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(Issues 1 to 57)
Dawn Train

Issue 154: November 2007


MII conference: Embracing the Future?
The title of the Mediators' Institute of Ireland Annual Conference, 2007 is "Mediation in the 21st Century: Embracing the Future?" and takes place from Friday 16th November to Sunday 18th November 2007 at the Clarion Hotel, Cork. Programme begins with a reception on Friday evening, with an opening address on Saturday by Karen Erwin, President of MII, followed by keynote address by Bernie Mayer, a presentation by Lucy Fallon Byrne, and a variety of breakout sessions, on dispute resolution and cultural/religious approaches, workplace conflict and partnership, restorative justice at home and abroad, and workplace bullying and mediation. On Sunday the keynote address is by Cinnie Noble and breakout groups include a session with her, and others on community mediation, family mediation, and advanced commercial mediation skills. Fees for the conference are €370 for members and €400 for non-members. Information from, and bookings to: Abbey Conferences and Corporate, City Gate, 22 Bridge Street Lower, Dublin 8,    ph 01 – 679 9144, e-mail and web   

The latter is the MII website which contains general information about MII which is the professional association for mediators in Ireland (the website includes a ‘find a mediator’ feature). The MII was established in 1992 to promote the use of quality mediation as a process of dispute resolution in all areas by ensuring the highest standards of education, training and professional practice and by increasing public awareness of mediation.

MII itself is at Montana House, Whitechurch, Dublin 16, ph 01 - 2847121, fax 01- 2017526, and e-mail

Nonviolent interventions in conflict situations
INNATE  initiated a debate last May about peacekeeping in military and nonviolent traditions and is now following this up with looking in more detail at the topic of ‘Nonviolent interventions in conflict situations'.  What are the possibilities for nonviolent action and intervention? What are the limitations? And, what are the dilemmas that are faced? How effective can nonviolent interventions be when faced with extremely difficult situations? And how should nonviolent projects relate to armies and other bodies involved in such conflicts? Input on these issues will be provided by Dr Tony Kempster, chair of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship in Britain and a Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau, and Dr Suman Aggarwal, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Delhi University and a renowned Gandhian scholar. In addition to internal programme for INNATE there will be a number of more open sessions on the theme including:

1) Public meeting on ‘Nonviolent interventions in conflict situations’, 7.30 pm on Tuesday 20th November at South Belfast Friends Meeting House, 22 Marlborough Park North, Belfast (co-sponsored by South Belfast Friends Meeting and INNATE).

2) ‘Nonviolent Interventions in Conflict Situations - Moral, strategic, philosophical paradigms of nonviolent intervention in conflict situations’, Wednesday 21st November 2007, 11am-1pm at Irish School of Ecumenics. 683 Antrim Road, Belfast. Coffee and biscuits will be available from 10.30am. All are welcome, but since places are limited, if you plan to come please reply to Arlene Poole, ph 028 - 9077 0061, email

3) It is hoped to run the same session as 2) with the Irish School of Ecumenics, Dublin, on Thursday 22nd November 3.30 – 5.00 pm, details to be confirmed depending on visa, contact Mary Priestman, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin 6, e-mail or 01 2601144 ext 113. 

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)
The Alternatives to Violence Project, Ireland (AVP) is a non-governmental organisation that runs intensive workshops in prisons and the community on different ways of dealing with psychological and physical violence. It is based on the belief that a life lived with dignity and self-respect, and the opportunity for self-actualisation, is the birthright of every person.

AVP Workshops are open to whoever wishes to attend - the only requirement is that the participant attends voluntarily. Each of the three levels of AVP workshops runs 18-21 hours (usually over three consecutive days) and is facilitated by a team of volunteers.

AVP came to Ireland in 1985 and since then has consistently run workshops in prisons and communities throughout the island of Ireland. As part of its ongoing development in response to needs, we are actively recruiting volunteers in the community for training during 2008. We welcome all queries and recommend that anyone interested contact the AVP Coordinator.

