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Nonviolence News


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

Issue 118: April 2004

Nonviolent News extra includes:

  • Editorial on social justice, social wealth Go...
  • Lothar Luken on Patrick's Night Go...
  • Billy King on rehabilitating Papa Doc Go...

A modicum of meditation on mediation with MNI

Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) is involved in a wide range of mediative responses. Since it changed its name to Mediation Northern Ireland, the former 'Network' has been increasing its volume of direct mediation work and as a result has brought its number of associate practitioners and trainers up to thirty, in addition to a staff of twelve people. As well as providing a mediation service which works with individuals, communities and organisations wanting to deal creatively with specific disputes, it is engaged in long-term work, for example with several Good Relations Forums providing private spaces for local district councillors, officials and other citizens to have facilitated dialogue. MNI also provides local volunteer monitors who are equipped and available to be a third party presence at times of heightened tension across Northern Ireland.

The demand for training is good, particularly from the public and voluntary sectors, but increasingly from the private sector as well. The aim here is to prevent future disputes by having capable people in place in community, public, church, and other organisations who might develop their own mediative responses to conflict or at least might know when mediation might be a good option in addressing a dispute. MNI would welcome enquiries from people with strong experience, interested in furthering their capabilities by undertaking an NVQ in mediation at Level 4, reflecting an increased professionalism in the field. As well as this and other formal mediation training programmes it also runs a range of open access and customised training and learning courses with a range of skill levels on community relations themes (further information on request).

A varied policing programme includes working with new recruits to PSNI, providing opportunities for facilitated dialogue on community relations issues. It also provides opportunities for a broad range of 'civic leaders' to learn from the challenges faced by other countries in developing good relations between community and police.

In the last year Mediation Northern Ireland has been supporting local practitioners in the Greater Manchester area to develop new approaches to community cohesion particularly in response to inter-racial contention and violence in Oldham. This experience is informing the development of the Agency's own work in Northern Ireland.

Overall, MNI's services include conciliation, consultancy, facilitation, mediation, negotiation, social development and training and learning; it aims to be involved in dispute intervention, building good relations, peace building and civic diplomacy. These areas are explored more on the MNI website at (note that some background papers may be under 'About us' on the website). MNI originally began as the Northern Ireland Conflict Mediation Association in 1987.

Mediation Northern Ireland, 10 Upper Crescent, Belfast BT7 1NT, phone 90 43 86 14, fax 90 31 44 30, and e-mail

Militarisation: Death from a distance
'Death from a distance; the ongoing militarisation of Ireland' is the latest detailed report from Afri (48 pages, A4) and is in two parts by two different authors, John Cullen and Susan Ní Maolthuile. The first takes a look at third level educational institutions and their involvement in research connected with the arms trade as the Irish research base becomes more integrated with Europe (this part has received some publicity in the media); it also updates on some companies involved. The second part looks at the militarisation of Shannon airport and how it has been effectively handed over to the US military without the assent of the Dáil; "Given the involvement by Ireland….we share responsibility for the consequences, including the loss of innocent life and the chaos that now reigns in Iraq." (introduction to the report). The report is available from Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, phone 01 - 8827581/8827563, fax 8827576, e-mail and website

Earthwatch RIP but to let rip again
Earthwatch, the Irish (Republic) section of Friends of the Earth has passed away due to financial and other difficulties. But the result is not a FOEgone conclusion as an initiative is underway to launch a new Irish Friends of the Earth in the autumn, including eight or more of the local Earthwatch groups. Meanwhile FOE in Northern Ireland is acting as the contact point; FOE, 7 Donegall Street Place, Befast BT1 2FN, phone 028 (048 from Republic) - 90 23 34 88 or e-mail

SCI/IVS/VSI: International workcamps and projects
The 2004 edition of the invaluable International Volunteer Projects booklet is now available from IVS (International Voluntary Service) in the North and VSI (Voluntary Service International) in the Republic; there is also a searchable database at (click on 'Workcamps of 2004' under 'Activities'). This details short term opportunities (varies but typically a fortnight) in around fifty countries with very varied kinds of work, so varied in fact that there should be something for everyone (including anti-racist, third world solidarity, peace, working with people with disabilities, work with children, ecological, women's/gender projects, arts and culture etc). In the North it is available in return for a large sae with 47p postage; in the Republic it is available price €4 including postage from either the VSI office or in branches of Easons. Please note VSI has new e-mail and web addresses as listed below.

