Shannon and 21st Century War
This is another significant publication on Shannon from PANA, published in cooperation with Shannonwatch, the Irish Anti-War Movement and Afri. It is edited by John Lannon of Shannonwatch and Roger Cole of PANA. If there is something you want to know about Irish complicity with the US war machine through usage of Shannon Airport then it is likely to be here in this 48-page pamphlet which sells at €10 for a paper copy but is available online free at e.g. or here.
It is worth detailing its contents. John Lannon starts by looking at Shannon as a US Military and CIA base since 2001, followed by John Cole on Shannon and the European Empire (EU developments) and John Lannon on military emergency landings putting lives at risk. 'Activist perspectives' come from Niall Farrell and Margaretta D'Arcy, with Carole Fox writing on 'Peace Activist on Trial' (Margaretta D'Arcy) and Harry Browne on 'Pitstop of Death'. Criminal trials vindicating direct action is covered by Mark Price and there are parliamentary perspectives from Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Sean Crowe TD, Mick Wallace TD and Clare Daly TD. There is a short piece on Shannonwatch vigils there. Edward Horgan writes on 'Irish Neutrality: Interpreting Horgan v An Taoiseach, 2003' and Karen Devine on the difference between 'political neutrality' and 'military neutrality'. Finally, John Maguire writes on PETALS, Peaceful Endeavour to Terminate Aggressive Landings at Shannon.
We will just quote directly from one section where Carol Fox writes about Margaretta D'Arcy's June 2014 trial. "Margaretta set out the relevant sections of the Air Transport Act allowing for an arrest, and asked the arresting Garda to explain which section she had violated: "Did I assault anyone? Did you suspect me of carrying stolen goods? Did you suspect me of carrying a firearm, explosives, or radiological materials?" And from Section 19: "Did I fly an airplane carrying firearms, explosives or radiological materials onto the runway at Shannon?" Oh, the irony of it!
After receiving negative responses to all these, Margaretta asked all the relevant witnesses whether they were on duty four days after Niall and Margaretta's arrest (5th September 2013) when a US Air Force Hercules plane, possibly chock full of explosives, cannons and laser guided missiles, illegally landed at Shannon. Why was the pilot not arrested? "Are there two sets of rules?" asked Margaretta. "One for people like us trying to stop bombing and one for the bombers?" The Airport Police Inspector replied: "I don't understand the question".
Veterans for Peace @ Limerick, Shannon
The chairperson of Veterans for Peace Ireland, Edward Horgan laid a wreath of white poppies at the Pery war memorial in Limerick at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, 2015 Armistice Day, to commemorate the futility of all wars and the urgent need to make peace instead of making evermore destructive wars. He also paid a visit to Shannon airport and photographed a US Navy C40 being refuelled; "So the Irish Government celebrates Armistice Day by refuelling US military aircraft at Shannon airport and abandoning Irish neutrality. Bunreacht na hÉireann Article 28: 3. 1 states that: "war shall not be declared and the state shall not participate in any war save with the assent of Dáil Éireann." yet we are participating in wars in the Middle East daily by refuelling US military aircraft at Shannon airport. " E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't bomb Syria, Belfast vigil
Mairead Maguire and Ann Patterson of the Peace People, who have just returned from a Peace People delegation to Syria and Lebanon, were involved in a peace vigil, attended by a hundred people, at the City Hall, Belfast, the evening of 1st December. Mairead Maguire has said "the message from the Syrian people is, they do not want outside military interference in their country, they want through peace and reconciliation to stop all violence and build a just and peaceful Syria, and they are already doing this themselves." She has called for peaceful nonviolent resistance to UK air strikes on Syria. More at www.peacepeople.com
Climate: Ireland plays the poor mouth on making changes
Campaigning groups have been very critical about Taoiseach Enda Kenny's input at the Paris climate summit. Oisin Coghlan of Friends of the Earth said "He devoted a chunk of his speech to trying to dodge pollution targets that would place any future limit on the agri-industry's voracious expansion plans.....The Taoiseach may have sounded convinced of the need for climate action globally but, when it came to Ireland, ultimately he offered the semblance of action rather than the substance. The Government he leads will complete its five year term without having produced an action plan to meet our 2020 targets." Oisin Coghlan also commented on Kenny's unscripted remarks to journalists; ''He cited the recession as the reason we're not on track to meet our 2020 targets. That makes no sense. The recession is the only reason Ireland met our 2012 Kyoto targets as emissions declined rapidly from 2008. That doesn't make meeting our 2020 targets harder, it makes it easier."
