After 28 years serving peace in the Northern Ireland context, Quaker House Belfast Management Committee have resolved that the project known as Quaker House Belfast will be laid down on 31st May 2010. The strength of Quaker work is that it stems from, and is sustained by, a concern, but it is also a strength to recognise when that concern or piece of work has run its course. Although it is recognised that there is still much peace building work to be done in Northern Ireland the Management Committee now feel that Quaker House Belfast is no longer an appropriate vehicle for this work. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those organisations, groups and individuals who have supported the project. Olive Hobson, Quaker House Belfast, Third Floor, 21 Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HD, ph 028 9024 9293.
- The work of Quaker House is included in the book “Coming from the Silence: Quaker peacebuilding in Northern Ireland”, in a chapter written by Anne Bennett, (published by Sessions of York), see NN 173.
Just Books open in Belfast centre
Just Books have new premises in Belfast city centre, stocking radical literature on areas including history, feminism, environmentalism, local history and a large selection of anarchist writings, also CDs, pamphlets and a variety of libertarian and leftist periodicals. With space to chill out and rest awhile, Just Books serves tea and coffee at only 50p, so you can call in for a cuppa and a browse. Located upstairs on the first floor of 13-15 Clarence Street (on the corner of Linenhall Street behind/south side of the City Hall), Belfast BT2 8DY. Open Monday – Saturday from 12 noon to 5pm. - The paper edition of Nonviolent News will be available in Just Books.
Kilcranny House builds
Kilcranny House, Coleraine, are happy to announce the start of our renovation work at the centre. Funded by the DSD, through Cooperation Ireland, we are thrilled to be able to repair our roof and walls, fit our new kitchen and our exciting new eco-pod at the side of the farmhouse. The work will be completed by the 6th July and we'll be ready to move back in shortly after. Thanks particularly go to Murray, James and Roisin at Bell Architects for all their incredible support and inspiration. We owe a special word of thanks to Kelsey Tackett and her team of friends from Earlham College and Derry/Londonderry, who came to Kilcranny and helped us move everything out of the farmhouse in preparation for the builders arriving. It was a great effort, a great day and clearly reminded us of the fun you can have when volunteering for a good cause. We are delighted to also welcome two new staff members to the team at Kilcranny House. Noleen McKillop joins us in May as our new Administrator and Paddy McNicholl joins us in June as our new Minority Ethnic Support Worker. Now that so much work is under way, we are beginning the planning for our summer festival in August 2010, a week of celebration and learning about the diversity of our cultures and communities and the chance to take part in some exciting and fun opportunities. If you would like to know more about our work and support us contact us through our website at http://www.kilcrannyhouse.org
The Why Violence? Campaign is again asking people and groups to think about organising events in the Why Violence? Week between 21st September (UN World Peace Day) and 2nd October (UN Day of Non-violence) – details can be included on the Why Violence? website. The vision held is that everybody in Ireland should live without fear of emotional or physical violence. There is also the option of web links with like-minded organisations. White button sticky badges are also available (some with the website address, some with ‘Say no to violence’ on them) on request with the idea “If you think violence is unacceptable, show it. Wear a white button, 2nd October”. Why Violence? is contactable at Quaker House, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and the website is at http://www.whyviolence.com
Public assemblies threatened in North
Amazing proposals in a Public Assemblies Bill in Northern Ireland mean that every gathering of 50 or more people in a ‘public space’ will have to ask for permission to assemble 37 days prior to the date of assembly and will have to name ALL organisers and a list of ALL groups who will take part. Permission can be refused. The only exceptions will be gatherings inside buildings and funerals; bands, trade unions and campaign groups are specifically included. Severe penalties apply (6 months prison for participants!). Put forward to deal with contentious parades it actually threatens democratic protests of all kinds. There is a Facebook campaign group on Facebook A public meeting takes place on Thursday 13th May at 7 pm in the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast.