· IVS, 34 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB, ph 028 - 90 23 81 47 or e-mail · VSI, 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, phone 01 - 8551011, e-mail and web

ARAN - Animal Rights Action Network
Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) is now Ireland's largest grassroots speak for animals organisation. We have active campaign co-coordinators all over the country highlighting, co-coordinating, doing demos, protests, education tables and much more in the good fight to end animal abuse. We campaign wherever and whenever animal abuse occurs and is against all forms of animal cruelty. We now also have the tremendous support of many international animal rights and protection organisations. ARAN is a voluntary group and our volunteers give whatever time they can to help further the cause of animal liberation. Please, if you want to hook up with like minded people and start doing whatever you can do whenever you can do it please let us know, we want to work with you. ARAN, PO Box 722, Kildare. E-mail: and phone 087 - 6275579.

Quakers hit 350
The Religious Society of Friends/Quakers are the only significant 'historic peace church' in Ireland, and this year are celebrating 350 years since the first recorded Friends Meeting for Worship in a Co Armagh home in 1654. A variety of activities will be happening including open days, other activities and an Irish stamp [no remarks, please, about 'I bet you can lick the Quakers!', it's probably self-adhesive - Ed]. Further info on the website at or Chris McCartney, 108 Dufferin Avenue, Bangor BT20 3AY, ph/fax 028 - 9127 5550, e-mail

Religions and the politics of peace and conflict
This is the title of an international interdisciplinary conference taking place in Dublin run by the Irish School of Ecumenics from 8pm on 15th June until after 6pm on 17th June with a variety of speakers from the USA, Britain, and Ireland. Full fee is €100 (not including meals), unwaged €40, free to TCD students. Details from; Hyo-Jung Kim, ISE Communications Officer, Irish School of Ecumenics, Bea House, Milltown Park, Dublin 6, phone 01 - 260 1144 ext 112, fax 260 1158, e-mail

INCORE International Summer School 14-18 June 2004
The International Summer School in Derry/Londonderry provides an intensive week of training, networking and discussion in the field of conflict resolution. Facilitated by leading experts, the International Summer School is aimed at mid to senior level policy makers, practitioners, academics, the media, military and development organisations. The School provides an interactive learning environment and attempts to bridge the gap between policy, practice and research. Three courses are on offer for 2004:

  1. The Management of Peace Processes,
  2. Track Two Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation
  3. Evaluation and Impact Assessment of Peacebuilding Projects.

For further information on the courses, facilitators, tuition fees, and the online application form, please visit the Summer School web site at: Incore Phone 028 - 7137 5500.

INCORE/WAVE Conference
On 16th March at the City Hotel, Derry/Londonderry, INCORE, along with WAVE Trauma Centre, co-hosted a conference entitled 'Restoring Justice: A Challenge for Northern Ireland'. The aim of the conference was to examine how various sections of the community perceive the term justice and what the justice issues are for communities in the transition. Two international speakers brought a comparative analysis to the audience and introduced different types of judicial systems to the conference. There was also a panel of representatives from locally based groups working in the area of justice and peace-building. The conference was well-attended, with a cross-section of WAVE members and community representatives, over 100 participants in total.

South Asian Conflict Resolution Program
From January to April, INCORE is hosting 20 professionals from 5 south Asian countries - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The group, comprising academics, government officials, MPs, journalists and NGO workers, are in Derry /Londonderry on a British Council funded program under the Chevening Scholars Scheme. The group are studying conflict resolution issues - in a workshop-based format and have also just finished placements at prominent academic, NGO and media organisations in Northern Ireland.

