CAJ officially launched its new premises on 7th October; the new office is located on Queen Street in Belfast. The Boardroom of the office was dedicated to the memory of Stephen Livingstone. Photographs of the launch event along with a transcript of the speech of the keynote speaker, Professor Philippe Sands QC are available to view on the website – http://www.caj.org.uk
CAJ testified at US Congress in September. As a direct result of this, Congressman Crowley has written to Prime Minister David Cameron, urging him to support a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. A copy of this letter is available on the CAJ website.
CAJ will host a seminar on dealing with the past entitled ‘The Past is Still Present’ on 10th December to mark International Human Rights Day 2010. Please email email@example.com for further details. CAJ held its 2010 AGM on 30th November, where a new Executive Committee was elected. The most recent Annual Report has also been published and is available for download from the website; hard copies can be requested from the office. CAJ,
2nd Floor, Sturgen Building, 9-15 Queen Street, Belfast BT1 6EA, ph 028 9031 6000, e-mail –firstname.lastname@example.org
Add an extra card to your greetings card list
Amnesty International is encouraging people across N Ireland to send messages of goodwill and solidarity to those around the world who have faced human rights abuses. Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland Campaigner, said ''Sending a card is a small gesture which sends a powerful message to those who receive it. This kind of encouragement can help to strengthen and empower people as they confront human rights violations, letting them know that people around the world are standing with them''.
With an opportunity to send cards until 31 January 2010, the campaign is expected to generate tens of thousands of messages of support for the 32 individuals featured. Log on to http://www.amnesty.org.uk/gcc for full details. Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland Campaigner, Amnesty International, 397 Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 3GP, ph 028 90 643000, web http://www.amnesty.org.uk/ni
Human Cost of War exhibition, Derry
The Human Cost of War exhibition of quilts and arpilleras continues at the Tower Museum, Derry, until mid-January - the exhibition will close on the 15th January 2011. [See also NN 183] The Tower Museum’s general opening hours are: Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. It will be closed from Friday 24th – Tuesday 28th December and reopens on Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st. Closed from 1st – 3rd January and reopens on Tuesday 4th January 2011. The catalogue is available here and see also here.
DDCI tells IMF like it is
“A Global Justice Perspective on the Irish EU-IMF Loans: Lessons From the Wider World' is a new document (24 pages, A4) from the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI). It outlines lessons from the global debt justice movement in responding to debt crises, provides a background to the Irish EU-IMF loans (up to the 28th November 2010 - before the loan documents were made public), and offers some recommendations from DDCI based on these lessons from our work. It also flags up recommendations from other groups.
Its key lessons include; “ The legitimacy of the IMF as a lending institution is deeply questionable – due to its undemocratic governance structure, the devastating impacts of its policy conditions on the world’s poorest people, and its lack of transparency. Unfortunately the IMF has not adequately reformed its policy conditionality practices since the recent global financial crisis. Since becoming a member of the IMF in 1957, Ireland has failed to influence the IMF to reform in these areas.”; “The practice of lender policy conditionality hides who are the driving forces behind policy actions taken by borrowing governments”; and “The precedent of the EU-IMF lender combination has shown the EU to have adopted a tough position toward EU countries in crisis. New proposals on lending practices within the EU are already forthcoming from government and civil society sources and need to be monitored in terms of their implications for international lending practices and any impact on Southern nations.” After all the hype, here is a global justice perspective on what has been happening. 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
Part of the cutting (= killing) edge of military development and usage at the moment is in drones (‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ or UAVs). While their commonest usage is for surveillance, increasingly they are being used (e.g. Afghanistan and Pakistan) to launch missiles and bombs, controlled by satellite communication. A valuable new report from the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) in England is entitled “Convenient killing: Armed drones and the ‘Playstation’ mentality” – an appropriate subtitle given that there is no risk for the controllers and the controlling is similar to military computer games. The report, written by Chris Cole, Mary Dobbing and Amy Hailwood, is 20 pages, A4, covers the background, the human cost (massive civilian casualties), drones and international law, production and proliferation, and ‘the myth of effectiveness”. Estimates of civilian casualties vary enormously from one third of deaths to 50 civilians for every ‘militant’ killed; in the 2008-9 Israeli assault on Gaza, six drone strikes killed 29 civilians including 8 children. The cover price of the report is £3 plus postage. FOR-E, 19 Paradise Street, Oxford 0X2 1LD, ph 01865 250781, e-mail email@example.com and web http://www.for.org.uk
