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(Issues 58-107)
(Issues 1 to 57)
Dawn Train

 

What's new

Nonviolence News October 2017t

Editorial: Democracy in Northern Ireland

Eco-Awareness with Larry Speight: Cogntitive revolution

Readings in Nonviolence: Compassion and Compassionate Integrity Training

Eco-Awareness with Larry Speight: Appreciating nonhuman nature

Readings in Nonviolence: Disarming the nuclear argument

 

Number 161: July2008

Raytheon 9 unanimously acquitted of criminal damage

On 11th June 2008, by a unanimous verdict of the jury, the Raytheon 9 were found not guilty of three counts of criminal damage at the Raytheon offices, Derry on 9th August 2006. The R9 faced prisons terms if found guilty of the damage originally estimated at over £300,000. As Eamonn McCann, one of the R9 said to the media after the decision, “The jury has accepted that we were reasonable in our belief that: the Israel Defence Forces were guilty of war crimes in Lebanon in the summer of 2006; that the Raytheon company, including its facility in Derry, was aiding and abetting the commission of these crimes; and that the action we took was intended to have, and did have, the effect of hampering or delaying the commission of war crimes.”

The trial had lasted 17 days and at one stage, a few days into the defence making its case, it looked as if the judge was going to instruct the jury to acquit because of the relative strength of the defence case. The prosecution won an appeal of the judge’s decision and so it went back to the jury to decide. The defence case relied on two pieces of legislation: 1) The Criminal Damage Order which allows ‘lawful excuse’ to damage property if the defendant believes s/he is protecting other property. It is immaterial whether the defendant's belief is justified as long as it is honestly held. 2) Criminal Law Act which allows such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime.

As Eamonn McCann said: “We took the action we did in the immediate aftermath of the slaughter of innocents in Qana on July 30th 2006. The people of Qana are our neighbours. Their children are the children of our neighbours. We trashed Raytheon to help protect our neighbours. The court has found that that was not a crime. This is what the Raytheon case has been about. We have not denied or apologised for what we did at the Raytheon plant in the summer of 2006. All of us believe that it was the best thing we ever did in our lives”. Colm Bryce said: “This victory is welcome, for ourselves and our families, but we wish to dedicate it to the Shaloub and Hasheem families of Qana in Lebanon, who lost 28 of their closest relatives on the 30th July 2006 due to a Raytheon ‘bunker buster’ bomb.” Congratulations go out to the R9 for their courageous action and well-deserved acquittal. See also http://www.raytheon9.org for further details, and Peace News of June and July-August 2008.

Community Relations Resource Centre, Belfast

The Resource Centre has now been incorporated into the Community Relations Council’s main offices at 6 Murray Street, Belfast BT1 6DE. The Centre will no longer be selling publications however the Library is still open to the public between 10am – 12 noon and 2pm – 4pm. If you require any further information phone Patricia O’Neill or Ellana Tomasso on 9022 7500 or email poneill@nicrc.org.uk or etomasso@nicrc.org.uk http://www.nicrc.org.uk which includes the CRC’s monthly Information Bulletin and a variety of other resources.

Campaign for Minister for Peace in North

The Peace People launched a campaign for a Minister with responsibility for Peace within the Northern Ireland Executive on the 21st May this year in the Long Gallery, Stormont. It was well attended, with over 50 representatives from community groups, business, religious and health organisations and the press. The initiative for a Minister for Peace is inspired by the "Charter for a World Without Violence”. The Charter gives a step by-step approach to reducing violence on a worldwide scale. It is also inspired by other similar campaigns in 24 countries across the world for Ministries of Peace and Departments of Peace.

The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace is a worldwide community of civil society campaigns, organisations, citizens and elected and appointed government officials from over 30 countries who are calling and working for the establishment of ministries and departments of peace that reflect and support the emergence of a global culture of peace and non-violence

Nepal already has a Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, established in 2007, and the Solomon Islands has a Ministry of Reconciliation, Peace and National Unity. There has been a call for a Ministry of Peace in Israel since 1946. Can you imagine how the course of history in the Middle East could have been different with an Israeli Minister of Peace in place? There is now a renewed call for Ministers of Peace in both Israel and Palestine by members of the Global Alliance in both countries. Canada has a well developed campaign, and the regional Parliament of Calabria moved to create a Department of Peace this year. The UK has its own campaign to lobby the Westminster government which has been running since July 2003.

These countries and administrative regions are organising for Ministries and Departments of Peace. As Northern Ireland is a relatively small region, a minister, rather than Department might be more appropriate. If we want to be able to interact with other countries on this level we do need a Minister with responsibility for Peace.

Such a Minister could provide leadership in dealing with the problems of violence in our society beyond the approach of the police and justice system, and seek to heal the root causes of violence. They could also provide independent conflict resolution advice for the politicians and civil servants seeking to come up with creative and forward looking solutions to our problems. The Minister would advance an agenda for peace by supporting and establishing activities that promote a culture of peace and non-violence in Northern Ireland and the world. They could also try to bring the lessons of the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process to conflicts in other parts of the world. Northern Ireland could be an example to the world and become a reference point for other governments working to create a culture of nonviolence. The Minister would be a structural embodiment of a culture of peace.