Nonviolent Jesus retreat, evening conference
Weekend Retreat by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy on The Nonviolent Jesus: His Way of Nonviolent Love of All at “Le Chéile" Community Centre, Collins Avenue East, Dublin 5 (Beside Donnycarney Church, on main bus routes) on Friday 4th June 6pm - 9pm, Saturday 5th June 9am - 5.30pm and Sunday 6th June, 9am - 12 midday. This retreat provides what many have called a “life-changing” experience of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels. It addresses our struggles to transform our lives and our world by living Christ’s example and message of universal love and kindness in all our relationships. Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy is a priest of the Eastern Rite (Byzantine-Melkite) of the Catholic Church. Formerly a lawyer and university educator, he is the founder and the original director of The Program for the Study and Practice of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution at the University of Notre Dame. Cost - Free for participants with tea, coffee and sandwiches provided for lunch at the Saturday session. When booking, please supply full name, address and phone number and e-mail address if applicable. For more information, please email: email@example.com or phone/text 0861035091. http://www.centerforchristiannonviolence.org
The Irish Missionary Union/Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network and Pax Christi have organised an evening session with Fr Emmanual Charles McCarthy, on the same topic as above, on 8th June at 7.30 pm, in Kimmage Manor, Dublin 12. The evening will include a conference followed by questions and answers and a prayer. IMU/Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network, 563 South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, ph 4923325, web http://www.imu.ie and Pax Christi, 52 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin6, ph 4965293, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Raytheon 14 trial postponed from 4th May
The date of the trial of the Raytheon 14 from Derry, which will take place in Belfast, has been held back and has yet to be set. Contact by e-mail email@example.com or phone 077 40988321 (Sharon, Derry) or on Facebook – Solidarity with the 14 Raytheon Accused.
Mediation Masters at Queen’s University Belfast with MNI
Queen’s University Belfast has a new Post Graduate Diploma/MSSc in Mediation Studies and Work-based Learning, run in a partnership with Mediation Northern Ireland. Course content will include an historical overview of mediation, models of mediative intervention for systemic change, international dimensions of mediation, and work-based research methods. A dissertation is necessary for students wishing to qualify at Masters level. The course will begin in October and will be delivered in 3-day blocks to facilitate students who may need to travel to Belfast. Further info is available on www.mediationnorthernireland.org or contact Elda Nikolou-Walker, head of Work-Based Learning at the School of Education, QUB, firstname.lastname@example.org or Máire Patton at MNI, email@example.com
Rights and Righteousness
Subtitled “Perspectives in religious pluralism and human rights”, this 114 page report (ISBN 1 903681 85 5) from a 2007 conference of the NI Human Rights Commission and the Irish School of Ecumenics is available on http://www.nihrc.org and http://www.ecumenics.ie Edited by David Tombs, it has, among other things, sections on Religious pluralism and human rights, Human rights and faith in Northern Ireland, and Religious liberty and human rights law.
Making friends with FOE on Earth Day, 2nd June
Friends of the Earth along with the others in Stop Climate Chaos are to launch a mass lobby of TDs on Wednesday June 2nd in Buswells Hotel, opposite the Dáil, Dublin, to press for a strong climate change bill. Go to the Stop Climate Chaos website at http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/takeaction to participate. FOE website is at http://www.foe.ie
Irish activist injured at Bil’in, West Bank
On 30th April, while filming a non-violent protest against the role of Irish cement multinational CRH in building Israel's apartheid wall in the village of Bil'in, Tommy Donnellan, 63, was rushed by an Israeli snatch-squad of 4 or 5 soldiers. His throat and shirt were grabbed, his gas mask was torn off, and after being wrestled to the ground he was arrested. During the arrest he sustained a 3 inch gash to his right leg and was bleeding heavily from his left ear, from which a piece was torn off. About two hours later he was released without charge. See here and http://www.ipsc.ie/crhdivest
The U.S. military continue to use Shannon Airport to fly troops in and out of their war zones. Every week we have the Omni Air troop carriers, the cargo planes destined for war zones, the U.S. air force, and U.S. navy aircraft flying in and out of an otherwise almost empty airport. April figures show that civilian deaths in Afghanistan jumped by one-third over the same period a year ago. This is in advance of a major Western military offensive in Kandahar province this spring and summer, which will see even more troops - and private war contractors - pass through Shannon.
