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

Number 174: 2 November 2009

CAJ: Past, Bill of Rights, AGM

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) responded to the government’s consultation on the report of the Consultative Group on the Past (CGP). CAJ’s submission can be found on its website. Advice from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland currently sits with the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). The NIO will be running a public consultation on their response to this advice in late Autumn 09. In November, CAJ will deliver 2 training courses on the process so far and how to get involved in the consultation. For more information or to register, contact Fiona Murphy, Human Rights Programme Officer on 028 9096 1122 or e-mail

CAJ’s AGM took place on Wednesday 28th October. Members heard updates on the Bill of Rights, dealing with the past and criminal just issues. The meeting was also addressed by Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Professor Monica McWilliams. The annual report is now available for download.

Dealing with the past – Conversational workshops

Healing Through Remembering (HTR) is running an outreach programme featuring Conversational Workshops on Dealing with the Past. Workshops are delivered by trained facilitators and include the following topics; Commemoration, A Day of Reflection, Storytelling, Truth Recovery, Acknowledgement and a Living Memorial Museum. The workshops will use the Healing Through Remembering Conversation Guide which is designed for facilitators interested in supporting individuals and groups to engage on the issue of dealing with the past. Those interested in workshops should contact Healing Through Remembering via the project website Meanwhile HTR’s report “Healing Through Remembering – Momentum and Change”, which is part of an ongoing review of its work, is available on request to Claire Smith at or ph. 028 – 90 238844. The HTR response to the NIO’s consultation on the Report of the Consultative Group on the Past is available on the website.

Feasta lecture; Have you herd of cattle?

"Keeping Cattle: Cause or cure for climate crisis?" is the title of this year's Feasta lecture which will be given by Allan Savory, a Zimbabwean biologist and farmer who was the 2003 winner of the Australian Banksia Environmental Foundation prize. The lecture will take place at 2.30 pm on Saturday, November 7th, at the JM Synge Lecture Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College, Dublin. Admission is €10 , or €5 for members of Feasta or the Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network and the unwaged. Please contact at or phone 098 - 25313 or 01 - 661 9572 if you would like more information. FEASTA, The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

14 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, website

Derry to Gaza

The Derry Anti-War Coalition is taking a consignment of medical supplies in a convoy to Gaza, setting off on 4th December, and are asking the public to help. The convoy is organised by Viva Palestina, which sent 100 vehicles of aid to Gaza last February. The February convoy included a lorry from Dungannon. The convoy will leave London on 4th December. The vehicles will then be left in Gaza for local people to use. Vehicles, supplies and money are needed. Viva Palestina has been told only medical equipment will be allowed in. We are hoping this will change, so we can bring toys, computers, construction equipment, etc. but medical and sanitary equipment are our top priority. The most useful vehicles would be ambulances - if possible, four-wheel drive, or minibuses for use as light-casualty ambulances or school buses. The convoy is supported by a wide range of individuals and organisations Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan, George Galloway MP, the Stop the War Coalition, the Irish Anti War Movement, the Muslim Council of Britain, Irish activist Caoimhe Butterly, trades unions, and religious, community and campaigning groups. You can donate to DAWC, Ulster Bank, Culmore Road, Derry, a/c No. 10103528, sort code 980980 or via DAWC’s PayPal. Further info: ph 079 – 73528772 or e-mail

For peat’s sake

The Irish Climate Camp, which took place this August in the shadow of the West Offaly power station in Shannonbridge, has argued that money should not be spent on upgrading the dirtiest power stations we have, and Midlands peat power stations should be shut permanently. The climate camp took direct action against the plant. "ESB should not be investing in upgrading these dirty power stations, instead they should be investing in upskilling their workers. There is only going to be enough peat left to run these power stations for another 10 or 15 years.” said spokesperson for the group Molly Walsh. See


The Irish economy is in a mess. Many have called for a government of national unity, or GNU. But few have suggested how such a body might be formed. So, on Wednesday 7th October, the de Borda Institute hosted an experiment in Dublin, an open public meeting in which participants were divided into groups, each to act as if it was a party in the Dáil. And then they were given matrix vote ballot papers, in proportion to current party strengths. The matrix vote is PR, so a party with 40% of the seats in the Dáil will probably get 40% of the cabinet; the vote is based on the preferendum (Modified Borda Count), so it is to your advantage to submit a full ballot; so you might as well cast your top preferences for your own party colleagues, and your lower preferences for TDs of other parties. The role play was animated, as groups sought to do deals with others. And the result was FF 6, FG 5, Lab 2, Ind. 0, GP 1, SF 1. In other words, if but on this evidence, is that the matrix vote is a robust methodology. A full report is on the website at and should be of interest to anyone concerned about the imperfections of Stormont’s d’Hondt process.

Global justice on debt - Debt and Development Coalition Ireland

It is a crucial time for Global Justice activists campaigning for debt cancellation. Following on from the ‘Dáil lobby’ which DDCI (Debt and Development Coalition Ireland) organised in October 2008, the Irish government agreed to write a new debt policy. DDCI have produced an information pack on this issue and some ideas for taking action. Debt and Development Coalition Ireland works closely with activists in the Global South and the aims of this campaign are those that have been highlighted by them as the important issues affecting the everyday lives, and the future, of people living with the burden of debt in countries of the global South. Contact ph 01 6174835, website DDCI, Unit F5 Spade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, Dublin 7.

