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Billy King


Nonviolence News


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

Number 171: July 2009

Please note: An August supplement to Number 171 is also available.

Free Gaza boat hijacked

There were two Irish people among the twenty-one on board the Free Gaza Movement boat ‘Spirit of Humanity’ bringing humanitarian supplies (medicine, toys and olive trees) to Gaza when the boat was boarded by Israeli forces while still in international waters on 30th June. Those on board were arrested (or kidnapped as it was still in international waters) and taken to detention in Israel, and the boat commandeered. The Irish people on board were Derek Graham from Co Mayo, the first mate, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire. See and also

Rossport rumbles; arrestees denied bail

The situation at Rossport continues to rumble on. On 29th June seven Shell to Sea protestors were refused bail for minor public order offences despite the fact none had previous convictions (two others were allowed bail but have to stay out of Mayo); “five were arrested for a lock-on, one for a climbing a tripod, and three others for walking across a road”. See for details. Also if you are interested in going as a human rights observer contact

Hiroshima Day in Dublin

Irish CND plans to hold its annual Hiroshima Day commemoration on Thursday 6th August at 1.00 p.m. at the memorial cherry tree in Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Get in touch for more details - we would love to hear from new supporters. We can be reached by email at or by post at P.O. Box 6327, Dublin 6.

New Corrymeela Centre director

The newly appointed director of the Corrymeela Community’s centre at Ballycastle is Paul Hutchinson, in succession to Ronnie Millar. Paul is currently a Director of Imagined Spaces which specialises in community relations work. He is a Senior Associate with Mediation NI, currently doing work in the North West of England and has been an Authorised Officer of the Parades Commission. He will be undertaking the post from around the start of August. See

On the campaign trail; Faslane, Rossport

INNATE's residential seminar at Kilcranny House, Coleraine, this year will take place from teatime Friday 23rd October to teatime the following day, Saturday 24th October. In this concentrated period we will look at peace and civil society campaigning, considering in detail the experience, strategy and tactics of Faslane 365 against the nuclear weapons based at Faslane submarine base, north of Glasgow in Scotland, and the campaign on Rossport/Shell to Sea in Co Mayo. What have been the achievements and difficulties in both campaigns? How can we learn from these experiences for our own work in campaigning on issues? There will be the opportunity to share on work participants are engaged in, and various analytical and developmental tools will be shared. Further details will appear in the September issue of Nonviolent News and this information is to allow you get the date in your diary. Price is likely to be £30 inclusive, £25 unwaged, and you can book now in advance. Contact INNATE.

CAJ on Consultative Group on the Past

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), British Irish Rights Watch, the Law School of Queens University Belfast, and the Transitional Justice Institute University of Ulster, held a two-day seminar reflecting on the report of the Consultative Group on the Past on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th May 2009.The seminar was designed to allow for in-depth discussion and reflection on the proposals of the CGP, and was attended by key stakeholders from governments, political parties, victims groups, lawyers, academics, human rights organisations and non-governmental actors. There were a number of thematic panels examining human rights compliance, the powers that would be needed to make the mechanisms work, and the socio-economic dimension as well as panels reflecting perspectives from various sectors including victims and survivors and political parties.

The NIO has launched a consultation on the Eames Bradley proposals which concludes on 2nd October. Over the summer, we will be working up our response to these proposals and would encourage others to take part in it as well. The details can be found here.

Subscriptions to CAJ are £20, including the monthly ‘Just News’ newsletter. CAJ, 45/47 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2BR, ph 028 – 9096 1122, website

CGE/Centre for Global Education, Belfast

The Centre for Global Education is a development non-governmental organisation that, for over 20 years, has provided education services to local audiences designed to enhance awareness of international development issues. The Centre’s remit remains that of enabling learners to understand the key social, economic and political factors that shape their lives both locally and internationally. It delivers global education that supports us in making decisions and taking actions that will tackle poverty and inequality, especially in poor countries. With more than one billion people living on less than a dollar a day and more than twice that number deprived of basic sanitation, the need for education and action on the issues underpinning these statistics has never been greater. As the celebrated author Alice Walker suggests, ‘activism is my rent for living on this planet’.

