Belfast Says No to War Criminals
éirígí activists today (Monday) removed the British Union Jack from Belfast City Hall and replaced it with the flag of Iraq in a gesture of solidarity with the people of the Arab nation.
As hundreds of people gathered at the front of the City Hall to protest against the presence of US war criminal George W Bush in occupied Ireland, the activists gained access to the roof of the building to make their statement.
Earlier in the day, éirígí members had unfurled banners on the major motorway routes into Belfast to coincide with Monday’s protests.
Despite the fact that the mass media and the vast majority of politicians had expressed no objection to George Bush and his British counterpart Gordon Brown being feted in Ireland, citizens from across the country came out to give their own verdict.
And that verdict was unequivocal: Belfast, and the rest of Ireland, wants no part in the crimes that are being committed day and daily by the British and US governments.
As speaker after speaker reiterated at the City Hall, we would rather stand beside the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Cuba and Venezuela than be associated with their chief tormentors.
éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson said today’s actions were an effort to highlight the crimes being committed by the British and US administrations.
“While George Bush was invited here by local politicians, the people of Belfast today showed that that invitation was not in their name.
“Despite the fact that the demonstration took place on a work day, hundreds of people made the effort to attend and show their disgust for the warmongering policies of George Bush and Gordon Brown.”
Brian continued: “éirígí’s actions today were in line with that very public opposition.
“We wanted to highlight the fact that while Britain and the USA continue to occupy other people’s countries, including part of our own, they should not be welcomed to Belfast as peacemakers or international statesmen. They are war criminals who have the blood of countless innocent civilians on their hands, and they should be treated as such.
“I thought the gesture of placing the Iraqi flag on top of Belfast’s City Hall was particularly pertinent, as the flag it replaced – Britain’s flag of occupation – should have been removed from that building a long time ago.”
Brian concluded: “As was seen in London last night, Belfast today and around the world countless times over the last few years, the vast majority of humanity are opposed to occupation and mass murder for profit or imperial power.
“éirígí will continue to extend solidarity in whatever we can to the people of other occupied nations, while at the same time working to end the British occupation of Ireland.” *