The Wave, Belfast, Saturday 5th December

As part of an international day of action for climate justice, Stop Climate Chaos Northern Ireland are organising an action in Belfast City Centre. The event is scheduled to coincide with the climate change talks in Copenhagen and will involve getting as many activists as possible to group together to form a blue wave. At time of going to press the venue has not yet been confirmed, but will almost certainly be in the city centre. For more information and to find out how you can help to promote the event, please call Niall Bakewell on 028 9089 7592 or email or people can go to to get updates.

Sign support for Shell to Sea-ce

“We the undersigned call on the Irish Government to immediately suspend work on the Corrib Gas project pending a full investigation by an independent body qualified to assess the economic, environmental, safety and human rights impacts of the project.” You can sign the petition online Check out and as well as for current details of the struggle.


ARAN animal rights march and rally

This takes place on Sunday 6th December at 1.30pm sharp meeting at the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin (Parnell Square East, at the top of O’Connell Street.) The rally will highlight “exploitive greyhound racing, cruel fur farming, animal experiments for cosmetics testing etc, barbaric blood sports, live animal exports, dog & cat mistreatment, dog pound killings, puppy farms and dog fighting” and more. Contact: John Carmody or Siobhan Higgins 087-2391646. See also the website at

Hammer in the morning

Celebrated Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick recently produced a painting of the Pitstop Ploughshares hammers employed to disable a U.S. Navy War plane refuelling at Shannon Airport en route to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The damaged war plane did not make it to the invasion of Iraq, being returned to the U.S. for maintenance. The hammers portrayed were originally employed by the ANZUS Plowshares in disarmament of a B52 Bomber in New York on the eve of Gulf War 1 putting the bomber out of action for the length of the 1991 Gulf Massacre over Iraq. The hammer as the crosspiece has since been employed in 5 plowshares action in the U.S., England and Ireland racking up $U.S.7 million of disarmament. A short Youtube video hammers out the message – see Contact

New director for Nonviolent Peaceforce

Tim Wallis is the new executive director of Nonviolent Peaceforce from the start of 2010, based in Brussels. Tim has a long record of involvement with peace and nonviolence organisations and is currently Programme Director for Nonviolent Peaceforce. See including the news section.

AI book; poverty greatest human rights violation

Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Irene Khan (originally from Bangladesh, she was educated in Kilkeel, Co Down) has published a book entitled “The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights”, ISBN: 978-0-393-33700-6, 192 pages, price €16.50. A billion people around the world live in slums. Two and a half billion have no access to adequate sanitation and every single minute a woman dies in pregnancy and childbirth. Irene Khan’s book identifies these problems, and the many others that drive global inequality, as human rights violations and argues that protecting and fulfilling human rights must be at the centre of any strategy to end poverty. Mary Robinson has stated “Poverty is the world’s worst human rights crisis and this book makes a powerful statement about not only why but how we can turn the tide.”

Karen National Union says 2010 elections represent no progress

The Karen National Union has stated that elections due in 2010 do not represent any kind of progress towards democratization in Burma. The referendum in 2008 exposed that no political campaigning is allowed unless approved and in line with SPDC policy, they say, so no genuine political space will be created by the process of the elections; this referendum also showed that results will be rigged, and with the many other restrictions on freedom, they will ensure there is no way the elections will be free and fair. Furthermore, The Constitution not only enshrines military rule, it also grants no ethnic rights or protection. They state “We have repeatedly warned that elections in 2010 will not result in any improvement of the human rights and humanitarian situation in Burma, and that repression and instability will continue.” and conclude that “We are working for a peaceful, stable, federal Burma. We stand ready to enter into genuine tripartite dialogue, as facilitated by the United Nations, at any time.” Information via Burma Action Ireland, ph 087 1261857, e-mail and website

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Pax Christi International has invited its members to be engaged in the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25th of November. “Pax Christi International identifies poverty, oppression, and inequality as a form of violence. The economic crisis has only exacerbated the already present divide, leaving the women, already on average earning less, poorer, and experiencing greater difficulties than men, even further behind.” See here and there is a petition at

Human Cost of War; MAW exhibition, programme in London

The Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW) is hosting an exhibition in London called “The Human Cost of War”. It features 22 quilts and arpilleras (South American textile pictures), curated by Roberta Bacic. The preview is at the Imperial War Museum (London) on Remembrance Sunday, 8th November, and the exhibition will be at the St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, Bishopsgate, from 18th - 21st November, see There is other associated programme including talks and seminars; see for details.

Brandeis Coexistence and Conflict

Brandeis University in the USA offers both a Master’s Program in Coexistence and Conflict (requirements, two semesters in residence, a three month field project and a Master's research report) and a Dual Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development and Coexistence and Conflict. For more information see here and for what students say about the course see here Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence,

MS 086, Brandeis University, P.O. Box 549110, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA, e-mail and web

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