On 26th November the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland released figures on the state of Ireland's energy in 2014. The analysis shows overwhelming dependence on fossil fuels, which still account for over 90% of energy use. European Commission analysis confirmed that current policy will not do enough to get Ireland to meet these 2020 targets which would result in heavy fines for Ireland. Kate Ruddock, policy and campaigns manager at Friends of the Earth commented; 'Despite some progress with renewable energy, Ireland's energy system remains firmly reliant on fossil fuels. It is madness that we subsidise peat and gas power plants, but there are no payments for solar electricity or for microgeneration. Or that, the system supports developers to build wind farms, but there is no mechanism for community participation in renewable energy. Our campaigners staged a 'tug of war' today with fossil fuels vs renewables to represent this struggle, and ask the Irish Government to put its weight on the side of citizens, communities and the renewable transformation.' www.foe.ie
PBI Orientation Day
Peace Brigades International has an orientation day at the end of January for those who want to find out more and particularly for those thinking about volunteering with a PBI field project. The Orientation Day is an interactive workshop that will give a better insight into PBI's global work and a real feel of what it is to volunteer with the field projects. Topics will include an explanation of what PBI is about, the work of Human Rights Defenders, the Theory of Protection, and Consensus decision-making theory. It takes place on Saturday 30th January from 09:00 - 17:00 at The Lantern Intercultural Centre, Synge Street, central Dublin. The cost of attending is €30.
If you are interested in attending please email Alexandra Dinca at email@example.com PBI, 'Making space for peace', "provide protection, support and recognition to local human rights defenders who work in areas of repression and conflict and have requested our support"; "In 2014 PBI worked with more that 300 inspiring women and men, who put their lives at risk in order to defend the rights of others." See also www.peacebrigades.org (and Ireland as a country group included there).
Afri video on climate change
Afri has worked with students in Mount Temple School in Dublin to prepare a strong message to send to World leaders in Paris for the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21). The video is available via www.afri.ie or directly at Youtube.
Pax Christi International on COP21
"Pax Christi International and its member organisations strongly believe gross misuse of natural resources and environmental degradation significantly contributes to instability and conflict around the world. In that light, we want COP21 to be treated as a peace conference; if strong and effective decisions are made in Paris, a more peaceful future is possible.... despite wealthy nations agreeing to give the GCF (Green Climate Fund) USD$100 billion per year by 2020, the current giving level is only USD$1.5 billion per year. Compare this with more than USD$1 trillion that is spent on weapon systems and military might in one year – the contrast in priorities is devastating."www.paxchristi.net
New inclusive politics book
On 6th December Springer publish a new book by Peter Emerson, "From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics", 143+ pages. This book discusses voting procedures in collective decision-making. Drawing on well established election processes from all over the world, the author presents a voting procedure that allows for the speedy but fair election of a proportional, all-party coalition. The methodology - a matrix vote - is accurate, robust and ethno-colour blind. In the vote, the counting procedure encourages all concerned to cross the gender as well as any party and/or sectarian divides. While in the resulting executive each party will be represented fairly and, at best, with the consensus of parliament, every minister will be the one most suited to his/her new portfolio. The author argues that by using preferential voting and thus achieving consensus, the matrix vote will be fundamental to the resolution of conflicts. Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-23499-1 or available as an e-book for €25. See also www.deborda.org
Corrymeela Christmas cards
Cards come in packs of 10 with a choice of 2 designs (The Croi at Christmas by Rachel Craig, or the Croi window), the price is £3.50 per pack plus post and packing. All net profit from the sale of Christmas cards fund the work of Corrymeela. To order, please call the Belfast Office 028 9050 8080 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or email us firstname.lastname@example.org for details of p&p before ordering.
Irish academics boycott Israel because of occupation
A large group of Irish academics from both sides of the border have signed a letter that "we will not accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions; act as referees in any of their processes; participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or otherwise co-operate with them. We will, however, continue to work with our Israeli colleagues in their individual capacities and at the same time put in place strategies of political and practical support for Palestinian universities, academics and students." Irish Times, 4th November 2015,
Fracking analysis in Shale Gas Bulletin
Twice monthly since February 2013, the Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland has featured the latest news and research related to hydraulic fracturing and its impacts on the environment, health, climate change, and local economies. In the final two issues of this year it reviews the major developments covered during the year, grouping them into the following categories: water and air impacts, land impacts, climate change, economic news, Irish / UK / European news, and health impacts. See here where you can also subscribe to receive the bulletin.
Conflict textiles website
'Conflict Textiles' is a new website and home to a large collection of international textiles, exhibitions and associated events, all of which focus on elements of conflict and human rights abuses. Conflict Textiles is an 'Associated Site' of CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) at Ulster University. Currently the collection is in the process of being transferred to Derry City and Strabane District Council's Museum Service at the Tower Museum, Derry ~ Londonderry.
On 3rd December WikiLeaks released new secret documents from the huge Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for 2/3rds of global GDP. Coinciding with the ongoing climate talks in Paris, this publication touches on issues of crucial relevance including the regulation of energy, industrial development, workers' rights and the natural environment. WikiLeaks is also publishing expert analyses of the documents. wikileaks.org From email@example.com
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