judgement has to be made..

I was disappointed [but not that surprised? – Ed] to see Eamonn McCann, regular Belfast Telegraph columnist and occasional election candidate, in the middle of this particular story. After a long running campaign repeatedly failed to achieve its aim of forcing prominent American company Raytheon to leave his beloved Maiden City – and take their software engineering jobs with them – today he and 8 others resorted to violence, stormed the offices, threw computer equipment and documents from a first storey window and were subsequently arrested. There’s a video report there too. The Belfast Telegraph has some quotes from earlier in the day. Update The 9 have been charged with aggravated burglary with intent to cause unlawful damage and unlawful assembly – BBC report – and remanded in custody until 7 September. More 8 of the 9 men are released on bailFrom the Belfast Telegraph.. it’s not clear whether the flag was already in the office, or if the self-appointed judges brought it with them.

An American flag was also set alight and a glass door smashed as debris rained down from a second floor window and littered the area outside.

A banner was unfurled from inside the building, reading: “Raytheon has been decommissioned”.

A dozen more people protesting over the deaths of Lebanese civilians remained outside, with placards bearing anti-war and anti-Raytheon slogans.

Speaking from inside, as dozens of uniformed police gathered, Mr McCann said: “The people of Derry cannot go on feeling shock and horror as they watch TV screens and do nothing,

“I certainly would not welcome an arrest and prosecution, who would? But judgment has to be made. People felt they had no option but to take this form of direct action.”

Eamonn may not welcome arrest, but that’s what he got… the prosecution, for trespass and criminal damage I’d guess, should now follow. It’s worth noting the attempt to frame this within the context of what’s happening in Lebanon now… despite fact that the same group was lobbying Derry City Council to force Raytheon out of the city three years ago

, , ,

  • tra g

    I don’t share your disappointment on this issue, Pete -surely the direct action taken by the protesters can be justified within the context of the immeasurable violence that american military might has inflicted on so many nations.
    Rathteon is part of the american killing machine which provides immense military support to Israel. Direct action may not always be the right course of action but against the backdrop of the carnage inflicted on innocent lebanese civilians, I say fair play to McCann and Co.

  • Pete Baker

    tra g

    The issue of Lebanon has simply been tacked on to provide convenient, and emotionally-driven, cover for the thuggery on display today. As I pointed out in the original post, there has been a long running campaign against this company – a company which is not breaking any laws – and a campaign which failed to achieve its aims.

    What we’re left with is self-appointed arbiters of what companies are ‘good’ and what companies are ‘bad’.. a self-appointed group who have resorted to violence when they didn’t get their own way.

    You did read about the fire-bombing of stores in Newry this morning?

  • SlugFest

    Tra g,

    I’m vehemently opposed to my government’s actions in the Middle East, becoming more sickened every night as i watch the ‘world’ news.

    That said, the minute McCann stormed Raytheon’s office, he lost credibility. He used violence –though admittedly nothing compared to the US’s aggressions — to argue his case against violence.

    Had the demonstration remained outside, with the right ‘stunts’, his case would have been much stronger.

  • Greenflag

    McCann is a vandal, and a gobshite . He should have left his demonstration outside .

    OBviously this is part of McCann’s strategy to encourage American investment in Derry ? 🙁

    How many jobs have McCann and his ilk created in Derry ?

    Nothing that McCann and his bunch of outdated loonies of the left do in Derry will have any impact on the tragedy of the Lebanon . McCann should take a plane to Tel Aviv and demonstrate against the war somewhere close to the Wailing Wall . Now that would require courage !

  • tra g

    Pete, your clumsy linking of the Derry protest to the Newry fire bombs is tenuous in the extreme and smacks of nothing more than sanctimonious claptrap.

    To borrow your own words, you have tacked on the issue of the Newry incendiary devices to provide convenient and emotionally driven cover for your mock outrage at McCann’s temerity in taking the action that he did

    Better that than spending half your life on this forum talking pointless guff as you do.

  • Pete Baker

    Of course it’s tenuous, tra g, that was partly the point – to mirror the tenuousness of McCann’s, and your, claims.

    But it does represent the extreme end of how violence is used by similarly self-appointed groups who can’t get their own way through any other means.

  • Amy Lee O Rate

    Spare a thought for the moral courage of a group of people who are prepared to risk prosecution and possible imprisonment because of their political and ethical beliefs.

  • Rory

    McCann’s action on this occasion is deplored by some here as an act of “violence” and “thuggery”.
    Possibly. Rather less an act of violence or thuggery I would have thought than the continuous acts of violence and thuggery that is visited upon unsuspecting innocents through the deployment of the weapons delivery systems for which Raytheon depends in order to maintain its rate of profit.

    I appreciate that some here are convinced of the moral primacy of profit (they really mean rate of profit) before people. I happen to think that they are misguided.

    For that reason, and for admiration of his willingness to openly confront the giants of violence and the legal system that permits them to thrive and for his willingness to suffer the penalty, I support him.

    Well done, Eamonn. Spike Lee said it in his movie title – “Do the Right Thing”. You gone and done it, dawg!

  • Reader

    Amy Lee: Spare a thought for the moral courage of a group of people who are prepared to risk prosecution and possible imprisonment because of their political and ethical beliefs.
    Well, that’s the essence of Civil Disobedience, though the significant amount of criminal damage in this instance is OTT. However – Civil Disobedience is just a means of highlighting issues – it doesn’t trump Parliament, and its practitioners presumably accept the price of bucking democracy.

  • rapunsel

    Well said Rory, and I reckon if you look at the case of the protestors in Shannon who damaged the plane and the action taken at Prestwick yestarday , that put McCann and co in front of a jury of their peers here and they will acquit. Some peace dividend for Northern Ireland that as our violenc stops we are prepared to nurture both the homegrown weapons manufacturers as well as the international variety. Who cares about death and destruction being rained down overseas as long as we have a few previous jobs here. I often wondered givn the support given to the weapons industry here why noone suggested as a solution to the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons that we sell them off to the highest overseas bidder, perferably those with the worst record of human rights abuses. Perhaps that’s what did happen and I can’t see how it would be any worse than what Raytheon, Thales, Shorts etc are engaging in.

  • JohnkingII

    Why don’t this pathetic little group of left wing Castro worshippers get a plane ticket to Tehran and protest at the offices of the missisle makers whose weapons are raining down on northern Israel just for a bit of balance. As a matter of fact I would totally back Derry DHSS if they decided to pay for it.

  • rapunsel

    How do you know they are Castro worshippers? And why don’t you go to Tehran? Just because it is impossible for people to take direct action in all circumstances doens’t mean that they should’not take it on those occasions they can

  • micheal

    Congratulations to all involved. The anti-war movement needs more actions like this and those at Prestwick and Shannon to confront those who profit from and perpetuate the slaughter in the Middle East.

  • maura

    Micheal*Congratulations to all involved. The anti-war movement needs more actions like this and those at Prestwick and Shannon to confront those who profit from and perpetuate the slaughter in the Middle East. *

    I couldn’t agree more. Well done to those involved.

  • Nevin

    [i]Mr John Hume MP said “I am very encouraged by this initiative from Raytheon. The company has recognised that the dividend from peace is still flourishing. Raytheon has confidence in Northern Ireland as do many other companies.”[/i]

  • rapunsel

    Nevin

    I remember this. Just goes to prove how parochial John Hume is and was in his political outlook. Opposed to “retail ” terrorism but less so with the ” wholesale ” variety

  • Keith M

    Absolutely disgraceful behaviour from the anti-everything mob. How do McCann and his fellow thugs propose to put food on the tables of the employees of this company wjhen they move to an more welcoming environment?

    Greenflag “McCann should take a plane to Tel Aviv and demonstrate against the war somewhere close to the Wailing Wall . Now that would require courage !”