Level One: Basic Workshop Every Basic Workshop involves:
- Establishing a base of self-esteem, affirmation, trust and cooperation.
- Creating awareness of the acts and roots of violence and non-violence.
- Exploring methods of communication and transforming power.
- Learning and practising creative ways of resolving conflicts.

Level Two: Advanced Workshop After you have attended a Level One workshop, you might be interested in taking part in this more advanced level.

Advanced Workshops have a similar structure to the Basic Level, however from the outset, participants decide on the focus for the three days around which the team of facilitators prepare the workshop which covers:
-The underlying causes of conflict such as fear, anger, stereotyping, power and powerlessness, “old history” and behaviour.
-Taking a deeper look at ways of resolving conflicts, including communication and forgiveness.
-Experiencing consensus as a decision-making process.

How to become a facilitator
- Begin by participating in the Basic and Advanced AVP Workshops
- If you find you would like to become a volunteer facilitator of the AVP process, take the 3-day Training-for Facilitators/Trainers (T4F) Workshop. This workshop is designed for those who expect to be active in community and/or prison workshops.
- A T4F teaches the skills needed to help run workshops:
 Group process skills, working as a cooperative team, Hands-on experience, Specific AVP methods: Agenda Building, Exercises, Transforming Power, Light and Livelies, Role Plays.
- As a last step in the training, you will apprentice with one or more facilitation teams in workshops and work with a local group to develop your skills and confidence until you are a full-fledged facilitator.

AVP is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status (Chy 14196) with registered offices at Quaker House, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16. E-mail   Coordinator: Mary Doherty 085 - 735 6278

Pax Christi awards for Lelia Newman, Tom Mallon
Those receiving the 2007 British Pax Christi Peace Awards included Sr Lelia Newman and Tom Mallon of Northern Ireland. Sr Lelia Newman is well known in peace and community circles in Belfast including work in Beechmount and with the Peace People, Make Trident History (on Faslane) and many other activities.  Tom Mallon was active in organising summer play schemes for children from the mid-1970s and building bridges across the communities in Portadown.  Other recipients of the 2007 award include Brian Wicker, Patricia and Michael Pulham and Milan Rai (now co-editor of Peace News). Pax Christi, St Joseph’s, Watford Way, Hendon, London NW4 4TY, ph 020 – 8203 4884, web 

- For Pax Christi in Ireland, see the last issue of Nonviolent news (No.153)

- Pax Christi International has just held its Triennial World Assembly in Torhout/Bruges, Belgium when a hundred delegates from fifty countries reflected on the vision and mission of Pax Christi International, on global concerns, and discussed and agreed on a strategic framework for 2008 - 2010.  The Assembly marked the retirement of Etienne De Jonghe as general secretary after 29 years service.  See

Reconciliation: The desired future
The Irish School of Ecumenics’ Education for Reconciliation programme is hosting a series of public lectures exploring the theme “Reconciliation: The Desired Future”. The first of these will be held on 15th November 2007 at 7.30 - 9.30 pm when Dr Derick Wilson will address 'Valuing A Desired Future'.  On 24th January 2008, Dr Johnston McMaster will speak on ‘Commemoration For A New Future’ and on 13th March 2008, Dr Geraldine Smyth will speak on ‘Healing Through Remembering’.  All to be held in ISE, 683 Antrim Road, Belfast BT15 4EG from 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm. Spaces are limited, so to register or for further information contact: Arlene Poole, Irish School of Ecumenics, 683 Antrim Road, Belfast BT15 4EG, ph 028 90770061, e-mail

Stop Climate Chaos events
Lots of people care about climate change but feel powerless to get the message across to their politicians.  This is their chance.  Stop Climate Chaos is inviting anyone who feels strongly about climate change to contact their local politicians and make “dates” to meet them and put it up to them to act on climate change. These meetings will take place in Buswell’s Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday, November 13th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. An easy email invitation is available on our website,  

A public ‘Parade for the Planet’ for action on climate change will take place from the amphitheatre at Dublin’s Civic Offices to the Custom House on  Saturday 8th December from 1pm; December 8th marks the Global day of Action on Climate Change  as the Bali talks on climate change proceed. Stop Climate Chaos now has 23 member organisations, including Trócaire, Friends of the Earth, Concern and Christian Aid. Contact Helen Cantrell on 01-6394653 or you can email

