Doolough Famine Walk 2018: Remembering and Solidarity The Afri Famine walk, on the theme ‘Remembering and Solidarity’, takes place on Saturday 19th May. Walk leaders this year are Richard Moore and Fatin al Tamini, and music is by Lisa Lambe. Registration begins at 12.45 pm in Louisburgh, Co Mayo and the ceremony and walk starts at 1.30 pm when shuttle buses will bring people to the starting point. In the twentieth anniversary year of the Good Friday Agreement, Richard Moore is a walk leader; blinded as a 10-year old child by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier, he went on to found Children in Crossfire and is someone whose vision has inspired many others. Fatin al Tamini is chairperson of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign and has been involved in Palestine solidarity work for many years; this is the 70th anniversary year of the Palestinian Nakba. The walk commemorates a real famine walk and tragedy in 1849 when starving people were denied assistance but links what happened then with what is happening in the world today in terms of famine, hunger, food insecurity and human rights abuses. Afri asks for a minimum donation (or sponsorship) of €20 per person. Further details at http://www.afri.ie Afri, 134 Phibsborough road, Dublin 7, phone 01 – 8827563, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Organic Centre, Co Leitrim The Organic Centre at Rossinver, Co Leitrim, http://www.theorganiccentre.ie has a downloadable catalogue of courses and items for sale. The Centre is easily accessible from either side of the border, and offers a very wide range of courses throughout most of the year; upcoming ones include vernacular carpentry, getting to know your trees, the organic kitchen garden, fruit growing, and dry stone walling. It sells a considerable number of products including seeds, tools, books and sundries. Mail order is available. The Centre is open Tuesdays to Sundays 10am – 5pm, closed Mondays except for bank holidays, and closes for the winter on 4th November (annual opening in February); entry is €4, concessions €2, and children free. The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim, ph 071-9854338, e-mail email@example.com
DDCI: Clipping vulture fund wings, education resource The Debt and Development Coalition has two open events in May. “Clipping the Vultures' Wings: from the Irish Housing Crisis to the Global Debt Crisis” takes place on Thursday 3rd May, 6.30pm, Carmelite Community Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 2; Antonio Gambini from Belgium will talk about their pioneering law restricting vulture funds profiteering from sovereign debt in developing countries. Michael Byrne will speak about the impact of the vulture funds on the housing crisis in Ireland. On Thursday 17th May, 5pm, Carmelite Community Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 2, DDCI is celebrating the launch of its teaching resource for Leaving Cert Politics and Society with a wine reception. This will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the role of education in social change. Speakers include Maureen O'Sullivan, TD, Senator Alice Mary Higgins, Fr. Sean McDonagh, Eco-Theologian and Key Thinker of Politics and Society course, Conor McCabe, Economist and Author. These events are free but please book via the website. Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, Unit F5, Spade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, Dublin 7, ph 01 6174835, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and web https://www.debtireland.org
CAJ; Walker Report, job vacancy, Incitement to hatred It was agreed on 1st May that the PSNI will disclose a redacted copy of the Walker Report to CAJ (Committee on the Administration of Justice); this version of the report can then be put into the public domain within three months. The report, a review into RUC Special Branch and the handling of informants and intelligence, had been sought by CAJ under the Freedom of Information Act but its release was declined by the PSNI, citing an exemption that the contents of the report ‘related to’ MI5. Daniel Holder, Deputy Director of CAJ said “The Walker Report will assist in understanding just how RUC Special Branch was tasked to operate in the 1980s at a time there were serious concerns regarding the use of informants outside the law. It is an historic policy document that should not have been withheld for so long.” Details at https://caj.org.uk
CAJ have a vacancy for a Communications and Equality Coalition Coordinator, closing date 18th May, details on the website https://caj.org.uk/2018/04/27/caj-job-vacancy
The report by Dr Robbie McVeigh for the NI Equality Coalition on Incitement to Hatred in Northern Ireland (64 pages) is available online.
It concludes that the current approach to addressing incitement to hatred in Northern Ireland is not working and incitement is being tolerated rather than prohibited by the state.
Building Peace Together – a practical resource This is a very useful publication from the Quaker Council for European Affairs, Brussels. 172 pages, A5, it is available as a PDF. It covers the broad areas of diplomacy; democracy and politics; justice; security; communication and media; arts and culture; education; business, trade and economics; infrastructure and planning; agriculture and environment; healthcare. Giving examples and advice within each area it shows a broad range of possibilities for peacebuilding including arenas where people might not think there could be a contribution to peace; it is well worth dipping in and out, and using when appropriate to explore peacemaking. Reviewed in the “Readings in Nonviolence” section of the e-mail and web edition.
