Anti-War Movement to hold No-vote conference

The Irish Anti-War Movement is holding a major national “No to War, No to Lisbon” conference this weekend in Dublin.

The event will take place on Saturday May 24 from 11am to 5.30pm in the Royal Dublin Hotel, O Connell St and will include a number of international speakers opposed to the Lisbon Treaty on the grounds that it promotes a more militarised EU.

The conference is open to the public.

International speakers will include: Esko Seppanen MEP from Finland; Claudia Haydt, adviser to the Die Linke group in the German Bundestag on foreign policy and military issues and leading member of Information Centre Militarisation (IMI), a German anti-war organisation; John Rose, Jewish anti-Zionist academic and author of the “Myths of Zionism” and other works about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; Kamal Majeed, Iraqi Academic and leading member of Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation.

Speakers from Ireland will include: Richard Boyd Barrett, chairperson of the Irish Anti-War Movement; Roger Cole, chairperson of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance; Dr Abdullah Sayegh, Irish Lebanese Community and Glenda Camino, American anti-war activist.

Representatives from anti-war groups across the country will be attending the conference.

The conference will be broken into two major sessions:

The first session entitled "Resisting War, Militarisation and Occupation - Global perspectives", will examine the global context and in particular, how the US-led war in Iraq, the wider "war on terror" and increasing military competition worldwide, is a key factor in driving the EU towards greater militarisation.

The second session entitled "The Lisbon Treaty, Neutrality & EU Militarisation", will look at the military, foreign policy and defence implications of the Lisbon Treaty for the EU and for Irish neutrality.

In particular, this session will seek to rebut claims over recent weeks from the Government and supporters of the Lisbon treaty that the Treaty does not promote greater EU militarisation or impact on Ireland’s military neutrality.

Richard Boyd Barrett, Chairperson of the Irish Anti-War Movement and one of the conference organisers said: "Again and again, over recent weeks supporters of the Lisbon treaty and even supposedly “objective” guides to the treaty have claimed that it does not promote greater militarisation or affect Ireland’s neutrality.

"The anti-war movement in this country and across Europe believe that this is patent nonsense. As we hope to show at this conference, the treaty explicitly advances the project of a more militarised Europe, the creation of a European army and a foreign policy that mirrors the disastrous US led “war on terror, which has produced so much bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Indeed, we think any serious examination of the Lisbon Treaty and the European Union Security Strategy that informs it could only conclude that the treaty is part of gearing Europe up for a new cold war and fighting resource wars in the Middle East and Africa.

"It is quite clear to us that by signing up to this treaty, Ireland is getting on a conveyor belt that leads to a more militarised Europe and the final destruction of what is left of Irish military neutrality."

For more information contact Richard Boyd Barrett 087-6329511

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