The Centre’s revised membership scheme includes major discounts on CGE education services including the bi-annual journal, global issues seminars, annual conference and the new Development Reader. Membership also allows you to borrow resources from the extensive library of books and teaching packs on development issues. There’s a large range of periodicals on which you can have a look at in the library and copy articles. Individuals or organisations engaged in education or awareness raising on development issues will find the new membership scheme a real support to their work. To take out membership, please contact the Information Officer at 028 - 90 241879 or email to The website is at

Irish human rights under spotlight

A new book from Amnesty International, “60 years, 30 perspectives: Ireland and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, edited by Donncha O’Connell, looks closely at the reality of human rights in Ireland. Contributors include Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Emily O’Reilly, Niall Crowley, Justin Kilcullen and Fr Peter McVerry, and there is a photo essay by Derek Speirs. AI Director Colm O’Gorman said “This book forces us to examine whether we really have a free press in Ireland, why despite the lessons of the past are children and people living in poverty still voiceless in Irish society, and what do we mean by Irish identity. Ultimately it asks why successive Irish Governments have signed up to various human rights treaties and then failed to deliver those rights for people living in Ireland?” Published by New Island it is available at €20 in shops or directly from Amnesty International

Amnesty International Irish Section, First Floor, Ballast House, 18-21 Westmoreland Street

Dublin 2, ph 01 - 863 8300, e-mail

Pax Christi International resource on UN advocacy

Pax Christi International recently published a booklet on “Avenues for Advocacy in the United Nations Human Rights Council”. This packet details the different mechanisms available to NGOs wishing to do advocacy work in the U.N. Human Rights Council that replaced the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 2006. While this information is accessible through U.N. websites, the packet brings the material together concisely and in a single document, offering human rights advocates a place to easily compare the many forums available for their work. The packet is available in English as a PDF here.

Rendering unto Bush the things that are Shannon’s

At the end of June Amnesty International launched its ‘Breaking the Chain’ comprehensive report looking at renditions in Ireland. It has called on the Government to admit that Shannon Airport was used as a launching pad for rendition operations by the CIA and act to ensure this can never happen again. Said AI director Colm O’Gorman; “The Irish Government does not know what is going through Ireland’s airports on secret CIA flights. CIA planes illegally claimed to be civilian aircraft while travelling through our airspace and using Shannon Airport and the Irish Government cannot be bothered to investigate. Our Government does not know because it chooses not to know.” See the AI website at or go directly to

MØST cats prefer MNI

The MØST project is a European and international learning and networking project of Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) aimed at addressing issues of segregation, sectarianism and racism through the creation and development of international linkages; the exploration of good practice in service delivery by key institutions; and the up skilling of local mediation practitioners to work in an international context and on a cross-cultural basis. The project will include a training programme which will up skill existing mediation practitioners from Northern Ireland and the Border region to work in an international context and on a cross-cultural basis. If you would like to express your interest in receiving information please visit the MNI9+8 website Incidentally, the MNI website has recently been revamped and will carry more news and updates in future.

CCPI and Tour de Munster – volunteers needed

Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI) has been chosen as the beneficiary of the Tour de Munster 2009 Cycle and the event is expected to raise over €100,000 for CCPI’s ‘Heart Appeal’, the child cardiac surgery programme that continues to save the lives of children born with the heart defect, ‘Chernobyl Heart’. Each cardiac operation costs €1,000 and is truly life-saving. It starts in Cork on Thursday 13th August and finishes back in Cork on Sunday 16th August. CCPI needs volunteers to help in different locations the different days including Cork, Tipperary, Limerick and Kerry. Contact Miriam Forde at CCPI, ph 021-4312999 or mobile 087 -2853907, or e-mail See also

New ICR report on parades

The Institute for Conflict Research (ICR) has a new report out on parades, co-published with the Belfast Interface Project – “Local accommodation – Effective practice in responding to disputes over parades” written by Neil Jarman, Mary-Kathryn Rallings and John Bell, 72 pages, A4, ISBN 978-0-9552259-6-3. It includes chapters on responses, key participants, the Parades Commission and local mediators, seeking accommodation, reducing tension, policing of contentious parades. It will be on the ICR website, and paper copies are also available. Institute for Conflict Research, North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG, ph 028 9074 2682, e-mail and web Belfast Interface Project is at Third Floor, 109-113 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1FF, ph 028 9024 2828, e-mail: and web

Green New Deal proposal for Northern Ireland

Business, trades unions, farmers, voluntary organisations and environmentalists have united around a common platform - a ground-breaking coalition called on government to take a joined up approach to recession, increasing unemployment, rising energy prices and climate change. The Green New Deal group published their vision in late June of how an ambitious investment programme to cut consumption of fossil fuels can create thousands of new jobs, help secure energy supply and build a competitive low-carbon economy; a vast systematic reconstruction programme envisaged in the plan would create around 24,000 new jobs. Members of the group behind the plan are Bryson Charitable Group, Chamber of Commerce, CBI, Energy Savings Trust, Friends of the Earth, Institute of Directors, ICTU, NICVA, NI Environment Link, NI Federation of Housing Associations NI Manufacturing, Sustainable Development Commission, Translink and Ulster Farmers Union. Contact; Friends of the Earth, 7 Donegall Street Place, Belfast BT1 2FN, ph 028 9089 7591 and web or go direct here to download the PDF on the proposals.

What the Bible says about the Stranger

This is subtitled “Biblical perspectives on racism, migration, asylum and cross-community issues” and written by Kieran O’Mahony OSA. In its eighty or so pages it takes readers and users (it’s a study guide) through the development of Hebrew and Christian thinking, and it includes questions for discussion, prayers, and a guide to dramatising Bible passages and exercises for further exploration, and resources mainly in the Republic. It is potentially very useful for considering a Christian response to such issues and also challenging ‘Christians’ who take a more exclusive approach. It is available online as a PDF on the Inter-Church website at and printed copies can be ordered for £5 including postage in Northern Ireland or €5 in the Republic. [Statement of interest; the Editor of Nonviolent News was involved in the production of this and wrote the dramatisation and exercises section.]

Peace News Summer Camp 23-27 July

Those who fancy spreading their peace wings a little bit might like to consider our British big sister Peace News’ summer camp gathering on a farm in Oxfordshire in July including very varied training, discussion and debate. Entrance costs £15 - £50 depending on income and the cost per day of food and refreshments is £8. Accommodation is tent only so bring yer camping gear (or book B&B nearby). See for fuller information or to book phone 020 7278 3344.

Waging nonviolence

USA-based journalists and activists have launched a new website, called Waging Nonviolence at that provides news, analysis, and original reporting on the use of nonviolence by ordinary people around the world in their struggle for justice.


Fourteen protesters against the motorway development at the Hill of Tara have had their cases dismissed in Trim District Court. The protesters’ defence in court was that they had a lawful excuse to stop the road building which was illegal under EU directives. The judge questioned the Gardai as to whether they’d asked the protesters if they believed they had a lawful reason, and Gardai admitted they had failed to. After the Gardai and Siac/Ferrovial security gave contradictory evidence, it seems the judge decided to drop the cases, and avoid any unnecessary scrutiny into the illegality of the road. There is still a protest camp – the Vigil Camp - and direct action at the site, despite the fact that a lot of the destruction has happened, and the road could be finished some time next year. A decade-long campaign has been waged to stop this road and the desecration of land near the ancient monument, with protest camps and direct action since the summer of 2007. The Vigil Camp are still inviting all to come to the site and take part. For Vigil Camp see and info about the protests see [from No.678]

Forty day fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence

This forty day fast period, associated with the Center for Christian Nonviolence in the USA and Fr Charlie McCarthy, is taking place from 1st July to 9th August. “This fast is a call to the Christian Churches, to Christian Church leaders, and to individual Christians to repent and turn to the Christ and learn what’s God will is and how to live it, learn from Him who unambiguously teaches by word and deed the Way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies as the Way of God and the Way of authentic discipleship.” See

Women Peacemakers Program; Opportunities for men

IFOR’s Women Peacemakers Program is currently accepting applications for the upcoming Training of Trainers (ToT) “Overcoming Violence: Exploring Masculinities, Violence, and Peace”. Specific objectives of the ToT are: To train male trainers on gender-sensitive active non-violence (ANV); To explore the concept of masculinities in relation to issues of violence and peace; To establish community-based teams who can multiply gained skills and knowledge; To create a pool of male gender-sensitive ANV trainers. Participants must have previous exposure to gender training and/or non-violence training, and ideally are active in the capacity of trainer within an NGO setting or peace group. There will be a 10-day training in the Netherlands starting at the end of November. For more information visit Closing date for applications is 15th July.

Deadline for September issue; 31st August. There will be no August issue though we may do a news supplement at the start of August if justified so please still send in any news items even if they’d be dated by September.

INNATE networking group meets next on 20th August – contact us for details.


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