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Dawn Train

Issue 124: November 2004

Corrymeela 40 years on the go in 2005
The Corrymeela Community will have its 40th birthday in 2005 (and its founder, Ray Davey, is 90 years old in January) so various events will mark that landmark, including Corrymeela Sunday which is celebrated in March; a special conference, concert and Corrymeela Sunday service will take place in London on 12th and 13th March, further details at Meanwhile, the Corrymeela Singers have laid down their baton or songsheet after about thirty years of performing. You can become a 'Friend of Corrymeela' (and receive Corrymeela 'Connections' magazine 3 times a year) for an annual subscription of (minimum) £24 a year (£12 unwaged) to Corrymeela, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast BT7 1NT, phone 028 - 90 50 80 80, e-mail and web

Third time unlucky for Mary Kelly
In her second or third trial, depending on how you count it, for the one disarmament action on a USA war plane at Shannon airport, Mary Kelly was found guilty of criminal damage at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court at the end of October by 10 - 2 votes in the jury. She faces sentencing by Judge Carroll Moran on 1st December. Judge Moran refused to allow expert witness accounts including from former UN assistant general secretary Denis Halliday, Daniel Ellsberg, and others, claiming "I did not want this case to degenerate into a political debate" and that it was not the place to consider the legality of the war in Iraq; he halted Edward Horgan's evidence and dismissed it as irrelevant [See editorial in e-mail and web editions] Further information, including requests for financial support, can be found on Mary Kelly's trial website

Banshees at Shannon
Meanwhile at 2am on Halloween, October 31st, two peace activists dressed as banshees entered the confines of Shannon Airport; Zelda Jeffers and Elaine O'Sullivan, of the pacifist Catholic Worker Movement, constructed a shrine to the war dead near the runway. The two women, wearing Iraqi mourning dress, read out the names of U.S. military and Iraqi dead. They were arrested after nearly five hours on 'suspicion of criminal damage' and subsequently charged with breaching airport regulations, to appear in Court in Ennis on 18th November. See for info on Catholic Worker and the Indymedia site at for news of the event, or phone 087 - 9184552.

The Local Planet
The Local Planet is a new nationwide newspaper. It will focus on sustainability and its practical and aspirational impact on our lives, businesses and most importantly our planet.

Sustainability is a much bandied word. Sustainable development? Who's using the words? In the Local Planet we will sift through the jargon to bring out what is really part of the path towards real living sustainability.
We cover all possible aspects of the quest for an ethically sustainable life and work.

Collectively we need to engage with our own individual responsibility as consumers. If we consume then we drive the very market forces that we blame for eroding our social and community structures and natural environment. Facing up to this and undertaking to make moves to change our way of consuming and becoming conscious of how we impact on markets is the task that lies ahead for all. Many warn that this obligation will confront us sooner than we imagine, be it oil and water shortages, or increasingly unpredictable weather conditions. By acting now in small positive steps perhaps we can ward off the worst of these scenarios and become a part of the global solution. There are many questions and issues, and few perceived desirable solutions! We have to start and move from the idealistic to the feasible and practicable. The Local Planet offers a nationwide forum for this process.

The Local Planet is funded through advertisment revenue and does not receive any grants or subsidies. Published initially biannually, first issue mid November 2004., available widely at €2 in newsagents. Contact us for submission deadlines and advertising rates. We welcome articles, suggestions and feedback. Contact us at or the Local Planet c/o The Print Factory, The Fivealley, Birr, Co. Offaly, phone 0509-33119.

Amnesty International - Republic and Northern Ireland
In the Republic: Amnesty aim to collect at least 20,000 handprints to send a strong message to the government that violence against women must end. For more information please see the website where you can also download action materials. For Candle Day on 10th December, Amnesty need volunteers to organise street stalls to sell candles and distribute Action Cards in all parts of the country, and volunteers to organise sales in their workplace, school/college, etc. For more information see or if you can help please email: The 'Stop you're killing me!' Amnesty International Comedy Festival will be held in Vicar Street from 28th to 30th November; you can buy tickets on the AI website at AI, 48 Fleet Street, Dublin 2, phone 01 - 677 6361.

In Northern Ireland: AI-UK Director Kate Allen will address the issue of Guantánamo Bay and the 'war on terror' on Saturday 20th November, 4:30pm - 5:15pm at Clanmil Housing, Northern Whig House, Waring St, Belfast.; the event is free and open to the public (this will be part of the AI Northern Ireland conference that day). The speaker at the Amnesty International Annual Lecture 2004 will be Helen Bamber, founder, Medical Foundation for the Care of the Victims of Torture with the topic 'War¸ women and terror'; this takes place on Thursday 9 December, 7:30pm in Queen's University Belfast, Peter Froggatt Centre, Room G06. On Tuesday 30th November there is a morning seminar on the AIDS pandemic. Further details from Amnesty International
397 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 3GP, phone 028 9064 3000, fax 028 9069 0989, e-mail and web

Centre for Global Education, Belfast - new name and address
The Centre for Global Education is the new name for the Belfast One World Centre, and there is a new address, 9 University Street, Belfast BT7 1FY (previously Lower Crescent). The e-mail address is now but other contact details remain the same, e.g. phone 028 - 90 24 18 79. The website will be relaunched soon.

