Minister for the Environment...defends the environment
With pressure from the business community and some politicians, Northern Ireland Minister for the Environment Mark H Durkan actually made the courageous decision to defend the environment by ruling, in August, that fracking company Tamboran would have to get both planning permission and an environmental impact assessment before drilling a borehole (not fracking) 750 metres down in Belcoo, Co Fermanagh. However this only adds a hurdle in the fracking race. See also Larry Speight’s column in this issue (e-mail and web editions). Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network is at www.frackaware.com while Ban Fracking Fermanagh is on Facebook, and there are other special interest and community groups involved. Some anti-fracking groups generally are listed at frackingfreeireland.org
Brushstrokes for Peace in Derry
This is an exhibition, and associated programme, at the Verbal Arts Centre (VAC), Derry/Londonderry from 2nd – 30th September organised by INNATE in association with the VAC. It includes four portraits by Susan Hughes from her ‘Quiet Peacemakers’ exhibition, with three more portraits in progress of peacemakers from the city, and the opportunity to nominate people who should feature in further portraits. 35 of INNATE’s ‘posters for peace’ are on display and some folders on ‘Forty years of peace journalism’ (‘Nonviolent News’ and ‘Dawn’ covers). Exhibition curated by Roberta Bacic. Further information: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Programme includes:
“Peacemaking—a personal journey”, a workshop for adults which will explore how we see violence and peace and our place in building a peaceful world. Saturday 20th September from 11am - 1.30pm, facilitated by Rob Fairmichael. Further details from, and bookings to, email@example.com with your e-mail address and phone number.
- Art, conflict and peace, a lunch time talk by Roberta Bacic at 12.30 pm on Monday 22nd September, followed by light refreshments. All interested welcome.
- INNATE open meeting, 6.00—7.30 pm, Monday 22nd September, all interested welcome.
Digitally Archiving Stories for Peacebuilding: INCORE conference
An international conference organised by INCORE, 17-18 November 2014, taking place at the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast. The aim of this international conference is to explore and examine the role of digital archives of personal narratives, oral histories or testimonies in societies emerging from conflict. The Conference is a showcase event of the ‘Accounts of the Conflict’ project at INCORE, based in the University of Ulster, which is building a digital archive for the long-term preservation and dissemination of stories related to the conflict in, and about, Northern Ireland. The conference aims to attract both academics and practitioners from around the world with an interest in how storytelling and archiving can contribute to peacebuilding and social change in a range of diverse contexts. There are prominent speakers from this field around the world.
The Conference will focus on three key areas; Ethical considerations in archiving and disseminating personal accounts; The practical development and implementation of archives; Dissemination and outreach of oral histories for peacebuilding and social change. Further info and booking
International Peace Day in Derry/Londonderry
Building relationships is about doing what has never been done before. On Sunday 21st September, beginning at 3pm, the first citizens of both Belfast and Derry/Londonderry willjoin together in The Guildhallto markInternational Peace Day2014. This is powerfully symbolic. Two cities, whichhave endured thehorror, pain and lossof a dark and dreadful past coming together toshow to the world that no matter how fierce, conflict can end, peace can prevail and reconciliation can triumph. This International Peace Dayevent is for people of all ages creeds and cultures.It's an opportunityto stand in solidarity withpeople around the worldkilled by terrorism and war; withtraumatised families whose futures are uncertain and with countries whose development has been set back by decades. Joining with Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon and Mayor Brenda Stevenson in Derry/Londonderry on Sunday 21st September will raise awareness to the 'Right of Peoples to Peace' as a fundamental human right. Contact: David Latimer firstname.lastname@example.org
International Peace Day in Belfast
International Peace Day in Belfast will be marked by a gathering at the historic Drawing Offices in the Titanic Quarter at 7pm. On the ground outside there is a huge map of the world which we will use for a candlelit vigil, highlighting the different areas of the globe where there is conflict and joining together to light candles and pray for peace. Contact: Martin Magill email@example.com
Organised by Afri, this is a Memorial evening for Gerry Conlon in solidarity with Chelsea Manning, Thursday 11th September, 7pm at The Teachers’ Club, Dublin 1. Entrance on a donation basis - to book a ticket visit here. Gerry Conlon of the Guilford Four, a victim of the one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in recent history, devoted much of his life,on his release from prison, to campaigning on behalf of other prisoners and highlighting human rights abuses worldwide. In November 2013, Gerry spoke movingly at an event in Trinity College in solidarity with whistleblower Chelsea Manning who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for revealing the truth about the war in Iraq. This address will feature as part of the Memorial evening, and will include a reflection on Gerry Conlon by human rights campaignerNuala Kelly. It will also include contributions from leading musicians and actors.
