19th May, Dublin: Cluster bombs can be banned
Cluster bombs have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and continue to do so today. But now there is a historic opportunity to make them a thing of the past. From 19 - 30 May 2008 the Irish Government will host the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, where countries will finish an 18 month process by concluding negotiations on a new international convention to ban these weapons as well as providing assistance to affected communities and victims. The Dublin Diplomatic Conference is part of the process which began in Oslo in February 2007 and has continued in Lima in May 2007, Vienna in December 2007 and Wellington in February 2008.
The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) Ireland is a group of Irish non-governmental organisations working to achieve a new international treaty to ban cluster munitions by the end of 2008. The treaty will ban the use, sale and stockpiling of cluster munitions, and establish a framework to assist to cluster munition survivors and their communities, as well as to clear contaminated land. The objectives of CMC Ireland are:
to increase awareness among the Irish public of the terrible harm caused by cluster munitions and what is being done about it,
to publicise the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions that is being held in May 2008, where more than a hundred states will negotiate and adopt the treaty,
to ensure the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions results in a meaningful and robust treaty that protects vulnerable civilians in times of conflict,
to ensure that the Irish government stands firm as chair of the conference to deliver this result.
What can you do?
Sign our online petition urging the Irish Government to ensure that the Dublin negotiations deliver a treaty that will ban all cluster bombs. Check it out at http://www.stopclusterbombs.ie/petition
Join our protest march in support of a ban on cluster bombs on 25 May. Assemble at 12.00 noon in O'Connell Street, Dublin. Further information will be available shortly here http://www.stopclusterbombs.ie
Volunteer with us prior and during the conference, assisting us with the preparations for a variety of public events and street level activities.
Amnesty International is part of the Cluster munitions Coalition and is holding a public meeting at QUB, Institute of Governance, University Square, Belfast on Tuesday 13th May at 6 pm; the speaker will be John Rodsted, an Australian journalist, who has worked in the field in Kosovo and Lebanon and is an expert witness on the use of cluster munitions and their threat to civilians both during and after conflict. All welcome. Amnesty International, 397 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 3GP, More information: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/ni or phone 028 9064 3000.
19th May, Belfast: Raytheon 9 trial goes ahead
The trial of Derry Anti War Coalition (DAWC) activists, the Raytheon 9, is now definite to start on Monday 19th May, in the Laganside Courts in Belfast. The Raytheon 9 are charged with criminal damage and affray as a result of the non-violent direct action taken by DAWC on 9th August 2006 at the height of the Israeli assault on Lebanon.
There will be a mass protest outside the Court (opposite the Waterfront Hall) from 9.30 to 10.30 on Monday 19th and every Monday morning as long as the trial continues. One of the defendants, journalist and civil rights' activist Eamonn McCann, told Nonviolent News "we can't ask people to protest on a daily basis, but those who can spare an hour would be very welcome inside the Court to show support. Also, we will be gathering outside the Court every morning at 10.00am and we would be delighted to see anyone who wants to come along for just five minutes, to cheer us on, read a poem, do a piece of street theatre or anything else."
There will be daily updates on the website http://www.raytheon9.org during the trial. Anyone who thinks they can help in any way should email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a Raytheon 9 support group in Belfast to organise solidarity during the trial. It will try to provide accommodation for travelling supporters. Contact Gordon on 07742531617. The DAWC can be contacted on 07973528772 or see http://www.raytheon9.org
Irish CND's principal aims are to campaign for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the promotion of steps leading to disarmament, opposition to any Irish involvement in the production of nuclear weapons, the abolition of military alliances, a policy of active Irish neutrality and the transfer of military spending towards ending world poverty. We oppose the continued use of Depleted Uranium Weapons, whose radioactive material remains in the atmosphere long after use, causing environmental and health problems. We consider that the growing campaign by the nuclear sector to use Climate Change to justify expansion of the nuclear industry is an urgent concern that needs to be challenged. We can be reached by email at email@example.com or by post at P.O. Box 6327, Dublin 6. For more information see here. Our annual Hiroshima Day commemoration takes place on August 6th in Merrion Square in Dublin 2. Get in touch for more details we would love to hear from new supporters.