Burma / Action Ireland
October 2004 may yet prove a significant month in European Union (EU) relations with Burma. It began with thousands of people throughout the world expressing their admiration for Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel peace laureate, Freewoman of Dublin and leader of Burma's non-violent democracy movement. It ended with uncertainty over her safety and an admission from An Taoiseach that despite a policy of engagement with the regime, "not a semblance of progress" had been made on issues of political, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The month had begun brightly, with the results of a Time magazine on-line poll to determine "Asia's Hero for 2004". Twenty nominees attracted nearly 100,000 votes and Aung San Suu Kyi topped the poll with 40% of votes cast. Further welcome news followed when Ireland's new Foreign Minister, Dermot Ahern, put on hold a plan to exchange ambassadors with Burma, following the controversial decision by his predecessor earlier this year to establish diplomatic relations with the regime.

Then came the body blow of the ASEM summit in Hanoi. ASEM (the Asia-Europe Meeting) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation between EU and Asian states, to address political, economic and cultural issues. EU leaders came to Hanoi knowing that their Asian counterparts would press for Burma to be admitted to ASEM along with Laos and Cambodia and had threatened to block reciprocal membership for the ten new EU nations. Despite the pleas of Burma's democracy movement and international NGOs, EU leaders capitulated and agreed to Burma's membership. In so doing, they set aside three pre-conditions on membership, agreed under Ireland's EU Presidency, among them the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Those among the EU's leadership who expected their largesse at ASEM to produce a show of good faith from the regime were soon to be disappointed. The junta wasted little time in snubbing those who had granted them legitimacy and had put faith in this brutal regime's hollow commitment to progressive reform. Senior General Than Shwe, the military supreme who heads the junta, acted quickly to replace the two remaining civilian members of his cabinet with military officers. Within days he had also ousted 'moderate' Prime Minister, Khin Nyunt, in favour of Soe Win, a military hardliner. Soe Win is widely considered to have ordered the violent attack on Daw Suu Kyi's convoy of vehicles in May 2003 that led to her current period of detention.

While high politics was played out at ASEM, two of Burma's iconic political prisoners reached grim milestones. While Aung San Suu Kyi, began her 10th year in detention since 1989, student activist Mhin Ko Naing spent his 15th consecutive birthday in solitary confinement. Organiser of peaceful nationwide demonstrations in the pro-democracy uprising of 1988, Mhin Ko Naing has spent his entire adult life in prison. Part of the tragedy of Burma under the generals is that these are only two of an estimated 1350 political prisoners languishing in Burma's jails.

October 2004 may yet prove significant in Burma's fortunes, but only if EU leaders acknowledge that 'engagement' with Than Shwe and his handpicked gang of vicious killers has failed. Burma watchers have long understood that strength is all the junta respect. The fear now is that the EU's reluctance, demonstrated at ASEM, to act meaningfully on its stated commitment to human rights and democracy for Burma will encourage the hardliners to take further measures against those in the democracy movement and place Aung San Suu Kyi in further jeopardy. The EU must look again at the demands from Burma's legitimate representatives to implement comprehensive trade and investment sanctions against all Burmese companies controlled by the regime. Nothing less has any hope of bringing them to negotiate a transition to a democratic future for Burma's courageous and long-suffering people.

- John Copley, Burma Action Ireland, PO Box 6786, Churchtown, Dublin 14, phone 01-4950171, e-mail and web

[A counter for Aung San Suu Kyi's time in detention now appears on the home page of the INNATE website.]

Green house gutted
On Monday 25th October, Ireland's first cob house was destroyed in a fire. The house was being built by Rob and Emma at The Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability. Arson is suspected, and Gardaí at Ballineen are conducting an investigation. The Hollies was established near Enniskean, Co Cork, in 1999, and since then, over 1,000 visitors have attended courses on various aspects of environmental building, gardening, conflict resolution, alternative energy and other environmental subjects. The Centre has achieved international recognition for its work in training and promotion of environmental building systems. A major part of this ongoing work has been the construction of houses for the two families who founded the centre. These houses pioneer construction techniques that will provide comfortable living conditions for future generations when Kyoto obligations and dwindling oil supplies make oil-fired central heating a part of our history. To demonstrate our concern at this difficult time, friends and supporters have set up a special bank account to receive financial donations. Proceeds will be given directly to The Hollies to be used as they see fit. Contributions, however large or small are very welcome. The account name is "Friends of the Hollies" at AIB, Bantry, sort code 93-60-14, the account number is 04780077. You can also send cards or notes to Rob, Emma, Thomas, Ulrike and their families at The Hollies, Castletown, Enniskeane, Co.Cork or e-mail them at

