The Ploughshares group were acquitted of charges of criminal damage without lawful excuse of US military aircraft used in Iraq. The verdict was received at 12.14am 26 July 2006 EST this morning concerning this significant trial in The Four Courts.
However it was just another day for U.S. Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice, passing through Dublin. Dr Rice was on her way to shake hands with the Israeli Prime Minister and to give him the OK to continue the bombardment of Lebanon and Gaza.
Since their action on the 3rd February 2003 the five defendants have waited three years for todays verdict, under onerous bail conditions, with two other trials collapsing (Trial 1,Trial 2). In a statement released immediately after the verdict the Pitstop Ploughshares said:
The jury is the conscience of the community chosen randomly from Irish society. The conscience of the community has spoken. The government has no popular mandate in providing the civilian Shannon airport to service the
US war machine in it’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.
In 1996 in Liverpool the Jury acquittal of the four ‘ploughshares’ women contributed to the end of arms exports to the Suharto dictatorship in
Indonesia and the independence of East Timor.
The decision of this jury should be a message to London, Washington DC and the Dail that Ireland wants no part in waging war on the people of Iraq. Refuelling of US warplanes at Shannon Airport should cease immediately.
Pine Gap Trial?
So what awaits the Pine Gap Four in Alice Springs in October 2006 on their charges of trepass under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952?
Stop Israeli bombing of Lebanon and Gaza!