Expanding the war only helps the military/war industry. Today the situation of ordinary people in Afghanistan - especially women - is as bad as ever. Come to Shannon on Sunday May 9th for an hour (2pm - 3pm) to express your opposition, and to call for an end to Ireland's support for the unnecessary and destructive wars of occupation. The Shannonwatch vigils also demand accountability for the many years of U.S. rendition flights through Shannon. To date not one of these has been investigated. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 087 – 8225087. - See also Dublin meeting organised by PANA on 27th May, below.
Reducing the concept of nonviolence to simple terms is always a challenge, not because it cannot be done but because, as in other fields of life, it requires work to be simple yet true to the subject. The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, and the Baptist Peace Fellowship, all in Britain, have produced a very useful broadsheet entitled “Nonviolence works! 60 nonviolent victories of the past century” (6 sides of A4 equivalent) including a paragraph on each example, a map of the world as to where the examples refer, and suggestions for further reading. It may be available free, contact via FOR http://www.for.org.uk Pax Christi http://www.paxchristi.org.uk and Baptist Peace Fellowship http://baptist-peace.org.uk
Afri Famine Walk, 22nd May
The leaders on the Afri Famine Walk (see NN 178) on Saturday 22nd May are Justin Kilcullen, Felicity Lawrence, Jo Newton and Emer Maycock, with the theme “Hunger in a World of Plenty; Sowing Seeds of Hope”. It is organised by Afri in partnership with Trócaire and the Irish Seed Savers Association. The walk from Doolough to Louisburgh, Co Mayo, begins at 2pm and shuttle buses leave Louisburgh from 1pm to take walkers to the start point. If there is sufficient demand – book the week before – there will be a bus organised to leave Parnell Square in Dublin at 8 am that morning, returning the same night. On Saturday night there will be a gathering in McNamara’s, Louisburgh, from 8.30pm for ceol agus craic. Afri asks participants to raise a minimum of €20 sponsorship towards its work. Afri, 134 Phisborough Road, Dublin 7, ph 01 – 8827563, e-mail email@example.com and web http://www.afri.ie
It PANA’s out for a visa victory
In January 2009 Ed Horgan, International Secretary of PANA was granted a 10 year visa by the Bush Administration. In Jan, 2010 the Obama Administration revoked the visa after Ed had been invited to speak at a conference on rendition and torture in Duke University in North Carolina. After an intensive campaign by PANA, Ed was granted a 3 month visa and will be attending the conference. This was a victory for the Irish and US peace movement. It was a defeat for those in favour of war and who seek to destroy free speech. A Powerpoint presentation of his address in on the PANA website: http://www.pana.ie PANA would like to thank all those involved in the campaign. PANA believes that the Irish people and the people of the United States have a vested interest in ending these wars and the termination of the use of Shannon Airport in these wars needs to happen immediately. The reality is that it is only by ending these wars can economic stability be restored. Our demand is clear, Jobs at home, No war abroad.
For more information contact: Roger Cole, Chair of PANA ph 087-2611597, Seamas Rathigan PRO of PANA ph 086-8369793.
PANA is organising a Public Meeting on the topic “US Army out of Shannon” on Thursday 27th May 7.30pm Wynn's Hotel, 35-39 Lower Abbey Street Dublin. The speaker is John Lannon of Shannonwatch.
SCI No More War campaign
SCI/Service Civil International (of which VSI is a section) is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2010 and a couple of actions are planned to celebrate this special year. One is a world-wide campaign, which aims to promote a serious of “No More War!” Workcamps and volunteer projects, which focus on peace related themes, such as antimilitarism, non-violence and other topics directly linked to the roots and history of SCI. The projects should have an intense study part, to give the volunteers space for discussions and the exchange of ideas on war and peace. Please find further information here.
