Story Of Why


Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers

While I was happy to see your prominent coverage about my husband Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers getting arrested at Shannon Airport, I was disappointed that there was barely a reference to why these two members of Veterans For Peace risked arrest and spent nearly two weeks in jail without bail.

There is no mention of the fact that the US uses Shannon Airport to refuel military flights, in direct violation of Irish neutrality, and that a US military-contracted aircraft was, in fact, on the tarmac the morning they were arrested, which was confirmed by the arresting officer at their arraignment.

Since 2001, Shannon has been a pitstop for flights of US soldiers, weapons, and munitions to its illegal wars in the Middle East and for rendition flights carrying prisoners to US torture sites.

Millions of troops have flown through “neutral” Ireland on their way to the US-created and supported murder and mayhem in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and other places.

The Irish Government is thus complicit in the war crimes and atrocities committed by the US military.

Authorities have turned a blind eye to the situation, and Ken and Tarak were trying to get local police to enforce Ireland’s neutrality and inspect the aircraft.

Tarak and Ken were treated well in prison and made friends among the guards and other prisoners, many of whom supported their action and encouraged them to “keep protesting”, and I hope they can also be given a fair hearing in Ireland’s leading newspaper as to the important motivations for the actions that landed them in jail.

Ellen Davidson,
New York.

Shannon Airport’s US protesters (Irish Times letters page)

Previously: Meanwhile In Shannon

Pic: Popular Resistance

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12 thoughts on “Story Of Why

  1. Murtles

    Sorry Ellen nothing trumps the almighty dollar (or Euro) when it comes to our government. Planes don’t land for free at any airport ergo planes that shouldn’t land somewhere but do, don’t do it for free either. Our successive governments have given away our oil, our fishing rights, our gas, our airspace and yes our neutrality. That can only be our mantra for now “keep protesting”.

    1. Dr.Fart MD

      i’d highly doubt they even charge for landing here. Like you said, they’ve given away every strip of land to Americans, why would this be any different? After gathering up all our resources, they’ve moved on to peoples homes, floggin mortgages to american vulture funds for fupp all, and if ya don’t like it, there’s nothing you can do because our own people will always lose out against the yanks when it comes to our gov.

    2. f_lawless

      “Ireland Inc”. always comes first to those calling the shots and “Ireland Incorruptible” it certainly aint

    1. Dr.Fart MD

      and who are you? what’s your deal? what makes you better than these people who try to better society?

      1. Ciuncainteach

        Is there anything you could prescribe for his delicate constitution, Dr Fart MD?

        1. Dr.Fart MD

          ok, looks like the broadsheet moderator is equally as sensitive. Didn’t publish my response, even tho it was suitable for well before the watershed. SO with that in mine, I’ll have to change my prescription for Baz. I don’t think it’s a case of taking something, I think he has to break his current cycle to cure himself. Anytime he see’s someone being active and trying to do good and he feels his stomach turning, he should take a deep breath, hold it for 5 seconds, then hold it again .. still hold it .. keep holding .. keep holding and holding, until he passes out. after a while, when he sees a pic of two lovely old veterans trying to effect positive change, he’ll bypass the routine and just fall unconcious straight away.

  2. eoin

    “Tomorrow, April 3, is the next hearing before a judge in the Ennis District Court, where they were twice refused bail. They will submit a motion to have the trial moved to the Circuit Court in Dublin. This will accomplish two things: It will guarantee that they get a jury trial, rather than being tried before a single judge, and it will move them out of County Clare, where Limerick Airport and the U.S. military flights are a major economic driver.”

    I thought the bail refusal by District Court judge Maire Keane which kept these two elderly veterans in Limerick prison for 12 days was very harsh indeed. I would have concerns about the Gardai and judiciary in Clare when it comes to the US military use of Shannon.

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