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Nonviolence News


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

Number 273: October 2019

Editorials: Green imperative, Rough ride

Eco-Awareness with Larry Speight: We have a part to play

Obituary: Ciaran McKeown

Readings in Nonviolence: Ciaran McKeown’s ‘The Price of Peace’

Billy King: Rites Again

Extinction Rebellion (XR)
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is getting geared up for nonviolent direct action and public events including a week of action from 7th October. Its goals in Ireland are: Demand 1: Tell The Truth - The Irish government and media must adequately inform the public of the climate and biodiversity emergency and communicate the urgency for change and the consequences of not doing so. Demand 2: Act Like It’s An Emergency - The Irish government must act to immediately halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2030, while reversing all policies not in alignment with that position. Demand 3: Ensure A Just Transition - All policy changes must be in keeping with the ideas of a just transition, where the most vulnerable are not expected to sacrifice the most. This just transition must be made within a global context and ensure that profits are not placed before our planet. Demands in Northern Ireland are broadly similar with a proviso “Beyond politics – Create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice”.

The Irish website states “At the core of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy is nonviolent civil disobedience. We promote civil disobedience and rebellion because we think it is necessary we are asking people to find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change.”

There are local groups in Dublin, Cork, Clare, Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Derry, Leitrim, Wexford, Dingle, West Cork and Belfast with other groups being formed. They state “We are working to build a movement that is participatory, decentralised, and inclusive.”

On 8th October at 6.15pm there will be a public rally ‘to stop climate change and for just transition’ at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. There may still be a seat or two on a bus from Belfast for this – contact See which also links to a Facebook site for events; for the North see  

MII conference: The professional mediator
The MII Annual Conference 2019 "The Professional Mediator: Developing your practice and continuing professional acumen" takes place in the Ormonde Hotel, Ormonde Street, Kilkenny on Friday 11th October and Saturday 12th October. After a welcome by Olive Braiden, Margaret Considine will give the President’s address. Speakers include Constance Cassidy, Maria Arpa (keynote speaker, founder of the Centre for Peaceful Solutions), and Karen Erwin. There will be two sessions of workshops with leaders Tracy O’Brien, Maria Arpa, Tony Kearney, Kevin Browne, Roger McGrath, Fiona McCauslan, Alec Coakley, Claire Kearney. See

- Commenting on the news that Peter Cassells was retiring at the end of September as Executive Director of the Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University, President of the MII, Margaret Considine stated “The MII would like to pay tribute to the immense contribution Peter Cassells has made to the development of conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution in Ireland over many years. Peter, through his extensive work in the trade union movement, as General Secretary of ICTU, his prominent role in developing the Social Partnership model and through his recent term at the Edward M Kennedy Institute, has demonstrated over 50 working years, how facilitation and mediation can deliver substantial dividends to individuals, communities and society at large.”

The media in deeply divided societies
8th-9th November in Belfast sees an international conference on “The Media in Deeply Divided Societies – Its Role and Responsibilities” organised by the Belfast-based Social Change Initiative (SCI) in partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Political Settlements Research Programme and the international peace building organisation, Conciliation Resources. Participants will hear directly from the experience of people working in a range of conflicted societies. The event aims to provide journalists, peace building practitioners, policy makers, activists, and funders, with an opportunity to examine the challenges involved and to consider solutions. Contact Social Change Initiative at About SCI see

Antiwar billboards up in Limerick
World Beyond War, which holds a major conference in Limerick on 5th and 6th October – with a rally at Shannon Airport on 6th October at 3pm – succeeded in putting up several antiwar billboards in Limerick and one in Waterford. These do not include the slogan "U.S. Troops Out of Shannon" which were deemed unacceptable by the companies that rent billboard space at the time of Donald trump’s visit to Ireland in what is a rather censorious approach (see NN 271).