Afri has issued a booklet, "The Lisbon Treaty, the European Military Project, and Europe's Role in the World" which looks at the military implications of the Lisbon Treaty and is written by Afri Board member and UCD Lecturer, Dr. Andy Storey. The booklet argues that if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, the EU is likely to be engaged in ever more aggressive military actions overseas, including providing military support to client states of France and other EU powers. It expresses the view of the justice and peace organization Afri, which is calling for a 'no' vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum on the grounds that the Treaty further advances the militarisation of Irish and EU policy, and that it also advances an anti-development policy towards poor countries. Dr. Storey concluded at the launch press conference that "the EU is seeking to acquire enhanced military resources and options, and there are strong grounds for doubting that such enhancements will be deployed in ways that will promote justice, peace, human rights and development. For these reasons, there is a strong case for rejecting the Treaty and voting 'no' in the upcoming referendum". The booklet is available from Afri at €2.50 including postage. Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, ph. 01 - 882 7563/7581, firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.afri.ie
Meanwhile PANA, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, has its pamphlet "Irish Independence or European Superstate". This is written by Carole Fox with an introduction by Roger Cole, and is available in paper at €3 (24 pages). It primarily examines the military developments in EU policy and practice and concludes "There can be no doubt that the renamed EU Constitution (The Lisbon Treaty) puts in place the defence provisions for an EU state, the "qualities of a defence pact". If the Irish Government truly wanted to opt out of these provisions, it could have attached a protocol to the Treaty, as the Danes have, exempting Ireland from participating in or paying for any EU military and defence activities. But it has not done so." PANA, Dalkey Business Centre, 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co Dublin, ph 01 -2351512, e-mail email@example.com and website http://www.pana.ie
Chernobyl Children's Project International (CCPI)
National Chernobyl Week (marking the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy) has just taken place but CCPI's work continues throughout the year. Over the past 17 years, Irish people have contributed more than €73 million to help alleviate the catastrophic effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion. The money has had a profound effect on changing forever the lives of tens of thousands of children who were among the first victims of the world's worst nuclear accident. The fallout from Chernobyl is still continuing to affect the lives of 7 million people - half of them children in the three countries of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The current work includes:
1) Medical Care Programmes includes Cardiac Programme, Nursing Programme & Life-saving operations. Many life-saving operations of children from the affected regions continue to take place in Ireland. Hospice & Community Care Programme continues to improve the quality of life of terminally-ill children and their families.
2) Day Care Centre Development - Day Care Centres deliver a wide range of critical medical, social and educational services including community care services, short-term refuge for At-risk children, workshops to disabled adults and elderly services to impoverished rural communities, serving up to 17,000 people per centre.
3) De-institutionalisation Programme - CCPI de-institutionalises children by moving them out of orphanages and placing them into a home of their own, ensuring that every child will go onto achieve their fullest potential. The Aid Direct Humanitarian Aid Programme - provides regular and consistent deliveries of basic food items, footwear, clothing and medicines in-country to community centres, hospitals and orphanage.
4) Rest & Recuperation - Since 1991, CCPI has brought over 16,000 children into Ireland on R & R. The programme has developed to include Long-term Care programmes for children needing critical medical attention, Barretstown Camps in Ireland and in-country Rest & Recuperation Camps in Belarus.
5) Building & Construction Programme - We have improved the quality of the children's health, sanitation and built environment at orphanages and institutions such as Vesnova. New state of the art Day Care Centres are being built in affected areas in Buda Koshalova, Glutsk and Gorki and are due to be completed in 2009.
NI Minister for Peace campaign
An event to launch the Campaign for a Minister for Peace in the Northern Ireland Executive takes place on Wednesday 21st May from 10 am to 12 noon in the Long Gallery, Stormont (10 am tea/coffee and registration, 10.30 event begins; pre-registration essential). The Peace People believe that the time is now right for making a minister within the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister responsible for sustaining the growth of a peaceful and nonviolent society. Speakers include Miriam Turley, Edward Canfor-Dumas, Secretary of All-Party Group on Conflict Issues, House of Commons, London, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate, USA. Further info: firstname.lastname@example.org Peace People, 224 Lisburn road, BT9 6GE. (from whom a leaflet is available about the campaign)
Nonviolence film in Belfast
7.30pm, Monday, 12th May at Quaker Meeting House, 22 Marlborough Park North, (off Lisburn Road). there is a screening of excerpt/s from "A Force More Powerful" which explores how popular movements battled entrenched regimes and military forces with weapons very different from guns and bullets. Forms of non-cooperation including civil disobedience helped subvert the operations of government, and direct intervention in the form of sit-ins, nonviolent sabotage, and blockades have frustrated many rulers' efforts to suppress people. Introduced by Rob Fairmichael, co-ordinator of INNATE and followed by discussion. Hosted by Quaker Peace Committee email@example.com ph. 0798 354 9472.
Pax Christi International website
Pax Christi International has re-developed its website which gives a variety of information about the work in different countries and continents and lists member groups. See http://www.paxchristi.net
INNATE, an Irish Network for Nonviolent Action Training and Education, 16 Ravensdene Park, Belfast BT6 0DA, Phone 028 (048 from Republic) - 90 64 71 06 (fax by arrangement) firstname.lastname@example.org and Web http://www.innatenonviolence.org Your news and comments welcome. Deadline for next issue; 31st May.
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