Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowshares | 15.06.2008 07:57
Less than a hundred years ago Dublin was on the fringe of empire, it looked a lot like Baghdad today - death squads, torture in Dublin Castle, military occupation on the streets. Less than 20 years ago, Belfast was on the fringe of empire - state backed military death squads, torture, internment et al.
Ireland - north and south, has been fast tracked to the centre of empire. The deal is if we keep our mouths shut, our heads down, we can reap from the upward mobility within the U.S. empire. The imperial troops will only stop over at Shannon, they will wait until they get to Baghdad to do the raping, killing, torturing and home wrecking. The arms companies will produce their hi tech shite in Derry, it will be dropped on other people in other places.
In the Roman empire they had an annual ritual where everyone would "burn incense for Ceaser" to recognise the emperor's dominion. For the first three centuries Christians refused to do this, or serve in the Roman military, - for this we were criminalised. Not because we worshiped a different God. The Romans were quite flexible in conscripting God and Gods from defeated regions of Empire. We were criminal because we refused to take life - the image of God - in service empire.
So what are we asked to do as the Emperor comes to Belfast. The defeated dissidents, now ensconsed, are asked to offer hospitality, the rest of us are asked to maintain a defeated, if not diignified, silence.
Since George W came to Belfast last time (03) over one million Iraqis, mostly women and children (Lancet Report) have been slain. Most of the U.S. troops doing the slaying have passed through Shannon Airport, Ireland, to get to their victims.. 4,000 of their number have returned in body bags, 20,000 with serious injuries (amputations, loss of sanity etc) they will never recover from and another 20,000 evacuated with injuries they should recover from. Thousands of veterans have suicided on return.
Last time Bush came to Belfast there was tension in the air. We created it nonviolently on the streets http://www.indymedia.ie/article/60059 ....five years into this war, the war has no popular support and the visible opposition has evaporated from view. The opposition in Ireland to the war is massive and passive expressed clearly in the unanimous acquittals of the disabling and disarming
PItstop Ploughshares www.peaceontrial.com
and the recent Raytheon 9 www.raytheon9.org
It is important that people hit the streets in Belfast on Monday...downtown, Stormont, where they least expect it, wherever, whenever to confront the emperor to tell him and anyone in earshot that he has no clothes of credibility, that we don't believe him or his war. To break the consensus of silence on behalf of people being butchered is a powerful and worthy thing.
Today the British government attempts to remove free speech from their people in London http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/400898.html so the emperor can have an easy ride down the last bloodsoaked lap of his Presidency. Long after Bush joins Blair, Howard and that Spanish dude in retirement - the wars they kickstarted will still be claiming victims on the fringe of empire. The question will remain will it claim our spirit and our silence at the centre? All that is asked of us in Belfast on Monday is our silence and sedation - as Bush gets on with the killing, Raytheon gets on with the profiteering and our local politicians get on with the collaboration.
Good luck, and respect, to anyone taking to the streets.
Solidarity with anti-war resisters in jails & brigs and before the courts
Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowshares