Donnellan and Roddy acquitted in Shannon trial
Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy were acquitted on 23rd October by a jury in their trial at Dublin Criminal Court in relation to an action at Shannon Airport in May 2016 when they tried to inspect US warplanes there; they were charged with unlawful damage to the fence and runway. There were two US Air Force aircraft at Shannon at the time of the incident. One was a US air force Learjet C-21A aircraft registration number 84-0072 being guarded by an Irish army patrol, and the other was a US air force Boeing C-32B aircraft registration number 02-4452 used by the United States special forces, and being guarded by a Garda patrol car. The successful defence case was based on the argument that they had lawful excuse, or just cause, for their actions. Neither defendant was represented by a lawyer.
A short Afri film gives interviews with the defendants after the trial, and previously unseen footage of their action at Shannon www.youtube.com In this film Dave Donellan says “By our acquittal, what has been exposed is the systemic failures of both the Gardaí and the DPP to uphold local and international law at Shannon Airport. Their decision to pursue this case was a political one to punish us for challenging the US military use of Shannon Airport.” He went on to point out that such military use sets up Shannon as a legitimate military target. Colm Roddy said “The result of this trial gives us no cause for celebration. Our peaceful nonviolent actions in May 2016 were undertaken to highlight Irish complicity and participation in US wars in the Middle East that have caused the deaths of millions of people, including the deaths of up to one million children since the First Gulf War in 1991.”
Further background can be seen in a video at www.youtube.com Sources: Shannonwatch www.shannonwatch.org and Afri www.afri.ie
Irish CND welcomes international ban on nuclear weapons
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has been ratified by 50 countries, and will now enter into force on 22nd January 2021, 90 days after its 50th ratification was lodged at the United Nations. The Treaty was negotiated in 2017 with the backing of 122 countries, following a UN motion proposed by Ireland and 5 other states calling for talks on a new legal instrument to outlaw nuclear weapons. For the first time under international law, the treaty explicitly bans the use, development, testing, production, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, transferring, receiving, threat of use and deployment of nuclear weapons. Ireland ratified the TPNW on 6th August 2020, the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and has already transposed its provisions into Irish law in the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Act (2019).
Welcoming the news that the Treaty has reached the threshold for entry into force, Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament chairperson, Dr David Hutchinson Edgar said: "This is a momentous step on the road to a world free of nuclear weapons. There is now an irrefutable international norm against nuclear weapons. While that will not bring about disarmament overnight, it clearly de-legitimises their development and possession..”
Irish CND went on to pay tribute to the tireless work of many campaigners, especially the hibakusha and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), of which Irish CND is a partner organisation. Irish CND also commended the Irish government for its leadership in the negotiation of the TPNW and the process leading to its entry into force. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney previously said “ The TPNW strengthens and reinforces the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] ….. the only true guarantee against the horrors of nuclear war is the total elimination of nuclear weapons." irishcnd.blogspot.com
Arms trade seminar
INNATE is organising an online seminar on the arms trade at 7pm on Monday 16th November. Speakers will be Femi Omotoyinbo who is a postgraduate researcher at Queen’s Univeristy Belfast, Ron Hirschbein of California State University, and John Lannon of Shannonwatch. There will be discussion and questions following the speakers and the programme will run for around 90 minutes. Anyone, anywhere welcome to participate; to book send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a topical issue as Ireland is increasingly dragged into the arms trade. See attached flyer with the e-mail edition for more information.
Brave New World: MII Conference
The Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII) annual conference takes place online on the afternoon of Thursday 3rd December, running from from 13.30 – 17.30. The main speakers are Dr. Dale Bagshaw (‘Empowering Elders in the Brave New World’) , Ken Cloke (‘Politics, Dialogue and the Evolution of democracy: Towards a mediative, interest-based approach to political conflicts’) and Michael Lang (‘Back to the future...something old, something new’). There is a booking fee €10 and proceeds will be donated to Focus Ireland. For further information and registration go to www.themii.ie and click on ‘Events’.
One World creative pack
Aimed to be a fun learning resource for 8 – 11 year olds, with art ideas, games and puzzles, this printable pack, created by Tools for Solidarity (TfS), is available at oneworldfestivalni.com/one-world-creative-pack
How would you describe our world to an alien???? TfS hosts ESC/European Solidarity Corps and Eirene volunteers and there is a great little video of their work.
Human rights videos from Everyone Equal
There is a new collaborative campaign to bring the message of fairness and equality to all people living in Northern Ireland; this involves CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice, Human Rights Consortium, PPR/Participation and the Practice of Rights, and the PILS Project (Public Interest Litigation). The Everyone Equal campaign has been launched to increase public understanding of human rights and their value to society. As a first step, a series of very short animated videos have been produced that explain some of the key rights issues currently facing NI. All five videos are available from the Everyone Equal website at www.everyoneequal.org and links to the sponsoring organisations are included.
AVP/Alternatives to Violence Project news
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is continuing to work within the current restrictions to advance what it does – AVP is a training programme enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways through using experiential workshops. Current work includes various remote sessions for existing volunteers, compiling resources, and even redesigning some training with socially distanced activities that they are going to pilot delivering remotely as programme in prisons with the help of AVP inside teams. Unfortunately AVP Ireland will not be in a position to train any new outside volunteers before 2021….but it is never a bad time to get in touch if interested. avpireland.ie
CAIN able to continue its work
CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) is the most comprehensive and used online resource about conflict and politics in Northern Ireland. Over the last couple of years there has been uncertainty about its future and the possibility it could be mothballed. However due to some funding received in the summer it is currently able to continue its work while seeking more stable, longer term financing. cain.ulster.ac.uk
ICCL: Ireland in a time of Covid
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has been extremely active on human right issue to do with Covid-19, right from the word ‘Coronavirus’. The current issue of their magazine, Rights News, gives a detailed account of ICCL’s work and the issues involved in relation to the pandemic. See www.iccl.ie
Meanwhile pandemic restrictions have severely affected ICCL’s fundraising and they are appealing for financial help to keep their work going as planned.
Linking the world with Housmans Peace Diary
Housmans Peace Diary is an indispensable publication and aid to movements working for peace, social justice and the environment. The directory lists over 1400 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 on the centenary of War Resisters’ International (WRI) in 2021 and its work around the world. The 2021 diary is the 68h annual edition. One copy of the diary is £8.95, postage is £2 extra for UK postage area, £6 postage per diary elsewhere. Discounts for 10 or more copies.
Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, ph 020 7837 4473, e-mail email@example.com or to order online visit housmans.com/peace-diary
The World Peace Directory is also available online at www.housmans.info in a fuller version. It is worth reading the background information on the website to get the best use out of it.
Irish Centre for Human Rights
Online events through to the end of the year with the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway are listed at www.nuigalway.ie including a talk by William Schabas on ‘The War Crime of Unfair Trial’ on 19th November. Also online on their site is a working paper on the Istanbul Convention’s monitoring mechanism, commissioned by Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, particularly in relation to states’ obligations relevant to the provision of services to women survivors of violence. See /www.nuigalway.ie
Peace by Peace Dialogues
Community Dialogue and the Rainbow Project are continuing a series of dialogues on issues including redefining peace, rights and dialogue, and responding to all forms of conflict. Two and a half hour remote sessions continue on 19th November and 3rd December, both starting at 6.30pm. More details or to book, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Majority voting as a catalyst of populism
A half hour video of the presentation given at the online launch of Peter Emerson’s book, “Majority voting as a catalyst of populism” (Springer, 2020).
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