The campaign will organise a special camp coordinator training event in Germany from 20-27th May next which will focus on - teaching basic coordinator skills, the training will focus on innovative methods of peace education to enrich study parts in workcamps. A part of the training will also be on developing a scenario for a video-film, including how to use a camera. A further session of the training will be on theatre of oppressed as an innovative method to promote intercultural understanding and peace* The training is aimed both at volunteers who had no previous group coordinating experience, as well as at experienced volunteers, who will later coordinate “No more war!” workcamps, or other volunteer peace projects & activities (some sessions will be common ones, some will be held in parallel). More details from Tom Ryder, Coordinator, Voluntary Service International, 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, ph 01 8551011, and web http://www.vsi.ie
International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, 24th May
As usual, Women Peacemakers Program of IFOR is publishing a pamphlet and organising an event for this day. This year the publication is on ‘Men, Masculinities and Peacebuilding’ and it will be online from mid-May here (where you can find previous packs as well). Their event will happen on 27th May in the Netherlands on the topic ‘Together for Transformation’ concerning engaging men and understanding masculinities in the field of women, peace and security. Further details on the WPP website http://www.ifor.org/WPP
WRI ‘Broken Rifle’ on gender and militarism
The current issue (April, No.85) of the War Resisters International publication, ‘The Broken Rifle’, is on Gender and Militarism with a variety of articles covering different aspects of this topic including a useful short article on ‘Militarisation and Masculinities’. Go to the WRI website at http://www.wri-irg.org and click on ‘Publications’ and then ‘The Broken Rifle’, or go straight to http://www.wri-irg.org/br-home.htm
New AI book on art and human rights
Voice Our Concern is a new publication to assist teachers and students to explore the arts and human rights, featuring contributions from some of Ireland’s leading writers and artists. Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “Since Voice Our Concern was launched in 2004 thousands of students in schools across the country have worked with a variety of Ireland’s best-known artists from music, visual art, drama, poetry, photography and film. They have created, explored and challenged issues around human rights from child slavery to freedom of speech. Amnesty International Ireland is extremely proud to have played a part in this.” Contact Sorcha Tunney at 01 863 8342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or see also the Amnesty International Ireland website at http://www.amnesty.ie
Right v Right in environmental concerns
“Right vs Right: When There Are Two Environmentally Sound, But Opposing, Solutions” is the interesting report of an event organised by NI Environment Link and NI Environment Agency at the end of March.
‘Be the change’ on mental health
See Change is Ireland’s new national partnership to reduce stigma and challenge discrimination associated with mental health problems. We want to hear your ideas on how best to deliver our vision of an Ireland where every person has an open and positive attitude to their own and others’ mental health. Your idea could be a memorable campaign slogan or it could be an idea to reduce stigma and challenge discrimination. For more information and to enter to win €5,000 check out the website at http://www.seechange.ie
June bank holiday at Rossport
The annual June Bank Holiday gathering will be happening from the 4th to the 7th June this year. This is always one of the biggest weekends of the year, and this year promises to be a really good one – if you've been thinking 'I must get down to Rossport at some stage', this is the time! The weekend will include variety of workshops, music, walks and talks, relating to the campaign, climate change, social justice, activism and surrounding area. It will be family friendly, with puppet-shows, drama shows and face-painting. More details to follow soon on http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org . Here's some info on last year's Gathering to whet your appetite: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92076 We will be re-establishing the camp in Glengad in the coming weeks and help will be needed and greatly appreciated over the next while.
Front Line human rights organisation recently launched a report they did into the Corrib Gas protests focused particularly on policing of the protests against Corrib. You can read a camper's take on the report here: or the actual report can be found here.
INNATE networking group meets next on Wednesday 12th May at 7pm in Corrymeela House, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast – all interested are welcome.
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