    Not to mention the gift of bi-location, the Wailing Wall is over 40 miles from Tel Aviv. Flying into Jerusalem might make more sense!

  • mickhall

    Pete,

    I despair of you some times, there Mccann is in his 60s and he makes you look like an old git of 90 who does nothing but moan, with your nasty attempt to link this protest to the bombs in Newry and your daft talk about thuggery.[Red card for old Pete Mick, for playing the man not the ball, only joking]

    If people are prepared to take the consequences of their actions, then in a democracy peaceful direct action is not only perfectly acceptable but has a noble tradition. Have you ever protested against anything the powers that be have not first sanctioned Pete. If we had all waited for the likes of you, there would be no civil rights etc in the UK or RoI.

    As to this being a long running campaign, well if this company is providing systems that are being used in Lebanon, then it proves to me it was a campaign worth supporting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention Pete.

    We seem to increasingly live in a world were the protection of property is held above the protection of human beings. It is not rocket science to work out why this has become so, I would suggest the increasing gap between the haves and have nots might be something to do with it.

    By the way Pete, that was a real snide trick linking McCanns protest with his employer, why not go the whole hog and send an email to the BT and tell them what a naughty boy Eamon has been. Despite our differences I never had you down as an apprentice tout.

  • Garibaldy

    I’ve no problem with taking over the office for a while. But destroying the computers and throwing the files out the window is childish, and makes the protestors look that way.

    As for companies like Shorts which are involved in the arms trade, my personal position is that these companies may as well be providing jobs for NI workers as workers in foreign countries, and so wouldn’t want to see them leave.

  • Pete Baker

    Mick H

    “Despite our differences I never had you down as an apprentice tout.”

    If you’d bothered to read the original post, Mick – and the linked reports – before typing your response, you’d have realised that the Belfast Telegraph report on today’s thuggish display is also linked – No apology necessary.

    In case the point has been missed, or ignored – protest is fine, even by self-appointed groups sitting in judgement on others.. But today’s events went beyond protest.. by a long way.

  • Rory

    Oh, Garibaldy, how could you say what you just did above?

    I shall now forever think of you as the kinda guy who irons a crease in his jeans before he goes out in public.

    Nothing wrong with that of course, but…..

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    I don’t know how an iron works. I’ve no objection to damaging US air force planes etc, nor if there were missiles being made here as is often claimed (erroneously) to them being damaged, but come on. Throwing computers and documents out windows? Looks ridiculous. This is a matter of what is best for getting the message of the protest across, and convincing people of your argument. In other words, of tactics not principles. And these tactics were wrong.

  • Greenflag

    ‘But destroying the computers and throwing the files out the window is childish, and makes the protestors look that way. ‘

    Just like the Shannon ‘gobshites’. You can protest against the Iraq or Israeli /Hezbollah Lebanese war without having to act the hooligan .

  • iluvni

    I hope the Belfast Telegraph are tonight reviewing McCann’s position and will be sacking him in the morning.
    A truly disgraceful episode today.

  • Rory

    You can protest against the Iraq or Israeli /Hezbollah Lebanese war without having to act the hooligan .

    I suppose the USA and UK could have used the UN process to peacefully protest their objections to the Iraq government. Using guided missiles against civilians just seemed so much more glamourously principled i.e. a greater rate of interest would be available on whatever principle investors in such as Raytheon were hoping for.

    Oh, and for all you poor souls salivating at the idea of McCann being sacked (sacking a man – second best thing to a lynchin’ – ain’t that right boys?) I don’t think you really understand, do you? The concept of undertaking a principled action where the consequences would most likely result in your own discomfort and to your own econmomic detriment simply has never crossed your mind, has it?

    You really are missing out on the best things in life, guys.

  • Greenflag

    Mickhall,

    ‘We seem to increasingly live in a world were the protection of property is held above the protection of human beings. It is not rocket science to work out why this has become so, I would suggest the increasing gap between the haves and have nots might be something to do with it. ‘

    There was a huge gap between the haves and have nots in the 1930’s and 40’s . Did’nt stop the destruction of billions of pounds /marks worth of property or millions of lives did it ?

    When ever in the history of any conflict were the lives of human beings held above the value of ‘property’ apart from in a theoretical sense ?

    There is no excuse for McCann’s idiotic behaviour . I wonder how Raytheon ’employees’ feel about this senseless vandalism ?

  • Setanta

    I wonder if Eamonn Mc Cann, Goretti Horgan and the rest have any actual information on the work done by Ratheon in Derry or are they just picking a general target to give themselves something to do to pass the time?

    The last time I saw anything made by Raytheon was in Killybegs harbour – radar on a fairly inocuous looking little, fishing boat.

    I sure someone can give the exact figure but I believe Mc cann got about 2000 votes in a recent election – not what I would call a mandate to decide whether or not 60 Derry families are entitled to an income. Something that would also surely undo Goretti Horgan’s work as a board member of the Northen Ireland Anti-Poverty network (NIAPN).

  • Ha, ha, ha, ho, Ha, ho, ho, ha. Please, stop it, Aggers.

    More!

  • harpo

    ‘Spare a thought for the moral courage of a group of people who are prepared to risk prosecution and possible imprisonment because of their political and ethical beliefs.’

    Amy Lee O Rate:

    Is that intended as a backing of McCann and his lefty pals, or of the micro republican group that carried out the firebombings in Newry?

    Haven’t we heard all this time after time? Someone defending the actions of some violent people on the basis that the violence was based on the moral courage summoned from political and ethical beliefs?

    Isn’t the problem that if we accepted this theory, everyone could do anything they wanted if they felt they were doing it for political and ethical reasons?

    This is exactly the excuse given for Bobby Sands -that he bombed that furniture store for political and ethical reasons.

    So what’s the difference between Sands back in the 1970s, the micro republicans today, McCann and his lefty pals today, and some loyalist who tonight goes out and firebombs a GAA clubhouse based on this theory.

    Who gets to decide which politics and which ethics justify these actions? I’m sure that not all politics or ethical viewpoints would meet with your approval, so who decides which are OK and which aren’t?

  • harpo

    ‘I don’t share your disappointment on this issue, Pete -surely the direct action taken by the protesters can be justified within the context of the immeasurable violence that american military might has inflicted on so many nations.’

    tra g:

    So can everyone do this? Can we all be violent against any party that supports violence that we don’t approve of?

  • harpo

    ‘a self-appointed group who have resorted to violence when they didn’t get their own way.

    You did read about the fire-bombing of stores in Newry this morning?’

    Pete:

    Great point.

    Both of these actions are the result of fanatics who can’t get their way through normal politics.

    Your observation is spot on. There will be some who will support both the dissident republicans and the McCann action. Then there will be some – Provisional types – who will condemn the dissident republicans but will support the McCann action. They have a selective basis for approving of such action. If they did it in the past, or they approve of it today, they are OK with it, but if their opponents do it, they condemn it.

  • peter fallow

    “I hope the Belfast Telegraph are tonight reviewing McCann’s position and will be sacking him in the morning.
    A truly disgraceful episode today.”

    I have nothing in common whatsoever with McCann ideologically but I find the idea that he should be sacked from his position as a commentator over that action as nothing less than an attempt at reactionary censorship.
    He is not some party apparachik and more than capable of putting his case (much as I imagine I might disagree with it) in the telegraph. Calling for his sacking as a journalist is plain wrong. I personally have always sought out his analysis/reportage has it been available. I look forward to his reflections on this event.

