CAIN future at risk; review by Ulster University
Ulster University is reviewing and conducting a consultation on the future of CAIN, the Conflict Archive on the INternet which is the most visited source of information on the Troubles in Northern Ireland with a truly huge variety and volume of material archived since 1997....and 22 million visits. This review is due to funding issues. “Consultation is now underway on the future of CAIN as a live research project. If that is not possible then the staff would be made redundant and on-line access would be ensured by making CAIN a special digital collection within the University's Library. However, in the absence of dedicated staff, no new material would be added, no updates carried out, and no queries or permission requests would be dealt with.” See cain.ulster.ac.uk (which has links to some media coverage) and views can be expressed as part of the consultation until 2nd May.
AVP/Alternatives to Violence Project
AVP/The Alternatives to Violence project continues its hectic workshop schedule with 8 workshops having taken place in 2019 by the end of February. Forthcoming workshops include the following: 22nd-24th March, Basic workshop, Shelton Abbey (Arklow); 5th-7th April, Basic workshop, The Midlands (Portlaoise); 5th-7th April, Basic workshop, Limerick Prison; 12th-14th April, Basic workshop, Cork Prison; 12th-14th April, Basic workshop, Portlaoise Prison; 26th-28th April, 2nd level, The Dochas Centre; Date TBC, April, basic workshop, Castlerea Prison; Date TBC, April or May, basic workshop, Wheatfield Prison; 17th-19th May, 2nd level, Limerick Prison; 24th-26th May, 2nd level, Cork Prison; 24th-26th May, 2nd level, Portlaoise Prison. Those wanting to participate in prison workshops need first to apply for prison clearance which can take some months.
AVP is extremely keen to hear from outside would-be participants who might in time volunteer to be trained as part of a locally-based outside team at Castlerea Prison, Co Roscommon. Forthcoming meetings are; Dublin on Thursday 14th March, 7.30pm in Friends Meeting House, Eustace Street; the meeting in Cork is on Wednesday 3rd April, 6pm, location to be confirmed. The website avpireland.ie has more information about getting involved; you can contact via the website or phone the coordinator, Dorothée Potter-Daniau at 085-1512582.
AVP is a training programme enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Workshops are non-residential, run by our trained facilitators and experiential (not based on lectures). Workshops use the shared experience of participants, interactive exercises, games and role-plays to examine the ways in which we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to aggressive behaviour and violence.
Peace People campaign: Don’t play politics with peace
The Peace People have begun a new campaign www.peacepeople.com entitled “Don’t play politics with our peace”. This has a statement by Mairead Maguire and a petition to be signed in relation to the current political impasse in Northern Ireland – ““I support the comments made here by Mairead Maguire and I call on politicians to come together immediately to develop power-sharing for the good of all the people of Northern Ireland”.The Peace People website at /www.peacepeople.com has been recently revamped, and there is also a petition on freeing Julian Assange.
Ireland bottom of climate carbon class
The European Commission has found that the Irish State’s climate plans fall far short of the level of ambition required to put Ireland on a path to achieve its 2030 targets. The Commission’s 2019 Country Report for Ireland states that it is “falling further behind” other EU countries in decarbonising the economy, raising “health, climate and environmental concerns”. The report points to “severe challenges” in tackling rising emissions in transport, agriculture, energy and the built environment. In 2016, emissions increased by over 2.5 % in agriculture, 4% in transport and 6% in the energy sector – primarily due to an increase in the use of gas for electricity generation. Policy objectives outlined in the National Mitigation Plan, the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan do not go far enough to tackle growing emissions, the report states. “The lack of progress will make the challenge of meeting Ireland’s EU obligations that more difficult, while also increasing the cost of future action,” the Commission report states. While wind provided 30 per cent of total electricity demand last year, Ireland is falling down on the use of renewables for heating, with fossil fuels still dominating in this area. Source: Climate Change Ireland email@example.com and for fuller information see germanwatch.org
Global assault on NGOs – and Irish dimension
Amnesty International has published a report “Laws Designed to Silence: The Global Crackdown on Civil Society Organisations”, the third report in a series from Amnesty International’s ‘Brave’ campaign documenting the global crackdown on those who defend and promote human rights and aiming to strengthen the recognition and protection of human rights defenders. Amnesty International Ireland say “Regrettably, Ireland is one of the countries identified in [the] report. The Electoral Act imposes a blanket ban on overseas donations to civil society groups deemed for “political purposes”, and places severe limits on domestic donations. “Political purposes” is so broadly defined in this Act that it can include the general advocacy work of a wide range of civil society organisations, in violation of their rights to freedom of association and expression.”
Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland says “Even though the Electoral Act was not created to intentionally repress civil society, it has clearly been used against NGOs working on human rights issues.....The Electoral Act is completely at odds with Ireland’s foreign policy. Ireland has led on UN initiatives to defend the space for civil society globally. It has been a vocal critic of repression of civil society in countries like Russia, Hungary and Egypt. We continue to urge the Government to amend this law to ensure it no longer obstructs the work of civil society groups, and violates civil society freedom.” www.amnesty.ie/ and www.amnesty.org
CAJ: Human rights defenders in the North
The current (Winter 2019) issue of Just News, the publication of CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice, has a two page informative report on a panel discussion from the end of 2018 organised by the Equality Coalition (convened by CAJ and UNISON) looking at attacks on pressures on human rights defenders in Northern Ireland. Go to caj.org.uk/publications/
Mediation Theory and Practice at MNI
The next open access 9 day course run by Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) in Belfast begins at the end of April and runs weekly to 25th June; trainees will learn a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute or in constructive relationship building. More details at mediationnorthernireland.org/training
Forest Friends Ireland
Forest Friends Ireland was founded in May 2000 to provide an alternative to a rampant monoculture forestry policy. Its Peace Forest Ireland Project was initiated in 2014 with Rotary, and their Forest Friends World Peace Tree Project will be launched in the near future with the planting of oak trees in each of the border counties, north and south. It aims to maximise public participation in the plantings. Details will be posted on Forest Friends website www.forestfriends.ie
Rethinking Security – UK One interesting initiative in the British context in the era of Brexit is ‘Rethinking Security’ which is “a network of organisations, academics and activists who share a concern about the current approach to national security in the UK and beyond. We believe that this approach is a significant barrier to progress on a range of progressive agendas for peace, justice and ecological sustainability. We are committed to building a much richer understanding of what security really means, and of what is required to tackle insecurity and build a more just and peaceful world.” More at rethinkingsecurity.org.uk
Amnesties in conflict and peace, Galway
A lunchtime seminar “Unpacking the Use of Amnesties in Conflict and Peace” by Professor Louise Mallinder, QUB, takes place on 11th March from 1-2pm in the Seminar Room, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI, Galway. Prof Mallinder will present the findings of her new Amnesties, Conflict, and Peace Agreement (ACPA) dataset, which has been developed as part as part of the Political Settlements Research Project and she will explore when and how amnesties are used during conflict and transitions towards peace. www.nuigalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/
INNATE photo site
INNATE’s photo site https://www.flickr.com which is also linked to the main website at www.innatenonviolence.org (just click open one of the three images on the right centre of the home page) now has upwards of 1700 images covering a wide variety of organisations and topics, with currently 28 different albums. The easiest way to access images of interest to you is if they are represented by an album, in which case you can click on the ‘Album’ selection on the top bar. These albums are, kind-of-alphabetically; Afri; Anti-Nuclear power movement; AVP/Alternatives to Violence Project; Bishopscourt Peace Camp; CND and nuclear disarmament; Corrib Gas 2011; Corrymeela; Dawn; Disarmament and resistance to war; Ecology and green resistance; Gender and peace; Glencree; Humour; INNATE history; INNATE conferences/seminars; International Network of Museums for Peace Belfast conference 2017; Mediation; Monitoring and accompaniment; Men, gender and nonviolence 2009-10; Peace miscellany 2009-10; Peace People; Peace and Reconciliation Group, Derry; Peace Trails; Troubles in Northern Ireland; US military bases Dublin conference 2018; Witness for Peace; Women Together; WRI Triennial Dublin, 2002. INNATE welcomes additional photos and material for inclusion; the aim is to be representative of an organisation or topic rather than comprehensive but coverage of some of the above is very patchy.
QCEA and migrant myths
Coming up to the EU elections in May, the Quaker Council for European Affairs has set up a campaign and website to challenge anti-migrant hate speech. See www.chooserespect.eu and their newsletter “Around Europe” www.qcea.org
Church and Peace: Euro elections check list, AGM, 70 years
Church and Peace, together with several other organisations within the framework of the Ecumenical Consultation for Justice and Peace (ÖKGF), developed a position checklist (German: Wahlprüfsteine) for the elections to the European Parliament on 23-26 May 2019. The ‘position checklist‘ is intended to encourage approaching candidates on the parties’ electoral lists for information and to critically enquire as to what they will stand up for when they are elected to the European Parliament. Find them at: https://www.church-and-peace.org
The AGM of Church and Peace – and a celebration of 70 years peacemaking – takes place from 17 -19 May 2019 in Berlin-Spandau, Germany with the theme ‘I will give you future and hope‘ (Jeremiah 29:11): 70 years of living nonviolence and resisting militarisation. Church and Peace is the European ecumenical peace church network of communities, training centres, peace organisations and peace service agencies.www.church-and-peace.org
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