by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Worker (originally from Brisbane, Australia)
OBAMA, he speaks like JESUS and kills like HEROD!
It has been weird being in Dublin security city the past week. It reminds me a lot of
growing up in the police state of Queensland/Australia in the late '70's.
On Thursday, I was stopped and searched by police five times before noon and shaken down by the Special Branch 3 times over the two daze. My poster (photo of Giusepe Conlon...with the words "Remember Giuseppe Conlon and All Victims of Empire") remains in police custody, confiscated by an Inspector under State Security legislation.
Photo - Giuseppe Poster...set it free!
The differences between Brisbane 77 and Dublin 11 is one of intensity and oppostion. In Brisbane you would be busted for expressing a dissident opinion, in Dublin last week they shut the city centre down, even to people who wanted to shop!
The clampdown in Brisbane in '77-82 was initially in response to the anti-uranium mining/ nuclear power movement, there had been a similar state response to the anti-Vietnam war and anti- racist Springbok Rugby Tour '68-'71 and of course any attempt by the aboriginal communuty to assert their hman rights (that last one's a given anywhere/ any time in Australia). This is the context in which Julain (WikiLeaks) Assange's mother, a Queenlsand Uni student, was actiive and into which Julian was born - very formative for all of us who went through it!
The Dublin population appears a lot more docile, the resistance smaller (there have been honoroble exceptions I've bumped in to on the streets), the artist scene a lot more timid in Dublin 11 than Brisbane 77.
At least in Briz we had "The Saints" with "Security City"
the "Go Betweens", local anarcho from the West End Tony Kneipp with his cult classic "Pig City"
and the inidigenoeus voice of Kev Carmody, here with "Thou Shalt Not Steal" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6fem7-ucxg
Even Spike Milligan and "The Stranglers" swung by on days where
hundreds of us were rounded up and bashed. Spike wrote an Open Letter and The Stranglers came up with "Nuclear Device" from their stopover experience
Where are the dissident poets, artists and voices of Dublin? Is it the place or is it the times? Is it self censorship down to concern over access to the U.S. markets or 800 years of colonisation dunno? Whrere are the anarchs and civil libertarians when it comes to this wholesale denial of free expression? Is everyone safely vacuumed packed on the net...doing virtual scocialising, sexuality and social networking. Is 3D, the streets now judged irrelevant? I dunno...I don't even do facebook?
The first time I got busted in Briz at 17, Saints guitarist Ed Keuper and Grant McLennan of the Go Betweens were busted with us (418 of us rounded up! for attemtping to march against uranium exports)...ya didn't have to do much to get busted i Briz in those years.....march, gather in 3 or more, hand out a leaflet, hold a placard bigger than 24 inches by 24 inches...some lefty protestant ministers got busted for singing hims for aboriginal land rights, the Salvation Army band and the Hare Khrtisnas also had run in s with the cops for doing there thang!
This is how it feels in Dublin today, ya won't have to do much to get busted when the Emperor is in town. Wherever the U.S. emperor - white conservative or black liberal - should cast his shadow, you're supposed to "tremble, oh tremble...................." Wherever Emperors, the monarchy and military go, human freedoms evaporate.
Colm and I did a small vigil at the historic GPO (site of the 1916 Rising) on Friday against the ongoing use of Shannon Airport by the U.S. military, When we arrived there were ten Gards for the two of us and Special Branch came a calling.
The radio prattles on as I write about the lack of visible oppostion to the Royal Visit,...well maybe that's because you turned your town into an occupied city! Dublin looked like a ghost town for many of those daze last week.
Radio says there was more reporting of protests about the Queen in the international press than in the irish media....well maybe that's becuase you've got the most cowardly housebroken centralised media in the western world!...not to mention the role of the Stalinists in RTE who have an expertise in airbrushing and censorship and whose buddies from back in the day now head the Labour Party in coalition government with FG. Little investogatory journalism wouldn't go astray...and maybe you'd solve a mystery or two? Save on the guesswork and speculation!
