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Billy King


Nonviolence News


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(Issues 58-107)
(Issues 1 to 57)
Dawn Train

Issue 134: November 2005

Ploughshares Five; a victory of sorts as trial collapses again
The description GUBU (grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented) could be said to pertain in the second trial of the Catholic Worker Five (for their disarmament action on a USA warplane at Shannon) when it collapsed at the Four Courts, Dublin at the final hurdle (day ten). This was under the weight of the revelation that the judge (Donagh MacDonagh) had attended the inauguration of George Bush in 2001 and had been invited to the 2004 re-inauguration. Defence argued that such a situation pertaining to a juror would exclude them, and the judge (who had made some very negative judgements concerning the defence case) subsequently dismissed the jury, thus collapsing the trial. But the defendants were put on continuing bail to appear in court again on Friday 11th November. See this and this Donations can be made to: "Ploughshares Defence Fund", 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7 or lodged at any Bank of Ireland branch: "Ploughshares Defence Fund", Account No. 80965573, Sort Code 900551. More information: e-mail Phone mob - 087 918 4552 / landline 01-4549144.

Promoting peace: Norway, Ireland
'Promoting peace: Norwegian and Irish experiences' is the title of a one day seminar at Glencree on Tuesday 22nd November. Both countries have contributed to UN operations, both have become involved as peace facilitators internationally, and both increasingly focus on the role of social and economic development in achieving a just and lasting peace. Speakers at this one-day event, running from 9.30 am until after 4.00 pm, co-sponsored by the Norwegian Embassy and Glencree, include Eamonn McKee, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, Stein-Erik Horjen, and Tom Arnold; there will be parallel roundtables after lunch on 1) Security: The use of military tools, in creating/maintaining peace, 2) Political Development: Reconciliation, democracy and good governance in post-conflict societies, and 3) Development: the role of economic aid in peace processes. For further information contact Helen at Glencree or phone 01 - 282 9711. Website

Top Burmese democrats visit Ireland
Leading advocates of Burma's pro-democracy movement visited Dublin in October to brief Irish parliamentarians on the recently published report 'Threat to the Peace: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in Burma', commissioned by Vaclav Havel and Bishop Desmond Tutu. The delegates, U Bo Hla Tint and U Hlwan Moe, representing Burma's Government in exile - the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), and U Maung Maung, General Secretary of the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) and General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB) attended official meetings with Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Conor Lenihan, TD, and members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as ICTU's International Solidarity Committee.

The report looks at the threat that the Government of Burma poses to its own people and to regional peace and security. The evidence and facts contained within the report make it clear that the UN Security Council should become engaged with Burma as soon as possible and that Security Council action is both warranted and necessary. Some human rights violations that are unique to Burma, or particularly pervasive, include the destruction of more than 2,700 villages since 1996, massive forced relocations, rape of ethnic minorities by soldiers, 70,000 child soldiers and widespread forced labour.

The report also highlights the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma's National League for Democracy (NLD) and Nobel Peace prize winner. Daw Suu Kyi, who is a Freewoman of Dublin (2000) and Galway (2005), is one of the world's leading pro-democracy activists and advocates of non-violence. She has endured three separate periods of arrest, adding up to a total of 10 years of confinement on October 24th. 'Threat to the Peace' may be downloaded For more information on Burma Action Ireland, contact: Flavia Zimmermann, ph 01 6688570, e-mail: and web

Tools for Solidarity events
Every first Sunday afternoon of the month Tools for Solidarity (TFS) is open - get your hands really greasy & support working people in Africa. Thursday 10th November at 6.30pm; Launch of a TFS exhibition which runs from Friday 4th November - Saturday 17th December at Central Library, Royal Avenue, Belfast on ground floor. Tuesday 15th November; 10.30am - 10 sewing machine kits leave our workshop on the Crumlin Rd for tailoring groups in Mwanza, Tanzania. Friday 2nd December: Shake 'em hips at the Bob Marley tribute benefit nite for TFS @ Pavilion bar, Ormeau Rd, Belfast with DJ, Terri Hooley. Saturday 10th December; Another world famous "Tools" jumble sale @ 2pm, St.Kevin's Hall, North Queen Street, Belfast with cakes, books, gardening tools, and more. Volunteers would be much appreciated. Thursday 15th December; TFS flag day (collecting money) in Belfast city centre, 11am -9pm, volunteers appreciated. Contact details: e-mail web phone 028 90747473, write or visit TFS, Unit 1B1, Edenderry Industrial Estate, 326, Crumlin Road, Belfast BT14 7EE. Open Monday - Friday, 9.30 am - 5 pm & 1st Sunday afternoon of every month. Or visit our Downpatrick workshop 028 44616171, at Southwell School, English Street; open Monday - Wednesday, 9 am - 4 pm.

Gandhi at Queen's
The Gandhi - King - Ikeda Peacebuilders Exhibition at the Visitors' Centre, Queen's University, Belfast (main/Lanyon building) runs to 21st December. Open Monday to Friday 10 am - 4 pm and 10 am to 1pm on Saturdays 12th and 19th November. This consists mainly of two dozen floor-to-wall panels on the three men, co-existence and nonviolence; King and Gandhi need no introduction but Daisaku Ikeda, who is still alive, is a leading Buddhist philosopher and president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), an international lay Buddhist organisation and originators of the exhibition. See this for 27th October.

