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Roger Cole of Peace And Neutrality Alliance pictured at a press conference last year.
Roger Cole of Peace And Neutrality Alliance pictured at a press conference last year.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Irish anti-war activists to hold meeting ahead of planned protest

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance will host Ian Chamberlain of the UK’s Stop the War Coalition and Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairéad Maguire at the meeting in Dublin this afternoon.
Sep 7th 2013, 8:45 AM 3,986 39

IRISH ANTI-WAR CAMPAIGNERS are to hold a public meeting today to drum up opposition to military intervention in Syria and plan to protest at the US Embassy if any air strikes take place.

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) will host Ian Chamberlain of the UK’s Stop the War Coalition and Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairéad Maguire at the meeting in Dublin this afternoon.

Organisers claim that Stop the War Coalition played an instrumental role in the ‘historic’ decision by the UK parliament not to give Prime Minister David Cameron a mandate to engage in military action.

PANA say that opinion polls in both the UK and France have shown a majority opposition to military action and the group say they have commissioned a Red Sea poll to gauge the mood of the Irish public.

Roger Cole was the chair of the organisation during the protests against the Iraq war in 2003 and says that he feels that the majority of Irish people will oppose action. Cole says that previous interventions by western forces in the Middle-East should serve as a warning for world leaders:

If I was them I’d have a really good look at what’s happening in Iraq and look what’s happening in Libya, the place is falling apart. If you look at the real world that I live in, these interventions don’t work. They leave the situation having intervened much worse than they were.

Cole says that the Irish government’s  position is not too far removed from that of his organisation in accepting that the UN is the only authority that can provide the legal basis for a war. He says however that the Irish government should make a clear statement that they will not support action in Syria if it is not supported by a UN resolution:

This war will be an illegal war. I haven’t heard anyone ask Eamon Gilmore, “In the event of this war, do you accept that this is an illegal war and will you stop the United States of America using Shannon Airport?” Armaments will be passing through Shannon Airport on the way to this war.

The PANA public meeting will take place at Connolly Books on Dublin’s Essex Street at 3.30pm.

Read: G20 fails to heal rift on Syria at Russia talks >

Read: Anti-war protest planned outside OSCE dinner at Dublin Castle >

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Rónán Duffy

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