Shannon Warport: Another nonviolent protest
On 25th May Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy, in response to Ireland's continuing support of US wars conducted in the Middle East, entered the airfield and sprayed the main runway with red crosses to represent all the innocent blood spilt by these wars. Two planes consecutively took off without them being detected until they reached a US military jet, located on the old runway 11 almost half a mile away, where they were arrested. The two were subsequently charged with causing €300 in criminal damage to a perimeter fence – and banned from entering Co Clare as part of their bail. Colm Roddy is 74 years old. There were two USA warplanes at Shannon when Donnellan and Roddy visited; one was a Boeing C-32B, registration 02-4452, operated by the 486th Flight Test Squadron, a somewhat secretive unit assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and associated with the Department of State's Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). Before Dave and Colm entered the air field, they said some prayers for peace, and for the victims of violence in the Middle East and for the suffering of refugees fleeing these wars being actively facilitated by the Irish Government, An Garda Síochána and the Shannon airport authority. Further details on the Shannonwatch website www.shannonwatch.org
Woodburn: Lots of action but test drilling taking place
Woodburn Forest, near Carrickfergus, has been a hive of activity – on both sides of barriers - since the drilling rig and convoy came in to the Infrastrata oil exploration site on 9th May. Test drilling is continuing but oil exploitation would require planning permission; meanwhile the results of a judicial review called by Stop the Drill is awaited. The site is just 380 metres from a reservoir supplying 131,000 people with water and Infrastrata was inexplicably given permission to drill (with appallingly lax conditions) by Northern Ireland Water. There is a considerable protest camp presence in the area and some incidents of concern regarding treatment of those present by police and security agencies have been reported. There were attempts to slow down and stop the drilling rig convoy when it was coming on site and this included an action by Mark Chapman locking on to the top of the drilling rig for some hours. The Stop the Drill Facebook page is the best source of up to date information and the website.
Peace monitoring Northern Ireland
Mediation Northern Ireland is running a training session for peace monitors on 23rd June from 4 – 8pm for people who have previous mediation training or monitoring experience. This will cover the role of monitors (for parades and other public situations), the impact of monitoring, parades monitoring and community relations, preparing a report, and discipline and citizenship in relation to the role. This training takes place at the MNI offices in Belfast, is free, and attendees will be invited to join MNI's team of volunteer monitors. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 90438614 and see www.mediationnorthernireland.org (also see NN 238 news for context).
Advanced mediation course, Derry
An accredited advanced mediation course run by Mediate NI, tutor Michael Doherty, takes place in Derry for 10 days this autumn; 14, 21 and 29 September; 5, 12, 19 and 26 October; and 2, 9 and 16 November 2016, running from 9.30am – 4.30pm each day. The course fee is £1,000 (including NIOCN registration fee and course workbook). This is a comprehensive experiential learning programme to enable participants to become competent mediators. Participants will be trained in the skills needed for effective mediation in family, neighbourhood, community and workplace disputes. It is intensive and pre-reading is required. Further details (and of other accredited and non-accredited courses from Mediate NI); Michael Doherty, Mediate NI, Clarendon Street Chambers, 67 Clarendon Street, Derry/Londonderry BT48 7ER, ph 02871 365636 ex 229, mobile 07714494258, e-mail email@example.com
Mediation training in Belfast
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) is delivering an 8-day course (OCN Level 3, 9 credits) on Mediation Theory and Practice starting on 21st July and running on Thursdays and Fridays for four weeks (21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th July, and 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th August) from 9.30 am – 4.30 pm. The course introduces a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute or in constructive relationship building and is designed for a wide variety of professions. Fees are £1,200 or £600 for community/voluntary/individuals. Contact Rob Colwell at 028 90438614 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org See also www.mediationnorthernireland.org
MNI holds open access supervision with Peter McKee for all practising mediators, at their Belfast offices, next dates 16th June and 21st July from 2pm – 3.30pm, see website or contacts above for more info.
