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

 

What's new

Nonviolent News May 2020

Editorial: It is clear what needs to happen

Eco-Awareness with Larry Speight: A new world in the morning

Readings in Nonviolence: Back to basics – with Gene Sharp

Billy King: Rites Again

Issue 140: June 2006

Third trial lucky - Pit Stop Ploughshares plough on again
It may seem incredible, and it is, but the third trial of the Catholic Worker Five/Pit Stop Ploughshares (Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran, Ciaron O'Reilly) takes place starting at the Four Courts, Dublin on 5th July. The previous two trials collapsed. The trial is for the 3rd February 2003 nonviolent disarmament of a U.S. Navy War Plane at Shannon Airport, Co. Clare. Solidarity is urgently needed, including finance to bring relevant witnesses to court; donations can be sent to "Ploughshares Defence Fund", 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, and donations can also be lodged at any Bank of Ireland branch: "Ploughshares Defence Fund", Account No. 80965573 Sort Code 900551. More information at http://www.peaceontrial.com or e-mail ploughsharesireland@yahoo.ie If you are planning to be in Dublin for the trial, please make contact at ploughshares@yahoo.ie

Quakers open new Moyallon conference centre
The Religious Society of Friends in Ireland recently opened a new residential conference centre in the grounds of a beautiful historic Quaker Meeting House near Gilford, Co. Down. The centre will sleep 60 (4 and 6 bedded rooms) and be a valuable resource for local and international church, youth and community groups. The committed group of Friends behind the project hope that the modern, adaptable centre will provide opportunity for inspiration, nourishment and personal development in a neutral venue. For further information, contact either: Rosemary Calvert, ph. (h) 028 – 92669253, e-mail moyallon@utvinternet.com or Nigel Hampton, ph. (h) 028 38831752, (m) 07815 159516, e-mail nigel.hampton@utvinternet.com Cost per night is £11 per person (youth groups etc without bedding) or £13 per person per night (with bedding), and it is only currently available on a self-catering basis.

Wesleyan perspectives on peace making
This is the theme of an international conference on peace making taking place from 11th – 14th September at the Clandeboye Hotel, Bangor, Co Down, asking questions such as what is peace, is there a Wesleyan view of conflict transformation, is social redemption a legitimate goal for a holiness church, and whether there are principles of conflict transformation and peace building that transcend culture. Speakers include Ron Benefiel, Gustavo Crocker, Michael Mata and Glenn Jordan. The full conference fee including meals and lodging is £300 (deadline 15th June) or conference and meals only £75 (deadline 15th August); contact Christi Difalco at cdifalco@eurasiaregion.org to book. Local queries can go to Billy Mitchell at billy.linc@btconnect.com and LINC will be providing a limited number of small bursaries for low-paid/unemployed persons. The event is sponsored by Nazarene Compassionate Ministries International (the social action outreach of the Church of the Nazarene which is Wesleyan in terms of theology and holiness), LINC Resource Centre and the Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland (the last two based in Belfast). The conference is open to anyone interested irrespective of denomination.

Irish Council for Civil Liberties: 30 years a-growing
Recent news includes Mark Kelly starting as the new director, and Amy Pearson as communications officer. The speech of Shami Chakrabarti (Director, Liberty, UK) marking 30 years of ICCL is available on the website, as is the current edition of the ICCL Newsletter. ICCL expects to continue in its temporary accommodation in Blackhall Place, Dublin until perhaps the end of this year. Irish Council for Civil Liberties, DMG Business Centre, 9-13 Blackhall Place, Dublin 7, ph. 01 – 7994500, web http://www.iccl.ie/ and e-mail iccl@iol.ie

Irish Centre for Human Rights, Galway – Mozart came too
In May, the Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR) and Amnesty International (Irish Section) hosted a one day international seminar, with an expert panel of speakers, on the subject of ‘extraordinary renditions’ including coverage of the incompatibility of diplomatic assurances with the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel inhuman and degrading treatment. Back in March the above two organisations published a report on Irish institutional racism; ‘Breaking down barriers; tackling racism in Ireland at the level of the state and its institutions” by Louise Beirne and Dr Vinodh Jaichand. Something different took place at the end of April when a seminar followed by a short concert was held on the theme of ‘Mozart and Human Rights’ – Prof William Schabas, director of ICHR, played the cello for the last piece of music with the Contempo String Quartet. Meanwhile Michael D Higgins has been made Adjunct Professor affiliated with the ICHR. Annual summer schools about to take place are on ‘Minority rights, indigenous peoples, and human rights law’ (10-16 June) and ‘The International Criminal Court’ (8-13 July). Irish Centre for Human Rights, ph. 091 – 493948, web http://www.nuigalway.ie/human_rights and e-mail humanrights@nuigalway.ie

