Trumpety Trumpety Trump Shannon and Dublin will both see demonstrations concerning the visit to Ireland of US President Donald Trump starting on Wednesday 5th June.
Shannon: Protests will be held at Shannon Airport starting at 3pm on 5th June. The US President is expected to land at Shannon that day, to fly out and back again on 6th June, and to leave on June 7th. A Peace Camp will be set up outside the airport for the duration of his visit, and people are invited to spend whatever time they can there in order to maintain an ongoing protest against his presence in Ireland. The main protest will take place at 6pm on 5th June just outside Shannon Airport. It is being organised by local groups Shannonwatch, Extinction Rebellion Clare, and Futureproof Clare, and is supported by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), Gaza Action Ireland, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), the Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM), Veterans for Peace (VfP), and Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW).
In announcing the planned protests, Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch said “Trump’s greatest danger to humanity arises from two closely related areas. The first is climate change denial and wanton destruction of our living environment. The other is unjustified wars of aggression, motivated largely by the desire to steal other countries’ resources. Oil rich Venezuela and Iran are the most recent targets for Trump and the US.”
Approximately 3 million troops and their weapons have passed through Shannon Airport in the last decade and a half. US military and military contracted planes land on a daily basis at the airport, and are provided with protection by the Gardai and Irish Defence Forces. Organisers point out that the protest is not just against Trump and US policy. It is also against the Irish Government’s breaching of Irish neutrality by allowing the US military to use Shannon. Organisers of the anti-Trump protests at Shannon emphasise that they will be family friendly. Banners, art, music and any forms of peaceful expression are welcome at the peace camp and surrounding area. “It will be an expression of the people-centred positive alternatives to Trump’s warmongering and destruction of the planet” said one of the organisers, John Lannon.
People coming to Shannon are asked to park at Shannon Town Centre, where they will be directed to go by foot along the Drumgeely road to the peace camp and demonstration point closer to the airport. This road runs parallel to the dual carriageway. See Facebook event at: www.facebook.com Shannonwatch website is at www.shannonwatch.org
Dublin: A vigil organised by PANA www.pana.ie and the Venezuela Ireland Network takes place at the USA Embassy, Ballsbridge, at 6pm on Wednesday 5th June.
Dublin: ‘Rights Trump Hate’, organised by ICCL/Irish Council for Civil Liberties www.iccl.ie takes place at 6pm on Thursday 6th June at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. They explain “His policies are a direct attack on human rights, both in the USA and in the international sphere. His withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, his denial of climate change, and his refusal to co-operate with international human rights bodies endangers all of our fundamental rights.”
Community Dialogue works on moving beyond division
Community Dialogue (CD) is on the point of entering a new and exciting phase of delivering deliberative consensus building dialogue, training and advocacy across Northern Ireland. Its evolution responds to the findings of our two-year civic society consultation. It found society-wide unease over the impacts of Brexit and the ongoing collapse of power sharing and dissatisfaction with the post Belfast Agreement political failure to respond to societal need. But significantly it also found a growing hunger for alternative forms of civic society engagement in democratic processes to give voice to societal need and encourage agreement on divisive issues.
CD intends to initiate a process nurturing a unified non-party political civic society voice: 1. reflecting societal need; 2. enabling agreement on solutions to divisive issues; and 3. evolving a unifying vision for our future. Its consensus building dialogues will aim to: 1) deepen understanding of contentious issues and the positions of others; 2) enable agreement on divisive issues; 3) offer decision makers practical solutions to divisive issues; and 4) build a unified non-party political civic society voice and vision for our future.
World Beyond War conference, Limerick, 5-6 October
World Beyond War’s fourth annual global conference on the abolition of war will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 5th and 6th, in Limerick, and include a rally on the 6th October at Shannon Airport, where U.S. military forces routinely pass through in violation of Irish neutrality and of laws against war. WBW will be marking the completion of the 18th year of the endless war on Afghanistan, as well as the 150th birthday of Mohandas Gandhi. Speakers include
Luke Addison, Leah Bolger, Roger Cole, Clare Daly, Joseph Essertier, Maya Evans, Laura Hassler, Ed Horgan, Foad Izadi, Tony Jenkins, Kathy Kelly, Peadar King, John Lannon, John Maguire, Mairead Maguire, Abby Martin, Vijay Mehta, Hannah Mole, Mike Prysner, Liz Remmerswaal Hughes, John Reuwer, Marc Eliot Stein, David Swanson, Barry Sweeney, Dave Webb, Hakim Young, and Greta Zarro. There are a variety of participatory workshops and discussions. Further information, including info and videos on past conferences, available at worldbeyondwar.org
Green activists mobilise against Fine Gael block
Fine Gael has tried to block the bill to ban new exploration for oil and gas, and green activists have been mobilising on the issue. In the words of Friends of the Earth Ireland (FOE) “Scarcely days after supporting a Dáil motion declaring a climate emergency and lapping up the international praise, Leo Varadkar and Environment Minister Richard Bruton have pulled a bureaucratic trick to stop TDs even debating the Climate Emergency Measures Bill.” See www.foe.ie/takeaction where you can contact the Taoiseach and Minister Richard Bruton. The Dáil voted to ban oil and gas drilling in Irish waters in March, despite government opposition. The ‘Keep it in the Ground’ Bill, if passed into law would make Ireland the 5th country globally to ban oil and gas exploration. www.thejournal.ie Stop Climate Chaos has issued a briefing on why the bill should proceed www.stopclimatechaos.ie
PANA factsheet on “The Road to the EU Army”
PANA, the Peace And Neutrality Alliance has produced a 4-page factsheet detailing the steps over the years towards an EU Army; “The road to the creation of a European Union with its own Army has its roots in the Cold War and has long been supported by the US and its NATO allies. This Factsheet outlines the major steps towards its formation and its links with NATO.” See www.pana.ie
OU online archive on education in prisons
Recently launched in Belfast is the “Time to Think” digital archive from the Open University on educational “journeys in British and Irish prisons during the years of conflict 1972 – 2000”. It covers all aspects of the experience, including both individual reflections and themed information, which was very important in helping take the overall situation forward. Go to www.open.ac.uk and click on “Time to Think”.
