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Newbridge April 19th

Words & Actions » Newbridge March

Saturday 19th April: About 90 people marched in Newbridge to voice their opposition to the war, occupation of Iraq and possible future wars.

The protestors gathered on Morrefield Green at 2pm, and the march proceeded down Newbridge Main Street, with many more joining in on the route down. At it's highest point there were about 90-100 people on the protest. There was a police presence of two. It's the only march I've ever been on where the traffic actually stopped the march. What I mean by this is that the congestion in front of the march was so bad that it resulted in the traffic being so slow as to force the marchers to stop several times. Strange experience.

The protest was loud and lively and colorful. Passing cars beeped their support and there was the usual array of chants, badhrans and bongos. When the marchers passed the ofiice of Sean Power TD (FF), people began shouting "Shame, Shame, Blood on your hands"



Upon reaching the Riverbank Arts Centre, the rally commenced. The was music from Pud Barret (who bailed us out with the PA at the last minute - cheers Pud) and Eithne Ni Cathain and Dave Jordan who sang Luka Bloom's peace song and did a few reels.

The speakers were Gerry O'Donaghue (IPSC and school principle), Fr. Paddy Byrne (local parish priest), Ann Behan (environmentalist and anti-incinerator campaigner), Kevin Squires (SP) and Tom Lonergan (SWP/IPSC). In the speeches various points were made about the slaughter of Iraqi civilians and conscripts; the environmental and cultural destruction of Iraq; the shameful role of the media and the government; Shannon; the PNAC philosphy of 'full spectrum dominance'; the fact this is a war for oil and imperialist domination; the instabilty this war has created and the disgraceful role of the US in supporting Israel. Protestors were also asked to remember the role of FF and the PDs and not to forget it during the local elections next year.

Persoanlly I would like to thank everyone who took part, and especially those who worked their arses off organising and leafletting for the demo. Well done to all involved.

Kevin Squires


County Kildare Anti-War Movement take to the streets

The County Kildare Anti-War Movement staged a peaceful protest through the streets of Newbridge against the occupation and invasion of Iraq on the 19th of April last.

The weather was fine and the protestors were in good spirits as waved banners and carried peace flags when they set off down the town's main street to a rally was held at the Riverbank arts centre where there were speakers and live music.

In addition to members of our own group and members of the public who came along to support the rally, there was a contingent from the Offaly Anti-War Movement which came along to support their colleagues in Kildare. Ideas were swapped and new friendships made between the members of both groups and there are hopes we can co-operate with each other more in the future.

The first speaker was the local parish curate Fr. Paddy Byrne, who said that "the loss of innocent life makes gathering for peace even more important."

Live music was provided by the well known local performer Bud Barrett, who performed a range of popular songs between each of the speakers. The second speaker was group member and well known environmentalist Dr. Anne Behan, who said that the effects of America's invasion of Iraq will be felt on the environment and people of the country for generations to come.

Then there was a musical treat for the protestors when Eithne Ni Cathain took to the stage to sing the popular Luka Bloom-penned anti-war song "I am not at war with anyone". Group member Kevin Squires spoke of the growing arrogance of American imperialists who show blatant disregard for the international community as they pursue their own commercial interests. Eithne then played a violin solo which was well received by the protestors.

The final speaker was group member Tom Lonergan who highlighted the fact that while America and Britain claimed the invasion of Iraq was justified because that country's regime was in violation of U.N. resolutions, but ignores Israel's non-compliance with even more U.N. resolutions over an even greater period of time.

The chairman of the County Kildare Anti-War Movement, Gerry O'Donoghue said he was happy with the turnout for the march, which sent a message to the politicians "who marched into the lobbies in the Dail and voted to allow the overflying rights to continue".

David Thorp


Eithne Ni Cathain, accompanied by Dave Jordan on percussion and Bud Barret on Guitar, sang local artist Luka Bloom's anti-war song I am not at War with anyone

"I am not at War with anyone"
by: Luka Bloom

I am not at War with anyone
I am not at War with anyone

Go away war planes
You bring fear and shame
I am not at War with anyone

I give my love to Iraq, and to America
I give my love to Israel, and to Palestine

We could live as one
Between the sea and sun
I am not at War with anyone
I don't need to be friends with everyone
But I'd like to live peace with everyone
This rush to war is wrong
And so I sing this song

I am not at War with anyone
I am not at War with anyone

You can download Luka's song from his website: