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Dawn Train

Issue 119: May 2004

  • Headytorials on Iraq, Northern Ireland Go...
  • Lothar Luken on Watching Manhattan Go...
  • Rob Fairmichael on European Conflict Conference, Dublin Go...
  • Billy King gets nuclear wasted Go...

Conflict comes to Dublin
A couple of hundred people attended a western European conference on conflict prevention held in Dublin Castle at the end of March/start of April, one of 15 regional conferences which will feed into a global conference at the UN in July 2005. The local NGO organiser was Cooperation Ireland. The Dublin Action Agenda, adopted at the conference, can be read at and other reports will be there soon. - A 4-page report by INNATE coordinator Rob Fairmichael is included in this issue of Nonviolent News.

FEIC vindicated over Raytheon
Raytheon, and their sponsors and supporters, insisted that their computer operation in Derry was only involved in civilian activities and had no military connotations. Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign (FEIC) insisted otherwise. Now, in a report published by Derry News of 22nd April

"former workers at the plant disclosed that they had developed military software at the firm's Springtown plant. The workers have given signed statements to the Derry News acknowledging that they personally worked on technology for the MoD and the US Defence Department, and on guidance and monitoring technology for missile systems. They say that work was done here on Identification Friend or Foe (IFFs) systems - which are used to detect and destroy unrecognised missiles, and which were widely used in the recent war on Iraq. They admitted that they had worked on projects developing software for military spy-planes and claimed that the bulk of all Raytheon's work in Derry was military-related."

Derry City Council, which had already expressed its opposition to the arms trade (see NN 116), has reaffirmed its commitment to ethical development and has called on Raytheon to immediately clarify the nature of its work in Derry.

The next FEIC vigil at Raytheon, Buncrana Road, is on Saturday 8th May at 5pm when FEIC "invites all of those who oppose the arms trade, Raytheon's business and its role in the war in Iraq" to come and join in. FEIC, phone 078 - 0326890 or e-mail

Healing Through Remembering - the next phase
"There is no single treatment for the healing process in Northern Ireland - processes of remembering, reflecting, informing and educating must be sustained for another generation at least." - Report of The Healing Through Remembering Project (June 2002).

The Report was the result of a consultation carried out by Healing Through Remembering "to identify and document possible mechanisms and realisable options for healing through remembering for those affected by the conflict in and about Northern Ireland".

The Report recommends: - A network that will link the diverse forms of commemoration and remembering work - A storytelling process - A day of reflection - A permanent living memorial museum - That all organisations and institutions engaged in the conflict acknowledge responsibility for past political violence due to their acts of omission and commission.

We see this as the first and necessary step having the potentiality of larger process of truth recovery. Following a period of discussion and debate on the Report, Healing Through Remembering is currently addressing each of the above recommendations in greater detail. The challenge for us therefore as individuals and as a society is how to find creative ways of remembering that enable us to go forward as a society - a difficult but potentially enriching task. Healing Through Remembering Project, Unit 4 River's Edge, 15 Ravenhill Road, Belfast BT6 8DN, phone 028 - 90 73 96 01, e-mail and website

'Land, Freedom and Occupation; Ireland, Palestine and Iraq'
This is the title of this year's Afri sponsored walk from Doolough to Louisburgh, Co Mayo, 'celebrating solidarity and friendship'. It begins at 2pm on Saturday 29th May. The walk leaders are Denis Halliday, Caoimhe Butterly and Brendan Ford, with music by Sharon Shannon and contributions by local musician Sheamus Heneghan and local school children. It is organised by Afri in association with Louisburgh Community Project. There will be a bus from Dublin on the day, details from Afri, and a céilí at 9 pm. Afri, 134 Phibsborough road, Dublin 7, phone 01 - 8827563, fax 8827576. e-mail and web

Beirne Convention at CAJ
Maggie Beirne is the new Director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), following on from Martin O'Brien who left in January (NN 117); she has worked at CAJ for the last 9 years, and previously worked for Amnesty International for 17 years. Paul Mageean, CAJ's legal officer, has also moved on (his post will be advertised) but other long-term staff members, Tim Cunningham, Aideen Gilmore and Liz McAleer are staying on. Meanwhile CAJ has been planning ahead, through the annual planning session; in general it is seen that while human rights issues are part of the mainstream agenda, the task along with partner organisations is to point out gaps between the promises and the fulfilment.

