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Nonviolence News


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Dawn Train

Issue 138: April 2006

Chernobyl Children’s Project International: Biggest convoy yet
Sunday April 9th 2006 will see the largest ever send-off of humanitarian aid from Irish soil to Chernobyl-affected areas, since the Chernobyl Children's Project International was established. At 1.23am on 26th April 1986 the worst environmental disaster known to mankind took place in Chernobyl. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the disaster and far from being “history,” the accident continues to affect millions – especially children – in Belarus, Ukraine and Western Russia. This year’s convoy will consist of 15 articulated trucks and 27 ambulances carrying €3 million worth of aid to the affected areas of Belarus. Volunteers from all over the country who have fundraised for the past year will drive the vehicles (over 84 humanitarian aid workers will accompany the convoy).

The day’s events on Sunday April 9th will get underway at 11 am in Midleton Heritage Centre. Duncan Stewart will act as MC and Adi Roche and Ali Hewson will launch the Convoy as it departs for Rosslare harbour before sailing on to Pembroke, passing through ten different countries on the way to Belarus. The departure promises to be a fun family day out with Vertigo supplying the music. The event is being organised by Midleton Outreach Group and sponsored by the business community in Midleton. Under the leadership of Adi Roche, the project has initiated over 16 developmental and aid programmes and delivered humanitarian and medical aid valued at over €60M to the areas most affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

A rest and recuperation program has enabled more than 13,000 sick children to come to Ireland for medical treatment and recuperation over the past 15 summers. E-mail and website Phone 021-4312999. You can make secure donations via the website, or donate via bank transfer or cheque. Postal address; CCPI, Ballycurreeen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork [See also Editorial on Chernobyl]

Iraq War: Belfast USA Consulate baptised
It may have been the first action of its kind at the new, less accessible, US Consulate at Danesfort, Stranmillis in Belfast; on Monday 20th March, the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, peace activists from the Belfast-based Justice Not Terror Coalition (JNTC) staged a ‘die-in’ at the main gate, blocking it for some time and pouring artificial blood on the ground. Ten people were involved in the actual blockade and others supported the event and spoke. Just before the action Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Kevin Cassidy had delivered a letter and met with a deputy consul. A fuller report is available online.

The JNTC in Belfast is co-ordinating nonviolent resistance actions to the occupation of Iraq throughout 2006 in support of the Global Call to Action for an end to US military occupation of Iraq. Weekly open planning meetings each Tuesday, 7.30pm @ Peace House, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast. Next action: International Workers Day focussing on war profiteers. Contact JNC at or phone (44) (0)771 511 0517.

Greening Christians and churches
How to get people started is often a problem on any issue, and also how to focus an initial concern, and in this context what the relationship is between green issues and Christian belief and activity. The perfect programme is now available in Ireland; Eco-Congregation. The Eco-Congregation Ireland website (adapted from British material) provides all that local churches need to work through the issues and get their green game up to scratch (there are detailed modules on doing a church audit, Creation, bible studies, youth ideas, community and the world etc.) and contacts in the four largest Christian churches are listed.

Meath Peace Group: Legacy of war, 1916
The next two meetings are as follows. Monday 10th April: “The Legacy of War” (Public talk No. 60) with speaker Martin Snoddon, Director of the Conflict Trauma Resource Centre, Belfast. Martin Snoddon will outline the findings of the recent report published by the CTRC, “The Legacy of War”, which documents research conducted in 2004-05 into the experiences of former members of the UDR and their families. This session will be chaired by Roy Garland. Monday 24th April: “Easter 1916” with speaker Dr Charles Townshend, Professor of Modern History, Keele University, chaired by Brendan O’Brien. Both meetings start at 8.00 pm at St Columban’s College, Dalgan Park, (4 miles south of) Navan. Queries can be made to 01 – 6259438, e-mail and the website is at

Take the PRG train for Derry
The following courses will be offered by the Peace and Reconciliation Group in Spring/Autumn 2006:

  1. Introduction to Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills (OCN Level 2, with 3 Credits), 15th – 17th May.
  2. Intermediate Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills, (OCN Level 3, with 6 Credits), Wednesday, 24th May and every Wednesday thereafter until Wednesday, 28th June.
  3. Advanced Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills, (OCN Level 3 with 9 Credits), Thursday, 14th September and every Thursday thereafter until Thursday 16th November.

