HOT PRESS Goes to War with WAR

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In a special anti-war issue of Hot Press, (published Thursday 3rd June), Richard Boyd Barrett and other prominent voices in music and politics set the stage for the protests against George Bush and the forthcoming anti-war gig at Dublin's Point Theatre.

In the special issue of the magazine, which is a co-sponsor of the Point event, many prominent figures in the Irish Music and political scene openly criticise the Irish Government for allowing the use of Shannon Airport by the US army, en route to Iraq. They also express their opposition to George Bush's visit to Shannon for the forthcoming summit with Europe, in what is widely perceived to be an effort to secure the Irish American vote in the November US Presidential election. According to Green MEP, Patricia McKenna, "in the interest of peace and global security, it is vital that President Bush is not re-elected."

Referring to the torture of prisoners in Iraq, Boyd Barret says that he blames Bush and the people who started the war rather than the individual soldiers. "It's becoming more apparent that what was going on in that prison wasn't an aberration," he asserts, "but was a policy that came from the top and was a culture that impressionable, young, ill-educated soldiers became immersed in."
Concern is expressed by contributors to the special issue about the fact that the Irish government has failed to respect Ireland's neutrality, Boyd Barrett believes that "there's a longer term strategy to jump on the coattails of US power globally and to become a junior partner in the domination of the world economy."
Labour Candidate Ivana Bacik says there will be a political fall-out from this here. "I think there will be a backlash from younger voters and also from George Bush's visit, the imposition of him coming here and the fact that we seem to be bending over backwards to facilitate him. It seems he invited himself, that he suggested to the Government that he come here".

Presented by the Irish Anti-War Movement, in association with SIPTU and Hot Press, the When Bush Comes to Shove gig takes place at the Vicar Street, Dublin on June 19th. It is the latest in a number of events designed to protest against the war in Iraq. However, it is the first occasion for which musicians have come together to explicitly support the anti-war movement. Headed by Christy Moore, the bill also includes Damien Rice, who recently toured very successfully in the US, Mary Black, Kila, the Revs, Katell Keinig and comedian Barry Murphy from Apres Match – all of whom have agreed to give their services free of charge, because they personally believe in the anti-war cause.

For Damien Rice, "doing a gig is a personal thing, it's a peaceful way of saying 'I live in a democratic country and id like to make my voice heard and help others to be heard, and say we don't agree with something', simple as that. Letting people know we don't agree".

For further information, contact: Deborah Cogley 01-2411500 or 086-3916640 email website

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