Derry Raytheon 9 trial for Belfast in May
The trial of Derry Anti War Coalition (DAWC) activists, the Raytheon 9, is set to start on Monday 19th May. It is to be held at the Laganside Courts in Belfast. The trial was moved to Belfast after the Prosecution Service argued that the Derry jury pool is likely to know too much about the nine-year campaign against Raytheon, including the non-violent direct action taken on 9th August 2006 and that any jury from Derry may be too sympathetic to the action and/or intimidated by the level of support for the Raytheon 9 because of all the protests held outside the court over the almost two years since the nine were arrested. The DAWC is confident that, wherever the trial is heard, there will be large demonstrations in support of the Nine and that any jury who hears the truth about what was happening in Lebanon when the action took place cannot but find that the Nine acted to stop war crimes and, therefore, committed no crime.
A Raytheon 9 support group has been established in Belfast to organise solidarity during the trial. Contact Tim on 07921258435. The DAWC can be contacted on 07973528772 or see http://www.raytheon9.org You can support the Raytheon 9 by - Sending a message of support to email@example.com - Coming to the protests outside the Laganside Courts (see website for details) - Spread the word about the role of the arms trade in fuelling war. If there is an arms company in your town, organise a protest at it.
For months, it was virtually impossible for the Derry Anti War Coalition to let its supporters across the world know what was going on in the trial of those who took part in its action to occupy and decommission Derry's Raytheon plant on 9th August 2006. Like the mainstream parties, the Courts seem determined to hide the issues behind the occupation from the public. Thus, in November, the Judge imposed a media gag which forbade any mention of the trial, of applications by the Prosecution to move the trial to Belfast. It was even forbidden to report that the gag existed. The judge also claimed that perfectly peaceful demos outside the court could intimidate jurors. She called for police video of the demo on Nov. 19th to be shown in court, apparently to support proposals to move the trial from Derry. All mention of solidarity demos was also banned from the press.
In a bizarre development in December, the Judge cited as possible contempt an article in the Sunday Tribune on 18th November - the day before the trial was to have started. The article had mentioned possible witnesses to be called by the defence from USA and Lebanon. This is common practice in newspaper articles, but the judge suggested it might be contempt of court. Another standard journalistic practice: that of mentioning possible long jail terms if the defendants are found guilty, could also amount to contempt said the judge because it might influence jurors. Meanwhile, papers throughout these islands had headlines reading: "Canoe man could face five years."
Unfortunately, the mainstream media accepted the gag without protest. Concepts like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly do not seem to apply to anti-war protestors. However, in February, the media gag was lifted. This followed an application for judicial review of the gag by Shane O'Curry, a member of the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign. Lawyers had told the Raytheon 9 and the Derry Anti War Coalition that there was no point in anyone in anyway involved in the non-violent direct action against Raytheon on August 9th 2006 seeking a review of the gag. Happily, Shane had been in Rossport on the day of the occupation. So he was able to go to the High Court and seek to have the gagging order lifted.
However, before the judicial review could be heard, the Lord Chief Justice intervened and told legal representatives Barbara Muldoon and Ronan Lavery that there would be no need for them to make their arguments as the gag was about to be lifted. It seems that, when it came to having to defend the gag, the Courts realised that it was indefensible.
Afri Famine Walk
This takes place from Doolough to Louisburgh, Co. Mayo on Saturday 17th May 2008, beginning at 2pm
and the theme is "Water, Oil, Weapons: resources and conflict at home and abroad". The Walk Leaders are Muireann de Barra, Michael McCaughan, and John Rodsted. There will be live music. Read more about the annual Famine Walk on the Afri website http://www.afri.ie Organised by Afri, with Louisburgh Community Project. Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, phone 01 - 882 7563/7581 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharing the future, sharing the past; Corrymeela Summer Festival
'Sharing the Future, Sharing the Past'' the Corrymeela Summer Festival on 28th June 2008 from 10am - 10pm at Corrymeela Centre, Ballycastle. For those who have never been to Corrymeela and for those who can't wait to come back. A day of celebration, fun and learning. With special guest speaker Donald W Shriver Jr., one of the world's leading experts on citizenship. He has written on the Holocaust, Apartheid, the Civil Rights movement in America, and is the author of An Ethic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics and Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember its Misdeeds. Shriver argues that "once we have learned the discipline of forgiveness for the harms we inflict, we will experience, with our enemies, a new increment of hope that neither strangeness nor enmity is forever."