The venue for these courses will be the office of the Peace and Reconciliation Group. For further information phone PRG at 028 - 71369206, email, or at 18/20 Bishop St. L’Derry BT48 6PW. Web

SCI/IVS/SCI Directory of International Volunteer Projects
The 2006 edition of the inestimable and invaluable International Volunteer Projects book is just becoming available from Service Civil International sections VSI (Voluntary Service International) in the Republic and IVS (International Voluntary Service) in the North. This details 500 short term opportunities, typically for 2 to 3 weeks, in around fifty countries with varied kinds of work, so varied that there should be something for everyone this summer.
- The International Volunteer Projects Book is available at €4 from newsagents, bookshops, libraries, universities, youth organisations, Volunteer Centres etc. in the Republic, or directly from VSI at 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, phone 01 – 8551011, call in or send a postal order / cheque for €4. The VSI website is at with a link to the online search engine at
- IVS have the book available for £2.50 (plus 50p postage) within Northern Ireland and their website at also has a link to the international SCI directory. IVS, 34 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB, phone 028 – 90238147.

The Challenge of Change’ Convention, Newry, June
Facilitated by Mediation Northern Ireland, and sponsored by Newry and Mourne District Council and Belfast City Council, in association with Louth County Council, ‘The Challenge of Change’ convention promoting civic awareness of the challenges of diversity in Northern Ireland takes place from Monday 5th – Wednesday 7th June. Speakers include Prof John Paul Lederach (University of Notre Dame) and Trevor Phillips (Chair of Commission for Racial Equality, Britain). This convention will bring together politicians, business people, public servants, the community, voluntary and faith sectors to discuss concepts, share experiences and examine best practice around issues of Difference, Integration, Diversity and Reconciliation. Full programme details will be available soon from or or visit [Leaflet enclosed for some people receiving this as a paper copy]

Institute for Conflict Research: “Policing, Accountability and….”
Two new reports from the Institute for Conflict Research (ICR) are on “Policing, Accountability and the Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in Northern Ireland” (138 pages, £5) and “Policing, Accountability and the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Community in Northern Ireland” (121 pages, £5) both written by Katy Radford, Jennifer Betts and Malcolm Ostermeyer. Paper copies available from the ICR office or they’re on the website at ICR, North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG, phone 028 – 9074 2682, e-mail

Community Relations Week
Community relations week takes place in Northern Ireland from 24th – 28 April with a huge range of events. See the Community Relations Council (CRC) website for details at (click on ‘News’ and then ‘Community Relations Week’) or contact CRC, 6 Murray Street, Belfast, BT1 6DN, phone 028 9022 7500.

- One event taking place organised by Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) is a one-day Advanced Workshop on “Mediation and Civic Diplomacy – applying mediation to societal division”, with MNI Director Brendan McAllister on Friday 28th April, cost £125. It is most suitable for those with experience of using mediation or who have responsibilities at a strategic level within their sector. Contact MNI, 83 University Street, Belfast BT7 1HP, e-mail and website or ph. 028 – 9043 8614.

West Papua Action
After a lengthy stint of ten years as coordinator, Mark Doris has retired from the post which has been taken up by Marzia Baldassari, and in an article in the current 'West Papua News' Mark Doris looks back over this time. Priorities for the coming year, defined at the AGM, include campaigning for access to West Papua by foreign journalists and tourists as well as freedom of expression and assembly, campaigning for the withdrawal of the military to barracks, for freedom for political prisoners and to keep up pressure for a UN review of the so-called 'Act of Free Choice' (incorporating West Papua in Indonesia). Various resources are available. Annual membership is €15 (concessions available). West Papua Action, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, ph 01 - 860 3431, e-mail and web

Convergence: getting fuelled down
The Convergence 11th Sustainable Living Festival has the title 'Learning to Live With Less Fossil Fuel' , and takes place from 19th -23rd April with a wide variety of events, all in the heart of Dublin at the Cultivate Centre for Sustainable Living and Learning in Temple Bar. See for full programme. Sustainable Ireland Cooperative, Cultivate, 15-19 Essex Street West, Dublin 8, phone 01 6746415 and e-mail:

A new British-based internet initiative - is a not for profit enterprise, a project of Ekklesia, that will raise money for peace initiatives such as Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) who recently hit the headlines for their nonviolent stand in Iraq. It’s a new ISP (Internet Service Provider). Visit for more details of the project, as well as how to make your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or get a Peacenik email address. Users get to choose what projects they want to support.

WRI ‘Globalising Nonviolence’
The War Resisters International (WRI) conference on ‘Globalising Nonviolence’ takes place at Schloss Eringerfeld, Paderborn, Germany from 23 – 27 July. The WRI believes that nonviolence has a major role to play in globalisation from below and this conference provides an opportunity to meet activists from all over the world and work on relevant topics and themes. See for details or contact War Resisters International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, England, phone +44 20 72784040 or contact The general WRI website is at

Latin America Week
This takes place from 22nd – 28th April with the apposite title “Draining away our wealth – Ownership of natural resources in Latin America and Ireland” and is organised by the Latin America Solidarity Campaign (LASC) in association with a variety of other organisations. There are events in Dublin (the main conference is in Dublin on 22nd April), Dingle, Limerick, Galway and Mayo. See for details. LASC is at 5 Merrion Row, Dublin 2, phone: 01-6760435, fax: 01-6621784, e-mail:


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