Dublin launch of international network opposing military bases
The inaugural conference of the Global Campaign Against US/NATO Military Bases took place at Liberty Hall, Dublin from 16th – 18th November. Around 300 people attended from 35 countries and 6 continents. Video material from the conference is available on the website at nousnatobases.org with some links of media coverage (the Dublin media totally ignored the conference despite some prominent speakers). There are around a thousand US/NATO bases worldwide comprising 95% of foreign military bases.
A unity statement issued from the conference included the following:
“While we may have our differences on other issues, we all agree that US/NATO military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and primary causes of devastating environmental and health impacts through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of the US/NATO military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world.” and
“NATO, as the armed wing of the United Sates and the European Union, is expanding further to the east to safeguard its control of energy resources and pipelines, spheres of influence and markets for the sake of big capital and the transnational corporations. The European Union, in particular, is advancing alone or/and with NATO to its further militarization with the Permanent Structural Cooperation (PESCO) and its powerful EU army.” The full statement is available on the website.
This issue of Nonviolent News has a feature on the conference which will also be available on INNATE’s Facebook site and by request to email@example.com INNATE’s photo coverage of the conference, including all the speakers, is available here.
Touring Belfast’s grassroots peacebuilding history
Emily Stanton has developed a motorised Belfast tour of peacebuilding work throughout the Troubles which covers north, south, east and west Belfast and runs for about 2½ hours. This is based on the work which she did as part of her doctoral thesis and has accomplished, as far as possible, the difficult task of overlaying the six time frames and sets of responses which she identifies in her study onto a geographical area. This “Untold Stories – Touring Belfast’s Grassroots Peacebuilding History” has been produced in association with INNATE. Information on some of the work covered is included in a leaflet here.
An account by Eilish Boschert of the tour, run for the Social Science Festival, appears on the Shared Future website. Emily Stanton can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Information on INNATE’s work on walking peace trails is available on the website at www.innatenonviolence.org though this covers wider peace-making and justice issues than responses to the Troubles.
Criticism of Special Criminal Court and Offences Against the State
At a lecture in Dublin on 21st November hosted by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations (INCLO), the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, said that counter-terrorism laws which contravene human rights “can further entrench cycles of violence and can lead to radicalisation”. She said there had been “consistent and trenchant concerns about the use of the Special Criminal Court and the Offences Against the State Act as a ‘work-around’ the ordinary protection of the law”. Professor Ní Aoláin also launched two reports by privacy rights organisations INCLO and Privacy International, both of which denounced the lack of response from Irish authorities regarding requests for information on the sharing of intelligence with other States.
ICCL is also campaigning for reform of the Electoral Act in relation to the restrictions it places on the normal work of civil society.
NI Human Rights Festival
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival takes place from 9th – 15th December with the theme ‘Celebrating and Protecting Human Rights’; full details can be found at http://www.nihrf.com This includes a wide variety of events focusing on many different issues, both what you might expect (Brexit, Human Rights Bill) and what you might not – music, comedy, a focus on ethical practice, children etc; venues are primarily around Belfast but there are events elsewhere include Derry, Newry, Portaferry and Portstewart.
Corrymeela Ballycastle’s Christmas Open Day is on Saturday 15th December from 12 noon to 4pm, admission £3 per adult and £1 per child, with various activities and performances. As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign there will be a celebration of Women of Courage from 10.30 am – 1pm on Friday 7th December in Ballycastle; to book a place contact email@example.com or call 028 9050 8080. There will be an Advent Service in Fitzroy Church, Belfast, on Sunday 16th December at 5.15 pm. Further details on these and other events are on the Corrymeela website at https://www.corrymeela.org The current issue of Corrymeela magazine (Vol. 18 No.2) gives a round up of recent work and a summary of the current strategic plan. For those interested, the (Christian) Spirituality of Conflict programme offers ‘Reading conflict through the lens of the gospels’, see www.spiritualityofconflict.com
Peace and Power – Nonviolent Communication
Donal Gannon is organising a nine month program, including three standalone retreats, in 2019 to integrate and embody the consciousness of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). The three retreats are in the Algarve (Portugal), the south coast of England, and near Drogheda, respectively. The last is at Townley Hall, close to the Boyne near Drogheda, and on the theme Cultivating Peace and Power Within, running from 22nd - 27th October 2019. Full details here.
Pig business in Northern Ireland
An excellent new documentary, ‘Pig Business in Northern Ireland’, produced by Farms Not Factories and Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland, is being launched at the Palace of Westminster, London, on Monday 3rd December. This exposes the true costs to pigs, people and the planet of the ‘Going for Growth’ strategy. A public outcry has currently stalled the planning application for the huge pig factory near Limavady in the picturesque landscape of Lough Foyle. Farms Not Factories and Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland are calling for a moratorium on the building of new factory farms in Northern Ireland. They are encouraging people to sign a letter addressed to DAERA’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Denis McMahon: An item on this also appeared in NN 264
Chernobyl Children International
Chernobyl Children International (CCI) have made their Christmas appeal and full details of their work and possibilities for support can be found at www.chernobyl-international.com
Concord Media, based in Ipswich, England, has a range of DVDs available at reasonable prices on issues of war and peace, nuclear weapons, human rights (for these see under ‘Social Concern’ on the website) and many other issues. You can purchase DVDs or rent via Vimeo to stream online within a two day time slot. https://www.concordmedia.org.uk
Prisoners for Peace
While Prisoners for Peace Day on 1st December, organised by War Resisters’ International https://www.wri-irg.org has already passed, you can still take action to support conscientious objectors and peace prisoners around the world; see here and the list of prisoners given there.
Following a video appeal by Julian Assange’s mother, Christine, on 4th November pointing out that her son, Julian, founder of WikiLeaks, is in immediate critical danger, Mairead Maguire (who has visited him at different times) has also appealed for action to save Julian Assange as his health has seriously deteriorated, being without basic health care or fresh air in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over six years.
Ciaron O’Reilly is involved with a 24/7 vigil outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and calling for support including writing a postcard, Christmas card or letter of support to Julian Assange c/o Embassy of Ecuador, 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0LS.
For those coming from the Christian tradition committed to Green issues, the Eco-Congregation Ireland site and newsletter is a primary source of information and inspiration, with news and many links to other material. The November/December newsletter is available online.
Brexit and decision making
A paper by Peter Emerson on why, in relation to Brexit (or other issues) if “the problem is multi-optional, the question should be multi-optional” is available on the de Borda institute website at www.deborda.org
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