Belfast interface mediators
The Belfast Local Mediation Development Partnership’s conference and presentation of certificates took place at Malone House, Belfast, on 18th November 2010. This project involved, among other things, the training of 28 local mediators in interface areas of Belfast. The project was a partnership involving Mediation Northern Ireland, TIDES Training, Belfast Interface Project, Belfast Reconciliation Network and North and West Belfast Parades and Cultural Forum, with support from Peace III and the Good Relations Unit of Belfast City Council. Some photos from the event appear on the INNATE photo site here and the keynote address, by Charlie Irvine, chair of the Scottish Mediation Network, will appear on the Mediation Northern Ireland website in due course, at http://www.mediationnorthernireland.org
Shannonwatch have launched a new website at http://www.shannonwatch.org This provides visitors with up-to-date information and reference material on the ongoing U.S. military and CIA use of Shannon Airport, including summaries of military traffic and details of known or suspected rendition planes. The group of human rights and peace activists based in the mid-west of Ireland continues to monitor all military traffic through Shannon on a daily basis. In October Shannonwatch recorded 58 troop carriers at Shannon, as well as 13 USAF executive jets, 5 Hercules C-130's and 8 C-9's (the military version of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 airline). There were also at least two Volga-Dnepr flights through Shannon, and 3 - 4 Kalitta air flights in the few days between 29th October and 1st November. Both carriers are known to transport munitions and military supplies. October also saw a return to Shannon of some planes suspected in the past of being involved in renditions. These included N404AC on October 28th and Phoenix Air's N54PA on October 31st. Contact ph. 087 8225087 or via the website.
‘Fleeing Vesuvius: Overcoming the risks of economic and environmental collapse’, edited by Richard Douthwaite and Gillian Fallon, is a new book from Feasta (The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability) which draws together many of the ideas members have developed over the years and applies them to a single question - how can we bring the world out of the mess in which it finds itself? The solutions it puts forward involve changes to our economy and financial system, but they go much further and also looks at the changes needed in how we think, how we use the land and how we relate to others, particularly those where we live. Priced around €20. See here.
‘The Pipe’ on limited release
Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s acclaimed documentary film, ‘The Pipe’, about the community response to Corrib Gas and Shell in Co Mayo, is currently on limited release – see here for details and you can also link to the RTE’s ‘The View’ coverage of the film. Meanwhile Shell to Sea have criticised Minister for Environment John Gormley on his continued refusal to ratify the Aarhus convention. Although Ireland signed the convention in June 1998, it remains the only country in the EU not to have ratified it, which would provide rights to access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice; see http://www.shelltosea.com for details.
Snowmen demand Climate bill
Friends of the Earth activists on 3/12/10 built snowmen in the grounds of the Department of the Environment in Dublin, to demand that John Gormley delivers the Climate Bill. The snowmen appeared in the Custom House grounds with placards that read "No Climate Bill, sNOw Thanks" and "Hey John, Where's Your Climate Bill?" The Cabinet finally agreed a Climate Bill in mid-November, almost a year after the Government agreed and published a Framework Document for climate legislation. A draft Bill had been promised for the first quarter of 2010. Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth stated:"Minister Gormley is running out of road. It was interesting when he announced the Greens' intention to leave Government last week the media assessments of their time in Government all mentioned their failure to deliver the Climate Change Bill. There is still time to put that right, but only just." Meanwhile you can keep up the pressure by going to the Stop Climate Chaos site Friends of the Earth are at http://www.foe.ie
Nonviolence in three minutes
You would think it couldn’t be done but a video, “The last 100 years of nonviolence”, available on You Tube, manages to cram in an amazing amount of 20th/21st century mass nonviolent action in just over three minutes. Produced by Mennonite Central Committee Ontario. See here.
INNATE networking group meets next in Belfast on Wednesday 15th December at 7pm; contact if interested in coming.
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