Three hotels in the Shannon have cancelled bookings for a seminar on US Imperialism and Militarisation due to be held this weekend.
Shannonwatch, a group of peace and human rights activists based in the mid-west, have expressed ‘shock’ and ‘dismay’ at the most recent cancellation of a venue they had booked for the October 8th event.
A number of international speakers are due to attend the seminar on ‘US Imperialism & Militarization 15 Years after the Afghanistan Invasion’, but as a result of room booking cancellations by three hotels in the Shannon and Bunratty areas, new arrangements must now be made.
Shannonwatch has claimed that the three hotels in the Shannon area had each initially accepted bookings for the seminar. Each then cancelled, claiming a mistake had been made. The most recent cancellation came yesterday just 3 days before the event.
A a Shannonwatch spokesman said: “It is beyond belief that three hotels would accept a booking and then discover they had no room available. We spoke with each of them on more than one occasion. We discussed room layout, audio-visual facilities and refreshments with them.
We even provided credit card details as requested. Yet all three cancelled our booking, and were adamant that alternative arrangements could not be made to accommodate us,” he added.
“We have to wonder if the cancellations have anything to do with our opposition to the US military use of Shannon Airport over the 15 years since the Afghanistan invasion,” the Shannonwatch spokesman said.
Shannonwatch monitors all foreign military flights in and out of Shannon, and has recorded landings of rendition planes over the years. It has also made submissions to national and international bodies including Oireachtas committees, United Nations human rights committees, and the European Parliament.
Speakers for the scheduled seminar on Saturday include Robert Fantina, author of several books including ‘Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy’, as well as journalist and political analyst Gearóid Ó Colmáin whose work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle.
The well-known activist, writer, and former member of parliament from Afghanistan Malalai Joya has also recorded a contribution for the seminar.
Shannonwatch say they are now making alternate arrangements so that Saturdays seminar can go ahead in Shannon at the scheduled time of 2pm.
“We are urging as many people as possible to attend so as to ensure that our efforts to defend human rights are not defeated.” said the spokesman.