  • Aidan

    I suppose all the supporters of some sort of action (not necessarily physical) against Raytheon avoid buying any products from US companies – after all, if you do you’re just supporting the US War Machine!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    fallow: “I have nothing in common whatsoever with McCann ideologically but I find the idea that he should be sacked from his position as a commentator over that action as nothing less than an attempt at reactionary censorship. He is not some party apparachik and more than capable of putting his case (much as I imagine I might disagree with it) in the telegraph. Calling for his sacking as a journalist is plain wrong. I personally have always sought out his analysis/reportage has it been available. I look forward to his reflections on this event. ”

    You would…

    As for censorship, McCann is free to dribble whatever he wants… The Telegraph is in no way obliged to give him access to their platform to do so.

  • Harry Flashman

    What’s with all this prissy “Oooh, Peter, don’t dare compare Wolfie McCann to those nasty brutes that incinerated JJB Sports in Newry”

    So I get it, one bunch are just unelected fanatics, with zero mandate from the people who think that because they have deeply held convictions they can destroy property and throw people out of their jobs and the other lot are dissident Chucks, is that it?.

    Please tell me what difference there is between what McCann did and what was done in Newry?

    McCann stood for election in his native Bogside, hardly a rock solid bastion of Thatcherite conservatism, he’s been campaigning for three decades and is given soap boxes by the Derry Jornal and the Belfast Telegraph and the Sunday Tribune and the BBC and he still couldn’t get elected as dog catcher.

    This however gives him the mandate to smash up other people’s property, (by the way mickhall I know you and I will never agree but the right to private ownership of property is another fundamental bedrock of a free society).

    Go fukk yersel McCann, get a real fukkin job.

    If the Belfast Telegraph don’t wish to employ violent criminals then that is their perfect right.

  • stop the war

    I believe that the protest was 100% justified but the only thing that might damage the campaign was that three of the local RIRA people are part of the 9. More direct action of this type will put the issue of the arms trade and their role in international terrorism in the middle east. The likes of Raytheon need wars.

  • Simon

    Anyone else seen the anti-war graffiti that’s suddenly appeared inBelfast city centre? There’s a really bizarre one in the alleyway at the back of Marks and Spencer. Something along the lines of “you wouldn’t beat your weaker wife just because you got beaten by your stronger employer” with “free Lebanon” right beside it.

  • T.Ruth

    There is a line that protest must not cross without losing credibility.One hopes that those who so wilfully destroyed property and job prospects in Derry, will,”having done the crime-be prepared to do the time.”
    T.Ruth

  • inuit_goddess

    Some of the wilder-eyed condemnations on this thread are beyond belief.

    This protest was not “violent” – nobody was hurt or injured.

    There was merely destruction of property involved – property belonging to a despicable corporation directly involved in the mass slaughter of innocent Lebanese women and children

    This company makes the guidance systems used to slaughter innocent children – so they can take their “software engineering” jobs and shove ’em.

    The people working those jobs are directly complicit in the mass murder of children.

  • lib2016

    So they smashed up a few computers? Any competent firm has plenty of backup. Count me in as another punter backing Eamon up on this one.

  • Keith M

    “the only thing that might damage the campaign was that three of the local RIRA people are part of the 9.”

    If you put aside that any right minded person would reject this shameful and potentially costly violence, the idea od RIRA being involved is handly surprising. the links between republicans and islamic extremism are well known.

    “I have nothing in common whatsoever with McCann ideologically but I find the idea that he should be sacked from his position as a commentator over that action as nothing less than an attempt at reactionary censorship.”

    I am totally in favour of free speech, but when someone resorts to thuggary like this, then their words should not be given a public platform. There is not justfication for this kind of behaviour.

    “There’s a really bizarre one in the alleyway at the back of Marks and Spencer.. with “free Lebanon” right beside it.

    Thanks for the tip but I think I prefer the free Cava.

  • inuit_goddess

    So Keith, if there was a factory outside Londonderry openly constructing rockets for Hezbollah to murder innocent Israeli civilians, you’d be quite content to see it remain in operation, with any protest confined to mere placard waving outside??

    “Hezbollah Rocket Propulsion Systems (NI) Inc.”

    Well that’s exactly what we have with Raytheon, busily constructing new ways to murder innocent Lebanese children.

    Or is it just that we place an entirely different value on the lives of innocent Lebanese than we do on the lives of innocent Israelis?

    The hypocrisy here beggars belief.

  • mickhall

    Both of these actions are the result of fanatics who can’t get their way through normal politics.
    harpo

    harpo,

    I think you are wrong here, for what you seem to be saying is that we, the people, can only make are opinions known politically once ever four or five years, when a general election comes around.

    But what happens, as is par for the course when something out of the ordinary occurs between elections, for example like the current UK government support for Israelis attack on Lebanon [imo]

    Should we all shrug our shoulders and say, well it is none of our business as we elect governments every five years or so to deal with these matters. There is an additional problem for those who live in the UK, in that both of the main parties support the current US satrap over Lebanon. Just because we do not hold majority political opinions, should we allow that to neuter us politically.

    i agree that violence against the person should not be used in this type of protest, indeed as far as I know no one was hurt in Newry. But I see no reason why a multi national should do what it wishes and expect no one to protest against its dirty money making needs, if that is what they are about.

    For example, I can remember campaigning against Barclays bank for trading in South Africa, we used direct action whilst the government of the day supported barclays, yet direct action and other means of protest made them withdraw from apartheid SA. Common decency won the day and hopefully the bank took more than the bottom line into account when making the decision to withdraw. Or do you feel it is just fine and dandy to let the unacceptable face of capitalism reemerge without a whimper from those who oppose unethical behavior in business

    Should disability campaigers not have used direct action to highlight the fact that many of them could not get on a bus and other forms of public transport, these protest can and do work and make life better for millions.

    Active citizens do not sit on the political arse’s between elections and the world is a far better place for it. Harpo if we were all to do as you seem to want, a small number of people would conclude the only way to change society bar voting every 4/5 years would be to engage in armed struggle. Not a good thing, the north has been their done that.

    All direct action of the type McCann was involved in does, is cause the majority of us a short period of inconvenience and it may make us think about issues we would not normal engage with. Sometime it even changes the minds of powerful forces within our society.

    Direct action is a vital part of our democracy at work; and it is just as important as that general election if our democracies are to grow and become beacons for all.

    All the best and lutta continua

  • John East Belfast

    Are they pacifests against Raytheon making weapons of any description ?
    Or are they simply anti US & Israeli and against weapons being sold to these two
    Or are they anti the war in Lebanon and hence are linking the second one above ?

    I find it hard from what they are saying to deduce what they are.

    The bottom line is in a free country they have the absolute right to protest against any of the three above.

    However such protestation must be within the law – if they dont like that law and they live in a democracy then they can attempt to change Governments and voters minds.

    They dont have the right to invade private property and cause vandalism.

    As for Raytheon it takes its cue from the lawfully constitited authorities – its Parent Company’s Govt, Its host Country’s Govt and the even the UN.

    ie there is no arms embargo on the US or Israel and there is no law against selling arms to them. If Eamon McCann and co want to get such a law then they can advocate one. If they are unsuccessful then they can continue argue – but they cant make their own laws.

    To me this is all pretty simple.

    There is a lot on this thread about admiring people with the courage to break the law while standing up for their principles – this is all dangerous bull shit and it is exactly the same kind of moral equivalence that justifies the Newry fire bombing or what those dangerously disturbed individuals were trying to do today on UK flights.

  • lib2016

    Time to point out yet again that ‘themmuns’ make better protestants. What has gone wrong with the Reformation?

    It wuz you lot were supposed to be into individual conscience and all that, while our lot kept our heads down and waited for the local PP to make up our minds for us.

    Can’t count on anyone these days.

  • Garibaldy

    JEB,

    Breaking the law when necessary was the principle that motivated Ghandi, Martin Luther King and NICRA.

  • Keith M

    inuit_goddess; if you cannot see the difference between the IDF’s self-denece of its civilian population and the indicrimate murder of those civilians by the murderous Hizbollah militias, then its pointless engaging with you.