Registration and Coffee, Opening Big Sing & Celebration, Keynote Event with Panel, Picnic Lunch, Afternoon, Workshops, Festival Activities, BBQ Dinner, Concert, £10 Adult, £5 Concession, Free - Under 18s. For more information contact Becca Moody 028 2076 2626 or email@example.com Please see the website http://www.corrymeela.org for programme details.
Volunteer with VSI/SCI
VSI has just launched their 2008 Book of International Volunteer Projects. It contains over 500 short term volunteering projects in 70 countries worldwide. The projects include - converting an old army barracks into a sustainable energy centre in Bulgaria; helping with a food not bombs project in Finland; assisting with a peace education travelling project in Germany; working on an Interfaith Project in Leicester; help with organising a conference on the situation of women in Africa in Italy and many more - details from VSI.
- VSI Volunteer Info Event takes place on Saturday, 5 April 2-4.30pm at the ILAC Library, ILAC Centre, Dublin 1. The event will cover: Volunteer Projects (10-21 days) in Ireland, Europe, North America, North Africa, Japan and Australia; Volunteer Projects (6 weeks - 2 months in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Middle East; Longer Term Volunteering Projects (6 months plus) including European Voluntary Service Programme (EVS); Volunteering with the VSI Youth Programme on International Youth Exchanges; Volunteering with the VSI Dublin Local Group (weekends in Dublin). More details from VSI, 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, ph. 01-8551011; firstname.lastname@example.org://www.vsi.ie
The Feasta office (Feasta - The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability) has moved and the new postal address is Feasta Ltd., 14 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. The phone number will also be changing but 01 - 4053615 is still temporarily in use so that messages can be picked up. In the meantime, the best way to contact is by email at email@example.com See website at http://www.feasta.org
Cluster bomb treaty conference gets closer....
19th April sees a Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs, one month before the Dublin conference starts on 19th May (see NN 156 & 157). You can visit the website of the international campaign at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org Pax Christi International has called for faith and religious leaders in their country to endorse and speak out on a comprehensive ban on cluster bombs, see their website at http://www.paxchristi.net One of the issues Irish Pax Christi is working on is interoperability, that the Irish armed forces should not participate in any joint operations with countries using cluster bombs. Contact; Pax Christi Ireland, 52 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6, ph 01 - 496 5293, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Peacebuilders' Summit: for practitioners from across the globe
The programme for the first Peacebuilders' Summit on 7th May in the Europa Hotel, Belfast, is now available for download. On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the re-establishment of the Assembly, peacebuilders from across the world will share their perspectives, practice and experience of the challenges of peacebuilding; the focus for the summit is dynamic learning, looking at new ways for peacebuilders from across the globe to update their programming, share their expertise and gain fresh ideas. Delegates will learn new approaches to peacebuilding to utilise in their communities; gain free training on emerging models for peacebuilding; make new contacts and forge new partnerships. Attendance is free of charge, but register first by completing the Registration Form available for download where you can also view the programme online. Completed Registrations Forms should be returned as soon as possible to Sarah Maitland at email@example.com
Community Relations Week 2008
