79 year old Irish peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy lay down on the runway of Shannon Airport to prevent U.S. war planes from using it as a stopover to the battlefield in Afghanistan. When this feisty lady refused to sign away her right to protest, she was sentenced to serve a three month prison sentence, in spite of the fact that she suffers from Parkinsons disease and is being treated for cancer. She has been at Limerick prison since January 16th, her supporters have been holding daily protests in Ireland, and supporters from Iceland, Britain, the U.S., and international organizations, notably the Global Women's Strike (GWS Ireland), are demanding her release.
I see this amazing woman as an inspiration much like our own sweet Father Louie Vitale, honest and fearless in condemning the needlessly vicious warmongering of the Pentagon and its Anglo, Israeli, and NATO cohorts.
Here are a few youtubes about Galway protests in support of Margaretta:
youtube clips re protests last Fri
Here is a letter written by her son:
My mother, the anti-war activist and writer Margaretta D'Arcy, is serving a three-month sentence in Limerick prison for trying to stop the violation of Irish neutrality by US military planes, which stop over at Shannon airport on the way to and from the war in Afghanistan. She took peaceful direct action to stop crime being committed by lying down on the runway of the airport. Margaretta, the widow of playwright John Arden, is 79 and undergoing treatment for cancer. Imprisoning her for an act of conscience is inhumane. I call upon the Irish government to release her immediately and for the British government to use its influence to secure her release. To keep her spirits up while she remains in prison, I urge readers to send cards c/o Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Street, Limerick, Ireland.
Here is an excerpt from a statement by her colleagues:
We first met Margaretta at Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp outside the US Air Force nuclear weapons base in Berkshire UK, where we lived during 1983/84. Margaretta stayed there in the ’80s and ’90s, living outside for weeks at a time, helping maintain the camp’s presence and anti-war activities at Yellow (Main) Gate. Yellow Gate women fought and eventually won the fantastic legal victory that the base was illegal and the Common was restored to the people.
Invest in caring not killing!
Kay and Sian
(Orange Gate 1983-84)
and finally I forward this:
Statement to the Press and the Public
We are outraged to learn that our dear sister and colleague Margaretta D’Arcy has been jailed – and for three months! – for protesting the use of the civilian airport at Shannon for US wars. And we are deeply worried about her health and well-being as a cancer patient. One of the many public services Ms D’Arcy has performed is to protest the Irish government’s many years of complicity in US war crimes and its destruction of Irish neutrality. She has been dedicated to highlighting that the most devastating impact of war is on women and our children, both directly from the bombs that rain down on us, and by paying with our poverty for the horrendous weapons of massive destruction that surround us all.
Ms D’Arcy is a veteran of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which opposed the US military placing cruise missiles on common land in England, and won – the camp is no longer a military base. To dissent from a perspective of permanent war and austerity, and demand the protection of life and the planet, is increasingly labeled subversive and even criminal behavior. While war criminals are allowed to pass through Irish airports and financial criminals go unpunished, the Irish State in thrall to the US, UK, EU and IMF Masters of War has imprisoned a pensioner who has dedicated herself to highlighting and preventing war crimes.
An attack on courageous and principled Margaretta D’Arcy is an attack on us all.
We demand the immediate release of Margaretta D’Arcy.
on behalf of Global Women’s Strike
on behalf of Global Women’s Strike, Ireland
There is access to an online petition contact.ie/node/271
Comments can be registered at email@example.com
Updates are available from Clare Daly (Clare.Daly@Oireachtas.ie)
Thank you for sharing this story with any and all persons you can reach who are concerned with issues of free speech, social justice, and over all, peace.