  • Garibaldy

    Here is a report on the court appearance of the Derry wans

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4778937.stm

    Keith,

    Self-defence is one thing, what the Israelis are doing goes way beyond that. As the respective civilian casualty figures shows.

  • Greenflag

    Harpo,

    ‘so who decides which are OK and which aren’t? ‘

    The winners .

  • Keith M

    Garibaldy “Self-defence is one thing, what the Israelis are doing goes way beyond that. As the respective civilian casualty figures shows.”

    Hizbollah has been firing hundreds of missiles into Israel every day. This has been going on for a month. Those rockets have been deliberatly launched from built-up areas with civilian populations to make them more difficult to spot. Isreal has only targetted those launch sites and infrastructure which was being used to transport missiles into the area where it endangers Israeli civilians. If you want to blame anyone for civilian deaths (on either side of the border), there’s only one group to blame and that’s Hizbollah and its supporters.

    On the rare occasion where despite its best efforts a purely civilian taget is hit, Israel has apologised. We have yet to see an apology from Hizbollah for targetting civilians. I wouldn’t hold my breath, because terrorists deliberatly target civilians.

  • DK

    “I suppose all the supporters of some sort of action (not necessarily physical) against Raytheon avoid buying any products from US companies – after all, if you do you’re just supporting the US War Machine!”

    Good point – Raytheon were picked on because they make radar systems that are used by, among other things, missiles (even though the Derry plant is only for civilian applications).

    Raytheon currently has offices in countries worldwide, including pro-Israeli China, Egypt, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

    Also they are not exactly on friendly terms with Israel: http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2002/7/10/8s.html

    “The Israeli Defense Ministry refused to comment publicly on Raytheon’s effort to prevent Arrow [missile] sales to third countries, but Israeli senior officials said privately that if Raytheon continues its effort, Israel “will not hesitate to respond in kind,” as one official said.”

    Although hostilities may have been suspended since Raytheon is suppling missile defence systems to Israel (they made the Patriot system).

    This muddies the water. Raytheon make missiles used by Israel, but some are purely defensive anti-missiles. And the plant in Derry is just for civilian purposes.

    So McCann’s targetting was woolly. He should really be targetting the people using the weapons rather than those who sold them. He would have been better of trashing the Israeli embassy, but they probably would have shot him.

  • Garibaldy

    Keith,

    That is quite frankly nonsense. Hizbullah do launch missiles from cities, but also from other places. e.g. the reason, allegedly, that the Israelis destroyed the UN post on a mountain was because hizbullah was next to it. And given the sheer numbers of civilians killed the notion that the Israelis are doing it by accident doesn’t stand up.

    Basically, you are using the logic the Provos used to justify the Shankill bombing. The UDA had offices above the fish shop, so bombing the fish shop was aimed at a military target. All civilian deaths they say were accidental. I know you don’t believe that, and believe that the Provos had no regard for those civilians because they were protestants. Why should I believe anything different of the Israelis? Let’s not forget the butchery that took place in 1982 under our old friend Sharon’s direction.

    I note also a link on the Jim Gibeny two-state solution thread saying the Israelis have fired thousands of shells into Gaza recently but I haven’t read it as yet.

    What is that saying?

  • Setanta

    “merely destruction of property”….”belonging to a despicable corporation directly involved in the mass slaughter of innocent Lebanese women and children ”

    I really have never heard such a load of pompous twaddle – if I disagree with someone is it ok then for me to come round and trash their house or workplace?

    Exactly how fastidious are these self – righteous people anyway? Do they, for example, boycott major donors to George Bush such as Pepsi, Microsoft, Glaxo Wellcome, Disney, Asda (via Walmart), Ford etc etc. I somehow doubt it and surely if they dont they are as guilty as the people they bore us by condemning.

  • DK

    Raytheon supply air control systems to Lebanon! So McCann has actually targetted the rare part of Raytheon that is actually helping the Lebanese.

    http://www.portaliraq.com/search-portal-iraq.php and type in “raytheon”

  • DK

    “I note also a link on the Jim Gibeny two-state solution thread saying the Israelis have fired thousands of shells into Gaza recently but I haven’t read it as yet.”

    Yep – and tank incursions too. Lebanon is distracting from this news:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5245482.stm

    “Israel fires more than 150 shells a day into Gaza, according to the UN, and their muffled booms reverberate across the rooftops of Gaza City, Beit Hanoun in the north and Rafah in the south.

    Several nights a week, they’re joined by the throbbing of Apache helicopters as Israel launches air strikes against houses they suspect of storing weapons for militant groups, or against militants themselves.

    And every week or so, Gazans learn of the arrival of a new party of Israeli tanks, pushing their way into one area, then another, along the length of the Strip
    ” 4 Aug 2006

  • Christopher Eastwood

    In the “City of God”, St. Augustine recounted the story of the “Pirate and the Emperor”.

    It seems that a pirate is captured by Alexander’s forces. During an audience between the pirate and the Emperor, the Emperor says “How dare thou molest the seas?” The pirate tells him, “I am a small man with a small boat, so they call me a pirate; you’re a man with a vast navy, and you molest the world, but they call you an emperor?” This is instructive in considering this thread.

    McCann and co. have caused property damage, in an attepmt to take an indirect stand against the American “imperialism”, and their more particular military support for Israel in the current war. Hardly either intelligent, nor potentially effective, considering their goals, but there you have it.

    Despite what one thinks of the legitimacy of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, their response’s disproportionality is beyond question. For a country its size, Israel is only able to take such rash action because of the financial and military support of the White House. All the while, many civilians have LOST THEIR LIVES, their livelihoods, and their homes.

    The comparison between small-scale property damage and large-scale loss of lives is not the only one to be made, as inherent in the Israeli-Lebanon war (and wars like it) is massive-scale property damage – and not on the scale of a few computers, easily and immediately replaceable by a company reporting obscene profit levels. Indeed, one need only recall the bombing of the nation museum in Kabul in late 2001, which saw the obliteration of ancient cultural artifacts, to demonstrate “propery damage” writ large, the property of a historical tradition – irreplaceable. Imagine, for the purposes of this analogy, the outrage that would inevitably be directed to a republican “pirate” who destroys the 1912 Ulster Covenant.

    Yet, because this happens at such a lofty international stage, we feel capable of disassociating from it? At least subconsciously, we know all too well the ‘impotency of the people’ in representative democracies such as our own. We all witnessed the powerful influence brought to bear by anti-war protesters on the pre-Iraq War Labour government. Yeah, right… But when we see a ‘pirate’, such as McCann, committing small-scale politically-motivated crime, we see an opportunity to exert power again. We can take a moral stand against his actions, for example by saying…

    “I understand his motives, but it is foolish and criminal. He should be prosecuted, and made to know that this sort of solution will not be tolerated”.

    This provides us with the illusion of having taken a stand ourselves. Even though we have yet to actually do anything, we have at least judged those who have, in our opinion, taken the wrong “form” of action. We know how one should conduct political protest, even though we conveniently deny the practical impotence of doing it “the right way”.

    We are constantly told that we live in a democracy, where the “people are in power”, and those actually in power use the excuse of “an apathetic and apolitical population” to explain away the fact that our leaders are not demographically reflective of our society. Yet, if the anti-war demonstrations before the Iraq war showed us anything, it showed us two things:

    *Our society cannot, in any shape or form, be described as apathetic or apolitical.
    *The “people” are ultimately powerless.

