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(Issues 1 to 57)
Dawn Train

Number 178: 3rd April 2010

Free Gaza Boat from Ireland

The Free Gaza Movement has bought a 1200 tonne cargo ship at an auction in Dundalk, purchased by the Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization, and the vessel will be re-named the MV Rachel Corrie, in memory of the 23 year old solidarity activist crushed to death in 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer as she attempted to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza. The Free Gaza Movement now owns four ships including three passenger vessels. Free Gaza’s ships will take part in an international flotilla taking humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza strip this May. Passenger and cargo ships are also being organised by the Turkish humanitarian organisation I.H.H. and by groups in Greece, Sweden, Malaysia and Belgium. Free Gaza has launched eight missions to Gaza over the past two years; five were successful and the last two were violently stopped by the Israeli Navy. The Irish ship will be taking 500 tons of cement, as well as medicines, medical equipment and educational materials to the people of Gaza. Derek Graham of the Free Gaza Movement said, ‘We have international law and the conscience of the people of the world on our side. We know the Irish people will not stand by and let the people of Gaza be starved and punished by Israel any longer’. In preparation for the launch of the Irish ship, hospitals, trade unions, churches, mosques, families and community groups are being invited to sponsor bags of cement to help the people of Gaza to rebuild. Contacts: Caoimhe Butterly ph 087 - Moloughney ph 085 7747257 / 091 472279niamh@freegaza.orgor Ken Fleming ph 087 6478636.

Sponsor a bag of cement for Gaza: The people of Gaza are being denied the right to rebuild. Israel’s blockade of Gaza is in its third year and virtually all reconstruction materials are being locked out. For just €5 your family, work-place or community can sponsor a bag of cement to help the people of Gaza rebuild their schools, hospitals and homes. Bank account - Bank of Ireland, Bridge St, Cork, sort code 90 27 92 and a/c number 28114114.

Raytheon 14 for trial

14 Derry Anti War Coalition people, including 9 women, are on trial at Belfast Crown Court from 4th May on charges related to nonviolent direct action during the war on Gaza at the start of 2009. Specifically, the women are charged with burglary and attempted criminal damage, actual criminal damage and one of with assault. The five men - who were protesting outside in support of the women inside - are charged with being in possession of a spray can with intent of doing criminal damage, actual criminal damage (with the spray paint), obstructing police officers, and one is charged with assaulting a police officer. One of the original Raytheon 9 is charged with impersonating a police officer as he tried to get into the building to help. Solidarity is being organised in Derry, Belfast and elsewhere; there is a Belfast solidarity meeting on Wednesday 14th April at 7.30pm in the Community Arts Forum, opposite St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Contact: by e-mailraytheon14@gmail.comor phone 07740988321 (Sharon, Derry) or 07534269417 (Donal, Belfast), or on - Solidarity with the 14 Raytheon Accused

See article by Roisin Bryce further in this issue.

Afri Famine Walk

The Afri Famine Walk 2010 will be on the theme 'Hunger in a World of Plenty: Sowing Seeds of Hope' and will take place on Saturday, 22nd May at Doolough, Co. Mayo, beginning 2pm. Organised by Afri in partnership with Trócaire and the Irish Seed Savers Association. Further details; Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, ph 01 882 7563/7581 e-mail:afri@iol.ieand web

Meath Peace Group seminar: Identity

'Identity on the Island of Ireland – some historical and contemporary aspects' is the topic on Saturday 17th April at St Columban's College, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co Meath, running from 9.30-4.30pm. Opening session: 'The Peoples of Ireland' (talk by Shane Hegarty, Irish Times columnist and author of The Irish and Other Foreigners). Other sessions include panel discussions on: 'Unionism in the 21st Century' (chaired by Brendan O'Brien, author and broadcaster), 'The Challenge of Change', 'The Orange Order Today' etc. Booking essential as places limited: contact Julitta Clancy, 01 - 8259438; emailmeathpeace@hotmail.comReports on public talks held between 1993 and 2007 are available in the archives section of the group's website

Community Relations Week in the North

Community Relations Week is an annual showcase for many projects and organisations beavering away, and this year runs from 26th April to 2nd May. Almost 150 events have been organized across all parts of Northern Ireland and beyond as part of the Week; these include a wide variety of talks, discussions, exhibitions, launches, schools and children’s events, and events featuring history, cultures, art, music, drama and food. They reflect progress in projects already underway as well as ideas and plans for future action. Most of these events are open to the public. Full information will be on the CRC website at and printed copies of the programme will also be available.

MA in activism at Maynooth

There is a new MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at Maynooth. The Departments of Sociology and Adult & Community Education are collaborating to develop thinking about critical pedagogy in community education, power and praxis in social movements and understandings of equality, transformation and sustainability. Three core strands of thinking will be explored in this course – 1) Critical and praxis-oriented forms of thinking, 2) Understanding equality and inequality: economics of equality, and 3) Power, politics and praxis. For more information, please contact the Department of Adult and Community Education, NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare, e-mailadcomed@nuim.ieor 01 - 7083937. The course website is The course is being launched with a "Masked Activists' Ball" in Seomra Spraoi on Thursday 15th April (details on the website).

More details further on in this issue.

