Deported from the U.S. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Irish anti-war activist Damien Moran, acquitted in Dublin Circuit court 18 months ago by jury trial of doing €2 million disarmament to a U.S. military plane at Shannon airport as a protest against the Iraq war, was deported from the U.S.A. on Sunday by Homeland Security agents at Chicago's O'Hare airport.
Moran had been invited to attend and speak at a conference against the U.S. Government's missile defence plans. The 27 year old County Offaly native is a former seminarian with the Holy Ghost Fathers in Kimmage and is currently living and teaching in Poland. Prior to leaving for Poland he worked with the De Paul Trust at a homeless shelter in Dublin's city centre.
Regarding the deportation Moran stated: “I was immediately detained and questioned by Homeland Security officers about our nonviolent and legal action at Shannon in February 2003. The information the border authorities claimed to have was that I was arrested for damaging a U.S. fighter jet at Shannon. I let them know that their database was out of date and that it should also read acquitted as an Irish jury had decided unanimously we had a lawful excuse to help save life and property in Iraq.”
He continued: “My mobile phone was seized and I was interrogated about the purpose of my trip and why I had damaged U.S. military property. I had been invited to speak at a university in Colorado Springs and at a conference in Omaha on U.S. militarism in Poland and Ireland. I also had tickets to visit my brother and his family in Virginia. Homeland Security 's unjustified refusal to allow me enter the U.S. and meet family, speak with U.S. citizens is just another example of how quasi-fascist the U.S. State apparatus has become.”
Furthermore, Moran claims that modern-day America is summed up by "his deportation from to the U.S. to advocate for social investment and military divestment on the same weekend as the U.S. officially celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. I was barred from entering due to my act of dissent at Shannon 5 years ago against their disastrous militaristic policies at home and abroad. Evidently there is no room for dissenters' and foreign peace activists in America today ”
Furthermore the deportee claims “It is high time the omnipotent military -industrial complex in the U.S. is crushed by concerned citizens.When I informed them about our action and acquittal they were none too pleased. Unfortunately I've lost $350 dollars in flight expenses while the Global Network Against Weapons in Space organisation that invited me have been setback over $1,000. Albeit, it's not much money compared to the $2 trillion plus bill that U.S. taxpayers have paid to help their government wage the Iraq war.”
An Irish embassy representative promptly responded to Moran's notification of his deportation left from the Homeland Security offices at O'Hare airport. The representative told Moran that he would request Homeland Security update their database to include information that the Irish Catholic Worker group were acquitted anonimously in Dublin Circuit court in August 2006.
More on the conference that Moran was due to attend can be found at www.space4peace.org
As regards the Shannon Ploughshares action he was acquitted for with 4 colleagues more info. can be sourced at www.warontrial.com
Moran's current activities include resistance to the controversial U.S. missile defence plans for Poland. See www.m29.bzzz.net for more details.
Damien Moran can be contacted at: