Corrymeela Aperture festival, 50th anniversary events
Corrymeela's Aperture Festival, running the weekend of 31st July (programme beginning 3pm plus) – 2nd August at the Corrymeela Ballycastle site, is set to be the biggest public event of Corrymeela's 50th anniversary year. Keynote speakers are Mark Gray, Daigan Gaither, Sigi Rieuwerts, Marian Partington, Glenn Patterson, Nuala O'Loan, Davie Philip, and Tony Macaulay. Panel discussions include ones on the Good Friday Agreement, a Human Rights Act, the media, the arts, perspectives on loyalism, community, faith and aid, beyond cross community, and LGBT insights on Northern Ireland. There are a wide variety of musicians playing including the Sands Family and Duke Special, plus films. Workshops are very varied and include Stephanie Mitchell on creating safe and inclusive space, and INNATE coordinator Rob Fairmichael facilitating the 'Chasies' exercise and discussion of violence and nonviolence.
There is no accommodation on site but camping is available with a shuttle bus in between. A single all-weekend adult ticket is about £27, family tickets are available for under £54, and adult day tickets are £7.50 on the Friday or £12.50 for either Saturday or Sunday. See here or go straight to book here.
For other upcoming events marking 50 years of Corrymeela. These include; the Corrymeela International Autumn School, 19th – 23rd October; 'The poet, the peacemaker, and the president' (Michael Longley, Kathleen Kuehnast and former President Mary Robinson) at Belfast City Hall on 30th October, and a 50th anniversary celebration service at St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, on 1st November.
CAJ on fighting repeal of the Human Rights Act
This 9-page A4 paper from CAJ (Committee on the Administration of Justice), written by Brian Gormally, seeks to analyse the impact on rights protection and society in general in Northern Ireland of the repeal of the Human Rights Act (HRA). It argues that repeal, on the terms proposed by the Conservative Party, would be a regression in rights protection and is unlikely to provide an opportunity for the enhancement of human rights standards. Following on from analysis, the paper identifies the arenas in which the repeal of the HRA can be fought.
Anti-poverty strategy win for CAJ
CAJ has won a legal challenge against the NI Executive for failing to adopt a strategy to tackle poverty, social exclusion and patterns of deprivation on the basis of objective need (the anti poverty strategy). This is required by legislation passed as a result of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement. The Court held that CAJ had correctly identified this legal duty as an important milestone in the development of equality law in Northern Ireland. Judgement was delivered in the Judicial Review Court in Belfast by Mr Justice Treacy on 30th June. See
Irish CND: 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, Nagasaki
This year sees the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Irish CND is currently organising its traditional commemoration ceremony in Merrion Square, Dublin, on 6th August; further details will follow nearer the time. ICND invites you to mark this anniversary in other places around the country, and can offer assistance – "Every action that shows that the unspeakable horror of Hiroshima has not been forgotten matters. Every voice that commits to help free the world from the threat of nuclear weapons matters. 70 years after Hiroshima: what will you do?". Irish CND website, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and you can subscribe. A piece on the Non-Proliferation five yearly review conference, which ended without agreement in May, and this includes reference and a link to the Humanitarian Pledge, signed by over a hundred states including Ireland.
Shannon Airshow: Ignoring complicity in war
Shannon Airport will host what they call an "air display extravaganza" on July 18th, to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight at the airport. They say the airshow will provide a visual treat from leading aerobatics performers, parachutists, helicopters, jet fighters and stunt fliers. Shannonwatch state "While the airshow will glorify war by presenting jet fighters as entertainment, the official proceedings are unlikely to highlight the airport's complicity in war and human rights abuse over the last 15 years. Shannonwatch intend to correct that by organising a peace vigil to coincide with the airshow." This will take place at 2pm on Saturday 18th July. Shannonwatch continue "The airport's involvement in conflict and war should not be brushed aside or ignored. And it should not be allowed to continue."
Heads in the sand
People will gather on Sandymount Strand in Dublin on Saturday 4th July at 11am to put their heads in the sand to replicate the government's attitude towards climate change. Stop Climate Chaos, who are organizing the event, believe the government is burying their heads in the sand about climate change. This is a family-friendly initiative and people of all ages will be taking part. Speaking ahead of the action, Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, said: "We're less than 5 months away from major climate talks that will decide the future direction of global climate action. Yet the Irish government are about to bring forward a Climate law that doesn't even set a target for emission reductions by 2050. They have no action plan for how to tackle Ireland's emissions and they have made no financial pledge to help support communities worst affected by climate change impacts." For further information, Stop Climate Chaos, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, ph 01 6394653, email email@example.com and web www.stopclimatechaos.ie
Amnesty Int'l on SHA dealing with the past
Giving evidence to the UN Human Rights Committee, which is scrutinising the UK's rights record, Amnesty International has said that that much work remains to be done to implement the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) to ensure that mechanisms to deal with the past in Northern Ireland are "truly independent, effective and capable of discharging the UK's human rights obligations". Areas of concern include ensuring the practical independence of mechanisms proposed under the agreement, including victims in the mechanisms, and providing more funding if needed. UK Amnesty International's submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
VSI seeks volunteers for peace project in Ukraine
VSI/Voluntary Service International is seeking volunteers for a peace project in Kharkiv, 2nd – 15th August, in eastern Ukraine working mainly with children and pensioners; see and other projects in Ukraine as well. Voluntary Service International, 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, ph 01 8551011, www.vsi.ie and facebook.com/VsiIreland
MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies at INCORE
In 2015 INCORE will offer two programmes, available part-time or full-time, in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies. Based within Ulster University's International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) in Derry-Londonderry, the main programme has now been running for over 25 years attracting over 400 graduates from more than 30 countries. The MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies has a strong focus on post-violence peacebuilding. The MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies with Early Years is offered in association with Early Years, which is the largest organization in Northern Ireland for Young Children; only the first semester of this programme will involve classroom based teaching, semester two is offered fully online. See online for details, for queries you can e-mail or phone Dr. Stephen Ryan (Course Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)28 7167 5246.