The countdown has begun to Community Relations Week 08, the biggest week in the community relations calendar in Northern Ireland. The programme takes place from Saturday 26th April through to Saturday 3rd May and will involve local councils, community and voluntary groups, public bodies, trade unions, churches, schools and youth organisations across Northern Ireland. Looking forward to the event Duncan Morrow, Chief Executive of Community Relations Council said: "Last year's programme took place on the cusp of new devolved government for Northern Ireland and this year's Community Relations Week will take place as Northern Ireland marks 10 years since the signing of the Belfast/ Good Friday agreement. Throughout these times many within communities and across organisations have been working tirelessly to help create a genuinely shared future for all. It is our view that economic development in Northern Ireland cannot reach its real potential unless both government and civil society take steps to address the underlying pattern of antagonism and division which continue to blight us. Community Relations Week is an opportunity to demonstrate work in progress." Details of the Community Relations Week programme will be available on the CRC website http://www.nicrc.org.uk
Amnesty International NI new youth groups
Amnesty International are encouraging all young people who want to stand up for human rights to get involved in the new youth groups; the Belfast group meets the last Saturday of every month at Include Youth, 3 Rosemary Street, Belfast, while the new L'Derry youth group meets on the third Saturday of the month, the first meeting will be on April 19th, 2pm the Junction, Bishop St, L' Derry. Amnesty has a 'taster day' on Saturday 19th April, so you can learn about Amnesty's work, if interested e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or come to Sandinos between 10.30 am and 4 pm. Amnesty International NI, 397 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 3G, ph 028 - 90 643000.
Tara destruction continues......
The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society made a presentation to the European Parliament Committee on Petitions on 1st April 2008. Assistant Secretary, Martin Dier (Navan) pointed out that since their first submission to the Committee in June 2005 to avert 'a major cultural disaster i.e. the destruction of the 6,000 year old Tara archaeological and historical landscape in County Meath by the needless routing of a section of the M3 motorway through its heart', they have witnessed the 'steady destruction of this uniquely important landscape - a destruction akin to the Taliban's destruction of Afghanistan's cultural heritage'. Also, 'We believe that the M3/Tara situation is a glaring example of the inadequate protections given to our archaeological and cultural heritage - in Irish and European law - particularly when such heritage comes into conflict with a government sponsored tolled motorway scheme wrapped up in a Public Private Partnership and promoted as part of the National Development Plan.'
Rath Lugh, one of the promontory outpost forts of the Tara complex, is now placed right on the side of the motorway path despite being subject to a Protection Order. At Lismullan, about 200m from Rath Lugh, wooden footings of an ancient ceremonial site were uncovered by construction workers, and were "preserved by record" by the National Roads Authority (NRA), meaning that archaeologists excavated the site before it was bulldozed. They removed human remains found buried there, and Lismullan is now a muddy puddle. The protest camp on Rath Lugh was established 2 years ago and there are currently about 30 local and international environmental activists there. Many are veterans of previous anti-roads actions and have established tree houses and at least one tunnel which was used recently to halt construction. Support and visitors welcome... More details at http://www.tarapixie.net ph. 086 - 1537146. Other websites for news include http://www.savetara.comhttp://www.tarataratara.net and http://.www.indymedia.ie There is also a vigil camp at the Hill of Tara, a short walk from the National Monument, ph. 086 - 1758557.
Maor Energy Forum Fortnight, Derry, March 31st- April 12th
MAOR (an Irish word for guardian or steward) are a group of individuals based in the North West who came together in 2006 in solidarity with the Shell to Sea campaign and in response to the issues surrounding gas and oil exploration off the Donegal coast. The MAOR Energy Forum Fortnight attempts to be a tool to raise awareness of and generate discussion on ownership and management of Ireland s natural resources. MAOR encourages everyone to take part in this energising programme of films, workshops, media discussions and a Citizens Forum. All participation in the MAOR Energy Forum Fortnight will be highly valued as MAOR will be compiling all the thoughts shared throughout the events for use in council and government consultation. Find more information on MAOR Energy Fortnight and its events on: http://www.maorderry.blogspot.com There's a map available online to help anyone to find the venues.