Pax Christi Peace Award to European Lawyers in Lesvos Pax Christi International has announced that the organisation European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL), www.europeanlawyersinlesvos.eu based in Greece, is the recipient of the 2019 Pax Christi International Peace Award. The award ceremony will be held in Brussels on 26th June. One of the very few providers of legal assistance on the Greek island of Lesvos (also known as Lesbos, a focal point of mass immigration into Europe), ELIL was founded in June 2016 by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the German Bar Association (DAV). These organisations represent the bars and law societies of 32 member countries and 13 further associate and observer countries across Europe, and through them more than one million European lawyers. Since that time, along with a small permanent staff, almost 150 volunteer asylum lawyers from 17 countries have provided free legal assistance to more than 9,000 people, most of who are from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. www.paxchristi.net/news
Front Line Defenders Award for LGBTI+ activists For the first time in the 14 year history of the Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders At Risk, the organisation has presented the prize to five at-risk LGBTI+ human rights defenders, all facing severe threats for their peaceful activism. LGBTI+ defenders from Tunisia, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Indonesia and Malawi were awarded the prize in recognition of their powerful struggles for LGBTI+ rights in their countries, and to demand an end to the violence, intimidation, arrests and harassment they endure while defending their communities. The Award ceremony was held in Dublin on 17th May, to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). At the ceremony, Ms Katherine Zappone, Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, presented the Award to Badr Baabou of Tunisia, named the Global Laureate by an Irish jury. www.frontlinedefenders.org
“What Future for Syria?” meeting in Dublin
On Tuesday 11th June from 6.00 to 8.00 p.m. in the Joly Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin, Yassin Al Haj Saleh (the author of The Impossible Revolution: Making Sense of the Syrian Tragedy and a prominent intellectual voice of the Syrian revolution) will be in conversation with Paul Conroy (the author of Under The Wire, and prominent war photographer). Presented by the Irish Syria Solidarity Movement in association with Peace Studies, School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin. Registration via Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.ie See also www.tcd.ie
Decision making and Brexit
A short outline of an inclusive decision making process in relation to Brexit can be found on the de Borda Institute website www.deborda.org along with lots of other information about inclusive voting mechanisms.
The AGM and conference of the Irish Development Education Association (IDEA) takes place in Drumcondra, Dublin on Thursday 6th June; it marks 15 years of IDEA and the theme is ‘Stories of Change: creating active global citizens.' More information about the conference and IDEA at www.ideaonline.ie
Electorial Act Reform
In mid-May, Senator Lynn Ruane launched her bill for reform of the Electoral Act with support from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Education Equality and Amnesty International. Senator Ruane said: “ Ordinary citizens organising together to agitate for progressive change have transformed Ireland in recent years. However, a change to the Electoral Acts made in 2001 has led to a chilling effect on the valid advocacy work of these same groups.”
April Duff, chairperson of Education Equality, said: “Education Equality was accused of breaching the Electoral Act over €10,000 seed funding from an Irish donor. We never imagined the Act, designed to regulate election spending, would apply to a group like ours which campaigned for an end to the baptism barrier. SIPOC threatened us with prosecution and eventually we returned most the funding, dissolved the association and transferred to a company limited by guarantee. Now we can’t accept donations of over €100.”
Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “The Electoral Act is completely at odds with Ireland’s foreign policy. Ireland leads on UN initiatives to defend the space for civil society globally and been a vocal critic of repression in countries like Russia, Hungary and Egypt. Even though the Act was not intended to undermine civil society, its broad wording has clearly been used to silence NGOs working on a range of equality and rights issues. This undermines Ireland’s standing when holding other repressive governments to account.”
ICCL www.iccl.ie and Amnesty International Ireland www.amnesty.ie have been leading the Coalition for Civil Society Freedom’s call for reform of the Electoral Act for over two years. The Coalition, which also includes The Wheel, Front Line Defenders, Transparency International Ireland and Uplift, has the support of over 60 civil society organisations. Over 1200 people have signed an open letter to the Taoiseach calling for reform.
Good Relations Week 2019
Good Relations Week in Northern Ireland is an opportunity to showcase the work that organisations are doing in the area of community relations; this year it runs from Monday 16th - Sunday 22nd September. Events can include workshops, training events, launches, music events, showcases of work, public events, private events etc. They can range from the very small to the very large, and events that coincide with International Day of Peace and Culture Night. The deadline for submission of events is 19th July. Submit at www.goodrelationsweek.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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