Dublin commemoration of Hiroshima bombing, 6th August
The annual commemoration for the victims of the Hiroshima atomic bomb will take place on Wednesday, 6th August, the 69th anniversary of the bombing, at 1.05 p.m. at the memorial cherry tree in Merrion Square Park, Dublin 2. As Irish CND states "Approximately 20,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world today. While this is less than the Cold War peak, it is still enough to destroy life on earth as we know it many times over." The ceremony will take place at the memorial cherry tree planted by Irish CND in 1980. The commemoration will be opened by Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Larry O'Toole. The President of Irish CND, Canon Patrick Comerford, and Mr Naoki Yoshimura, First Secretary (Political) at the Japanese embassy in Dublin will also speak. There will be short contributions of poetry and music from Irish and Japanese traditional musicians (weather permitting) and the laying of a wreath at the memorial tree. Representatives of several other embassies will also be in attendance. See rishcnd.org
Call for no military supplies to Israel through Ireland
Shannonwatch have pointed out that the US Department of Defence has recently confirmed the supply of more ammunition to Israel, despite its ongoing indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza. They point out that many of the military airlift contractors that are likely to supply this ammunition pass through Shannon Airport regularly and that it is vitally important that the Irish authorities do everything they can to ensure these carriers are not assisting the Israeli attacks on Gaza. That includes inspection of contracted US military aircraft, and an end to the granting of permits to take weapons and munitions through Shannon Airport. John Lannon of Shannonwatch stated "These supplies could be coming through Shannon Airport on commercial carriers. Companies like Atlas Air, Federal Express, National Air Cargo, Omni Air International, UPS, Kalitta Air, US Airways and World Airways have contracts to provide international airlift services for the US Department of Defence. And they all use Shannon Airport regularly." The Irish Department of Transport provides permits to commercial carriers to carry munitions through Shannon and Irish airspace. In 2013, the department issued 693 permits. The vast majority of these were for US aircraft. Shannonwatch are also very concerned that carriers may be taking ammunitions covertly through Shannon to Israel. Shannonwatch support the call for governments around the world to impose a military embargo on Israel. Seewww.shannonwatch.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
M D'Arcy out, N Farrell in; plus TDs go walkabout at Shannon
Margaretta D'Arcy was imprisoned for the period 9th – 18th July in Limerick prison for an incursion onto a Shannon Airport runway in September 2013 (for which she was sentenced to a 2 week sentence, see NN 221). Meanwhile her co-defendent Niall Farrell, also sentenced to 2 weeks, went to prison after he surrendered himself in Galway on 1st August to begin his sentence.
TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace entered restricted space in Shannon Airport on 22nd July with the aim of inspecting US military aircraft when they were arrested. Clare Daly said "The idea that we can accept US assurances that there are no weapons on board these military aircraft is ridiculous. We know that many of them are effectively weapons systems. A US Hercules C-130 was photographed at Shannon with a 30mm cannon out the side last September. These planes are designed for war, not peace." Mick Wallace and Clare Daly have consistently campaigned for US military planes at Shannon Airport to be independently searched in order to verify that they are not violating international law.
"We commend Mick Wallace and Clare Daly for taking it upon themselves to inspect the US military aircraft at Shannon" said Dr Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch. "Close to 1500 troop carriers and other US military planes been allowed to land at Shannon in the past 12 months, and around two and a half million soldiers have passed through since 2002. US forces are now being built up again in Iraq, a country which is already devastated by war. We must return to the days when we were a nation known for its peacekeeping efforts, instead of contributing to ongoing perpetual conflict and war as we are now."Seewww.shannonwatch.org
Tools for solidarity 30th anniversary events, Belfast
Tools for Solidarity are organising a number of events for their 30th anniversary including the following development events: 1) Sustainable development interactive workshop, with Roisin McEvoy, Wednesday 20th August from 8 – 10 pm at Ballynafeigh Community Development Association, 283 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 3GG; 2) New economics and a new society: a discussion of the possibilities and challenges, with Tony Weekes, Thursday 21st August from 4 - 6pm, same venue; 3) The end of poverty? A documentary film by Philippe Dia about the causes of global poverty, at Lawrence Street Workshops, 1a Lawrence Street, Belfast BT7 1LE. See www.toolsforsolidarity.com for further details.
From conflict to empathy
Events during Féile an Phobail in west Belfast (to 10th August) include a session with Patrick Magee and Jo Berry. Patrick Magee is a former IRA combatant who planted a bomb at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, which killed five people including Jo Berry's father Sir Anthony Berry. The two met when Magee was released from prison and have now spoken together over 120 times. The event is organised by Féile in conjunction with Relatives for Justice and is on at St Mary's University College, Belfast at 7pm on Thursday 7th August. See www.feilebelfast.com
FOE: Make Ireland fossil fuel free by 2050
On 31st July, the final day of the Government's public consultation on Ireland's future energy policy, Irish Friends of the Earth called on the Government to develop an energy policy that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The main elements are:
A positive vision of an Ireland that is fossil fuel free by 2050.
An action plan to have 100% of electricity and heat coming from renewables by 2040, with the renewable projects predominantly owned by local people and communities (over 50% of German renewables are already community owned)
All renewable technologies should be supported, including wind, solar, CHP, ocean, and bio energy. Electricity from all renewable sources should have a fair and secure price for sale to the Grid.
A ban on fracking and an end to offshore oil and gas exploration.
An end to the burning of coal or peat for electricity generation by 2020 at the latest. Moneypoint to close, and all subsides for peat-fired generation to end.
A massive programme of retrofitting homes to save energy, cut household bills and end fuel poverty. Subsidies to kickstart this investment can come from the carbon tax and the local property tax. A "pay-as-you-save" scheme for householders can contribute but we cannot delay the investment any longer.
Friends of the Earth has coordinated the development of submissions to the written consultation from two coalitions: 1) The Environmental Pillar, the policy network of national environmental NGOs. See here
and 2) A newly formed community energy grouping, see here
For Irish FOE see www.foe.ie
Pax Christi International: Call on arms to Syria
Pax Christi International has called on activists to contact their governments to end the delivery of arms supplies to all fighting parties. "Pax Christi International does not believe that there is a military solution to the Syrian conflict – on the contrary, its ramifications are becoming more and more deadly for the region. The international community, especially state actors directly or indirectly providing military support to the parties in conflict, should redirect their efforts and launch immediately a bold diplomatic initiative to facilitate a negotiated solution. The international engagement that led to the removal of Syria's chemical weapons was a positive effort and shows that effective collaborative action is possible." See the PCI website at www.paxchristi.net and search under 'News'.
Gender and militarism
Women Peacemakers Program 'May 24' pack for 2014 is on 'Gender and militarism: Analysing the links to strategize for peace'. It comprises 23 articles (100 pages) written by leading academics, pioneering women peace activists and civil society representatives from all over the world, critically reflecting on the links between gender & militarism from multiple perspectives. It is a collection of academic articles, personal testimonies and civil society initiatives advocating for awareness and action around the multi-layered connections between gender and militarism, and highlighting gender-sensitive nonviolent action (people power) as a powerful alternative to address conflict. It contains contributions from, among others, Cynthia Cockburn, Cynthia Enloe, Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls and the Center of Women's Global Leadership about the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The pack is available here.
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