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Five Members of the Pacifist Catholic Worker Movement Face 10 Years in Prison for Peace Protests at Shannon Airport in Ireland

StoryMay 26, 2003
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The peace activists poured human blood on the runway that has been servicing the U.S. military, built a shrine on the runway dedicated to Iraqi children and entered a hanger to disarm a warplane.

In the early hours of February 3, five members of the pacifist Catholic Worker Movement cut their way into Shannon Airport, Ireland. The peace activists poured human blood on the runway that has been servicing U.S. military flights, troop and munitions deployments to U.S. military bases in Kuwait and Qatar. They constructed a shrine on the runway dedicated to Iraqi children.

The activists then approached the hanger housing a US Navy plane under repair. They painted "Pit stop of death" on the hanger’s roller door, and began the dismantling of the hanger. Then they entered the hanger to disarm a US warplane. Before they were arrested they prayed together.

They now face 10 years in prison. The Irish government is charging them with $2 million worth in damages to government property.

While their action was mostly symbolic it led to three U.S. airlines to halt stopovers in Ireland. The airlines had been transporting U.S. troops and munitions to Iraq. Fifty thousand troops also passed through the civilian airport on their way to the recent war on Iraq.

While the activists face 10 years in prison, they received a presidential pardon last week — at least a pardon from a man who plays on president on tv, that is Martin Sheen start of the show "West Wing."

  • Ciaron O’Reilly, is an Irish Australian and one of the Catholic Worker activists arrested in the Pitstop Plowhares action in Ireland. He was also a member of the "ANZUS Ploughshares" which disarmed a B-52 Bomber in upstate New York during the 1991 Gulf War, and a member of the "Jabiluka Ploughshares" that disabled uranium mining equipment in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1998.

Link:

Plowshares Movement Chronology


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