Editorials: Inclusion and Sinn Féin, Questions
Eco-Awareness with Larry Speight: We are nature
Readings in Nonviolence: The efficacy of nonviolence
Billy King: Rites Again
Sectarianism: the key facts
“Sectarianism: The key facts” is a new publication from the Equality Coalition in Northern Ireland, written by Robbie McVeigh, 56 pages A4, www.equalitycoalition.net It is a thought-provoking report which challenges current community relations/good relations thinking and emphasises the state’s role in promoting equality. It looks at demographic changes in relation to sectarianism, structural realities, and contemporary issues before considering intersectionality and making conclusions and recommendations. Its coverage of the ‘Other’ category is very useful, and its suggestion of moving to monitoring the ethnicity of all.
...”contemporary Northern Ireland remains characterised by two key facts which suggest institutionalised, structural sectarianism. First, it continues to exhibit a sectarianised criminal justice system. Second, it exhibits sectarian dual labour markets in employment, housing and education...” (page 32 in paper edition, page 34 in online version)
“...the state could relatively easily integrate and improve its monitoring of sectarian equality and inequality. Here there is a useful template in the recent ‘Race Disparity Audit’ intervention by the last Conservative government. In Northern Ireland there is every need for a similar ‘Sectarian Disparity Audit’ that would ‘explain or change disparities’ between Catholic, ‘Other’ and Protestant backgrounds.” (page 48, page 50 in online version)
“Our analysis inists that we need an approach which re-centres the commitment to equality and human rights of all citizens – Protestant, Catholic and ‘Other’ - who meet at the interface of sectarianism in the very particular circumstance of the Northern Ireland state.” (final paragraph)
The Equality Coalition is co-convened by CAJ www.equalitycoalition.net and UNISON https://www.unison-ni.org.uk
- Liz McAleer, who has managed CAJ’s administration for thirty years with efficiency and good humour, retires at the end of March. See photo at www.flickr.com
Peace activists on trial over Shannon action
Peace activists Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan went on trial at Court 7 Dublin Circuit Court on 2nd March, almost four years after they entered Shannon Airport to attempt to search and investigate US military aircraft that were on their way to and from US wars in the Middle East. They are charged with causing criminal damage to the airport fence and to the runway. It is estimated that over five million people, including one million children have died due to wars in the Middle East since the First Gulf War in 1991. The non-violent peace action undertaken by Colm and Dave was done to expose Ireland’s complicity in these unjust wars.
Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch said "Colm and Dave are principled whistle-blowers and peace activists, not criminals. The real criminals are those who are killing innocent people and making wars of aggression in contravention of international laws, including the UN Charter.” He went on to say “"It is not Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan who should be on trial. It is the war criminals who are destroying the Middle East, and Irish politicians and others who have been knowingly facilitating the killing of innocent people, who should be on trial.” The action by Colm and Dave was also intended to expose the failure by Gardai and other Irish authorities to prevent Shannon Airport from being used to facilitate war crimes in the Middle East. The trial by jury is expected to last for several days. www.shannonwatch.org and e-mail email@example.com
Healing Through Remembering
Healing Through Remembering has relocated to the Mediation NI building in University Street, Belfast which they share with Corrymeela and South Belfast Round Table on Racism. The website remains the same and the telephone (028 9023 8844) is in the process of being transferred to the new address. Healing Through Remembering is an independent initiative made up of a diverse membership with different political perspectives working on a common goal of how to deal with the legacy of the past as it relates to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland.
The Everyday Objects Exhibition, created by Healing Through Remembering in 2012 is to be hosted by Libraries NI from April 2020 to March 2021. The first library to host it will be Colin Glen Library from April to June 2020. Further news of library venues to follow in due course. The ‘Everyday Objects Transformed by the Conflict’ project and exhibition brings together many views and experiences of the recent conflict in and about Northern Ireland. Kate Turner, Director, Healing Through Remembering, 83 University Street, Belfast, BT7 1HP. firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook/healingthroughremembering @HTRinfo www.healingthroughremembering.org
AVP / Alternatives to Violence Project
AVP is in the middle of a cycle of workshops in most prisons. The year started with Male Awareness (3rd level) workshops in Limerick prison, Wheatfield and the Midlands, 2nd levels in Castlerea, Mountjoy and Cork prisons, and there was also a basic workshop in Portlaoise prison. There was a Graduation Ceremony in the Dóchas Centre for facilitators and their families in early January. The first team of facilitators in the Midlands has now been trained after introducing the programme in 2019. The forthcoming programme is as hectic as ever. 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). For more details see avpireland.ie - which includes information about volunteering with AVP - and the international site at avp.international
Corrymeela Sunday is 15th March this year (the Sunday closest to St Patrick’s Day) and resources are available on the website; the theme is ‘Creating a culture of courage’. Corrymeela emphasises its mission as a place of welcome for many different kinds of groups and has a short film on its website about using the facilities at the Ballycastle Centre www.corrymeela.org/bookings Meanwhile Corrymeela has an appeal for funding for the necessary replacement of the Centre’s waste water system and information on this is on the website. Other information there includes details about volunteering and the programmes Corrymeela runs; sectarianism, public theology, schools, international education, marginalisation, legacies of conflict, family, and faith and light. See www.corrymeela.org
ICHR Galway: Launch of Kevin Boyle book
“Are you with me? Kevin Boyle and the Rise of the Human Rights Movement” by Mike Chinoy is to be launched in NUI Galway on Monday 30th March from 5-7pm. See www.nuigalway.ie which includes a booking link. Kevin Boyle was Professor of Human Rights Law at NUI Galway, where he was the founder of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, and devoted his life to fighting for human rights, equality and justice, in Northern Ireland and internationally.