Put aside your TV or PC, become a monitor
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) is looking for additional volunteers to add to its monitoring team. The aim of the monitoring project is to contribute to peace, order and improved relations in situations of communal tension – the success of the initiative in recent years has shown it to be a timely method of peacekeeping. If you are flexible, patient, impartial and willing to volunteer, induction training (4 sessions for all new volunteers) takes place in Belfast from late June. The closing date is 9th June. If you’re interested, please contact Máire Patton phone 028 – 90438614, or e-mail maire@mediationnorthernireland.org MNI, 83 University Street, Belfast BT7 1HP.

Corrymeela summer programme: Treat yourself, Mary Ann
The Corrymeela Community still has places free for volunteering during its annual Summer Programme which runs for 8 weeks between July and August. Corrymeela hosts a series of weeklong programmes for various groups around Northern Ireland and the world. Those interested in volunteering during this time will enjoy working in a variety of tasks including centre maintenance (i.e. housekeeping, kitchen duties and reception), worship, arts and crafts, outdoor activities and also working with specific groups. Placements are available for applicants aged 18 or above for between 1 and 3 weeks, although numbers are limited. Full board and accommodation is provided. For an application form, or further information, please e-mail Jimmy Gordon at volunteersupport@corrymeela.org the phone number at the Ballycastle centre is 028 2076 2626.

Meath Peace Group: Irish involvement in WW1
The next Meath Peace Group Public Talk entitled “Irish Involvement in the Great War, 1914-18”
will take place on Monday, 12th June, 2006 in the Ardboyne Hotel Navan, [note different venue!] Co. Meath at 8 pm. Speakers: Professor Paul Bew (Politics Dept., Q.U.B.) and Tom Burke, MBE (Chair, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association). Talk will be chaired by Cathal MacCoille of RTE. The Ardboyne Hotel is situated on the N3 (Dublin to Navan road), on the Dublin side of Navan. For inquiries, contact meathpeace@hotmail.com or Julitta Clancy 01 - 8259438. Also see our website for reports of previous talks http://www.meathpeacegroup.org

IFOR seeks new international coordinator
IFOR, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, based in Alkmaar, Netherlands, seeks a new International Coordinator to replace David Mumford. The Coordinator oversees organizational and financial management and takes direction from the decisions made by the IFOR Council and International Committee and carries out their mandates. The deadline for applications is 15th July and the post would start late 2006 or early 2007; detail on IFOR website. Meanwhile staff additions at IFOR include Marc Forget as field officer and Naomi Bolderheij as communications officer. IFOR’s Council will meet in Japan in October. Patterns (pamphlet) No. 9 on ‘Peace services in the Abharamic traditions’ has just been published. Fuller information on all these matters at http://www.ifor.org including ‘IFOR in Action’ newssheet and Women Peacemakers Program newsletter ‘Cross the Lines’. IFOR affiliates in Ireland currently are INNATE and the Peace People. IFOR, ph +31 72 512 3014, e-mail office@ifor.org

ICR and Belfast Interface Project ‘Reducing tension’
The Institute for Conflict Research and Belfast Interface Project have co-produced a 50-page publication “Working at the Interface: Good practice in reducing tension and violence” by Neil Jarman. It includes a list of organisations working in interface areas in the North, mainly Belfast. See http://www.conflictresearch.org.uk for details (and PDF download); Belfast Interface Project website is at http://www.belfastinterfaceproject.org ICR, ph 028 – 9074 2682 Email: info@conflictresearch.org.uk

Incinerate, incinerate, incinerate
By Mary 0’Leary

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) is an alliance of communities in the greater Cork harbour area who are against the principle of the commercial burning of waste i.e. mass incineration, as it is a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem.

Much remains to be done with our waste in terms of recovery, recycling, separation of waste streams, product redesign and elimination of organic material to landfill. Newer safer and more innovative technologies come on stream on a regular basis that will allow us to deal with our waste in a safer and environmentally responsible manner If all the above are put onto operation, the need for incineration can be eliminated, as other countries have shown.