Railing against roads
Environmentalists have slammed the draft Programme for Government and the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland as a 20th Century answer to a 21st Century problem. John Woods, Northern Ireland Director of Friends of the Earth said: "Peter Robinson has announced a staggering £3billion of investment in new roads and a mere £724million on public transport over the next 10 years. As we confront the reality of climate change, the Northern Ireland Executive has chosen to devote less than 20 per cent of its transport spend to sustainable transport and over 80 per cent to encouraging the use of the private car." This is despite the fact the Programme for Government states "we are determined to play our part in addressing...climate change" and commits itself to reducing Northern Ireland's carbon footprint. Friends of the Earth, 7 Donegall Street Place, Belfast, BT1 2FN, ph 028 9089 7591, mobile 07840 058251,

Global Peacebuilders 
Global Peacebuilders are offering you the opportunity to list your work for peace on its online database which can give you free publicity and new contacts.  See for details.  In addition, Global Peacebuilders is publishing a catalogue of worldwide approaches to peacebuilding, and are looking for effective, fresh and innovative approaches from organisations working to create the conditions for a sustainable peace in their area; 20 approaches to peacebuilding will be chosen from around the world. Contact: Global Peacebuilders Project, Springboard Opportunities Limited, 4th Floor, 108-112 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1DL,  ph 028 9031 5111, e-mail and web

Feasta annual lecture: Climate Solutions with Peter Barnes
On November Monday 13th, the Feasta Annual Lecture will take place in the Emmet Theatre, the Arts Block, Trinity College at 7.30 pm. This year's speaker is successful US social entrepreneur and author Peter Barnes. Peter's work explores how a "cap and rebate" system is our best bet for an ethical and economic framework to stabilise the climate. A "cap and rebate" system would "pay" citizens and communities substantial sums of money every year to benefit from rapidly rising carbon prices. It equitably shares out the value of the production authorisation permits needed by fossil fuel companies under a fast declining carbon cap.

A similar approach called ‘Cap and Share’ is beginning to attract attention in Europe, initially championed in Ireland by Feasta. It is currently being studied by Comhar, the Irish Sustainable Development Council, and by Green Party Environment Minister John Gormley as a way to control Ireland's non-EUETS emissions. Peter's new short book, Climate Solutions : "A Citizen's Guide - What Works, What Doesn't and Why", will be published in November 2007, both in print and as a free download. His previous book, Capitalism 3.0, is also available to download for free at    FEASTA, The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, 10a Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2.  Ph 01 – 4053615, e-mail and web

WRI: Prisoners for Peace, Nonviolence project
War Resisters’ International’s Prisoners for Peace Day on 1st December focuses this year on support for antimilitarists in Turkey in the very difficult situation they face, as well as listing those from other countries who are in prison for antimilitarism and conscientious objection. See for details.  Meanwhile WRI is seeking people who will help to sponsor its Nonviolence Programme to enable its work to continue; see the website under ‘Nonviolence’.  WRI, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, ph 020 – 7278 4040, e-mail

Dublin screening of new film on Shannon and Iraq war resistance
'Route Irish', a feature length verité/essay film on the campaign(s) on nonviolent resistance at Shannon Airport and against Irish facilitation of the US/UK Invasion of Iraq will be screened for the first time publicly on Wednesday 7th November in Seomra Spraoi at 8pm;  Seomra Spraoi,  No. 4 Mary's Abbey, (Off Capel Street), Dublin 1. Ciaron O'Reilly of the Pitstop Ploughshares will launch the film. Stills from the film are on http://indymedia. ie/article/ 84775  All invited, pay what you can afford to the Seomra Spraoi project. 'Route Irish' is what the Pentagon and US Troops call the road from Baghdad Airport... For copies contact e-mail 

INNATE networking group meets regularly, mainly Belfast – you’re welcome, next meeting Wednesday 14th November  at 7 pm in Corrymeela House, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast.  Please enquire if you’d like further information.


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