Chernobyl Children International summer programme
In the past number of weeks, CCI has airlifted 200 children in total out of the Chernobyl-affected regions on its Rest and Recuperation programme, which gives the children, who come from impoverished backgrounds and state-run institutions, a health-boosting reprieve from the toxic environment and high levels of radiation to which they are exposed, made worse by raging summer forest fires which are at their peak at this time of year. Children will stay in all parts of Ireland from Derry (Foyle and Inishowen) to Cork. Since 1991, nearly 25,000 children from Belarus – the country most affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster – have come to Ireland with CCI on this programme. CCI has delivered nearly €100 million worth of humanitarian and medical aid to impoverished communities and children across Belarus, Ukraine and Western Russia since 1986. For more information or if you would like to make a donation, go to www.chernobyl-international.com or phone 021-4558774. CCI, 1A The Stables, Alfred Street, Cork.
Greek, Irish debt
In Ireland, Afri, Anglo Not Our Debt, ATTAC, DDCI, the Latin America Solidarity Centre, the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope, and UNITE, are a few of the organisations in 14 countries who launched a Europe-wide petition calling for debt cancellation for Greece, an end to forced austerity, and new rules for tackling debt crises globally so countries in crisis are no longer at the mercy of the powerful creditors when the debts that they are facing are clearly illegitimate and unjust. See here.
Meanwhile DDCI/Debt and Development Coalition Ireland have a course in Dublin on 22nd July, 9.30 – 2 pm, for community facilitators to explain how to deliver 'The Irish Banking Crisis - What Happened?' workshop. See www.debtireland.org or contact Sian Crowley, email@example.com or phone 086 3988311.
Gospel nonviolence awareness
An icon-type card of Saint Patrick holding a scroll, 'Killing cannot be of Christ' (quotation from St Patrick's Epistolis Ad Milites Coroti), are available, currently in English and it is intended in Irish. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and donations towards the cost of printing the cards (in both languages) are welcome and should be made payable to Fr Brian O'Toole, CSSp and sent to him at The Spiritan Community, St. Mary's College, Rathmines, Dublin 6, E-mail: email@example.com
The Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence (1st July – 9th August) is currently underway, details can be found here.
WILPF Hague conference: Women's Power to Stop War
The final conference report is available and there are also many audio recordings available. The www.womenstopwar.org website will be closed soon, however, with all material transferred to the WILPF website at www.wilpfinternational.org which also has information on joining WILPF, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, which dates its existence from the 1915 peace conference at the Hague; if there is no section in your country – and there isn't in Ireland – you can join as an international member.
Veterans for Peace UK campaigns against 16 year old soldiers
The UK is the only European or NATO state to still recruit 16 – 18 year olds, the justification being that without them there would not be enough recruits to the military. UK Veterans for Peace has a campaign on the issue and is asking people to write to their MPs. See veteransforpeace.org.uk They also have a short satirical film inspired by official armed forces toys, which, according to The Guardian "include a Predator drone playset for five-year-olds"! [We don't usually use exclamation marks but that is so incredible it needs highlighting – Ed]
Afri's Just a Second education programme
The theme of Afri's education programme is 'Just a Second' and it focuses on the absurdity of the choices that we make – or that are made on our behalf by governments and corporations. For example, it is a fact that in excess of €40,000 is spent every second on war and weapons while a billion people suffer from hunger, lack of clean water and adequate housing. More details are available online including three short films of the project in action.
Bill McKibben's 'Do the Math' film in Dublin
Dublin Friends of the Earth are hosting a film screening of Bill McKibben's 'Do the Math' on Wednesday 8th July at Filmbase Basement in Temple Bar's Curved Street, Dublin 2. 'Do the Math' is a fast-paced short film on the worldwide 'Keep it in the Ground' movement, which highlights the maths behind climate change and shows how divesting from fossil fuel companies will keep coal and oil in the ground, thus protecting our futures. There will be drinks and nibbles from 7pm, the film will start at 7.30pm and then be followed by discussion with climatologist Prof John Sweeney and Camilla Kane, Friends of the Earth's Activism Officer. Register here if you plan to attend. Suggested donation: €5. [Source: Eco-Congregation Ireland Newsletter, ecocongregationireland.com ]
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