Amnesty International
Northern Ireland: Amnesty International's prejudice-challenging 'Sex, Love & Homophobia' exhibition comes to the Millennium Forum in L'Derry from Friday 18 November for two weeks. The exhibition launch (on Friday 18th Nov at 3:30pm) will feature speeches from the city's Mayor, survivors of homophobic attacks and John Harkin of Amnesty's local Foyle group.

AI have recently launched a NI version of the 'Real Love' DVD educational pack on domestic violence, which feature four 1-minute films, backed by guidance notes, challenging attitudes towards domestic violence. The pack is designed for use by trainers, youth workers, etc. Available priced just £3.50 from / 028 9064 3000.

Monica McWilliams will give the Amnesty International Annual Lecture on 'Stopping violence against women' at Queen's on Monday 5th December. Hosted by the Human Rights Centre, School of Law, Queen's University Belfast.
The next phase of Amnesty's 'Stop Violence Against Women' campaign will be launched at Stormont on Tuesday 6th December, 11am at an event hosted by Arlene Foster MLA. Focused on securing a joined-up government strategy on Violence Against Women, the campaign is to be carried out in partnership with Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Centre and other groups.

Meanwhile AI members have been busy establishing new local branches around the north with new groups being set up in recent weeks in Lagan Valley and Coleraine, joining existing groups in Armagh, Belfast, Craigavon, East Antrim, Fermanagh, Foyle, Mid Down, Mid Ulster, Newry & Mourne, and North Down, as well as new student groups at Queen's, UU Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee. To join Amnesty and for more info on AI campaigns and events in NI, visit: or phone 028 9064 3000.

Republic: Amnesty's candle day takes place on 10th December; the aim is to raise funds for Amnesty International's vital work through the sale of candles and raise awareness of, and show solidarity with, victims of human rights abuses around the world (including Ireland) through the distribution of STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Campaign Postcards addressed to the Irish government.

Meanwhile Naom Chomsky will speak on 'The war on terror' at the annual Amnesty lecture on Wednesday 18th January in TCD, Dublin; tickets are free but priority will be given to Amnesty members.

We also regret to record the death at the start of October of Frank Jennings, Campaigns Manager of Irish Amnesty for many years (see tribute on website).
Further details on all aspects of AI's work at Phone 01 - 677 6361, e-mail AI, 48 Fleet Srreet, Dublin 2.

CAJ: Hardy annual meeting
The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) had their AGM in Belfast recently and a new committee elected; Fiona Doherty came in as chair in succession to Kieran McEvoy (who became Vice Chair), Les Allamby is treasurer, Barbara McCabe membership secretary, Fiona McCausland minutes secretary, Paddy Hillyard parliamentary liaison officer, and Fionnuala Ní Aolain continues as editor of Just News. Imran Khan, speaker at the AGM, warned of some of the dangers the UK is facing regarding its liberties and spoke of the need to inform Muslim communities in Britain of how people in Northern Ireland survived through repressive legislation so they can learn from the experience here. The Annual Report for 2004-5, as usual launched at the AGM, gives a detailed account of work done (free to members); Also produced recently is a leaflet detailing some of the work done in 25 years (CAJ has its 25th birthday in 2006). CAJ, 45/47 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2BR, ph 028 - 9096 1122, e-mail and website Membership is £20 employed, £5 unwaged including Just News monthly.

The dedicated peace diary
Housmans Peace Diary gives you the world of peace in your pocket with its World Peace Directory listing around 2,000 national and international peace, environmental and human rights organisations in 150 countries. With this in your pocket or bag you're never stuck for that difficult to remember address or web site ('amaze your friends!!!') The diary is handy format, two pages to a week and marks anniversaries [ISBN 0 85283 261 3 and ISSN 0957-0136]. Single copies of the 2006 diary are UK£7.95 to any destination worldwide and there are discounts for 5 copies or more. Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London NI 9DX, phone 020 - 7837 4473, e-mail and it can be ordered online at [Leaflet enclosed for most people receiving the paper edition]

Pax Christi: Great shakes for the Great Lakes
The Pax Christi family worldwide is inviting people to join in prayer for the Great Lakes region of Africa on the First Sunday in Advent, 27th November, or another more suitable date, as the countries there struggle to emerge from a tragic period in their history. Resource material is available at (other documents of interest there include the message sent to the World Culture of Peace Day organised by Pax Christi in Cork on 9th August). Pax Christi International, Vieux Marché aux Grains 21, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium, ph +32 2 502 55 50, e-mail

Editorial policy on religious events: We are happy to cover relevant religious-based events where there is a definite and direct link with peace, solidarity or nonviolence. We try to respect both religious and secular bases of action.

The AGM of the Irish Campaign for Nuclear disarmament takes place on Saturday 3rd December at a Dublin venue, from 11 am to 2 pm, when the expected speaker will be Cllr. Deirdre de Burca on nuclear power. Membership of Irish CND is €20 household, €15 individual and €7.50 concession. The current issue of their newsletter, Peacework, lists nuclear weapons in Europe for US and NATO air force use. The address is PO Box 6327, Dublin 6, phone 087 - 231 1944, e-mail and web ICND is currently looking for more members to join its Executive.

IFOR post.comm
The International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), based in Alkmaar, Netherlands, is looking for a part-time (60%) Communications Officer. Skills required include fluent English and French and editing, writing and computer experience. Further details from David Mumford, International Coordinator at IFOR; closing date is 28th November. IFOR, Spoorstraat 38, 1815 BK Alkmaar, Netherlands ph +31 72 512 3014, e-mail web


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