Red poppies are worn in remembrance of the dead of WWI but for many the symbol is considered a glorification of war or a way of avoiding acknowledging its horrors and devastation, and so the white poppy has become an alternative.
White poppies, to remember the soldiers and civilians whose lives were snuffed out in conflicts across the world, and to highlight Ireland’s growing involvement in the arms industry, will be sold on Shop Street, this Saturday by the Galway Alliance Against War, which will also distribute literature on the role of both the Government and Irish based businesses in the war business.
“The white poppy is for peace,” said GAAW spokesperson Niall Farrell. “It conveys a simple message: Never Again War. It also poses an equally simple question: who benefits from war? The answer is the arms manufacturers and the financiers. Ireland is a vital hub in the supply chain for US, British, French, and Russian weapons manufacturers. These Irish exports are destined to Israel, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Russia, China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.”
Mr Farrell said the red poppy has helped create a mythology that “promotes as heroes those slaughtered in World War I and glorifies their ‘necessary sacrifice’ as a price worth paying. Those who were killed were cannon fodder. My great-uncle was decapitated at the Somme; his life was thrown away so rich arms manufacturers could get even richer. The only way those who died should be honoured and remembered is by working to ensure the end of war.”