Anti-war activist and writer Margaretta D’Arcy is serving a three-month sentence in Limerick prison. She has been protesting US war planes violating Irish neutrality by landing at Shannon airport. Since 2001 Irish governments have allowed Shannon to be used by the US for its wars on the people of the Middle East despite opposition from most people in Ireland and many protests at the airport. Margaretta D’Arcy took peaceful direct action by lying down on the runway. Ms D’Arcy, the widow of playwright John Arden, is 79 and undergoing treatment for cancer.
On Wednesday 22 January Ms D’Arcy is due to have a pre-trial court appearance in Ireland. Many people internationally are shocked and furious that she has been jailed and are demanding that she be released immediately!
At the picket the Global Women’s Strike will be handing in the statement below signed by many supporters from around the world.
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 labelled subversive and even criminal behaviour. 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
Picket of the Irish Embassy in London, Wed 22 Jan 11am-1pm