CHASE promotes sustainable waste management. This means regarding waste as a resource. It means embracing newer and better technologies. And it means managing our waste in an environmentally friendly way. In the opinion of international experts such as Mr Martin Keyes (UK) and Professor Ken Guiser (US), it is premature for Ireland to consider mass incineration at this stage, as we in Ireland are coming to waste management later than any of our European neighbours and can learn from their mistakes.

The perceived waste management crisis in Ireland is in fact, a case of mis-management. At the recent National Waste Management Summit speakers from our biggest waste management companies, outlined the problems facing waste recovery. They explained that the success of recovery and recycling will be severely hampered by the EPA or planning, creating excess capacity in incineration or landfill and that waste separation, recovery and recycling cannot succeed in this climate.

Another speaker indicated that there is no crisis in hazardous waste management in Ireland. There is plenty of capacity overseas, where producers can choose with whom and how they want to dispose of their waste. This keeps costs down, gives producers’ choice, and avoids a monopoly situation. It also gives us the opportunity to explore newer, cleaner and safer technologies. Once incineration is adopted we are married to it for the next 30 years while newer, better technologies pass us by.

According to Dr Paul Connett (U.S) (who recently appeared on Primetime) a chemist and scientist with 20 years experience in waste management and alternatives to incineration, burning is a wasted opportunity to move in the right direction of sustainable waste management.

Consumer response to waste separation and recycling has been phenomenal. It shows that there is tremendous willingness on behalf of the public to do “their bit”. But we need kerbside separation and collection, adequate recycling facilities and meaningful financial incentives to make it work. We also need to see a real response from the Government to set up facilities at all landfills to treat all organic matter which according to the Minister on a recent radio programme (RTE News) makes up to 75% of what goes to landfill.

In a properly structured waste management system, none of this organic waste should go to landfill as this is what causes all the problems of methane production and harmful leachate. All organics should be removed, processed using mixed biological treatment and what is left can be used as a soil improver thus dealing with our waste in a sustainable way.

A major problem with the incineration solution is that it is so poorly thought out. It is not the quick fix our government portray it as. It does not make waste disappear; it simply changes it from one form to another. It does not do away with the need for landfill. It produces toxic ash and toxic emissions which ultimately lead to deterioration of the environment. Northern Europe may have some of the highest recycling rates and a large numbers of incinerators, but it also has the highest levels of dioxins and the most polluted air in the Northern hemisphere.

Dioxins are some of the most toxic chemicals known to science. Once dioxins have entered the environment or body they are there to stay, due to their ability to dissolve in fats and to their rock solid chemical stability. Humans absorb 90-95% of dioxins through the food chain, of which two thirds comes from the consumption of meat and dairy products. This is why it is vital for Ireland to resist incineration at all costs in order to protect one of our most important industries, the food and agriculture sector which is worth a staggering €7 billion to the national exchequer per annum.

The truth is, Ireland is not in a position to monitor or regulate commercial incinerator facilities. This was the finding of the government’s commissioned report on the health effects of incineration and landfill carried out by the Health Research Bureau.


There are health effects from incineration even at present EU limits. At the Ringaskiddy Incinerator EPA Oral Hearing 2005, Dr. Gavin Ten Tusscher, a Paediatrician in Holland, presented evidence that damage is occurring to the most vulnerable in our society; the young, the unborn and breast feeding infants, at present emission levels. The EU is now looking at lowering limits of emissions. The US EPA have said there are no safe levels of dioxins .That the Irish EPA have ignored all this evidence and air-brushed it out of their decision to grant a waste licence, does nothing to assure the public of their commitment to protect the people they are meant to serve.

The most recent health report published in December 2005 carried out by the British Society of Ecological Medicine clearly concludes that new facilities emitting substantial quantities of particulate matter, volatile heavy metals and hazardous organic pollutants should not be built i.e. incinerators. .They also conclude that there are alternative methods of dealing with waste that would avoid the main health risks of incineration and would be cheaper in terms of health costs in the long run.

In relation to the proposed incinerators in Ringaskiddy, the site has failed the World Health Organisation criteria for site selection for Hazardous waste incinerators. Strict adherence to these criteria is vital to the safety of host communities. These criteria are critical to the WHO giving any support to incineration. Local and national plans have been contravened, international guidelines misinterpreted, local government decisions overturned, scientific evidence disregarded, public safety discounted, and the views of over 30,000 people and their public representatives ignored.