MII urges 32nd Dáil to adopt Mediation Bill
During her speech to mark the official opening of the Mediators' Institute of Ireland's new headquarters in Smithfield, Dublin on 19th May, President of the MII Sabine Walsh said "We urge all members of the 32nd Dáil to support the publication and enactment of the Mediation Bill at the earliest possible opportunity. The Mediation Bill, although cited in the last Programme for Government, published in draft form in 2012 and supported by all sides in the 31st Dáil, failed to reach the floor of the house. Given the nature of the new political landscape, there is a great opportunity for this Dáil to demonstrate its effectiveness by enacting the Mediation Bill, which would divert many civil and commercial disputes from our courts and save billions in the process". The 2012 draft bill is available here. MII is the professional association for mediators in Ireland; it is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote the use of quality mediation by ensuring the highest standards of education, training, professional practice and regulation. MII, Unit 2.1, The Distillers Building, Smithfield, Dublin 7, ph: 01 6099190, e-mail: email@example.com and web www.themii.ie
Elder mediation award
The important contribution of Margaret (Mags) Bouchier to the global development of Elder Mediation was honoured by the Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN) at the Elder Mediation World Summit in Linz, Austria in May when Margaret was presented with the The Sherren Award for her contribution to Elder Mediation. As Chair of the Ethics Committee, Margaret led an international team in conducting a review of the EMIN Code of Ethics drawing on the knowledge and experience of elder mediators, specialists and organisations working with ageing. Source: MII, www.themii.ie
AVP work - and get the T-shirt
It's a busy time for AVP, the Alternatives to Violence Project, with a training for facilitators about to take place in Cloverhill prison in mid-June, a basic workshop in Wheatfield 17th-19th June, and a training for active facilitators (open to people who have completed a T4F), in Wheatfield, 2nd-3rd July. AVP is excited to introduce the programme in Shelton Abbey open prison (near Arklow) with a basic workshop 11th-13th July, and a second level workshop in Wheatfield prison, subject to confirmation, on 22nd-24th July. AVP is hoping to re-introduce the programme in Limerick prison during the summer. Meanwhile you can support and publicise AVP by wearing their T-shirts (with transforming power mandala), all sizes, €20. AVP is a training programme enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways; workshops are delivered by trained facilitators and are experiential (not based on lectures). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or for general info and contacts avpireland.ie and avp.international
Peace, conflict and commemoration: CRS conference
The Conflict Research Society's 2016 Conference, will take place at Trinity College, Dublin on 8th – 9th September. The conference marks the centenary of the Easter Rising, the Battle of the Somme, and the birth of the peace researcher and practitioner Adam Curle; to mark these events the chosen theme is 'Peace, Conflict and Commemoration'. The CRS is an interdisciplinary association committed to a better understanding of conflict and cooperation, and ways to mitigate the destructive effects of violence. The annual conference brings together about 100 peace and conflict researchers. The programme includes Stathis Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science & Director, Program on Order, Conflict and Violence, Yale University, and presentations on the Irish Peace Process from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, and Corrymeela Community (further details to be announced), and a presentation on the conference theme. To register conflictresearchsociety.org and to join the CRS and get discounts on conference fees visit http://conflictresearchsociety.org The conference fees for 2016 range from €190 - €65 depending on membership and status.
The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) in Northern Ireland recently celebrated 35 years work and in that time has produced 70 publications and 455 submissions, the latest of which are on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights and for the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Also available on its website is its report on a covert policing conference held jointly with Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) in July 2014, ten years on from the Cory Reports; go to 'Publications' on the website at www.caj.org.uk
There has been a change of date for the Glencree AGM to 16th June @ 4.30 p.m. in Glencree; all are welcome. Website www.glencree.ie also Facebook page and Twitter
Environmental Pillar: Programme for Government falls short
The Environmental Pillar, an advocacy coalition of 28 Irish national environmental NGOs, does not believe that the (Irish Government's) Programme for Government goes far enough in tackling climate change and will force increasingly difficult decisions on future Governments. It considers that, while the document is strong on rhetoric in relation to climate change it has omitted some important actions that are necessary to prepare Ireland for the years ahead. environmentalpillar.ie
2016 Front Line Defenders Award
In recognition of the immense risks that human rights lawyers in Azerbaijan face, a group of threatened and persecuted lawyers represented by human rights defender Khalid Bagirov have been named as finalists for the 2016 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk. Jury members selected human rights defenders from Azerbaijan, Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Honduras, Palestine, and Tanzania after receiving 126 nominations from 53 countries. Front Line Defenders presents the Award annually to a human rights defender who – at great personal risk – has made an exceptional contribution to protecting and promoting the rights of their communities.
As governments, multinational corporations, paramilitaries, and criminal groups try to limit the powerful work of peaceful human rights defenders, the 2016 finalists and their families have faced harassment, physical attacks, defamation campaigns, prison sentences, and intimidation. The recipient of the 2016 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk will be announced at a ceremony at Dublin's City Hall on Friday, 10th June at 8 am. www.frontlinedefenders.org
Ending onshore fossil fuels, Community ownership of renewables
Friends of the Earth Directors from London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast have launched a campaign to end all onshore extraction of fossil fuels in Britain and Ireland by 2020. The new common goal was announced at a conference in Dublin in May on "Forging a Fossil Free Europe". Achieving it will involve an end to open cast coal mining in Scotland and Wales, an end to burning peat for electricity in Ireland and a ban on fracking across all the jurisdictions on these islands. The conference was attended by Friends of the Earth Directors from more than 20 European countries and marked the 20th anniversary of the foundation of Friends of the Earth Ireland (the FOE directors also looked in at Woodburn in Co Antrim).
Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland, commented on Denis Naughten's first remarks as Minister for Climate Change: "Minister Naughten's first move as Minister for Climate Change was to call for more public consultation on wind farms. I'm all for dialogue on the energy transition but what's really needed now is concrete measures to support communities who want to develop their own energy projects - whether that's wind, solar or bioenergy. At a time when we have to reduce emissions, renewables now provide 23% of our power with zero pollution. By contrast, peat provides less than 9% of our electricity but produces 27% of the climate pollution from power generation. And we subsidize it to the tune of €120 million a year. Peat burning is the least efficient, most polluting way to generate electricity and we need to stop it by 2020 at the very latest."www.foe.ie
EU campaign on CETA
"Do the CETA Check!" is the slogan of a new campaign starting on 1st June. It will enable citizens from all over the EU to contact Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and ask them to answer questions about the planned free trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA). The campaign is supported by the EU-wide Stop TTIP alliance which together with the self-organized Stop TTIP European Citizens' Initiative collected over three million signatures against TTIP & CETA last year.
According to the European Commission, the negotiated CETA agreement is to be adopted this year by the European Parliament and be provisionally applied, meaning without approval by national parliaments. CETA, like the planned TTIP, includes a secret corporate court system which would allow corporations to sue governments who act against their interests. The central forum for the campaign will be the stop-ttip.org website.
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