ICCL calls for change to Incitement to Hatred Act
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has said that Ireland may be falling short of its obligations under human rights law to protect people from the most extreme forms of hate speech. In a submission to the Department of Justice review of the Prohibition on Incitement to Hatred Act, ICCL called for an investigation into whether the Act has been effective in prohibiting speech which amounts to incitement to hatred, and if not, why not. ICCL also said that, on the other end of the scale, the Act may be overly broad in criminalising less extreme categories of hate speech which should be dealt with in other ways. Doireann Ansbro of ICCL, author of the report, said “The Incitement to Hatred Act was intended to respond appropriately to extreme hate speech but the failure to secure successful prosecutions over thirty years suggests it is not working. We need more research, including consultations with impacted groups, to tell us why this is. We certainly need to redefine the legislation so that all targetted groups are explicitly protected. We may also need to recalibrate the Act so that it better achieves its aims while not unduly impacting on freedom of expression.” See www.iccl.ie for more details.
ECI conference: How to have hope
The Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) Day Conference - Planetary Emergency: How To Have Hope - will take place on Saturday 21 March 2020 from 10.30am to 4.00pm in G16, The Loyola Institute, ISE/Loyola Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2. This is a free event. To register go to www.eventbrite.ie Eco-Congregation Ireland encourages churches and Christians of all denominations to take an eco approach to worship, lifestyle, property and finance management, community outreach and contact with the developing world. It produces a regular newssheet to which you can subscribe via the website on the homepage at www.ecocongregationireland.com Click on ‘Learn more’ on the homepage to access resource materials.
Caring for our common home
This is the title of a conference organised by Trócaire on “Bringing Laudato Si’ to life in our parish communities”, taking place in Carlow on Wednesday 4th March and running from 10.30 am – 4.30 pm. Speakers include John Sweeney, Lorna Gold, Padraic Fogarty, and Dermot Lane and there is a choice of workshops. For registration etc contact Mary Boyce email@example.com or phone 01 6293333.
Afri has an excellent selection of shorts films available not just about its own work but issues in general about peace, justice and sustainability. These are accessible via the website www.afri.ie/ and click on ‘Videos’ on the top bar. Look out for ones including Shannon, Richard Moore, direct provision, the Afri Famine Walk in Doolough, the Great Hunger itself, and Michael Davitt which includes his grandchildren speaking about him.
Countering Military Recruitment: WRI booklet
The War Resisters’ International booklet “Countering Military Recruitment: Learning the lessons of counter-recruitment campaigns internationally” is available via their website www.wri-irg.org (UK£2.50/€3 plus postage). It aims to be “not so much a how-to-guide for counter-recruitment as an exploration of the issues in counter-recruitment. We hope it will be a useful starting point for groups wanting to begin this work, and thought-provoking for those already doing it.” There is much more antimilitarist information on the site.
Embracing Human Rights: Conflict Textiles Journey
On Saturday 7 March at 2pm the exhibition “Embracing Human Rights: Conflict Textiles' journey” is being launched at Roe Valley Arts Centre, Limavady. Quilts and arpilleras from around the world, created in different decades, will prompt reflection on the impact of, and response to, human rights violations and how a culture of human rights can be embedded. The launch will include a special dance performance, music, poetry and song. Refreshments provided. RSVP 028 7776 0650 / firstname.lastname@example.org To find out more on this exhibition please visit www.roevalleyarts.com/ and cain.ulster.ac.uk
Images of God and Nonviolence: Church and Peace
Church and Peace’s International Conference and Annual General Meeting takes place from 15 -17 May 2020 in Schoorl, Netherlands. This conference we will explore the relation between ‘Images of God and Nonviolence’. This challenging theological theme raises the question of the (widespread patriarchal) image of God: Is there a direct relationship between the image of God and the promotion of violence or nonviolence? Which images of God promote nonviolence? Has peace theology overcome the patriarchal image of God? See www.church-and-peace.org
FOE: Growing Together, campaigning during election
The Growing Together project has been working with a wide group of youth agri-activists to raise awareness and share skills on regenerative agriculture in Ireland and Europe; there are opportunities for people under thirty to be involved, more details on the website www.foe.ie Also on the website is details of the Our Future project which has done very considerable work in relation to the recent election and politicians.
Pax Christi Peace Stories
The website of Pax Christi international includes a ‘Peace Stories’ blog paxchristipeacestories.com which is well worth checking out. There are regular updates. One current feature is Marie Dennis reflecting on a theological foundation for rejecting nuclear weapons but others are focused on places such as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and issues such as antiracism, migration, and peacebuilders.
Daniel Hånberg Alonso is writing a biography about Bill "Ubi" Dwyer. Bill was born in Ireland but lived in New Zealand and Australia during the 50s and 60s. In the early 70s he was behind the Windsor Free Festivals outside of London before he returned to Ireland where became involved in politics. He died in 2001. Daniel is looking for anyone who either met Bill during his lifetime or has any information about him. If you know anything, please contact him at: email@example.com
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