It is our believe that if Global Warming is viewed in isolation without consideration and understanding of Global Dimming, we, humanity are missing a unique opportunity to change the way we live our lives. At present our reliance on fossil fuels has put us in position where, if left unchecked, we might have no way of returning the planet to a state where it can sustain our lives. We are a fledgling organization at present, privately funded through the benevolence of like minded individuals from Ireland and India. It is our desire to forward the debate on issues relating to Global Warming to wider our audience both here in India and in Ireland. Our goal is to try and use human energy and experience, combine with contributions from you, the suppliers of the products and services needed to develop our growth as a site, community and society in an effort to produce a directory of contacts and information for people that are interested in combating the biggest single issue of our time. We are in process of updating our sites and would like the information to come from you the grass-roots. Contact; Naoise Hart email@example.com For more detail visit our websites http://www.globalwarmingindia.inhttp://www.globalwarming.iehttp://www.sustainabledevelopments.ie
CGE Annual Development Education Conference
Re-imagining Development Education is the theme of the Centre for Global Education's annual DE conference, to be held on 9 April 2008, from 10:30am - 5pm at St. Mary's University College, Belfast. The conference will explore new methodologies and actions supported by current practice and will discuss DE's future trajectory on the basis of recent policy and practice changes in the sector. Workshops will address the relationship between development education and campaigns, how to utilise new technology and new marketing forums, the Open Spaces for Dialogue and Enquiry methodology, the role of IDEA in facilitating pan-Ireland cooperation, and differences and commonalities between development education and other educations such as education for sustainability, human rights education, etc. To register contact Jenna Coriddi, Training and Research Officer, Centre for Global Education, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ph 028 - 90 241879. Website http://www.centreforglobaleducation.com
Money for Women Peacemakers
This is the title of this year's 30-page pack for the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament on 24th May produced by the Women Peacemakers Program (WPP) of IFOR in cooperation with the International Peace Bureau. Always well produced, it takes a wide ranging look at issues under the title, including disarmament and development, information on fundraising and resources, among others. It can be downloaded from the WPP website at http://www.ifor.org/WPP or it can be ordered as a paper copy. The general website of IFOR (International Fellowship of Reconciliation) is at http://www.ifor.org and the International Peace Bureau website is at http://www.ipb.org
'Route Irish' showing in Belfast
'Route Irish', a 90 minute film on the campaigns against Irish facilitation of the US/UK invasion and occupation of Iraq, made by Eamonn Crudden, will be shown at 7.30 pm on Friday 11th April at Quaker Meeting House, 22 Marlborough Park North (off Lisburn Road), Belfast. It will be introduced by war resister Ciaron O'Reilly and the showing will be followed by discussion. All welcome. Organised by Quaker Peace Committee, contact email@example.com 'Route Irish' can also be downloaded.
International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel
In 2008, the Week of Action will take place 4th - 10th June on the theme "It's Time for Palestine." The International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel is an annual Week of Action advocacy initiative convened by the World Council of Churches and supported by Pax Christi International. The Arab Educational Institute, AEI, in Bethlehem, is active in the project as well. The goal of the action is to raise awareness in churches and civil society and to impress upon governments the need for new efforts to end the conflict and negotiate a settlement. Four types of actions are/will be developed: pray, educate, advocate and public action. The Ecumenical Service with the Heads of Churches will take place on 4th June in Jerusalem. Member organisations of Pax Christi International are invited to join the Week of Action and develop its own type of actions in collaboration with churches, church related organisations, religious communities or congregations, and with NGOs on the national and/or local level, if possible. See http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=3627
Mitchell Conference: Moving on from Conflict: Lessons from NI
Queen's University Belfast is hosting the (George) Mitchell Conference 'Moving on from Conflict: Lessons from Northern Ireland' on 22nd and 23rd May in association with Georgetown University DC and Co-operation Ireland. Speakers include George Mitchell, David Trimble, Seamus Mallon, Mary Robinson, Shaun Woodward, Dermot Ahern, Hugh Orde, Desmond Rea and Tony Kennedy. For details see http://www.qub.ac.uk/MitchellConference
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