Nepalese Peacebuilding Tour
In January, INCORE, in association with the Nepal Peace Campaign, hosted a group of Nepalese politicians for a week-long seminar course on peace-building. The example of Northern Ireland was utilsied as an example for Nepal - which is currently experiencing a civil war between the monarchy and Maoist rebels - where the elected representatives have been sidelined.

Politicians and Community Relations Project
INCORE has commenced a new project on Politicians and Community Relations. The aim of this project is to acquire a greater understanding of the perspectives of Northern Ireland's politicians on Community Relations (CR) work, in order to provide a knowledge base for the formulation of a more cohesive and agreed approach to the future of such work on the part of politicians, CR practitioners and policy makers. The initial data collection for this project will be conducted via surveys, interviews and focus groups and will be followed by dissemination, a Seminar and a Conference. Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and District Councillors will be invited to explore the preliminary results at a seminar in June 2004. A conference to be held in September 2004 will feature international experts in the field, Assembly Members and District Councillors, as well as CR policy makers and representatives of the community and voluntary sector.

International observers wanted for Peace Brigades
Peace Brigades International (PBI) is looking for international observers to work for the protection of human rights defenders in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and Indonesia. You must be 25+ and fluent in the language of the country concerned. An orientation weekend will take place near Beaconsfield, England from 20th to 23rd May. PBI is a humanitarian organisation committed to the non-violent resolution of conflicts with the objective of creating a breathing space in conflict zones so civilians can organise to defend their rights. For more info send your CV and (if possible) an A4 SAE with 74p British stamps to PBI UK, 1b Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ, e-mail

An amazing Convergence
The amazingly creative and varied Convergence Sustainable Living Festival is again approaching, 22nd April to 2nd May, at Cultivate: Sustainable Living Centre, 15 - 19 Essex Street West, Temple Bar, Dublin 8. There are over 100 events 'Mixing content from researchers, policy makers and business, with that of artists, poets, and designers, Convergence takes a multicultural and inter-disciplinary approach to sustainability.' Details at or for tickets/information ph. 01 - 674 5773 (festival pass for most events €100).

West Papua; 88 TDs sign up for UN review
The Republic may be the first state in Europe in which a majority of parliamentarians, 88 of them, have urged the United Nations to review the so-called "Act of Free Choice" (which was anything but) in 1969 which rubber-stamped Indonesia's control of the territory. Mark Doris of West Papua Action said it is conservatively estimated that 100,000 West Papuans have died through Indonesian control. Meanwhile West Papua Action has been hosting a delegation from West Papua; see Subscriptions to West Papua Action are €15 or €5 unwaged/student rate. West Papua Action, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, phone 01 860 3431, Mobile 087 - 2969742, Fax 01 - 882 7576, e-mail and web

Mordechai Vanunu to be released
The Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu is to be released finally on 21st April following 18 years imprisonment due to kidnapping by Israeli agents in Europe. A Peace People delegation including Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire will be among those welcoming him out of prison and celebrating his life and commitment to no nuclear weapons. Peace People, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 6GE, phone 028 - 90 66 34 65, e-mail and web For info on Vanunu see e.g.

Chernobyl Children's Project
The phone and fax numbers for the new address of Chernobyl Children's Project (see NN117) are 021 - 431 2999 (phone) and 021 - 431 3170 (fax). The full address is; Chernobyl Children's Project, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork. E-mail is and web

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) in Northern Ireland
AVP is an effort to help people creatively reduce the amount of negative conflict in their lives. To promote AVP in Northern Ireland, a new leaflet is available; you can contact AVP at or contact c/o INNATE or Kilcranny House, 21 Cranagh road, Coleraine BT51 3NN, ph 028 - 7032 1816, e-mail

Peace News on nonviolent action in Israel/Palestine
The latest issue of Peace News features Nonviolent action in Israel/Palestine as its special feature with excellent in-depth articles and resources list. Peace News, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DY, web or admin e-mail and phone +44 - 20 7278 3344.

Nonviolence Help website
A very useful resource for nonviolence and nonviolence training in English is the Nonviolence Help website at which is put together by Iain Murray in Australia. It includes information on theory and practice of nonviolent social change, case studies and training agendas.


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