Nonviolent News does not try to cover what is well covered in the mainstream media, and you could not have got much more mainstream than the coverage of the Irish/Malaysian boat the MV Rachel Corrie as it followed on after the rest of the Freedom Flotilla towards Gaza, with five Irish people on board and a similar number of Malaysians. The blockade of Gaza by the Israeli state is an injury to the Palestinian people and human rights; the Freedom Flotilla has, at the cost of ten or more lives and Israeli military aggression, put the spotlight on the prison camp that is Gaza. See also editorial
Derry Raytheon 14 trial - acquittals again
Despite two men being found guilty of minor miscellaneous charges, there was another great victory for Derry Raytheon protesters and for opposition to the arms trade when all nine women charged were acquitted by a jury at Belfast Crown Court on 4th June after a trial spread out over 3 weeks. Raytheon already left Derry before the end of February this year and the trial related to an action in January 2009 (see NN 178) – with a similar result this time to the June 2008 trial of 9 men for an action at Raytheon plant in Derry in August 2006. Three men had been acquitted earlier in the week due to lack of evidence. The two convictions were for ‘impersonating a police officer’ and the other for ‘criminal damage’ (spray painting) – the last charge, ironically, applied to a veteran street actor. See here for example
En-gendering violence workshop in Belfast
Violence has a gender in that it takes place in a gendered context. What does violence mean for men, as perpetrators and victims? What does violence mean for women, as victims and perpetrators? What has been the human cost of war, for each gender, through the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries and the Troubles in Northern Ireland? This workshop, En-gendering violence – a workshop on gender and violence is facilitated by Rob Fairmichael (Coordinator, INNATE and participant in Women Peacemakers Program training for men on Gender, Masculinities and Peacemaking) and Claire Hackett (Falls Community Council). It explores our identities as men or women in relation to violence and aim to help our understanding in this area. The focus will include interpersonal violence, structural violence, and violence in war and civil disturbances. Saturday 19th June, 10.30 am – 4pm, at Friends (Quaker) Meeting House, Frederick Street, Belfast; prior booking essential, contact INNATE (see contact points at end of newssheet) for further details and booking form. Participation fee £8/€10 including a light lunch.
Day of Private Reflection
The Day of Private Reflection will again be held on Monday, 21st June 2010, the longest day of the year. The Day of Private Reflection is an initiative by Healing Through Remembering (HTR), a cross-community organisation focused on ways of dealing with the past relating to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland.
The Day of Private Reflection is offered as an inclusive and positive event that emphasises a commitment to a peaceful new society. It provides a voluntary opportunity for everyone in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain to reflect upon the conflict in and about Northern Ireland and the future that is before us. The Day of Private Reflection on 21st June is offered as a day for personal, private and individual reflection, for example, at home or at work or within a family, group or organisation. See http://healingthroughremembering.info/ or contact Healing Through Remembering, Alexander House, 17a Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HD, ph 028 9023 8844.
Japanese Peace Boat for Dublin
The Japanese peace organisation Peace Boat (http://www.peaceboat.org) is visiting Dublin on June 14th as part of its 69th global voyage for peace, and there will be a public meeting with a group of hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) at 3.00 p.m. Peace Boat is a nongovernmental, non-profit, international organisation headquartered in Japan working to promote peace, human rights, sustainable and equitable development and respect for the environment. On board from Bergen to Dublin (10th-14th June) there will be a discussion about the Nuclear Weapons Convention. The civil society participants who are confirmed - and thus will be arriving in Dublin on board the ship - are as follows: Randy Rydell, UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy UK, Aaron Tovish, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign, Alyn Ware, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), Tim Wright, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace laureate (recently associated with another boat! – Ed).
There is a press conference 9.30 am -11am on 14th June in the Georgian Room at Buswell’s Hotel (opposite The Dáil) with politicians and Mayors for Peace and international peace organisations. Lunch 12 noon-1pm in Buswell’s restaurant (get in touch if you want to join the lunch). Visit to memorial cherry peace tree: 1pm - 2pm Merrion Park/Merrion Square, Dublin. Open public event 3pm - 5pm at Art Exchange Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin. The programme in Ireland is co-hosted by World without Wars and without Violence Ireland and the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. World Without Wars: Mobile ph 085-1261287, landline 056-7721642 FaceBook: WorldwithoutWars Ireland and web http://www.worldwithoutwars.org For Irish CND http://www.irishcnd.org (this is a new Irish CND website) or call 086 3621220 for further details.
Help Northern Ireland get in the game on climate change
The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition of environmental and development NGOs is currently working on the Get in the Game campaign for a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act. Because of devolution, the Northern Ireland Executive is not bound by the targets set in the Westminster Climate Change Act. If we are to keep pace with the rest of the UK’s carbon reduction we need our own legislation to complement the national law. Scotland already has its own Act. Our campaign will focus on MLAs, and we are recruiting teams of activists at a constituency level. We’d like you to join your local campaigning team and help us to raise awareness and gain support from the public for a Northern Ireland Act, before lobbying your local politicians in the autumn. If you want to join or start a campaigning team, please email your details to Friends of the Earth by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then put you in touch with other campaigners in your constituency. For more information call Niall Bakewell on 028 9089 7592. Niall Bakewell, Activism Co-ordinator (Northern Ireland), Friends of the Earth, 7 Donegall Street Place, Belfast BT1 2FN.
