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Shannon Vigil Highlights Broken Promises over Guantanamo and Renditions

category clare | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday January 12, 2010 00:45author by John Lannon - Shannonwatch Report this post to the editors

On January 10th eight people braved the cold conditions at Shannon to highlight the broken promises of the US president and the Irish government over Guantanamo and renditions. Shannon airport is known to have facilitated the illegal US rendition programme and may even continue to do so.
Keeping a watchful eye ...
Keeping a watchful eye ...

On taking office, US President Obama committed his administration to closing Guantanamo within a year. But the process of releasing, relocating or prosecuting the men that are still detained there has stalled. On this, the 8th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo, it is shameful that almost 200 prisoners still remain in inhumane detention there. They have been separated from their families for most of those eight years. They have been tortured. And the US government has acknowledged it has no evidence on most if not all of them. But they remain in illegal detention.

In Ireland the Government’s lack of progress in carrying out a review of the law on searching suspected renditions flights is also quite shameful. In November 2008 they announced the set up of a Cabinet committee to review the law and ensure Gardaí had the power to board and search suspected rendition flights. To date there has been no sign of this review.

Shannon’s role in facilitating renditions has been well documented (see the Amnesty International report, 'Breaking the Chain: Ending Ireland’s role in renditions' at And this support for illegal CIA kidnapping and torture may well be continuing. In December Shannonwatch announced that since March 2009, five aircraft that have been linked to renditions have been recorded at the airport (see 'Shannon Airport may still be a Stop-off for Illegal Rendition Flights' at Even though the Obama administration announced that the CIA's torturous interrogation program was to end and that its secret prisons were being shuttered, the CIA is still permitted to carry out renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the US. Without action from the Irish government Shannon may still be aiding and abetting torture.

The vigil on Jan 10th showed that opposition to what is happening at Shannon will continue until effective action is taken by the government to end it. So too will the GArda presence it seems. They were on hand as usual on Sunday to protect the public from the truth - with vans, police cars, metal barriers and over a dozen officers in position to deny eight peaceful protesters access to the airport. As the uniformed men and women that blocked the road shifted uncomfortably, it was not clear if it was the cold or their consciences that was the problem.

Shannonwatch is grateful to their friends and colleagues in Galway Alliance Against War who braved the weather conditions to travel to Shannon on Sunday for the vigil.

See also:

Amnesty International: [Irish] Government failing on renditions as world marks 8 years of Guantánamo (

Witness Against Torture Fast and Vigil to Shut Down Guantanamo, End Torture and Build Justice, January 11-22, 2010 (

Related Link:
author by Fintan Lanepublication date Tue Jan 12, 2010 00:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done John and all those who participated! It's great to see these vigils continue.

author by citizenpublication date Tue Jan 12, 2010 06:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The whole assumption that the peace lovers will be the ones that start trouble is insulting All these folks will do is unfurl their sign and highlight the ongoing activities at the airport. Meanwhile the planes carry on ferrying soldiers to kill brown people (and probably weapons for all we know) without being bothered at all by our great men in blue. The whole arrangement makes me sick. All we care about is the money we can make from selling fuel and sandwiches to the killers. And we don't even charge the killers the full commercial air fees. we give them a discount. I guess we give them that (plus free expensive garda vans to protect them from peaceniks) because the Irish people so unanimously approve of what they are doing in Iraq / afghanistan / pakistan / yemen and in all those black torture prisons? eh government ministers?

Our tax money at work. That is, what's left of it after it's been fiddled by bankers and ministers and their accomplices

Thanks for expressing the real views of much of the Irish people guys. Your efforts are appreciated

author by D.C. Fast - Day 1 Reportpublication date Tue Jan 12, 2010 15:17author address Washington D.C., phone Report this post to the editors

D.C. Fast - Day 1 Report

author by Paul o toolepublication date Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play tro you all. I have little free time and only made one vigil last year for Nollag Na Mna...Couldent get there this year. It is heartening to see the vigil continnue especially with the heavy gardai presence. They are in derelection of theit duty as citizens, as humans and as Gardai Siochana.
People wonder how Hitler could have possibly gotten away with what he was doing and gotten so far.....when you see the guardians of the peace, and our politicians with their concience in their wallets its easy to see how....
Keep up the good work people.....

author by Day 3 D.C. Fastpublication date Thu Jan 14, 2010 15:30author address Washington D.C. phone Report this post to the editors

Day 3 D.C. Fast

(Scroll down the bottome of article for cool vid of Gitmo prisoners ghost walking the halls of the Senate)

author by Peter Joycepublication date Fri Jan 15, 2010 18:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just watched the RTE news and where would we be if it were not for the quick response of the US military into Haiti, they are the only ones able to do this to set up and help the poor people that have survived the earthquake.