    When one considers the frustration resulting from these two facts, combined with the socialist motive of international solidarity felt by the political McCann, is it any wonder? Is it not wonderful? It reminds me of the scene in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”… when the powerless “pirate” Jack Nicholson tries hopelessly to lift the might “emperor” sink, in order to impress his friends in the asylum. He fails, and then looks to them and says…

    “I tried, didn’t I? At least I did that much”

    Note the implicit “While you didn’t even try… which is pathetic” – this, I am sure, is what McCann will think of those who condemn him for his recent crimes. Perhaps peaceful protest IS the only way to go. Perhaps we SHOULD all be out, marching in the streets. But the fact is that we are not. After the initial failure, we all retreat to passive acceptance of our own impotence…. some people just cannot disassociate so easily. People like McCann. Like him or loathe him, “he tried, didn’t he? At least he did that much”….

  • Keith M

    Garibaldy given that Hizbollah are launching hundreds of rockets, I’m sure they are using many launch sites. However as many of these are in civilian areas, they (and they alone) are the ones putting civilians in the firing line.

    There is absoluely no evidence that Israel is targetting civialians for the sake of it. Areas in which Hizbollah is not active (central Beirut, chrstian areas etc.) are almost untouched.

  • Greenflag

    mickhall,

    ‘i agree that violence against the person should not be used in this type of protest’

    Brilliant analysis .

    ‘indeed as far as I know no one was hurt in Newry. ‘

    Only 10 million pounds worth of property damage which the insurance companies will recuperate when they raise their premiums for the business community in Newry and across NI. Should help to make NI more competitive as a business location 🙁

    ‘But I see no reason why a multi national should do what it wishes and expect no one to protest against its dirty money making needs, if that is what they are about. ‘

    Thoughtful of you to include the ‘if’ . Apparently it’s an accepted tenet of modern life that businesses exist only because they make a profit . Businesses that don’t eventually close down . I would think that Northern Ireland with an already bloated 70% public sector dominated economy can ill afford to lose jobs in the private sector .

    ‘For example, I can remember campaigning against Barclays bank for trading in South Africa, we used direct action whilst the government of the day supported barclays, yet direct action and other means of protest made them withdraw from apartheid SA. Common decency won the day and hopefully the bank took more than the bottom line into account when making the decision to withdraw. ‘

    Sorry to disappoint you of the perceived merits of your anti apartheid campaigning. What actually happened was that Barclays sold out to Standard Chartered of South Africa and made a handsome profit on the deal. Standard Chartered then ‘rationalised ‘ the jobs at their ‘former ‘ Barclay’s subsidiaries leaving thousands of Black and white South Africans without a job .
    So much for you anti Barclay’s campaign.

    Black South Africans acheived more through their local boycott of white owned business firms which refused to hire blacks for jobs or which discriminated in any way against black customers or employees . All your anti apartheid protests ever acheived marching around the streets of London, Dublin, or New York or Belfast was local traffic jams and of course making the local ‘loonies’ feel that they were doing something positive for black Africans .

    ‘All direct action of the type McCann was involved in does, is cause the majority of us a short period of inconvenience and it may make us think about issues we would not normal engage with’

    Complete rubbish . McCann’s action caused ‘inconvenience ‘ for a tiny number of people in Derry . It may have gotten an airing internally throughout Raytheon . But all that will have achieved is that the next time Raytheon are establishing a business they will look elsewhere . The people of Derry will be the losers . The ramifications of McCann’s idiocy will not just stop with Raytheon . Other companies from around the world may pause for reflection when considering a location for their business

    ‘ Or do you feel it is just fine and dandy to let the unacceptable face of capitalism reemerge without a whimper from those who oppose unethical behavior in business ‘

    It’s perfectly acceptable to oppose ‘unethical ‘ behaviour in business but you don’t achieve this by driving business away . All that achieves is ‘poverty’. See how Zimbabwe has prospered since it drove away ‘business’ .

    Presumably the Newry ‘fire bombers’ want to turn NI into a new Zimbabwe – a socialist basket case where everybody is equally poor and life expectancy is 37 and 35% of the population have fled to the ‘evil’ capitalist economies of Botswana and South Africa .

    Where will the people of NI flee when the fire bomb idiots leave a esert behind them. These feckers when caught should get life imprisonment with no release .

  • backs to the wall

    All remanded in custody to appear by videolink at a later date

  • Garibaldy

    Greenflag,

    In fairness, I think Mick meant Derry when he typed Newry, from reading the rest of the post.

    Keith,

    So the Israelis have a right to bomb cars from the air so people are risking their lives when they travel, destroy roads, and then say everyone who hasn’t left certain towns and cities is a legitimate target? I don’t think so. And as far as I can see it is impossible to deny that Israel has carried out many operations in the full knowledge that they would result in large-scale civilian casulties. You mightn’t consider that deliberate targeting of civilians. Others would. And what did they think was in the Red Cross ambulance with the Red Cross on the top they bombed? Did they think Hizbullah was trying to make it easy for them by X marking the spot?

    The fact that Hizbullah is in the wrong does not make Israel in the right.

  • Harry Flashman

    You know this is such elementary stuff that you sit slackjawed in astonishment at some of the posters here.

    So to keep it nice and simple here are some analogies;

    A bunch of unelected and unelectable loyalist hardmen convince themselves that the Blanket news magazine is a front for militant republicanism, they assert that their study of the Blanket magazine proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the readers and the contributors are republican terrorists, who are behind terrorism in Northern Ireland.

    Now of course the Blanket denies this allegation, they merely publish a magazine which debates the republican viewpoint, yes sure many of the contributors may or may not be linked to republican terrorism but the magazine itself has no role in terrorism.

    This explanation is not considered good enough for East Belfast’s finest and they smash into the office, wreck the computers and burn an Irish flag.

    Mickhall applauds this courageous example of “people power”. Right?

    A mosque in central London is believed to be a recruiting centre of Islamic terrorism, given the widescale mass murder associated with Islamic terrorism around the world a group of BNP supporters decide that the only thing they can do is to trash it and burn the Koran inside it. This despite the forthright denials of the imams that they are a terrorist recruitment centre and the police’s belief that the mosque operates within the law.

    Garibaldy congratulates the BNP boys for their heroic blow against islamofascism. No problem eh?

    Need I go on? Protestors against bogus asylum seekers and refugee shelters, anti-Israel protestors and the headquarters of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, anti-homosexual marriage and Gay Pride’s head office, republican dissidents and TK Maxx, oops we’ve done that one; and funny enough everybody was clear in their condemnation of that one.

    McCann’s a clown boys and I hope he enjoys his cell in Maghaberry.

  • kensei

    “There is absoluely no evidence that Israel is targetting civialians for the sake of it. Areas in which Hizbollah is not active (central Beirut, chrstian areas etc.) are almost untouched.”

    A straw man that no one has suggested. What they are suggesting, is they just don’t care how many civilians get killed, except perhaps only in so much as it could possibly curtail their ability to make war by pissing off the US public.

    I cannot understand how anyone who went through the Holocaust could inflict that amount of suffering on innocents. It’s beyond me.

  • Keith M

    Garibaldy “You mightn’t consider that deliberate targeting of civilians. Others would.” Indeed as as we’re not down to a matter of opinion, I think further debate won’t get us anywhere. I have made my position clear. You are entitled to yours, but it won’t change mine.

    Kensei” I cannot understand how anyone who went through the Holocaust could inflict that amount of suffering on innocents. It’s beyond me.” Perhaps it’s because people saw the effects of an evil, fundamentalist, supremacist movement that spread hate and threatened civilization at first hand that they want to stop another one in its tracks?

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    Maybe you missed the bit where I said that they shouldn’t have attacked the computers and thrown the stuff out of the window.

    How’s this analogy. The Islamic fundamentalists attack and kill communists in Cuba. Harry says fine, they’re worse than the Islamics, let’s give them guns, money, missiles, training, and send soldiers to help them as well

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “I cannot understand how anyone who went through the Holocaust could inflict that amount of suffering on innocents. It’s beyond me. ”

    Its not just the Holocaust, kensei, its the Holocaust, five wars, two infitadas and an on-going terrorist campaign, not to mention the anti-semitic “drive-them-into-the-sea-and-exterminate-them” rhetoric they hear on a daily basis.