‘Hooded men’ were tortured
On 20th September the Court of Appeal in Belfast held that the treatment meted out to the ‘Hooded Men’, if it occurred today, would “properly be characterised as torture”. They further held that the Chief Constable had promised a criminal investigation, which has not yet happened, but that any investigation by the PSNI Legacy Investigation Branch or its successor was unlikely “to engender public confidence”. At the start of internment in August 1971, 14 men (now referred to as the Hooded Men) were subjected to ‘the five techniques’ by RUC Special Branch men, who had been specially trained by the British Army. See and  

New book on majoritarianism
“Majority Voting as a Catalyst of Populism” is the new book from Peter Emerson, published by Springer. (paper and e-book), extremely apposite in the era of Brexit and wider populisms. Partly the result of a year-long journey from Belfast to Beijing, Peter Emerson looks at majority voting and how it contributes to populism – “The hope however, which can overcome the fear, is that our democratic structures will evolve from their current divisive nature into a more inclusive, compassionate and consensual polity”. He sets out his analysis and possibilities in a geographically broadranging and at times technical, but very knowledgeable, book. See also Flickr and

Discrimination in cross-border bus checks
CAJ, the Committee on the Administration of Justice has submitted a breach of equality scheme complaint against Translink in response to the company facilitating discriminatory passport checks on its cross-border transport services. The complaint has been made by CAJ on behalf of 17 directly affected passengers. Witness and victim testimony indicates that these checks are frequently conducted on the basis of (at times quite blatant) racial profiling – the form of racial discrimination where persons are singled out on the basis of skin colour or other ethnic attributes. The checks are contrary to both UK and Irish law. See and

IPB´s Seán MacBride Peace Award 2019
The International Peace Bureau’s Seán MacBride Peace Award for 2019 has gone to Bruce Kent and Elayne Whyte Gómez. It is named after Irish stateman Seán MacBride, who was closely associated with IPB. Bruce Kent, from England, is in his 90th year, and has been a prominent figure with a wide variety of peace and disarmament activities for many decades. Elayne Whyte Gómez serves as Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office in Geneva and had an important leadership role at the UN conferences negotiating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from March to July 2017. /

Housmans Peace Diary, the world working for peace         
Housmans Peace Diary is an indispensable publication and aid to movements working for peace, social justice and the environment. The regularly updated directory lists over 1500 national and international peace, environmental and human rights organisations as well as diary features such as a week to a view, notable dates and anniversaries etc - the feature this year is actually on internationally recognised ‘peace days’ and the use of anniversaries by activists. The 2019 diary is the 67th annual edition. One copy of the diary is £8.95, postage is £1.50 extra per diary for 1-4 copies in UK postage area, £3 postage per diary elsewhere. Discounts for more copies. Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, ph 020 7837 4473, e-mail or to order online visit

INNATE will have a limited number of Housmans Peace Diaries for sale.
The World Peace Directory is also available online at in a fuller version. It is worth reading the background information on the website to get the best use out of it.

Global issues in the classroom – Dublin
Afri’s teacher training for secondary school teachers on effective ways of bringing global issues into the classroom takes place on 11th November from 11am to 3pm in Dublin. The training is led by a global education expert together with Pete Mullineaux, a leader in the field of combining drama and global education, and author of Just A Second! Exploring Global Issues Through Drama and Theatre. Teacher training resources will be made available – including lessons plans for a number of subjects including English, CSPE, History and Geography. Teacher substitution cover is available and a light lunch will be provided for participants. Booking is essential to ensure a place; contact Afri at
Afri’s Oireachtas submission on direct provision is on the website at  

CPD from MNI
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) provides continuing professional development courses for those in the field, as part of practitioner support, and while some of the autumn programme has already taken place, details are at  

Amnesty International award for young climate activists
On 16th September when Amnesty International awarded its Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2019 to Greta Thunberg and Fridays for Future, to honour the movement of school strikers and young climate activists, in Ireland Colm O’Gorman presented the award to representatives of the groups Fridays for Future, School Strikes 4 Climate and Schools Climate Action Network.  

Inaugural sustainability lecture in QUB
The inaugural Queen’s University Belfast Sustainability Lecture takes place on Wednesday 23rd October 4pm in the Peter Froggatt Centre/0G/007 (in the main quadrangle) with Tim Smit of the Eden Project, Cornwall, speaking on ‘Have you got what it takes to start a revolution or are you a sheep!!’ To register please visit For more details please email John Barry:

Exciting books on nonviolence and related topics
For a relatively small but fascinating selection of books on nonviolence, peace, resistance, social change and related issues, you can look at what Irene Publishing has to offer (associated with Jorgen Johansen) at

Arms fairs protests map
Sarah of Agir pour la Paix in Belgium has put together a fascinating map of where arms fair protests have taken place; see   


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