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

Number 216: February 2014

Shannon jailing an embarrassment for state, Shannon demo
The jailing of veteran writer, actor, activist, and Aosdána member Margaretta D’Arcy for 3 months in January, over a nonviolent action opposing US military use of Shannon Airport, has shone the spotlight on the ongoing use of that airport for foreign military purposes. There has been very considerable coverage in the media as a result. As John Lannon of Shannonwatch pointed out it is a “travesty of justice when the peace activists end up in prison, while there is no investigation of war criminals using the airport”. Margaretta D’Arcy, aged 79 and in poor health, was imprisoned on 15th January for an action in 2012 (a court case for a similar action she took in 2013 is pending). She was imprisoned when she refused to be bound over not to enter unauthorised areas of the airport. The video of the action she and Niall Farrell, both of Galway Alliance Against War, took on 7th October 2012 can be seen HERE

As Shannonwatch states: “A 2013 Red C poll commissioned by the Peace & Neutrality Alliance showed that 78% of Irish people support a policy of Irish neutrality. Despite this, and despite a commitment in the 2011 Programme for Government to “enforce the prohibition on the use of Irish airspace, airports and related facilities for purposes not in line with the dictates of international law”, our current government refuses to end the US military use of Shannon Airport, or to investigate the landing of rendition planes there over several years.”

For more details see the Shannonwatch site. See also Editorial and Billy King column in this issue of Nonviolent News.

- A peace demonstration organised by Shannonwatch will take place at Shannon on Sunday 9th February from 2pm to 3pm (gather before airport entrance). The demonstration is being held in opposition to the U.S. military use of the airport, and in solidarity with imprisoned peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy. There will be buses from Galway and Dublin.

The ‘Upstanding - Stories of courage from Northern Ireland’ series has now produced the Educators Guide to complement the story book and DVD produced earlier (see NN 210 and 214). 34 pages A4. The guide contains a range of activities to support an exploration of the sixteen diverse accounts from people - women, men, young, old - who have stood up to violence, discrimination or prejudice in Northern Ireland. While primarily designed for use in Post Primary schools across Northern Ireland and beyond, the resource is also suitable for use in youth and adult groups. For more information contact Sean Pettis via e-mail Produced as part of ‘Facing our History, Shaping the Future’, a Corrymeela Community project in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves. For more information visit (the paper copy is available by paying for postage and packing) and

Afri’s Féile Bríde - Life: Source or Resource?
Afri’s 2014 Féile Bríde will be held in the Osborne Centre, Kildare Town on Saturday 8th February. The theme is “Life: Source or Resource? Enslavement versus Sovereignty” and will look at issues of food sovereignty, climate change and human trafficking, with perspectives from Abjata Khalif of the Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network; Fergal Anderson, a small farmer from the West of Ireland; and Donal Dorr who will be joined by a woman with personal knowledge of the issue of human trafficking to explore the meaning of slavery, sovereignty and sustenance. There will also be tree planting and music and poetry from poet Pete Mullineaux. BOOK HERE or contact Afri (, or 01 - 8827563. Click here for Afri’s website

- Between now and the end of February, if you invest €10 or more in Afri’s peace, justice, human rights and sustainability work you will receive a special Brigid’s peace cross. You can donate online at or via post or bank deposit. To find out more about Afri’s work you can visit the website or on Facebook (afriireland) or Twitter (@afripeace).

FOE-NI continues campaign on democracy in Northern Ireland
Friends of the earth is continuing its campaign on democracy and transparency in the North with the latest issue of their Newsletter focussing on “The death of democracy – Whodunnit?” See (the Newsletter will be online shortly). There are local FOE groups around Northern Ireland in Banbridge and Mourne, Bannside, Queen’s University Belfast, Downpatrick, East Antrim and North Down and Ards. E-mail and phone 028 – 90233488.

How Law Can Save the World: Eradicating Ecocide
Polly Higgins, international lawyer and author, will speak in the Great Hall at Queen’s University, Belfast on Tuesday 11th February at 7.30 pm, organised by FOE-NI and QUB School of Law; please book as below. In 2010 she proposed to the United Nations a law that will create a legal duty of care on all nations to prevent loss and damage on a global scale. By criminalising mass damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems, the carbon majors, governments and the flow of finance shall all be given the choice: change or be held to account. Click here for further details and booking.

Irish FOE tackles EU on climate plans
EU plans to tackle climate change by the year 2030, announced in Brussels on 22nd January, have been heavily criticised by Friends of the Earth in Ireland. “The policies proposed by the European Commission disregard climate science, which makes clear the need to urgently and drastically cut emissions to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming.” In the plans the EU would commit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) and would not set binding national targets for increasing renewable energies or for reducing energy use. Friends of the Earth believes setting three binding targets is the only way to ensure Europe effectively fulfills its responsibilities for tackling climate change: Emissions must be reduced by at least 60% by 2030 to be in line with science, and there must be binding targets to reduce energy use by 50% and increase the share of renewables to 45%. It says that only action on this scale will encourage the needed investment in clean energy resources to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and bring maximum benefits to the EU and its citizens. It argues that Ireland must push for a higher renewable energy target. See Friends of the Earth, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, ph 01 – 6394652.

INCORE 20 / Peace and Conflict MSc
2013 marked the 20th anniversary of INCORE's establishment. To commemorate the event INCORE launched '20 years of making and building peace: The story of INCORE'. click here for the document, complemented by a five-minute infographic animation five-minute infographic animation charting the progress of the Institute, including its research, major internet presence and digital resources, practice and policy initiatives, teaching programmes, conferences, study visits and international peace-orientated work.

MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies
Applications are now open for the University of Ulster’s MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies, starting in September (one year, full time). Based within the University of Ulster's International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), an associate site of the United Nations University, the programme, now in its 25th year, has attracted over 400 graduates from more than 30 countries. It is based at the Magee campus of UU in Derry. Click here for additional information

Collaborative and Compassionate Communication
A workshop series is starting on Tuesday 11th February in Belfast with the opportunity to join a 10-hour workshop (2½ hours for 4 consecutive Tuesdays) looking at and challenging dominant worldviews, learning a nonviolent approach to communication to ease everyday life and conflict situations, focusing on relations and connections, and presenting practical tools for internalising change. Cost: £70 (concession/students rate, £45), including materials. Too short notice? Another round of the workshop will start 18th of March. Venue: 83 University Street, BT7 1HP. If you are interested in joining or have questions contact Ann Kristin at or 074 66190077.

Department of Foreign Affairs seeks views on foreign policy
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a review of Irish foreign policy, and has been seeking input from interested stakeholders and members of the public as part of its consultation process. Irish CND is making a submission, and encourages members and friends to take part in the consultation process also. Submissions can be made by email to, or by post (marked ‘Foreign Policy Review’) to the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, 79-80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, by 4th February 2014 (immediately as Nonviolent News is published). More information available HERE [Source: Irish CND, see ]

ICAN and Irish CND co-host round table meeting in Dublin
On Friday 17 January 2014, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), in conjunction with the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Irish CND), organised a round table meeting at Buswell's Hotel in Dublin. ICAN Steering Group member, Beatrice Fihn, and Network Coordinator, Magnus Løvold, both based in Geneva, represented ICAN. The aim of the round table was to bring together Irish civil society actors, researchers, parliamentarians and government officials, in order to share thoughts and ideas on what can be done to strengthening the humanitarian initiative in the field of nuclear disarmament. For more details, click here.

Glencree news
Recent and current Glencree news can be found on their website including their PDF newsletter. William Devas was appointed Interim CEO in August and a new four year strategic plan was agreed in July. Alfie Kane has retired as President and a ceremony was held for him in November. As part of the celebrations to mark Glencree’s 40th anniversary in 2014 plans are under way to produce a publication documenting learning and programme work over the past 40 years especially since the Good Friday Agreement. “Capture The Learning”, edited by Eamon Rafter, will include contributions from programme staff and participants - past and present.

The cell was my canvas
This book, by Raymond Watson, features stories of artwork inspired by the experience of political conflict in Northern Ireland and is illustrated with more than 100 original photographs of sculpture, installations, community projects and paintings. The introduction by Jan Jordan, Durban University, says, 'This story has resonance with many artists living in conflicted societies around the globe, with all of us who value our dreams and hopes, appreciate our loves, and fear the parochial small minded interests of those that claim to represent us.' The author charts his journey through the political conflict, his involvement in the Irish Republican Movement and imprisonment in the H Blocks, Maze Prison. The book explores international examples of how art has been used as a tool for peace and progress. The author then describes important elements of his journey into art projects that are mostly related to and inspired by issues of political conflict, peace and attempts to overcome cultural and sectarian barriers. He provides illustrated examples of sculpture, painting, installation work and mass community art projects that address issues of political and social discord. Available on: Amazon Books

Museums and storytelling, emerging from conflict
A talk on ‘The role of museums and storytelling in societies emerging from conflict’ by Iratxe Momoitio Astorika takes place on Thursday 6th February at 3pm at the MAC, 10 Exchange Street West, Belfast BT1 2NJ. Making reference to different contexts and examples, the main focus will be on Gernika and its Gernika Peace Museum. The speaker has been Director of the Gernika Peace Museum (the unique peace museum in the Basque Country and Spain) since its creation in the year 1998. For further information on the event contact or For more information on the Guernica Museum see This event is organised by the Interdisciplinary Research Group ‘Art, Performance and Media in (Post-) Conflict Societies’, hosted and funded by the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast in collaboration with the MAC. For tickets, contact the MAC Box Office on 028 9023 5053 or online here.

Great geas as Fionnuala comes back to Dublin
Donal O’Kelly’s award winning play Fionnuala is on at 7.30pm nightly until Saturday 8th February in The New Theatre, 43 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. To book: 01 670 3361 or Ambrose Keogh works for Shell. When the Tunnel Boring Machine he named Fionnuala sinks into the bog in Mayo, he is magically confronted by Fionnuala, the swan-child of the ancient legend The Children of Lir. Fionnuala puts a geas (spell) on him – he’s bound to tell what he knows about potentially lethal attacks on local opponents of the Shell Mayo gas project. During his ordeal, Ambrose meets his school classmate Malachy, an anti-pipeline activist, and echoes from the past resound. Supported by Afri

Vredsactie, Belgium
On the 14th of December 2008, peace activists symbolically closed the Belgian Ministry of Defence in an action using washable theatre blood stating “Belgian Minister of Defence Pieter De Crem drags our country ever deeper in a hopeless war in Afghanistan”. The action was strictly non-violent, and nothing was damaged. Five year later, on the 10th of December 2013, a Brussels court decided to criminally prosecute Vredesactie for "deliberate property damage".

Vredsactie sees this as a gross insult to the right to free speech and an attempt to silence critics, with very weak evidence, just to exhaust and deter them. They go on that “The criminal prosecution of Vredesactie involves the risk of high fines that we could not afford; a ban on carrying out certain activities; and, most seriously, the dissolution of the organisation altogether. You can support us!”

The call for support.

Organizations can sign the declaration of support here.

Individuals can support here, and leave supportive comments.

Pax Christi on Central African Republic, Cremisan Valley
A statement by Pax Christi International on the Central African Republic can be found here and another statement on the Cremisan Valley, near Bethlehem, at the time of the Supreme Court of Israel hearing is here Pax Christi International


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