On criminal justice it was felt CAJ should look at how best to engage those who consider themselves 'stakeholders' in the Criminal Justice Review follow-up. CAJ will continue to work closely with the Human Rights Consortium (a network of over 100 groups) for a strong and inclusive Bill of Rights. On policing, the commentary on the Policing Board has been well received and a commentary on the Police Ombudsman is in preparation, and there may be a conference for District Policing Partnership members. On equality, the main priority is to develop an incremental litigation strategy. CAJ also provides numerous resources to members and researchers, including newspaper clippings. The monthly magazine Just News (included with membership) provides an excellent overview of current issue and concerns in the human rights arena in Northern Ireland and further afield.

The Annual Report, available from the CAJ office, includes a listing of CAJ papers and publications; these are also included on the website (recently revamped) which provides an important resource at The 4th edition of "Civil Liberties in Northern Ireland: the CAJ Handbook", which appeared at the end of 2003, is a comprehensive handbook on the topic with 22 chapters in 614 pages, ISBN 1 873285 34 5, price £9.50 (postage extra). Subscriptions to CAJ are £17 or £5 unwaged, or £12 to receive Just News only. CAJ, 45-47 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2BR, phone 028 - 90 96 11 22, e-mail

Irish Centre for Human Rights, Galway
Upcoming events at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, based at NUI, Galway, include their Summer Schools; there is one from 12th - 19th June on Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights Law, and another from 10th - 14th July on the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile there is a major international conference co-organised with the United Nations University, taking place in Galway from 15th - 16th July on Accountability for Atrocity; "The conference will focus on issues relating to prosecutorial discretion, judicial independence, and the relationships between criminal prosecution and the alternatives, such as truth and reconciliation commissions" and speakers include William Schabas (of the Centre), Lloyd Axworthy, Theodor Meron, Mary Robinson, Maureen Harding Clark of the ICC and Gerald Gahima of Rwanda.

Further details from; Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, Galway, phone 091 - 750464, fax 750575, e-mail and web The website includes their occasional news Bulletin bringing up to date news of the Centre, plus information on their LL.M and Ph.D programmes.

Voting early and often
Professor Arend Lijphart, a patron of the de Borda Institute and prominent advocate of consociationalism, will be giving a talk on voting systems in the Linenhall Library on Wednesday 7th July, 10.30 - 12.00. Limited places available. More details from: The de Borda Institute, phone 028 - 90711795,

Children and the Troubles
"The Impact of Political Conflict on Children in Northern Ireland" by Marie Smyth with Marie Therese Fay, Emily Brough and Jennifer Hamilton is a new publication from the Institute for Conflict Research (ICR) in Belfast. 120 pages, ISBN 0-9541894-4-1, price £5. This gives detailed results from an in depth project and study and includes recommendations. ICR, Unit 14 North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG, phone 028 - 9074 2682, e-mail and website

Making Beneficial Connections - environmental day
This is a networking day for environmental groups taking place in Belfast on Saturday 15th May, at 998 Crumlin Road, Belfast BT14 8FH, phone 90716200, organised by Lagan Valley Permaculture. Set up begins at 10.00 am and programme runs from 12.30 until 8pm when there'll be a bonfire. A varied programme includes workshops, stalls, dancing and discussion. Groups coming need to pre-book (£15 per booking). Lagan Valley Permaculture is also organising a Permaculture Weekend Course on 21st - 23rd May, led by Philip Allen, cost £95, unemployed £75; details from above.

One World Centre, Belfast; Options and Issues
Options and Issues in Global Development Work is a one day seminar on Saturday 15th May for those wanting to work overseas or interested in getting involved in local development work. It is organised by the One World Centre (NI) in partnership with Comhlamh, and runs from 9.30 am - 4.30 pm in a Belfast venue. You can also keep in touch with upcoming programme by receiving the OWC E-Bulletin monthly. One World Centre, 4 Lower Crescent, Belfast BT7 1NR, phone 028 - 9024 1879, e-mail and website

Death of Niall O'Brien
We very much regret to record the death of Fr Niall O'Brien, Columban priest, Irish apostle of nonviolence, former prisoner in Marcos-era Philippines. The story of his journey to nonviolent resistance and Christian base communities is told in one of his books, "Revolution from the heart" (OUP-NY 1987, Veritas 1988). He died, aged 64, from a rare bone marrow disease. May he rest in peace.


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