A lot of the resisters in Brisbane during that time were Irish diaspora...O'Gorman, O'Neill, Kelly, O'Reilly, Foley, Bailey, Dowling, MacLennan, Curley.....but then again so were the Special Branch headed by Les Hogan who also headed the "Holy Name Society". So what gives with the Irish in the 26 counties, dunno? We had a Radical Rosary Mystery Tour the other day...there were 3 folks from the 26 counties, 2 Catholics from the north, 2 protestants from the north, my bro and I from the Irish OZ diaspora and an English ex- SAS Iraq Vet. friend.
The YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv76uK72FB4
Here we have the head of the British state and Commander of Chief of U.S. forces that have dragged "neutral" Ireland into two wars over the last ten years in town...and so little oppostion. The key states fueling these wars Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were created by the British Empire and armed by the U.S. empire. This "war without end" won't end by itself or until you address those states and these empires.
What I have heard of the Irish media over these daze, reminds me of the Stalinist homogeny of Orwell's 1984 radio...whether it is the "tits and ass" tabloids like "News of the World" or the pseudo sophisticates of the Irish Times and RTE, they are all singing from the same subservient hymn sheet. .... celebrating the Queen and Obama with so much blood on their hands, "don't mention the war/s" and demonising any voices raised in objection.
I've been in the streets as much as I could handing out this flyer
"Free Bradley Manning", solidarity with Brad info side:
"Reward for the Apprehension of Jesus" (first published by IWW in WW1) side:
for Bradley Manning, a young man who has been tortured under Obama for the past year. Bradley is accused of releasing this footage
...of a U.S. helicopter gunship massacre of 2 unarmed Reuters journalists, 9 other unarmed Iraqis and when a family on ths school run stops to see if they can help the wounded or bury the dead...the order comes through to "light them up" killing the father and seriously wounding the children.
I heard no mention of Manning, whose grandfather came form Dublin, at the IAWM anti-war rally outside the GPO on Sunday! Go figure? You must assume that every member of the U.S. military considering non-cooperation is looking at how much solidarity Manning is getting from the peace movement before considering their options and presently Manning is not getting much form the Irish peace movement....even though he passed through shannon Airport on the way to Iraq and his grandfather was from Dublin!
I think it was Stalin who said, one person dying is a tragedy, a million a staistic. So it has been enlightenting meditating on Bradley Manning and his story. As i t would be meditating on any one Iraqi vistim, really meditating, really considering the suffering and our Irish complicity in it Bradley now 24, was living in Wales and only 14 when these wars began he had an anti-war postion. Back in the U.S. at 17, homeless and poor he joined the U.S. military in his late teens in the hope of being able to get a college education. Like most U.S. troops who invaded and occupied Iraq he passed through the small departure lounge of Shannon Airport in "neutral" Ireland. 4,000 of these young men and women have returned in body bags, 20,000 with injuries they will never recover from, tens of thousands with post traumatic stress and injuries they may recover from, hundreds of suicides and a million Iraqis dead. Bradley Manning may spend the rest of his life in military prison for telling us the truth about our war on the people of Iraq. he did this believing it would at least create a conversation that may lead to action to the end of the war. We need to be acting up and speaking out for Brad and the past present and future victims of the war machine.
The question for those of us with faith and without, for our communities and our our country is are we heading into or empire or out of empire?
The British did not conscript north or south in Ireland in WW1
The Catholic Church in Australia, under Irish leadership, defeated the governent twice in referendums on the question conscription (...not so in Aotearoa/ New Zealand! where the Irish Catholic community was a lot smaller component of the population)
The Irish constitution embraced neutrality.
For decades (rightly or wrongly), Ireland was generally viewed as a peacful non-imperialist country, it was helpful to have that Irish passport as you past through war zones.
Ten years ago around the time the U.S. military were retreating from their massive bases in Saudi Arabia in response to the New York 911 attack - Shannon Airport became a major hub for the U.S. war machine. The Irish constitution and the Irish people were betrayed. This is now air brushed over as Emperor Obama arrives for his compulsory phot op (40 million U.S. citizens claim irish decent) in the run up to his election.
See you on the streets....this emperor has no clothes of credibilty. It only takes one to shout it!
FREE MANNING! END THE WARS!