PANA: NATO’s war on Yugoslavia, Rangers in Afghanistan “NATO’s war on Yugoslavia” is the title of an open meeting on Saturday 5th May at 2pm in Connolly Books, 43 East Essex Street, Dublin 2 when the speakers will be Gerry Grainger, Edward Horgan and Mairead Maguire; it will look at what was happening ‘behind the scenes’ in relation to Serbia, Kosovo and Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Based on a reply to Clare Daly TD, PANA reports “..... the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) ... are the Special Operations Forces of the Irish Defence Forces. Personnel from the ARW served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. We all need to know if any Afghan people were killed during any of these operations. Why were the Irish people and members of Dáil Éireann not informed that members of Ireland’s special forces had been serving with NATO in Afghanistan for a total of 12 months?”
The monthly PANA Peace Vigil outside the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin will take place on Wednesday 9th May 5.30-6.30pm with the theme ‘Oppose the drift towards EU Militarisation’. https://www.pana.ie
CCI: Chernobyl – “I will not forget you” 26th April marked 32 years since the devastating accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, as well as the second United Nations Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day. “I will not forget you” is a campaign by Chernobyl Children International (CCI) to raise awareness for the generations of victims who have been affected by and will continue to be affected by the disaster of 1986. The United Nations designated day of commemoration was ratified following Adi Roche’s passionate plea to the UN on the 30th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in 2016. CCI provides sustainable medical and humanitarian aid to the Chernobyl affected regions of Belarus and Ukraine, equating to over €105 million since 1986. Though the accident at the Nuclear Power Plant took place over three decades ago, the charity continues to witness and experience a great need for assistance from 2nd and 3rd generations of victims, who have inherited a deadly legacy known as Chernobyl Lineage. https://www.chernobyl-international.com
Citizens’ Assembly report on climate change; call for action The final report of the Assembly on “How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change” was published in mid-April and is available at https://www.citizensassembly.ie/en The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has called on the Government to respect the mandate of the Assembly by immediately establishing a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the report's recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eight amendment to the Constitution. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is only one of five EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision, and the only one of these five States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie
National Biodiversity Week This takes place from 19th - 27th May 2018. Over the course of nine days, over 50 free events will take place all across the country, celebrating Ireland's diverse species and natural habitats, from bat walks and urban beekeeping to whale watching and eco-village tours. All events are free of charge, and most are suitable for children. See http://greennews.ie and facebook.com
Coalition 2030: Sustainable development goals Coalition 2030, an alliance of 100 civil society groups has welcomed the Irish State's plan to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) into government policy by 2030. The National Implementation Plan on the SDGs launched on 26th April by Minister Denis Naughten outlines the State's plan to achieve the 17 goals through a whole of Government approach. See https://www.ireland2030.org
Consensus decision making workshop and resources INNATE has a one-day workshop on consensus decision making available where it covers small group decision making in the morning and consensus voting in the afternoon. The morning includes a role play to bring out issues and possibly use tools provided, and the afternoon includes voting on an issue with preparation and analysis. Contact email@example.com if interested, workshops can be adapted to particular needs. See also INNATE workshop photo at https://www.flickr.com/photos/30253151@N07/40728851925/
You can of course ‘DIY’ on consensus and here are a few resources to help you on your way – Resources for small group consensus (INNATE materials) and (Seeds for Change handbook from England, also available cheaply as a printed book).
AVP in Cork AVP/Alternatives to Violence Project is holding an information meeting and taster workshop in Quaker Meeting House, Summerhill South, Cork on Saturday 12th May from 12 noon to 2pm. Registration is essential. The agenda will include: Gathering; What is AVP?; Q and A; Taster exercises; Closing; Tea, Coffee, food to share. Queries or to register: Contact by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 085 1512582. See also http://avpireland.ie
Anti-War activists benefit, Maynooth On Friday 4th May at 8pm in O'Neill's Pub, Maynooth there is a benefit for Anti-War activists Dave Donnelan and Colm Roddy awaiting trial for anti-war action at Shannon Airport. The Chelsea Manning Street Preachers will play. Entry is free but donations will be taken. For a video of Dave and Colm’s anti-war action at Shannon. For more info – phone Ciaron 083 006 0200.
International Criminal Court Summer School As usual the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway will run a summer school on the International Criminal Court, this year from 18th to 22nd June. Participants are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its structures and operations, and the applicable law. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression, jurisdiction, fair trial rights, and the rules of procedure and evidence. Closing date for registration is 1st June. This year’s ICC Summer School will include a special session on ‘Africa and the International Criminal Court’ in association with the Institute for Security Studies, South Africa. http://www.nuigalway.ie/human_rights
Faslane rally: Nae nukes anywhere! There will be a large international rally on Saturday 22nd September at Faslane Nuclear Base (north-west of Glasgow) when international campaigners will support Scotland and Scottish CND’s work to challenge the UK Government to sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty, enter negotiations and scrap its nuclear policies. There will be lots happening. Assemble 12 noon at the Peace Camp and walk to the North Gate. See http://www.nuclearban.scot or e-mail email@example.com
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