Allowing this development to go ahead represents a clear failure of the democratic process.The fact that so many checks and balances have been ignored fully justifies people’s concerns about how business is done in relation to such facilities. This point was succinctly made in a Government commissioned report in relation to such projects which states;
“Public trust, whether it is placed in the regulators, in compliance with the regulations or in the information provided, will be fundamental in achieving even a modicum of consensus for any future developments in waste policy in Ireland.” (Crowley, Staines et al. 2002).

The communities have followed the democratic process to the tee; have wholeheartedly engaged in the planning process and the license process, at their own expense. The incinerator proposal was refused by Cork County Council; the inspector of An Bord Pleanala gave fourteen reasons why this facility should not be built, not least that he could not guarantee that it would not pose a threat to public safety. No health impact assessment has been done on the effect of such a facility on the host community.

The fact that the Irish Government has allowed itself to be seduced by the simplistic idea that incineration is the solution to waste management, has unfortunately had the effect of hindering the development of a proper integrated waste management system. Whatever the solutions are, they must stand up to scrutiny and be totally transparent in relation to all the checks and balances being observed. In the case of the proposed toxic waste incinerator in Ringaskiddy this has not happened and such a facility will never be accepted by the communities in Cork.

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE),
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork, ph 021 - 481 5564 Email - info@chaseireland.org and their (excellent – Ed) website is at http://www.chaseireland.org

- - - - - -

Let Mordechai Vanunu go...
On leaving Israel/Palestine at the start of May, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, who had spent 10 days in Israel-Palestine campaigning for an end to the detention of Mordechai Vanunu, said:

"I believe it is sad and shameful that the Israeli Government continues to detain Mordechai Vanunu for this the 20 year of his internal exile within Israel. He has no secrets. He is no threat to Israeli security. I therefore call upon the Israel Government to uphold Mordechai Vanunu's human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of movement and let him go.

I also support his call for a Nuclear Free Israel, Middle East and world and call upon the Israeli Government to open Dimona for inspection, and to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty.
During my visit I have travelled to Jenin Refugee Camp, Hebron, and Bethlehem in the Israeli Occupied Territories. I have witnessed the daily suffering of the Palestinian people living under an increasing and worsening oppressive Israeli occupation.

I believe there is a great desire for peace amongst all the people, but in order to move into serious dialogue and negotiations urgent steps, and the political will; particularly from the Israeli Government, need to be taken. I therefore make the following Appeal:

l) I call upon the International Community, European Community, the United States of America, to intervene to end the 40 year occupation by Israel and to end the Palestinian suffering in Palestinian camps for 60 years. The International Community must not be intimidated and silenced by threats of being anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli, but must be bold in demanding Israel upholds it obligations under International Law.

2) The way for peace must be for Israel to end the occupation and recognize and respect all the national and international human rights of the Palestinian people.

3) I call upon the Palestinian people to use the methods of Jesus Christ, Badshan Khan, Gandhi, Martin Luther King of nonviolent resistance to the occupation and apartheid system, which continues to cause so much suffering to their people. And for the International Community to support such a nonviolent resistance by the Palestinian people.

4) I call upon the Israeli Government to uphold International Court of Justice and dismantle the Apartheid wall, and the Apartheid system of injustice. To recognize the democratically elected Government of the Palestinian people and enter into serious dialogue with their new 'partner for peace’.

5) I call upon Israeli Government, European Union, United State, to restore Foreign Aid as the withdrawing of this, is in effect. a collective punishment of the Palestinian people, many of whom already live under great poverty and hardship, due to the continuing illegal occupation and colonization of the Palestinian Territories.

6) I call upon all Israeli and Palestinian people to continue to hope and believe and act for peace, and to do everything in their power to begin to build trust and friendship amongst each other. Nuclear Weapons, militarism, and emergency laws will not build trust, but overcome the fear of each other, and continuing the great work already being done by both Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, and many others, will bring peace. The Israeli Government can help this process by making it possible for people to actually meet each other, and build a grassroots peace movement together.

I have great hopes for both Israeli-Palestinian and leave strengthened and upheld by the love and affection I have received from my many Israeli and Palestinian Friends.

Shalom/Salam,
Mrs Mairead Corrigan Maguire
Nobel Peace Laureate, Peace People, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 6GE, http://www.peacepeople.com
ph. 028 - 90 663465. fax2890 381987, e-mail Info@peacepeople.com

 

 

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