INCORE digital archive on Troubles
The University of Ulster is to establish a £1.2m digital archive project at its Magee campus; called 'Accounts of the Conflict', the project will be housed at INCORE (the International Conflict Research Institute), and will offer long-term storage and preservation of stories related to life in Northern Ireland and the border region during the period of the conflict. Organisations, groups and individuals will be able to deposit digital copies of stories with the new archive. It will link to the existing CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) Web site which contains a comprehensive collection of information on the conflict.
INCORE staff will offer advice and assistance to any current story-telling project but will also be keen to hear from any organisation or group which had done story-telling work at any time in the past. Where permission can be obtained there will also be an opportunity for a selection of stories to be accessible on-line at a new Web site. Professor Brandon Hamber, Director of INCORE, said: "This is an important development in the area of story-telling related to life in Northern Ireland and the border region during the conflict......A central archive, based within the University of Ulster, will help to improve knowledge about the stories, and also assist in the dissemination of the material, where permissions have been granted." See http://www.incore.ulster.ac.uk
Interfaith pilgrimage of prayer for peace, Belfast
International Peace Day, Saturday 21st September, will be marked by different activities including an Interfaith Pilgrimage Of Prayer For Peace in Belfast from 3.30 – 4.30 pm, organised by the NI Inter-Faith Forum. This will be a walk of around one mile, starting from Carlisle Circus at 3.30pm and finish at Belfast City Hall at 4.30pm.The walkers will be required to observe silence during the walk. No banners or placards will be carried. There will be no speeches. The walk is an opportunity to pause, reflect, pray and consider how best to work together to move on from cultures of violence and build cultures of hospitality and safety for all. Walkers will be invited to pray for peace and a world free of weapons and warfare. Contact Inderjit Bhogal at Corrymeela House, Belfast, ph 028 90508080 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Grounding peace – seminar in Belfast
INNATE is organising a seminar in association with Corrymeela on International Day of Peace, 21st September, from 10.30am – 3pm, at Corrymeela House, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast. This will hear and share experiences and perceptions of the peace process in Northern Ireland and there will be three shorter ‘resource’ sessions (ideas and programme anyone can use) - the ‘Upstanding’ video and material (see NN 210), the Peace Trail, and INNATE poster series. Cost for the day is £8 (€10), unwaged £4 (€5) including a light lunch. Bookings should be made to INNATE at email@example.com giving name, postal address, phone and e-mail or phone INNATE at 028 – 90647106. Further details available on request. This seminar will end in time for people who want to join another Peace Day event at 3.30pm. See INNATE website and Corrymeela website
Shannon: Fast for Guantanamo
A one day solidarity fast is being organised at Shannon Airport on Saturday 7th September in support of the prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. The fast will run from sunrise (6.45am) to sunset (8pm), and members of the public are invited to join in for some or all of the fast. The event is being organised by Shannonwatch and Galway Alliance Against War. "A total of 164 prisoners still remain at the notorious US-run Guantanamo Bay prison" said Shannonwatch spokesperson John Lannon. "Many of them have been detained for over 11 years without any contact with their families. They have not faced trial for any crimes. They have been bound, beaten and made to suffer extremes of temperature. They have been denied justice, first under President George W. Bush, and now under President Barack Obama. As Shannon Airport was one of the stops used by the aircraft that kidnapped and brought these men to Guantanamo, it is particularly appropriate that they should be remembered at the airport. To date successive Irish governments have failed to acknowledge or investigate the use of Shannon Airport by aircraft bringing innocent men to Guantanamo.”
Shannonwatch and GAAW are asking as many people as possible to join them on 7th September and if people cannot be in Shannon for the day they are invited to join in the fast wherever they are, and to contact Shannonwatch via their website to register their participation. A list of all participants and their messages of support will be forwarded to the prisoners via their lawyers.
- On Sunday 8th September the regular monthly peace vigil will also take place at Shannon from 2pm to 3pm. This is a peaceful protest against the US military use of the airport, and once again members of the public are invited along to support.
Eavesdropping – Private conversations for public wisdom
Mediation Northern Ireland is organising this conference on 30th September at Riddel Hall, Stranmillis, Belfast from 10.00 am – 3,30 pm. Participants are invited to hear the insights of four speakers who reflect on stories of connection and resilience that have emerged from communities that they have worked with, with the aim of stimulating curiosity and fostering dialogue. Keynote speaker is Prof Phil Scraton and community insight speakers are Fidelma Ashe, Glenn Jordan and Sharon Mallon. You can register for a place at firstname.lastname@example.org The MNI website
Poppies for remembrance, and peace
Autumn brings the lead up to the ‘Remembrance season’ in Britain and Ireland and, for those who wish, the opportunity to remember those who died in wars and make a statement for peace at the same time by wearing a white poppy. The Peace Pledge Union in Britain sells white poppies (profits support their work) at £4.00 for 5, 10 for £7.50 or 25 for £15.50, plus £3 post and packing (UK postal area prices). You can also e-mail email@example.com or see www.ppu.org.uk Other resources on war and peace are also available and listed, including a “Remembering war – searching for peace” which looks critically at the whole area of remembrance. PPU, 1 Peace Passage, London N7 0BT, ph 020 7424 9444.
INNATE has a limited number of white poppies available – please enquire.
Tools for Solidarity: Lakes of support
On 9th July an accidental fire destroyed the Mwanza Sewing and Training Centre on the shores of Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The centre was set up and supported for seven years by Tools for Solidarity (TFS) to provide high quality refurbished sewing machines, accessories, and skills and maintenance training to tailors living in the Lakes Zone, primarily targeting women living in rural areas.