They are brilliant and I for one want to say well done to them its time to stop this charade at Shannon you do not have the support of the Irish people and after Haiti you will have less support.

Who would we turn to if an earthquake hit this Country, you would all be damn glad to see US planes landing at Shannon if such a thing happened.

author by Blakepublication date Fri Jan 15, 2010 22:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" where would we be if it were not for the quick response of the US military into Haiti, "

Does sending aid to Haiti somehow outweigh the crimes they've committed in Iraq? The death toll in Haiti is LESS than the death toll from the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Nobody is protesting any help that the US military might give people in Haiti, (their history there is a different topic, however) but that's not what they're doing at Shannon is it? They don't use Shannon to deliver aid. They use it to deliver soldiers, weapons, and supplies to help their campaign to occupy Iraq, and kill anyone who resists them.
The US military should do more to help people, and less to guard US interests in oil etc, by killing large numbers of people.

Well done to the people at Shannon for keeping an eye on things, and not turning away like so many cowards and boot-lickers have done.

author by paul o toolepublication date Sat Jan 16, 2010 01:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im afraid Peter, I dont know if you are aware that Haiti is a slave nation who are involved mainly in making textiles for our disposable lifestyles...

The whole economy in Haiti is worth about the same as the US spend in one and a half days in destroying Iraq. The citizens of Haiti are on less than a dollar a day, kept impoverished by first world countries mainly the US.
Dont be fooled by the media coverage on Haiti and 'aid' from first world countries.
If less than 1% of the arms industry would put its money into food instead of bombs they could eliminate poverty, but poverty is there stock and trade...its BIG business.
Justifying destroying Iraq, against a media showing benevolent giving from countries who benefit thousands of times what they actually give in 'aid' is only evidence of ignorance and media support for the ststus quo-not surprising- the same people who benefit are those who control the media....

author by Conor. Mpublication date Sat Jan 16, 2010 18:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Peter Joyce is living in a fantasy world. You should look at a brief history of the United States international relations & foreign affairs. Start with Haiti - I wonder why this natural disaster is so horrific, could it have anything to do with the economy?

author by Greg fan.publication date Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Blackwater before drinking water

Read Greg Palast's analysis of US intervention in Haiti (a country it exploits economically)

-the Icelandic Military sent rescue teams immediately (from amost 7,000 Km away) while the US, said the Marines might be there within a few days.
-China sent resuce dogs within 48 hours.
-The aircraft carrier sent in had not been loaded with aid, so was carrying the usual. attack aircraft and sidewinder missiles.

"Gates wouldn't send in food and water because, he said, there was no "structure ... to provide security." For Gates, appointed by Bush and allowed to hang around by Obama, it's security first. That was his lesson from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water."

The US has opposed democracy in Haiti for a long time, backing the Duvallier dictators, and supporting the deposing of president Aristide.
Now, in it's time of greatest need, they send in the Marines, not the rescue teams.

And for this, we should stop protesting them at Shannon?

Related Link:
author by Interview D.C.publication date Sun Jan 17, 2010 15:31author address D.C., phone Report this post to the editors

Scroll down text for interview with New York Catholic Worker Carmen Trotta fasting in D.C. to Shut Gitmo.
Folks may remember Carmen from his time in Dublin organisnig around the plowshares trials.

author by John Yoo crashedpublication date Mon Jan 18, 2010 16:11author address Washington D.C. phone Report this post to the editors

*John Yoo legal eagle provided the theoretical basis for torture for the Bush administration

3 1/2 Min Video of protest on site of a John Yoo luncheon talk in Wash DC

On January 15, 2010, day 5 of 12 days of fasting and action to close
Guantanamo, members of Witness Against Torture visit a John Yoo talk.
Twenty of us vigiled outside the restaurant where former Justice
Department attorney and torture memo author John Yoo was speaking
about his new book. Three fasters had tickets to the event and at
different times during the talk, stood, put hoods over their heads,
and held signs to witness on behalf of those tortured because of John
Yoo's work. Among those featured in this video is NYC CWers Carmen
Trotta and Matt Daloisio.

For more info on the Fast and updates go to the Witness Against
Torture web page:

author by 42 arrestedpublication date Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:42author address Washington D.C. U.S.Aauthor phone Report this post to the editors

42 Arrested in U.S. Capitol to Shut Down Gitmo

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author by Edward Horgan - Shannonwatchpublication date Fri Jan 22, 2010 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all who braved the cold weather at Shannon on this January vigil. It is vital to keep up this important human rights watch at Shannon. We are experiencing -20 C here in Ukraine at present as the centre of government power seems to be shifting towards the East. The first round of elections saw the pro-Russian candidate ahead of his main rival by about 10% with a run-off due on 7 February.

I plan to be back on the barricades at Shannon for the March vigil.

Best regards and thanks for keeping the peace flags flying.


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