70 TDs make commitment on climate law
70 TDs signed a "climate commitment” on 2nd June calling for a strong climate law as well as new climate finance for developing countries. Earlier the Government rejected calls for a debate today on an opposition climate change bill in the Seanad, but Senator Dan Boyle, Deputy Government Leader in the upper house, promised that the Government Bill would be published before the end of June. Over half the TDs in the Dáil attended the all-day event in Buswells Hotel, organized by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, which saw voters from all over the country come to Kildare Street to lobby their TDs. Niamh Garvey of Trócaire, said "We're delighted by the turnout today and the number of TDs who have signed-up to support clear and effective climate legislation. A strong climate law is not just a matter of environmental sustainability, it's a matter of global justice. Ireland is the eighth most generous aid donor per person but we're the sixth most climate-polluting country per person among industrialized countries. So a law that shows Ireland is finally ready to do its fair share to cut emissions is the biggest contribution we can make to getting the international negotiations back on track.” The Climate Commitment signed by TDs can be downloaded here: Stop Climate Chaos, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, ph 01 6394653, email email@example.com and web http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie
Chernobyl children arriving
The first of 4 flights of children coming from the heart of the Chernobyl regions will arrive into Shannon Airport on Wednesday, 9th June as part of Chernobyl Children’s Project International annual airlift of children for summer holidays. Along with their host families, Adi Roche, CEO, CCPI/Chernobyl Children’s Project International will welcome the children into Ireland. This year marks the 24th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and far from being ‘history’, the accident continues to affect millions – especially children – in Belarus, Ukraine and Western Russia. Research undertaken by CCPI has shown that taking the children out of their home environment for even short periods of time can have hugely positive effects to their overall health, well being, and life expectancy. Tests carried out on the children have shown that their radiation levels drop by 30-50% during their stay in Ireland. For further information and details email firstname.lastname@example.org or see http://www.chernobyl-international.com
FEASTA @ Cloughjordan
As of Monday June 7th 2010 the Feasta office will be based in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary. The postal address will be Feasta Ltd, Main St, Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary. The website and email address remain unchanged. The existing phone line will be forwarded until we get a new one up and running, so keep an eye on http://www.feasta.org for that.
Volunteer position with ARAN
ARAN, the Animal Rights Action Network, is looking for a new ‘Online Programme Coordinator’ for its online campaigns and lobbying efforts. This volunteer position will include research, meetings, speaking and teaching. Volunteers expand their knowledge, experience the inner workings of a grassroots movement and gain the satisfaction that comes with working to alleviate animal suffering. See http://www.aran.ie
Amnesty International Report 2010
Amnesty International accused governments of condemning millions of people to fear, hunger and human rights abuses last year by putting their political interests before international law. The Irish launch of Amnesty International Report 2010: The State of the World’s Human Rights took place at the end of May in Dublin and includes the statistics that human rights abusers got away with torture in 61 countries; Prisoners of Conscience are held in at least 48 countries; People received unfair trials in at least 55 countries. The report also criticised the Irish Government’s human rights record, particularly in relation to children. See http://www.amnesty.ie
Unsustainability of war
Shannonwatch have pointed to the problems of Shannon Airport relying on the war industry for jobs. Following the Icelandic ash (which as Shannonwatch have also pointed out temporarily restored Irish neutrality!), the U.S. military and their main troop carrier decided to re-route their traffic through different military bases and airports, and it has been reported that Shannon Airport-based companies have been temporarily laying-off staff. “This clearly shows the unsustainability of the war industry as a business model for Shannon Airport.” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. “We sympathise with anyone who has lost their income but this shouldn't become an argument between local workers and businesses on one side, and people who have been campaigning for an end to the U.S. military use of Shannon on the other. Everyone needs to work for sustainable and morally based business for Shannon Airport. The U.S. military record in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world should be enough to demonstrate how little they are likely to care about the jobs of Clare people. Their focus is on getting munitions, other cargo and troops into theatres of war, and they will always take the easiest route. Any deals that the politicians think they might have done to secure the war business for Shannon can evaporate overnight”.
Shannonwatch conclude “For Clare and Limerick people the fall-out from these wars is thankfully not loss of life. But it is the loss of jobs. This shows that it is time now for the Airport Authorities to develop a new and sustainable business model for the airport.” See http://www.shannonwtach.org or email email@example.com or phone 087 8225087.
Daming operatic opposition
On 24th May, justice campaigners took a musical approach to criticising the Ethiopian, Italian and Irish governments, and potential international lenders to an environmentally disastrous dam project in Ethiopia. Speaking from the ‘Italian quarter’ in Dublin with an opera performance in the background, Debt and Development Coalition Ireland Co-ordinator Nessa Ní Chasaide said, “The Italian government and international lending institutions, of which Ireland is a member, are considering supporting an environmental disaster in Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya. We urge the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan to object to any support from international lenders to this devastating project, especially through Ireland’s membership of the European Investment Bank and the World Bank.”
Ikal Angelei, the chair of Friends of Lake Turkana in Kenya, said: “The Gibe 3 Project will destroy the lifeline of the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia and the Lake Turkana region in Kenya. It will condemn half a million of the region’s most vulnerable people to hunger and conflict. We ask international banks and companies to stay away from this disaster.” If built, the massive Gibe 3 dam will cause ecological devastation by ending the river’s natural flood cycle, on which the downstream communities have depended for growing food, fishing and grazing animals for thousands of years. The dam will also dramatically reduce the water flow to Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya, the world’s largest desert lake and main water source for Northern Kenya. Contact: Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, Unit F5, Spade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, Dublin 7, ph: 01 6174835, Skype: nessani and website http://www.debtireland.org
New ICR report on transphobic hate crime
“ ‘The Luck of the Draw’ - A report on the experience of trans individuals reporting hate incidents in Northern Ireland” has recently been published by the Institute for Conflict Research (ICR). This short report, written by Ruairi-Santiago McBride and Ulf Hansson, includes recommendations. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Institute for Conflict Research, North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast
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