We are committed to opposing the use of Shannon Airport by the U.S Military, to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and to make Trinity College Dublin divest from war-related stocks.
The United States, with more than 800 military bases in 70 countries and its aggressive interventionist foreign policy, has been the single biggest driver of Western imperialism for decades, toppling democratically-elected governments it does not see aligned with its political agenda and plundering countries for natural resources such as oil, all with tragic consequences for the men, women and children living there.
Shannon Airport, in Ireland, is part of the bloody U.S war machine. Shannon Airport has been used by the US military for almost two decades now, and “it is effectively a forward operating base used to support their operations in the Middle East, with approximately three million US troops and their weapons, regular US Air Force/Navy cargo planes, and an unknown number of CIA extraordinary rendition flights passing through since 2002” (PANA and Shannonwatch).
It must be then recognized, that the erosion of Irish neutrality is inextricably linked to the regular use of Shannon Airport by the U.S military and that therefore the Irish government, by their inaction, is indirectly complicit in the U.S’s bloody and devastating wars across the globe. This is not to mention that U.S military troops travelling into Shannon breached Covid-19 rules multiple times.
We, University students, also need to take part in the international struggle against imperialism and the war industry.
Recently, a motion was put forward to the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) by our Chair on a long-term policy of putting a stop to the use of Shannon Airport by the U.S Military. It was a proposed referendum to the wider student body, who would have had the opportunity to express their opinions on the important question of Irish neutrality.
Unfortunately, it was voted down 77% to 23% by Council members. This was certainly surprising, as the latest polls indicate an 82% support of Irish neutrality in all its aspects, not to mention the fact that the USI already passed an interim policy on the issue or that Trinity College Dublin has been awarded ‘Sanctuary status’ (i.e. welcoming for asylum-seekers), an name which it should live up to.
As of 2021 November, an LTP motion and referendum proposed by Students4Change was passed overwhelmingly, mandating the Union to campaign against Trinity’s investments in the war-industry.
Students4Change, working with PANA, is committed to :
- Pursuing the goals of ending Irish involvement in U.S foreign affairs and to ensure a neutral Ireland by advocating for U.S withdrawal from Shannon Airport
- Pursuing the goal of making Trinity College Dublin divest from war-related stocks. As of 2017, Trinity College Dublin invests ~2,6 million euros into Arms and Weaponry manufacturers, such as BAE systems, Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company through its endowment fund.
- Pursuing the goals of supporting the people of Myanmar against the military dictatorship.
- Pursuing the goals of ending Trinity’s involvement with Declan Ganley, a multimillionaire who is involved with the war-industry and the far-right.
- Support TCD BDS, including by signing their petition which can be found here.
If you are at another university, we encourage you to get the discussion going by engaging with your student union and to share this information around. To this end, we recommend you send a FOI request to (or consult the financial statements of) your universities in order to uncover their investments in war-related stocks. Our FOI requests to base yours on can be found in the article that details TCD’s 2.6 million € investments in the arms-industry below, and here is a guide on how to make FOI requests.
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