War games at Croker
Afri has protested against a flyover by two US military planes at Croke Park, Dublin, on Saturday 30th August where an American football game was happening, asking about “this invasion of Irish air space by elements of the US war machine”. See www.afri.ie
AVP Second level training
There will be a Second Level AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) Training Workshop held in Quaker House, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 from Friday 10th October (commencing 6.30pm) to Sunday 12th October. Limited places, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure a place. Cost: €20. If you need basic accommodation, please let AVP know. Ph 087 2322585 for more details. See reports on AVP International Gathering in Maynooth.
WPP pack on 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). (A longer item on this appeared in NN221 August supplement.) It is available here.
Tools for Solidarity moves to Sunnyside of the street
As well as celebrating 30 years hard work, Tools for Solidarity in Belfast has new premises, email, and phone numbers.TfS current contact details are: email@example.com ph 028 9543 5972, and postal address 55A Sunnyside Street, Belfast BT7 3EX. See www.toolsforsolidarity.com
MII community mediation awards
In light of the increasing use and scope of mediation, the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland invites community organisations to showcase how they have promoted, developed and delivered community mediation. This is the first opportunity for organisations to achieve public recognition for their achievements for delivery of mediation as a resource within their community. Entering requires answering 6 questions on an official entry form and submitting it along with any supporting documentation. Entry is open to community mediation services in both the North and South of Ireland. The closing date for entries is 5 pm on Friday 26th September, 2014. Submissions may be made by email or post, by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or two copies by post to the MII address headed ‘National Awards’. The MII, Pavilion House, 31/32 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, Ph 01609 9190, web www.themii.ie
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 5 for £4.00, 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” set of documents 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.
DDCI: Stop Debt Vultures
DDCI (Debt and Development Coalition Ireland) has releasedanalysisin response to the extraordinary legal case of vulture funds attacking Argentina for over US$ 1 billion and has called for an end to vulture fund predatory behaviour. The implications of the vulture fund case against the Government of Argentina, being heard in New York, was wide-ranging implications for the hopes for debt justice everywhere. See here
Eco-Congregation: Creation Time
Eco-Congregation Ireland hopes that churches and faith communities throughout Ireland will observe Creation Time (1st September – 4th October) by holding special services and environmental events to reflect on the wonder and mystery of Creation and to choose better ways to relate to Creation, ways that reflect God’s ways of justice and peace. See here
Part 2 of these free online resources and tools for economicliteracy, from DDCI and UCD School of Social Justice, are being launched in September. Econowha? is designed to be usedwithin self-organised learning circles and can also be a useful tool to support teachers in the classroom. See econowha.ie
De Borda: Limitations of Scottish referendum
Recently, an MBC (Modified Borda Count) survey was undertaken by the de Borda Institute using research commissioned from TNS, to demonstrate its ease of use and applicability in the context of the current constitutional debate in Scotland. A representative sample of 859 adults aged 16 years and over in Scotland was presented with six options for the future status of Scotland. The results are available at www.deborda.org
According to Peter Emerson, the director of the de Borda Institute: “Whenever a complex issue is at stake, the decision-making process can benefit from providing the voters with a choice of more than only two options. If, however, an individual’s choice is limited to just two options, as in a yes-or-no referendum, the final outcome may not accurately reflect the collective will of voters. There are precedents for multi-option (though seldom preferential) voting in national decision making. For example, in New Zealand in 1992, the democratic process started with an independent commission to consult the public, and then a multi-option referendum of five options was presented.”
The de Borda report concludes “whenever a question of complexity arises, the democratic process should allow either all concerned and/or their representatives to participate in the choice of options; it should cater for the given decision-makers to cast their preferences; and it should identify that policy which enjoys the said electorate’s highest degree of overall support. Democracy, after all, is for everybody, not just a majority.”
Mairead Maguire calls for abolition of NATO
Speaking at the 100th Anniversary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) in Konstanz, Germany, 1st – 3rd August 2014, Mairead Maguire called for the abolition of NATO and the dismantling of the military-industrial complex through nonviolent and civil resistance. See www.peacepeople.com
The International Week of Action for Military-Free Education and Research takes place from 25th – 31st October this year. Militaries across the world gain access to young people through education systems. It gives them an extraordinary chance to shape every generation's perception of military violence and lay the groundwork for future recruitment.
25th – 31st October 2014 sees the first international week of action for military-free education and research: a concerted effort of antimilitarist action across the world to raise awareness and challenge the role the military have in education, and to give voice to alternatives.
You can sign a call to action which will be launched by War Resisters' International and others. If you are interested in signing up to this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy. You can organise your own nonviolent action as part of the week of action for military-free education and research...but share what you’re doing. If the action is public, WRI can publicise it to spread the word. More info here.
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