    Its because of what’s been inflicted upon them they do what they do to protect themselves and their own.

  • Harry Flashman

    Garibaldy

    As I recall it was the Cuban Communists who were doing the attacking of other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, if people wished to resist them that was fine.

    I fully agree that it was right to support Josef Stalin against the Nazis, because the Nazis were the greater threat to world freedom. However after the defeat of Naziism it was imperative to defeat Stalinism.

    There is no question that a miniscule minority of the people who are now behind the current drive for worldwide Islamofascism may have got a small amount of assistance from the west in their battle against the Soviets in Afghanistan but that does not detract from the fact that the Soviet Union has been defeated and the islamofascists are now the major threat against world freedom and must be defeated.

    To continually hark back to the Afghan campaign is as meaningless as me pointing out the IRA’s rather odd connection to the Nazis. It’s like saying that Britain’s arming of the Irish Guards or the Royal Irish Rifles to fight the Germans was the entire impetus of Irish Republicanism. Certainly ex-soldiers like Tom Barry might have faught for both sides but to allege that the deep seated core of Irish Republicanism came from the barracks of the Dublin Fusliers is to insult everyone’s intelligence.

    Anyone with two eyes can see the role of Iran for the past twenty seven years, to pretend that Islam was a completely peaceful, non agressive religion until the CIA sent the Afghan mujahadeen some stinger missiles is imbecillity of the highest order.

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    I refute attempts to talk about whether or not “Islam” is a more or less peaceful religion than any other. Like every religion it has its various sects, and a long and bloody history.

    Having said that I am happy to talk about theocrats. Iranian (and Syrian) support for groups in Palestine and Lebanon is open to interpretation. It might be driven by Islamic solidarity, by hatred of Israel, or by the desire to give people the capacity to defend and liberate themselves. Or some mixture of these and other motives.

    My point about Islamism is that it the theocrats existed with their vision elaborated long before the CIA gave them weapons but it was foreign support (let’s not forget the British role) that turned them into a potent force. I raise it because the Americans try to say they have an ethically-driven foreign policy etc when clearly they don’t. It’s particularly relevant for this administration given the role of many of its sentior figures in the Regan and Bush pere administrations.

    What we are seeing in a lot of this stuff is countries playing out their strategic interests. I believe that when Palestine is sorted out the popularity of such ideals will fall, although the Iraq situation, and the support of the US for corrupt regimes like the House of Saud, suggests that unfortunately Islamist terrorism will be with us for a long time to come.

    It must be defeated, but not in a way that suggests there is a clash of civilisations.

  • Christopher Eastwood

    Harry

    What “world security” are you talking about? You mean “our security”??? You must… In which case, I suggest to you that it is exactly that western arrogance, namely the assertion that “we” are global arbitrars of what is right and wrong that provokes such Islamic states into such blatant anti-Americanism.

    I mean, can you blame them? If there’s one lesson to be taken from recent world history, it is that you are much safer WITH nuclear capabilities than without them. We’ve only to look at the Iraq War for a portent into this reasoning. This US administration, so vocal in proclaiming their mission to make the world a more secure place, has done about the very real North Korean threat. All the while, it creates a war with Iraq (with no comparable nuclear threat, as has been shown) out of mid air, and now it seems the next target is Iran – with little more existing nuclear potential. North Korea seem to have a position of security now, and they are taken seriously… all because of their clear and present potential. So, isn’t it merely logical for the puppet-President Ahmadinejad and the council of mullahs to take note of this? Indeed, who in the White House listened to global anti-nuclear campaigners whilst the USA built up their arsenal in the last century? Granted, the Cold War may have made this necessary… but why no willingness to commit to ridding the world “completely” of them (i.e. including the US) in the present context? We cannot, with a straight face, tell other countries not to develop such systems of protection when we have done so ourselves, and for the very same reasons.

    Don’t you see that it is a game of “War is Freedom”? The political and social advantages of “perpetual war” are too well documented to require mention here. And this is all understandable, if the administrations would be openly honest about it. Yet, with their powerful and convincing rhetoric, they have been able to secure much popular support. The neo-conservative theory is certainly worthy of attention, but it is just that – a theory. In practice, it just doesn’t work. I would urge you to reconsider your evident beliefs about the universal transferability of our own style of government and politics. The world of ideas is a little broader than you may have come to think.

  • Harry Flashman

    Garibaldy

    The solution to the Israel/Palestine situation is obviously necessary, my own opinion is that it is very much in Israel’s interest to get a solution, why the hell wouldn’t they?

    They pulled out of southern Lebanon and Gaza, did they get peace? If they pulled out of the West Bank tomorrow would that mean it was all over? Would Osama and the Ayatollahs say; “Alhamdulilah, we can all become peaceful sheep herders again, the problems of the Palestinians are over”? I am sure you are not a naive idiot, so I don’t have to point out that the Israel/Palestine thing is a complete red herring.

    If a fair settlement to the Middle East was reached tomorrow would the janjaweed stop slaughtering Africans in Darfur? Would Nigerian Muslims suddenly have no problem with their Christian compatriots? Would Coptic Christians in Egypt suddenly wake up to a sweet dawn of peaceful tolerance? Would the Buddhists in southern Thailand discover the peace and tranquility which has so far evaded them? Would the Catholics of Mindanao in the Philippines no longer fear their Muslim neighbours? Could Christian schoolgirls walk to school in Indonesia safe from the threat of decapitation? Would children in the schools of southern Russia also be safe from the tender mercies of the Soldiers of God? Would Serbians feel free and safe in their native Kosovo? Could Hindus in India breathe a sigh of relief that they no longer faced bombs on their commuter trains?

    Need I go on Garibaldy?

    It is a typical conceit of Westerners to belive that the world revolves around themselves. Thus you have the usual post here that says, I paraphrase, “Islam is only militant because we made it so”, the proud holy warriors of the Jihad, the noble descendents of a milennia and a half of fighting the infidels snort in derision at such parochialism. We didn’t create militant Islam, the militant Islamists created militant Islam, Israel is only the excuse, just like the Crusades were once an excuse or Andalusia was once an excuse.

    When the Nazis invaded Poland, all debate about the inequities or otherwise of the Treaty of Versailles were ended, there was only one issue, how to defeat the threat of Fascism once and for all. It sometimes seems like we’re in 1941 with the wehrmacht at the gates of Moscow and western liberals are still debating the finer points of the Saarland and whether the Gdansk corridor might need some readjustment!

  • Harry Flashman

    Wow, just as I type the words, ‘ Thus you have the usual post here that says “Islam is only militant because we made it so” ‘ and bang on cue Christopher Eastwood tells me it’s all our fault and that we shouldn’t blame the poor wee darlings, they don’t know any better.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  • mickhall

    I think what makes people who support the status quo and all it does so angry with McCann and his comrades, is by their act they have shone a light onto something that these supporters of big capital would rather not have exposed. In the process McCann’s little group have also highlighted our complicity with the deaths in Lebanon, many of which have been caused by weaponry manufactured in the US/UK.

    Green flag,
    Whilst you are right about Standard and Barclays you are wrong to believe the city is immune to such campaigns, indeed it was not until the boycott of those who traded with the apartheid regime took hold in the US that business flipped from supporting the apartheid state to being an active participant for change.

    Does not that you fear these multi nationals moving from the north worry you about the power they have to impoverish an area. If they are able and willing to behave in such a manner towards people who have only shown them loyalty, [their employees] are you suggesting we should bow down before them, no matter what they do. For example, if they polluted the north, should we turn a blind eye to this, as they may up and go to a place where the government does not demand a high environmental standard, like China.