We need a minister in our assembly to do the work of peace, not just pay it lip service. There are proven peace building methodologies developed by both governments and civil society organizations for the prevention, mitigation and transformation of conflict by addressing the root causes of violence.

Some argue that the peace agenda should be embedded across the Assembly and the Executive and not 'ghettoised' in a separate department. A Peace agenda should surely not be ghettoised, but there needs to be a position responsible for ensuring that the agenda is applied, is moving forward, and is taking advantage of all the best research and international thinking on peace and nonviolence.

For more information on the campaign, upcoming events and how to get involved, contact the Peace People at:

info@peacepeople.com, 028 - 90 663465. http://www.departmentofpeace.ca and http://www.thepeacealliance.org

New director for Mediation NI

Peter O’Reilly is the new director of Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI). He has worked within Mediation Northern Ireland since 1997 as a Development Officer, Senior Development Officer and most recently Assistant Director (Services) and succeeds Brendan McAllister who left to become a Victims Commissioner. MNI, 83 University Street

Belfast, BT7 1HP, ph 028 - 90 438614, e-mail info@mediationnorthernireland.org and web http://www.mediationnonrthernireland.org

Courses at Glencree

Upcoming courses at Glencree, Co Wicklow, include

Working Effectively with (people in) Violent and Aggressive States which takes place on 24th and 25th July, course fee €150; this includes coverage of recognition, matching responses to the other person’s needs, and de-escalation. Course facilitator, Wendy Barkman.

Glencree Conflict Resolution, Mediation & Peacemaking Certificate Course, course leader Geoffrey Corry; this is a 60-hour course covering conflict resolution skills, mediation skills, and peacemaking.

It is to be run 5th – 9th August from 9.30am – 5.45 pm each day with a projects day to be one month later on agreed date. Course fee including lunches, €800. Further details on http://www.glencree.ie or contact Nicky Butler on 01 – 2829711, e-mail nicky.butler@glencree.ie

MII symposium; ‘Mediation Works’

The papers from the Mediators Institute Ireland symposium on ‘Mediation Works’, which took place at the end of May, are online on the MII website at http://www.themii.ie/symposium2008.jsp This provided a forum to review and explore the ‘how to’ of mediation and its increasing role in partnership, business and civil communities, and in particular the relationship of the law to mediation. MII, Montana House, Whitechurch, Dublin 16 ph 01 284 7121, e-mail info@themii.ie

FOE-NI launches ‘Friends of Sammy Wilson’

Friends of the Earth in Northern Ireland have strongly criticised the rebranding of the DOE Environment and Heritage Service as the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), calling it a ‘cynical and cosmetic exercise’ and satirically labelling it as the ‘Friends of Sammy Wilson’ (the new Environment Minister who launched the rebranding based on a decision by his predecessor). FOE was among a broad swathe of groups who campaigned for an independent environment agency but the NIEA remains an executive agency of the DOE and is answerable to the minister and subject to political interference. FOE, 7 Donegall Street Place, Belfast, BT1 2FN, e-mail foe-ni@foe.co.uk

and web http://www.foe.co.uk/northern_ireland

CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice

The CAJ has been planning ahead with a couple of days in June to spell out in more detail what it is hoped to do over the next three years in relation to policing, criminal justice, rights protection and equality. Cross-cutting themes related to casework strategies, dealing with the past and organisational development. Staff will now take this forward. Meanwhile CAJ has been considering the Strategic Review of Parading and will be making a submission before the closing date in early August and will make it widely available; the Review may be finished this autumn and recommendations in operation for 2009. Further CAJ news at http://www.caj.org.uk including the monthly Just News newssheet. Membership in the UK and Ireland is £20 waged, £5 unwaged. CAJ, 45/47 Donegall Street

Belfast BT1 2BR, ph 028 – 90961122, e-mail info@caj.org.uk

Irish Peace Institute, Limerick

The mission of the Irish Peace Institute is to contribute to the process of peace-building through programmes of education, research and outreach directed to the development of mutual understanding and co-operation between the people of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It has just begun (June) to issue a monthly e-mail bulletin, ‘Irish Peace and Development News’. Further information on the website at http://www.irishpeaceinstitute.org or contact Irish Peace Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, ph 061-202768, and e-mail dorothy.cantrell@ul.ie or matthew.cannon@ul.ie

Irish CND Hiroshima Day

Irish CND has its annual Hiroshima Day commemoration at 1 pm on 6th August in Merrion Square in Dublin 2. Get in touch for more details – we would love to hear from new supporters. We can be reached by e-mail at irishcnd@gmail.com or by post at P.O.Box 6327, Dublin 6.

Peace Day Campaign – Concert

On Sunday 21 September 2008, Springboard is holding a Peace Day Concert in Belfast as part of their Peace Day Campaign. The campaign raises awareness of the annual UN International Day of Peace and the concert is the centrepiece in creating a major talking point about this international day of ceasefire and non-violence. The event will be held in the heart of Belfast in the historic Cathedral Quarter at the Oh Yeah Building. In June Global Peacebuilders also launched a catalogue of eighteen organisational approaches to peacebuilding which is available on the website or in paper copies. Web http://www.globalpeacebuilders.org and e-mail sarah@globalpeacebuilders.org Global Peacebuilders project, Springboard Opportunities Ltd, 4th Floor, 108 – 112 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1DL, ph 028 – 9031 5111.

 

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