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 www.conflict-prevention.net
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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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,
and website www.healingthroughremembering.org
'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 email@example.com
and web www.afri.buz.org
Beirne Convention at
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 www.caj.org.uk
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish Centre for Human
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
Further details from; Irish Centre for Human
Rights, NUI Galway, Galway, phone 091 - 750464, fax 750575,
and web www.nuigalways.ie/human_rights
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, email@example.com
phone 028 - 90711795, www.deborda.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
and website www.conflictresearch.org.uk
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,
and website www.belfastdec.org
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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