor.
The decision of this jury should be a message to London, Washington DC and the Dail that Ireland wants no part in waging war on the people of Iraq. Refuelling of US warplanes at Shannon Airport should cease immediately."

For more reports see


This report from just before the verdict gives more of the background

Dublin: Jury in Shannon War Plane Case Considering Verdict
Wednesday July 26, 2006
by sovietpop - wsm

Three and a half years ago, 5 members of Catholic Worker/Pitstop ploughshares damaged a US warplane stationed at Shannon Airport in Ireland.

The states first two attempts to prosecute them for criminal damage collapsed as both judges had to disbarr themselves in circumstances which questioned their impartiality

The third trial has just finished with the jury withdrawing to consider its verdict. .

In summing up on Friday, council for the defence was reported as saying to the Jury

“Three years later, the events of 2003 have faded. In that year we were in the eighth year of the Celtic Tiger. There was a great fear of going back to the bad times - economically - that we had come through. It became clear in the debate of the time that what the Government was doing (in letting the US military use Shannon) was based on their fear that (US) Companies would get up and go and the economy would regress. The economy was the important factor.

If you disagree with this viewpoint, fair enough; but if you agree, you then begin to understand how we can see 1.5 million people die and take no action to prevent it.

The Germans who stayed silent during the Holocaust were not bad people. The Irish who didn't get angry were not bad people - they were just people who were wrapped up in their own business

When you do something, as the defendants did, you don't know whether or not the effect will gather the force of a tsunami. History has shown that people who go against the grain make a difference.

Rosa Parks got on a bus and set off a chain reaction. Black people were marching all over America. So much so that their feet were sore, but their souls were resting.
[The defendants] are not seduced by the glossy magazine lifestyle. They are imbued with great courage. When they heard that over 500,000 small children had died because of sanctions they reacted. They said ‘No, we are bound to do something about this’.

Their actions were worthwhile if the jurors are now or ever will be affected.

It is an enormous privilege for you to have served on this jury.”

Shannon airport continues to be used to refuel US military planes including planes used to transfer people to Guantenmo.

Related Link::

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Revista "Socialismo Libertário" num. 2

Latest News

Ireland / Britain | Imperialism / War | News Report | en

Sat 19 Apr, 22:38

browse text browse image

Image:The Old Ruler, New Rulers Class War Continues.. banner being prepared the evening before the protest imageBritish Queen's Dublin Castle banquet protested by a few hundred as Garda harass activists 22:16 Fri 20 May by Andrew 0 comments

blairprotest.jpg imageHundreds protest war-criminal Tony Blair in Dublin 21:09 Mon 06 Sep by Julian & Andrew 0 comments

notolisbon.jpg imageLisbon treaty and Democracy - Do We Really Have a Say? 18:21 Fri 04 Sep by James O'Brien 0 comments

berlusconi.jpg imageNo to Lisbon - A Treaty for the Rich 17:41 Thu 03 Sep by WSM 2 comments

May 17th, Limerick. early days in the campaign imageWSM Vote No campaign on Munster's streets - 17th May to 7th June 18:45 Thu 12 Jun by Ray 1 comments

250_0___20_0_0_0_0_0_20050723191234.jpg imageSinn Fein Vote To Back PSNI 20:16 Mon 29 Jan by W. 3 comments

Red & black flags of the anti-war anarchist block imageAnarchist Block on anti-war demonstration in Britain 17:55 Fri 29 Sep by Northern Anarchist 0 comments

textDublin: Thousands March against War in the Lebanon 22:15 Thu 17 Aug by Sovietpop 2 comments

textDerry- FEIC monthly vigil at Raytheon harrassed by PSNI riot squad, 20:25 Wed 16 Aug by Shane O'Curry 0 comments

Front of march imageReport on Dublin protest against visiting British warship HMS Ocean 18:16 Mon 03 Jul by Joe and Alan 0 comments

more >>

Opinion and Analysis

imageInto the Shadows - Britain’s dirty war in Ireland Dec 28 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

imageInternment, parading and the politics of class Aug 28 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

imageNuclear weapons and Scottish independence May 21 by Eric Chester 0 comments

imageWorking Class Unity, Not Sectarian Diversions Dec 24 by Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

imagePat Finucane murder - British state sweeps the dirt under the carpet Dec 19 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

more >>
© 2005-2014 Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]