Irish Independent 'try' to do a character assassination on me!
The Irish Independent just never learns. Journalist Ian O'Doherty continues his hatchet jobs on peace activists (former victims Caoimhe Butterly , Mary Kelly and our Shannon Ploughshares group have had to swallow his venom before) in his column today by calling me a 'self-confessed vandal', adding that I claimed that Martin Luther King Jr. and I were like peas in a pod. The former is ridiculous given that I have no criminal record and was acquitted for doing €2 million damage to a US Navy plane prior to the Iraq war with four Catholic Workers; the latter an attempt to make me look arrogant by distorting what I actually wrote in my press release (See former post).
The context of the statement I wrote makes it clear that I was talking of the lip service US politicians pay co-opting the legacy of nonviolence and civil disobedience of Martin Luther King Jr. while at the same time repressing people's freedom of movement, speech, anti-war opinions and right to invite foreign guests who have no criminal record:
Debate on my deportation
The juxtaposition of my refusal to enter the U.S. to speak on the grave need for military divestment and social investment as the U.S. officially celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. should not go amiss. 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. There is no room for dissenters' perspectives in America today "
I would be grateful if people wrote letters to the Independent to complain about Doherty's remarks. Please write to:
Please also consider writing something brief to O'Doherty himself at email@example.com
Feel free to use the above and below arguments and you may also agree that the best way to make them quake in their boots there is to tell them you will no longer buy their paper until they retract their comments and apologise in the upcoming edition of their newspaper.
As Ciaron O'Reilly suggested, remind them that I was invited to speak by US citizens and that this trip was not my initiative. I was an invited guest by U.S. citizens trying to protect their democratic rights to have an meeting on an important issue. We have more respect for the permanent rights guaranteed by the U.S. constitution than this temporary U.S. government.
Consider reminding him that we were unanimously acquitted, a rarity in Irish court cases, and that he never even came to listen to our and expert military and legal testimony in public court during three trials, and is therefore ill-qualified to comment on the jury's informed decision. Please let him know that his comments are above all an offence to the conscience of the Dublin people who served on the jury that acquitted us.
Very Important: They will not even consider publishing unless you leave full name, postal address and phone number.
You can phone your Letters to the Editor on freephone 1-800-733-733
Feel free to send me a copy also or let me know if you've sent one so I can track the numbers.
It is also possible to write a comment under his article (Ispy so that would also be great. Short and sweet but straight to the jugular is best re. letters to editor and comments;))
Since our acquittal we have had to put up with many rag 'establishment' journos. calling us criminals who got away with an act of vandalism. The Irish Independent has been most guilty of this.
One suspects they would rather the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo forms of justice to be meted out upon people who tried to stop the war.
Anyhow, it would be good to let them know that we bite back when unjustly kicked.
AW, THOSE MEAN AMERICANS-Doherty's tripe
You'd need a heart of tungsten not to laugh at the case of self-confessed vandal Damien Moran, who was refused entry to the US the other day.
'Peace activist' Moran was one of those brave figures who decided that taking a hammer to a US plane and playing a game of smashy-smashy with its engines, causing e2.5m worth of damages in the process, would send a powerful message that violence never solves anything.
And despite being acquitted in one of the most disgraceful decisions in recent legal history, the man who is proud of causing the damage is upset at being refused entry, particularly as he was going over there to talk to an anti-war group.
He also complains, bizarrely, about the "juxtaposition of me being refused entry to the US ... and the official celebrations of the life of Martin Luther King Junior should not go amiss."
So now he mentions MLK in connection to himself? Wow. As the old phrase goes, sure doesn't he have a great welcome for himself?
Interestingly, journalist Harry Browne puts this refusal of entry down to the "skewed sense of justice that plagues America".
So, presumably the next time someone steals and trashes Browne's car, causing him a fortune in damages, he'll be the first to invite the guilty party into his house?