The devastation caused by the fire has been heartbreaking for all of those involved in supporting TFS and for the staff of MSTC, the local tailors and their families. However TFS is determined to rebuild the MSTC so that it can continue to support and develop the tailoring sector. In conjunction with War on Want Northern Ireland, TFS is running a campaign to collect sewing machines, material, sewing accessories and knitting machines. War on Want have offered their shops throughout NI as drop off points and already the machines have started to come in. In the next month TfS hope to send a 20 foot container to Mwanza filled with the machines and materials needed to rebuild the centre. All assistance welcome. Tools For Solidarity, Unit 1B1, Edenderry Industrial Estate, 326 Crumlin Road, Belfast BT14 7EE, ph 028 90747473, www.toolsforsolidarity.com
Rossport Solidarity Camp: Vital but virtual
In July the temporary June action camp in Aughoose was packed away and since then there has been no physical camp base, nor is there other "camp" accommodation in the area. The continuous presence that the solidarity camp provided since 2005 has ended, at least temporarily. People and groups wishing to find out about and/or contribute to the campaign against the Corrib gas project still have plenty of other accommodation options in the area, and local campaigners are keen that people visit to show support and get involved however they can. Court cases, actions, and campaigning continue (reports from June Week of Action on websites). In relation to the Corrib project itself, the judgement is, by the location of the latest sinkholes, that they have about 800m of the 5km tunnel built; at the current rates of progress it is estimated that the tunnel would be finished in 2015. Other recent news include the allegation that local Gardaí received a load of free alcohol from Shell, and Donal O’Kelly, actor and writer, receiving a Fringe First award at Edinburgh for his play on the Shell gasline controversy.
Nobel laureate calls for no arms to Syria
On 26th August, Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire called for no military action against Syria which, she said, will only lead the Middle East into even more violence and bloodshed for its people. In part she said “Arming rebels and authorizing military action by USA/NATO forces will not solve the problem facing Syria, but indeed could lead to the death of thousands of Syrians, the breaking-up of Syria, and it falling under the control of violent fundamentalist jihadist forces. It will mean the further fleeing of Syrians into surrounding countries which will themselves become destabilised. The entire Middle East will become unstable and violence will spiral out of control. Contrary to some foreign governments’ current policies of arming the rebels and pushing for military intervention, the people of Syria are calling out for peace and reconciliation and a political solution to the crisis, which continues to be enflamed by outside forces with thousands of foreign fighters funded and supported by outside countries for their own political ends.” She went on to question whether the Assad regime or rebels were responsible for the recent chemical weapons attack. She concluded: ”Let us learn the lesson of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya where so many millions have been killed in invasions and war, and many continue to die in violence. Violence is not the answer, let’s end this ‘war on terror’ and give nonviolence and peace a chance.” www.peacepeople.com
Corrymeela open programme
The Corrymeela website at www.corrymeela.org has news about forthcoming open events, including retreats and a Christmas open day at Ballycastle on 8th December, as well as much information about the organisation itself.
Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) point out that 1st September – 4th October is Creation Time, focusing this year on water justice, with a link on the website to resources on the theme. The new Methodist rep on the ECI committee is Rev John Purdy. Minister of Dunkineely Methodist Church in Co Donegal, replacing Helen Shiel. There will be an eco-networking event at Kilbride Presbyterian Church, Doagh, Co Antrim on 5th October from 1-3pm. This is an opportunity for anyindividual or group who is interested in promoting eco/care of Creation issues to meet with like-minded people. See ecocongregationireland.com for more information.
Women, War and Peace film screenings, Belfast
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) are hosting a series of films on Monday afternoons about Women, War and Peace, looking at contemporary realities of war with women becoming primary targets but also simultaneously emerging as partners in brokering lasting peace. Sessions begin with a shared lunch from 1.00 pm and the film at 1.45 followed by a short discussion; dates are Mondays 7th October, 4th November, 2nd December and 6th January. Places limited, further details and book by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ph 028 90438614.
PANA public meeting on Syria, 7th September
The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) will hold apublic meeting on the crisis in Syria on Saturday 7th September at 3.30 p.m. in Connolly Books, 43 East Essex St, Dublin 2. The speakers will beIan Chamberlain of Stop the War Coalition UK, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, who has recently returned from a fact-finding visit to Syria. www.pana.ie
Friends of the Earth continue work for transparency
Friends of the Earth’s Northern Ireland Director has said the upcoming start of the new Parliamentary session was an opportunity to clean up politics. The campaigning group handed over4,500 postcards signed by the public calling on the Secretary of State to reveal who funds Northern Ireland’s political parties. James Orr said the two largest parties in the Executive needed to stand up for their principles, both claiming to support transparency.
He continued by saying that “Democracy is dying in Northern Ireland. It is being killed by donor secrecy, limitations on people’s right to challenge Government decisions, the fear of legal action for reasonable speculation about party relationships, the continued abuse of Assembly procedures designed to prevent sectarian carve-ups, and the Government’s plans to limit the rights of lobbying groups. If democracy is to survive we all have to stand up and fight for what is important – the right to information, the right to participation, and the right to justice.” Friends of the Earth, 7 Donegall Street Place, Belfast BT1 2FN, ph 028 9089 7591, http://www.youtube.com and facebook.com/WhoPullsTheStrings
IPB Conference: Alternatives to military intervention
The International Peace Bureau, of which Irish CND and Afri are members, will hold a major international conference in Stockholm from 13th – 15th September on the theme of alternatives to military intervention. Speakers include Nobel prize winners Mairead Maguire and Jody Williams. During the conference, the Sean MacBride Peace Prize will be formally awarded to US whistleblower Bradley Manning. More details at www.ipb.org
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