    Does the host country and its people not have any rights in the face of multi nationals. The way some of you talk it is as if IG Faben manufactured Sarin gas in the north today, should we just let then get on with it even if some Nazi state brought it to gas jews.

  • Harry Flashman

    Mickhall

    So you would have no problem with my hypothetical protestors trashing the offices of the Blanket then, would you?

    On another small issue – please believe me I’m not trying to point score here – but would you be prepared to retract your use of the ignorant and offensive word “tout” with reference to Peter Baker. I mean that sincerely mick, it’s a nasty, dirty term and is as offensive to me personally as another word that is best left unuttered.

    I think that we all should take care with our language and I honestly feel that word was uncalled for and in Irish terms every bit as derogatory as other words that posters here, like myself, in the flush of debate might use without realising how disgusting they are.

  • Christopher Eastwood

    Harry..

    Perhaps you should read my post as little more carefully, and resist making assumptions about my political viewpoints. Yuo have evidently made the wrong ones. I did not once refer to US support for violent regimes in the past. Likewise, I do not believe that “Islamofascists are only such because we made them so”.. nevertheless, you refuse to address some of the more serious questions posed by my post. Instead, you draw inferences which are false, and now ironically it is you reasoning through cliche.

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    A lot of those disuptes you refer to are local difficulties with as much to do with enthicity, resources etc as religion. A lot of them predate the growth of modern Islamism in the decades after WWII. The problem with the clash of civilisations approach is that it internationalises and radicalises them. This happened in the last century with the cold war, and I hope it won’t happen again.

    On the Israel/Palestine thing, a solution of course won’t change the Islamists’ ideology. What it might do is massively reduce the pool of anger and discontent from which they might draw, and help isolate them and reduce their effectiveness.

    Christopher,

    Apply your logic to the Korean peninsula. The DPRK is threatened by a heavily armed and aggressive hyperpwer, which has 10% of its nuclear arsenal in the region. The establishment of their nuclear deterrent is in response to the refusal of the US to guarantee a non-agression pact, and the failure of the US to meet guarantees given in 1994 on the provision of light-water reactors. The US regularly violates DPRK airspace and territorial waters, and indulges in rhetoric not that different to the Iranian President’s about Israel. The DPRK is not a threat to the existence of the US. The US is a threat to the existence of the DPRK. Looked at in this light, the DPRK is behaving perfectly logically in seeking a deterrent.

  • Christopher Eastwood

    Garibaldy

    Your post shows perspective, and an appreciation of the bigger picture, obviously not blinded by the kind of loaded propaganda that passes as objectivity in this part of the world. Thank you.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis, and did so when I wrote my post on the matter. The statement I made was framed the way it was simply to make a specific point to Harry, namely that.. if we consider it a threat for authoritarian states to possess a nuclear arsenal, then the White House has acted inconsistly with this. They attacked Iraq on this ground, after all. There is no doubt that the North Korean government, if left alone, will not pose a threat to the US, or indeed us. Yet, should they be left alone? This question goes to the heart of the whole current debate. They have an appalling record of human rights abuses, etc. etc. We must ask ourselves whether we should stand idly by and say…

    “It is none of our business… perhaps they have different “values” than us… and, viewed in a different light, their approach is not worse, just different to ours”…

    or whether we should be much more concerned with the situation. This is an open debate, but the answer each person provides certainly does govern their own individual I.R outlook.

    I agree that their seeking for a deterrent is perfectly logical, but my point was that, to a large extent, they have already developed such a deterrent.. and it has proved effective, thus vindicating their original reasoning. Iran is hardly wrong to learn the same lesson.. and, if viewed as simply as “Iran are developing nuclear weaponry… therefore… they are a rogue state, and must be dealt with”… then, what does this say about the US, who holds an almost complete monopoly in this regard???

    Thanks for making a worthwhile point Garibaldy, but there was no need to direct it to me 😉

  • mickhall

    Harry,

    It is true that the word tout is offensive, indeed it is meant to be; and taking into account how the word is used in Ireland, I think I over stepped the mark when calling Pete a junior member of this creed. However I still believe he was wrong to mention in the same link McCanns actions in occupying the business in Derry and his employer.

    However I do agree with you that we should all be careful how we use language, as it can so easily make a bad situation worse. I have taken on board what you say and as you behaved in such a gentlemanly manner when I mentioned something similar that I found offensive, I can hardly refuse your request not to use this word.

    Regards

    Mick

  • Garibaldy

    Christopher,

    Fair enough. Just a point worth making I thought, for which you provided the opportunity.

    And Harry, just for you a link to a report of a speech by George Bush on Islamofascism

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4781185.stm

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Garibaldy: “I refute attempts to talk about whether or not “Islam” is a more or less peaceful religion than any other. Like every religion it has its various sects, and a long and bloody history. ”

    You may refuse the discussion, but you have refuted nothing.

    Garibaldy: “My point about Islamism is that it the theocrats existed with their vision elaborated long before the CIA gave them weapons but it was foreign support (let’s not forget the British role) that turned them into a potent force. I raise it because the Americans try to say they have an ethically-driven foreign policy etc when clearly they don’t. It’s particularly relevant for this administration given the role of many of its sentior figures in the Regan and Bush pere administrations. ”

    Actually, you will find there were parallel organizations — the mujahadin were not a monolitich army with a strict hierarchy — with the more radical groups receiving Saudi funding. Al-Qaeda’s roots are as a Saudi funded logistical group supporting the Mujahadin, iirc.

    Garibaldy: “What we are seeing in a lot of this stuff is countries playing out their strategic interests. I believe that when Palestine is sorted out the popularity of such ideals will fall, although the Iraq situation, and the support of the US for corrupt regimes like the House of Saud, suggests that unfortunately Islamist terrorism will be with us for a long time to come. ”

    And who, pray tell, decided it should be the House of Saud and not another Hashemite king? Who, in other words, put the House of Saud in power?

    Garibaldy: “It must be defeated, but not in a way that suggests there is a clash of civilisations.”

    No, but Muslim rhetoric and the Koran do suggest such — Dar-al-Harb and Dar-al-Islam, for example.

  • Garibaldy

    On the Derry people, I think remand for a month is totally and utterly over the top. This case could be dealt with much more quickly. Clearly aimed to deter future efforts.

  • Moochin photoman

    Thales in East Belfast recieved a £440,000 grant from the Peace II funding body SEUPB 2 or 3 yrs ago, which always struck me as vv ironic.
    I dare say that the miniature gyroscopes made there are currently deployed in the middle east.
    No protest there tho i suspect thats because of its proximity to Castlereagh!

  • mickhall

    FYI

    -war protesters, including Eamonn McCann, arrested after Raytheon occupation

    by Simon Basketter

    Nine anti-war protesters, including socialist and civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann, are in jail in Northern Ireland for occupying an arms manufacturer

    The demonstrators stormed the Derry base of US arms manufacturer Raytheon on Wednesday 9 August, barricading themselves into the building.

    Raytheon produce software for Guided Missile Units (GBU) currently being used by Israel’s army in its assault on Lebanon.

    Raytheon’s computer system was “completely disabled”, according to the protesters, and thousands of documents were thrown from windows. A banner was unfurled from inside the building, reading “Raytheon has been decommissioned”.

    Speaking from inside as dozens of uniformed police gathered, Eamonn McCann said, “The people of Derry cannot go on feeling shock and horror as they watch TV screens and do nothing.

    “People felt they had no option but to take this form of direct action.”

    A statement from the Derry Anti-War Coalition reads, “The protest was prompted by the current barbaric Israeli assault on Lebanon and Gaza, which has claimed over thousand lives in just a few weeks. Many of the innocent lives lost have resulted from the use of GBUs produced by Raytheon.

    “It is tragic that the Raytheon factory was held up at the time of its opening as an example of the ‘peace dividend’ for the North, when its function is exporting death and destruction to innocent people in Lebanon.

