Responses to Irish Independent 'Ispy' journalist attack
Smashing US Navy plane wasn't illegal
- May I comment on Ian O'Doherty's views in his column concerning Damien Moran's recent deportation from the USA (Irish Independent, April 9).
Mr Moran's actions at Shannon Airport were legal, as confirmed by his court acquittal by a jury after due process under Irish law.
The actions were also in the tradition of non-violent civil disobedience -- a central principle of our Western political culture.
There has been no major change in world values without a small number of courageous individuals willing to sacrifice their own freedom in order to awaken the conscience of the community -- in the struggle for labour rights, racial discrimination, or women's votes.
In India, non-violent civil disobedience played a key role in the struggle for freedom from colonial rule, changing the focus of the community and presenting new possibilities for the human family.
This tradition has been well described by Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King jnr, who, in their own time, were able to challenge us to a new vision which put human law at the service of human dignity and life.
What indeed did the USA have to fear from the presence of Mr Moran in the country?
Is the intellectual defence of the Iraq war so fragile that US citizens need to be protected from Mr Moran's voice for peace?
It's a sad day for the USA when it feels so vulnerable that free speech is prevented and a sadder day for the Irish Independent when it is unable to value people of conscience who are striving for a more peaceful and just world.
DR RAYMOND TOWEY
ST MARY’S HOSPITAL, LACOR, GULU, UGANDA
- Ian O'Doherty should be reminded that Damien Moran was invited to speak in the US.
He does not travel the world imposing his views on others. He is a thoughtful, modest and thoroughly decent human being whose anti-war, anti-aggression views are, I believe, largely determined by his strong Catholic faith.
Further, he has no criminal record. I was in the Four Courts and heard him (and the other four young people) pronounced not guilty on all charges.
I am proud to call him a friend.