Galway anti-war activist Margaretta D’Arcy was shamefully jailed earlier this month for protesting the U.S. military’s use of Shannon Airport and its violent reign of terror across the globe. Tried in December 2013, she was offered a suspended sentence if she signed a bond promising to keep away from unauthorized zones in Shannon. In opposition to the American war machine’s massacring of innocent people throughout the Middle East, Ms. D’Arcy refused to sign the bond, and is now being held in Limerick Prison. With this act, the government has chosen to support the wars of big business and strangle dissent.
Shannon Airport has been a hub for the American military since the outbreak of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also been used as a stopover point by the CIA for ‘extraordinary rendition’. Such prisoners have been captured and held without trial before being transferred the Guantanamo Bay prison and subjected to unimaginable savagery and illegal torture.
US imperialism continues to use of drone bombers in countries like Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia, which have killed at the very least 3000 people. Human rights groups like Amnesty International and Oxfam have repeatedly stated that these unmanned strikes kill far more civilians that they do ‘enemy combatants’, often targeting weddings, funerals and public buildings. The stated excuse for this violence is protection from terrorists, but the only ones who’ve benefited from the War on Terror is the world-wide arms industry. Companies like Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems make millions everyday by manufacturing drones and other weapons that are used to kill innocent men, women and children.
Before the 2011 election, the Labour Party promised to end the use of Shannon by the U.S. military. Now, like so many other of their campaign boasts, this one is for the scrap heap. The Labour Party continues to preside over war-planes flying through Shannon Airport.
Injustice has rarely been so starkly put. Margaretta D’Arcy, an elderly cancer-patient and campaigner for justice, languishes in a prison cell while arms manufacturers who make a profit murdering countless people throughout the world live lives of freedom, luxury and power.