    “The Irish people have a witnessed first hand the brutality and conflict brought by colonialism and empire. We should be playing no part in inflicting that suffering on others.

    “Given the carnage we are now witnessing in Lebanon and Gaza there is simply no excuse for such weapons of death being produced.”

    After eight hours the occupation was ended by over 100 riot police storming the building.

    Speaking from the back of a police Land Rover at Strand Road police barracks after being arrested, a handcuffed Eamonn McCann said, “They came in riot gear and surrounded us in the room. We were playing cards at the time. We were arrested for burglary and criminal damage.”

    On Thursday 10 August morning a crowd of several dozen people gathered at the court in Derry, chanting anti-war slogans as they awaited the arrival of the police convoy carrying the protesters.

    The nine anti-war activists were charged overnight with aggravated burglary with intent to cause unlawful damage. They were also charged with unlawful assembly.

    These charges are “scheduled” offences under “anti-terrorist” legislation, meaning that the cases can be heard by juryless Diplock Court.

    All nine were remanded in custody until 7 September when they will appear before the same court via videolink.

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id=9465

  • Pete Baker

    Mickhall

    “I think I over stepped the mark when calling Pete a junior member of this creed. However I still believe he was wrong to mention in the same link McCanns actions in occupying the business in Derry and his employer.”

    I had thought you might have re-assessed your accusation more fully in the cool light of day.

    But let’s look again at what you actually said..

    By the way Pete, that was a real snide trick linking McCanns protest with his employer, why not go the whole hog and send an email to the BT and tell them what a naughty boy Eamon has been.

    As I pointed out in my earlier reply to your accusation, the original post included a link to a Belfast Telegraph report on Eamonn McCann’s activities… or did you think that they wouldn’t realise what one of their columnists was up to?

    As for whether you think I was wrong to point to his position as a newspaper columnist…

    The reference to his position as a columnist is valid, regardless of which paper it was on, from your own defence of his actions – “by their act they have shone a light onto something that these supporters of big capital would rather not have exposed”

    Here’s a hint – why do you think he writes a newspaper column?

    And thanks for the Socialist Worker’s coverage.. always good to add in an unbiased source.. which adds nothing to the information already here.

    ANYway, he has a month to think about it for his next column.

  • tra g

    ‘ANYway, he has a month to think about it for his next column.’

    Yeah Pete, another victory for our fine judicial system against the forces of darkness-

    Sleep well now that public enemy number one, McCann, is safely under lock and key and don’t worry about the countless civilians that will die again in Lebanon tonight at the hands of the american-sponsored Israeli war machine.
    any chance of someone locking you away for a month to give us a break from the pile of shite you peddle every night?
    Nite Nite and sleep well

    Tra g

  • Pete Baker

    His time in custody is something he could have avoided himself, tra g. Worth noting though that one of the other campaigners, speaking from safely outside the Raytheon offices yesterday, claimed they wanted their time in court.

    But feel free to argue the points made.. that is what a blog is all about.

  • Keith M

    Pete “His time in custody is something he could have avoided himself”. Indeed Pete and a bit like Lebannon if it had actually done what it signed up to doing (getting rid of Hizbollah).

  • Pete Baker

    Let’s keep to the actual topic, Keith.

  • Garibaldy

    Pete,

    Given that at least one and probably more of these people are SWP people surely it was relevant to see the spin they’re putting on it? I know Mick Hall had overstepped the bounds previously and possibly annoyed you but that contribution seemed to me exactly on topic. And besides, it was worth it for the melodramatic speaking from the inside of a land rover bit. It’s like porn for the student would be revolutionaries of the SWP – actual conflict with the satanic forces of the state instead of being ignored or laughed at at best.

  • Paul

    Apparently Raytheon make guided missile systems, among other things. If missiles are going to be fired, and they will be, then surely it’s better they are guided?
    If the USA withdrew their investment in Derry and unemployment went back up to 30%, Wolfie would be delighted, he might even get a few votes then, and I’m sure he’s nostalgic for the miserable seventies/eighties. It’s hard to rail against capitalism when all anyone wants to talk about is how much their house(in Creggan Heights)is worth.
    We’d be pisspoor again but we would be pure.

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    Believe me when I say I have a thick enough skin by now – but I doubt it’s the spin that Mick intended to be noted.

    “And besides, it was worth it for the melodramatic speaking from the inside of a land rover bit.”

    On the quote from the “land rover”.. interestingly, the Belfast Telegraph pointed to that particular quote.. although the SWP forgot to mention how they got it..

    Speaking from the back of a police Land Rover at Strand Road RUC barracks after being arrested, a handcuffed Eamonn McCann told the Telegraph: “They came in in riot gear and surrounded us in the room. We were playing cards at the time.”

    And, of course, we already know they had done more than play cards by that point.

  • skinbop

    the arrogance of these jokers is unbelievable – as is their hypocrisy.

  • Harry Flashman

    Mickhall,

    I may disagree vehemently with your politics (nothing “may” about it!) but you’re a gentleman sir.

    All the best

    Harry

  • mickhall

    I have a soft spot for Eamon McCann, not least because I marvel at his low boredom threshold, for anyone who can stay a member of the [I]SWP for more than four decades should be placed in the museum as a national treasure to be forever analyzed and debated over.

    Last night like many people I am sure, I was discussing the UK security services and there abilities and judgments. I have absolutely no doubt that for the last 30 years McCann has been on the target list of both the Irish and UK security services. Now if true, it just shows how poor or subjective these peoples judgement are, for if anyone genuinely believes Eamon and his Irish comrades are a threat to either States, then imo they live in la la land and have little understanding of what these people actually do. I do not mean this as an insult to Eamon as he has done some excellent work, but none of it could be described as being outside the confines of a normal democratic society. Nor imo was his protest in Derry, in any case, he has done the crime and I am certain he is willing to do the time. Although a wise judge would slap him and his mates across the wrists and not impose a custodial sentence and be thankful that the north has finally reached the stage when it citizens feel that they are able to engage in civil disobedience without a short arm at their side..

    I find the security services incompetence worrying, [whilst recognizing their difficulties], as there are clearly people who hate us all and are willing to blow us out of the sky. When I saw the photos of the young boys who were arrested in east London the last time we had one of these periodical bouts of lifting muslims and putting the fear of god into the rest of us, I new they had made a mistake by the brothers appearance alone. For if they had walked onto a tube or plane looking like they did, they would have emptied both within seconds. That the security services thought over-wise and went and arrested them as terrorists, shooting one in the process displayed just how inadequate they are. All we can hope for is the nutters who wish to murder us are just as, if not more stupid than those whom we trust to protect us and our families.

    Mind you this could all end tomorrow if Blair stopped acting as GW cats paw. Islamic Fascists my arse.

  • Reader

    mickhall: and not impose a custodial sentence and be thankful that the north has finally reached the stage when it citizens feel that they are able to engage in civil disobedience without a short arm at their side..
    Surely the point of Civil Disobedience is to take the rap and let the voters decide whether they prefer the law or the protesters’ cause?
    That’s why the violence and criminal damage was counter-productive – it alienates potential supporters. Still – the SWP and 32CSC combined are hardly going to spot that nuance.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Reader: “Surely the point of Civil Disobedience is to take the rap and let the voters decide whether they prefer the law or the protesters’ cause?”

    Given the assault of the guards in front of the building, it wasn’t “civil disobedience” to begin with.

  • Greg

    FYI – there was no attack on the guards in front of the building. When the prosecution tried to allege as much during the bail hearing, they had to withdraw the allegation. In fact not only was no person attacked but the now-infamous smashed door was smashed in order to prevent the poor security guard being hurt (squashed) and the CCTV evidence proves that.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, Greg, I’m sure those issues will be resolved at the actual trial…