Policing, Justice, Rights @ Meath Peace Group
Meath Peace Group will hold a public talk "Policing, Justice and the Bill of Rights" on Monday, 29th November next in St Columban's College, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath, at 8pm. Speakers to be confirmed nearer the date. For further details contact: Julitta Clancy, phone 01-8259438 or email

Pax Christi - Justice for Africa, Peace Mass
Towards a Just Future for Africa is the title of a meeting on Tuesday 23rd November at 7.30 pm in Marianella, 75 Orwell Road, Dublin 6 (admission free); speakers are Bishop Kevin Dowling of the Justice and Peace Department of the Bishops' Conference in South Africa, Eamonn Meehan, and Paul Lansu, chair will be Bishop Raymond Field. Bishop Dowling and Paul Lansu will also speak at a panel discussion in Derry at Oakgrove College at 10.30 am; contact John Harkin at Oakgrove College for details. That evening, Thursday 25th November at 7.30 pm, Bishop Dowling will speak at Queen's University Catholic Chaplaincy, 28 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, everyone welcome.

There will be a special Pax Christi Peace Mass celebrated by Bishop Raymond Field at Rathmines Church, Dublin on Sunday 12th December at 6 pm to remember all those killed in wars over the past year.
Pax Christi, 52 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6, phone 01 - 496 52 93, fax 496 54 92, e-mail

Amma visits Ireland
Indian spiritual and humanitarian leader Amma ('Mother' - full name Mata Amritananda Mayi) is visiting Ireland on 13th and 14th November with events at the RDS, Merrion Road (Anglesea Road entrance), Dublin, taking place from 10 am until late each day. Amma was given the prestigious Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence at the United Nations in Geneva in 2002 and is particularly known for her speeches on peace and religious differences. Born in a small fishing village in India, she teaches that all religions lead to God, and that love and compassion are universal. See for full details or e-mail

Healing Through Remembering move
The new address of Healing Through Remembering is Alexander House, 17a Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HD, phone 028 - 90 23 88 44, fax 90 23 99 44, e-mail and website

Network for Peace conference in Britain
Current Conflicts: Peace Movement Responses is the title of a conference organised by the Network for Peace in Britain. It's on Saturday 27 November 2004, from 10.00 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. at Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, Manchester, chaired by Rae Street, Vice-chair of CND. The fee for the day is £5 or £3 concession. Network for Peace, 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DY, phone 020 - 7278 3267, fax 020 - 7278 0444, e-mail and web

Kilcranny House courses
Kilcranny House, Coleraine, has a variety of courses just started including Intermediate Level Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills with Michael Doherty, and Community Tutor Training with Wendy Waring of the WEA.. Forthcoming is a seminar on flags and murals, on Tuesday 30th November 10.00 - 4.00. This is one of a series of seminars and workshops supported by the IFI Community Bridges Programme and delivered by Kilcranny House as part of its Community Relations Innovative Support Project. For more information contact: Julie Robinson, Kilcranny House, 21 Cranagh Road, Coleraine, BT51 3NN. Phone 028 7032 1816, fax 028 7035 4233 and e-mail

Feasta: Resource wars...or a fair future? / Review / Learning kit
Feasta's annual lecture will be given by Dr Wolfgang Sachs, a Senior Fellow at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy, Environment, in Germany, where he leads two projects, "Globalization and Sustainability" and "Environment and Fairness in the World Trade Regime". In his talk, he will survey resource conflicts around the world from the twin perspectives of fairness and justice. 7.45 pm sharp, Thursday 18th November Yeats Room, Mont Clare Hotel at Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Admission: Members €5, Non members €7 Students €3.

A 300-page bumper issue of the Feasta Review will be published in November on the theme of "Growth: The Celtic Cancer, The Human Cost Of The Global Economy"; the issue's theme is the elimination of the human cost of economic growth and globalisation. FEASTA's Education Working Group is developing an innovative mixed media "Community Learning Toolkit" of study materials on sustainability for use by organisations or groups of friends who might wish to meet together regularly to explore and discuss the topic together as a prelude to some form of action. The kit will have material for ten meetings and will cover the work of FEASTA including energy, peak oil, climate change, and money systems. If you are involved with a local group that would be interested in using this resource or interested in forming a local group in your area please contact Membership of Feasta is €20 a year, €10 unwaged, there are also group membership rates. FEASTA: The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability,
159 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6, phone 01 - 4912773, mobile 087-6340697, e-mail and web

IFOR launches International Reconciliation (IR)
'IR' is the new magazine of IFOR, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Each issue will be produced by an IFOR national branch (the first one a joint edition with USA FOR's 'Fellowship', looking at 'Muslim Renaissance') and there will be 4 editions a year. Subscriptions are €20 or UK£12.50. IFOR, Spoorstraat 38, 1815 BK Alkmaar, Netherlands, phone +31 72 512 3014, e-mail and website

Belfast networking group of INNATE meets the following dates; Mondays 15th November, 13th December, at 7.30 pm in 7 University Avenue. Anyone interested welcome, queries to 90 64 71 06.


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