Peace, conflict, reconciliation studies at ISE

The Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, is committed to the study and promotion of dialogue, peace and reconciliation in Ireland and around the world. It is recognized for its interdisciplinary approach to taught programmes and research drawing on the fields of politics, sociology, ethics, theology and religion. Applications are now invited for the postgraduate programmes it offers in Dublin and Belfast starting in September 2010:

  • M. Phil. in International Peace Studies (Dublin)

  • M. Phil. in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (Dublin) – New course

  • M. Phil. in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (Belfast) – New course

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies (Dublin)

  • M. Litt. / Ph.D. programmes (Dublin and Belfast).

Further details on courses, fees and Scholarships at


In a statement, Shannonwatch have said “While most of the world was turning green for St Patrick's Day, Ireland was committing itself to an ongoing role in the unjustified war being waged in Afghanistan. President Barrack Obama thanked the Irish Government for allowing US troops to stop off at Shannon Airport on their way to and from Iraq and Afghanistan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even landed at the airport herself to further embed our support for the US war machine into the nation's psyche. Together these amount to a breach of international laws on neutrality and a gross affront to Ireland's proud tradition in this regard. They also signify a new low in Ireland's sell-out to the U.S. war industry.

According to official figures, over 5,000 U.S. troops a week pass through Shannon on their way to or from Iraq and Afghanistan. Figures released by Shannonwatch in February indicate that more than 25 U.S. military flights a week use the airport. This has turned it into a de-facto U.S. military base, without the permission of the Irish people. The U.S. use of Shannon Airport by CIA rendition crews has also been well documented over the last decade. These are in breach of international and national laws, including the Criminal Justice Act (UN Convention Against Torture) Act 2000. These were not mentioned during the Obama – Cowan meeting as far as we are aware, but Shannonwatch are concerned that these too may be allowed to continue.”

For further information contact Shannonwatch on 087 - 8225087 or emailshannonwatch@gmail.comSee alsohttp://www.shannonwatch.orgThe new postal address is; Shannonwatch P.O. Box 476, Limerick Delivery Services Unit Dock Road, Limerick

Chernobyl Week 2010

Monday, 26th April 2010 will mark the 24th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. In recognition of this anniversary, Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI) will once again roll out National Chernobyl Week (26th April to 2nd May) to commemorate and honour the children and adults who live with the social, economic and medical deprivation as a result of the disaster which happened 24 years ago. CCPI are appealing to volunteers all over Ireland to help sell charity pens, pins and magnets so they can offer more life-saving cardiac operations to children with the ‘Chernobyl Heart’ condition. For more information contact Paula Kilcommons on 021-431299 or e-mail

Meanwhile Vesnova Children’s Mental Asylum has been voted the best orphanage for children with special needs in Belarus due to its great living conditions and high level of medical service; Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI) has been supplying regular humanitarian aid and Medical aid to this institution for several years. CCPI provides ongoing refurbishments to the institution and has recently pioneered a new project for independent living for teenagers in Vesnova. More details on CCPI website which also has a link to Oscar-nominated short film The Door on the story of a man and his family dealing with the terrible aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. Chernobyl Children's Project International, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork. ph 021 - 431 2999, and web

Movement People video

"Movement People" is a Niamh Heery and Eric Dolan of SwanSong Films, Dublin. Three of the activists have links to the Catholic Worker movement - Colm Roddy - the Ghost vigiler of Guantanamo, Ciaron O'Reilly of Pitstop Ploughshares, Joshua Casteel of Iraq Veterans Against the War, former interrogator at Abu Ghraib, and the other interviews are with Margaretta D'Arcy, Galway based artist/activist formerly of Committee of 100, Greenham Common, etc, and Vincent McGrath of the Rossport 5. Link to "Movement People" video at

Biting Israeli bullets

An Israeli company is in the running to supply the Irish Army with bullets, a not-to-be-wished for scenario from a nonviolent point of view anyway, but doubly strange when Israeli secret service Mossad agents recently used fake Irish passports (among those of other nationalities) to assassinate a military commander of Hamas. Tenders to supply the bullets are due in by 27th April after which the Irish government and Brian Cowen, handling the military portfolio, will decide. You can sign a petition against the deal, which specifically mentions the Goldstone Report as a reason not to proceed with the deal, at

European tigers

The Secretary General of NATO, Anders Rasmussen has stated in Brussels that, "Europe must pay more money towards defence if it is not to become a ‘paper tiger’.” (Reuters 27/3/10). In response Roger Cole, Chair of PANA (Peace And Neutrality Alliance, see ) said: "The Celtic Tiger created by our political/media elite with their total commitment to a militarised neo-liberal ideology has all but impoverished the Irish people. So when the Secretary General of NATO calls upon "Europe" to spend more money on weapons of war or become a "paper tiger", PANA has no problem in telling Mr. Rasmussen that we believe the Irish people have had enough of "tigers" paper or Celtic. "Europe" or the EU should not have any military dimension of any kind. It should have no military expenditure. The States of the EU should withdraw their armies of occupation from Afghanistan including the 7 Irish soldiers.

Unlike Rasmussen, PANA does not want "Europe" to become a world power. Ireland was part of a world power before; the British Union and thousands of Irish people were urged on by newspapers like the Irish Times and the Irish Independent, went out and died pointlessly for that Union. To do so once in our history is enough. Far from increasing military expenditure, the states of the EU should accelerate cuts in expenditure and spend its money on providing decent health and education services. PANA's demand is simple, “Jobs at home, No war abroad." For more information contact Roger Cole Tel: 087-2611597 or Seamas Rathigan Tel: 086-8369793.


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