Afri virtual Famine Walk event
For the second year running, because of Covid, Afri is unable to organise its Doolough-Louisburgh Famine Walk, commemorating the people who died on a real famine walk there in 1849 and looking at links to issues today. However there will be talks, music and poetry on Saturday 15th May from 7pm – 8.30pm in ‘A celebration of land, life, freedom and solidarity.’ Those participating include Blanca Blanco (Resource Rights Advisor with Trócaire), Rose Kelly (Teacher, Activist and member of Beyond Extractivism on the Island of Ireland), Professor Christine Kinealy (Author of ‘This Great Calamity’ and Director of the Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University), Poet Paula Meehan, Harpist Brídín and the MC will be Ruairí McKiernan (host of Love and Courage podcast and author of Hitching for Hope). Details and booking at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/afri-virtual-famine-walk-2021-talks-music-poetry-tickets-151927430033 and the Afri website is at https://www.afri.ie/
Conflict transformation event with Gobnait’s House
“From Self to Community: Deepening Connections through Conflict Transformation” is a course running from 17th May to 21st June; sessions will be two hours in length and will be held weekly online. The fee is €300 Euros with half-scholarship available to those who are underemployed or unemployed. This training is designed for mediation professionals and practitioners as well as those interested in an introduction to this field and designed for those who want to add new skills to their tool-kit, and, in particular, core communication, leadership and relationship skills. Gobnait’s House has been created by four women working in peacebuilding, mediation, conflict transformation, and healing from across the world though the geographical base is Limerick. The input on this course will be from Catherine Ali and Susan Hartley; the other members of Insight for Social Change/Gobnait’s House are Debi Parush and Aura Hammer. See https://www.insight4socialchange.org/ and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
CAJ: Good Friday commitments, Covid Conversations
A new paper from CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice maps the status of the principal commitments relating to human rights (including equality) made as part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and the subsequent agreements that have emerged during the peace process in Northern Ireland. Many of these rights-based commitments still remain unimplemented more than twenty years later and the paper provides detailed and important updates to previous mapping; see https://caj.org.uk/2021/04/09/a-mapping-exercise-mar-21/
CAJ’s analysis of the legality of Covid vaccination/immunity ‘passports’ can be found at https://caj.org.uk/2021/04/15/caj-cautions-against-the-use-of-vaccine-passports/
– The Equality Coalition, along with the Transitional Justice Institute and Human Rights Consortium, organised a series of webinars examining a wide variety of human rights issues brought into sharp focus by the Covid-19 pandemic. Videos of these are now available at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy32UaNyCOruYMLS1fcVSoA
ICCL on Covid, passports
ICCL/The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has continued to be active on a variety of Covid-19 issues. They state “ICCL has been telling government that vaccine passports should not be used domestically – that establishing a two-tier society, especially when the vaccine is not yet readily available, is a violation of civil liberties.
….. at the Fianna Fail parliamentary party meeting [at the end of April], the Taoiseach agreed with us and he ruled out their domestic use based on our campaign.” https://www.iccl.ie/
Irish coroners system not fit for purpose, rights of bereaved
ICCL, with Professor Phil Scraton and Gillian McNaull, has conducted research that showed Ireland’s system of investigating death is inadequate and can compound and even aggravate the suffering of loved ones. Root-and-branch reform was demanded by an independent Working Group in 2000. Twenty-one years later, those reforms have still not been implemented. This failure on the part of successive governments means grieving families are side-lined, marginalised, and left out in the cold as they wait to find answers. A briefing can be found at https://www.iccl.ie/left-out-in-the-cold-press-briefing-on-iccl-coroners-report/ along with a link to the full report of over eighty pages.
Afri: New Global Citizenship education resources
Afri recently launched new global citizenship education resources – you can watch the launch event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r4ITjJ1j_I&t=4033s This includes three publications designed to support secondary school teachers and other educators to deepen global citizenship education within their classrooms and schools:
1) “The Web of Life: Biodiversity, Interconnectivity and An Gorta Mór”, written by Nicola Winters and edited by Joe Murray and Dervla King has lesson plans containing a wide-ranging series of workshops on themes relating to biodiversity and interconnectivity with a particular reference to the critical lessons to be learned from An Gorta Mór. The Web of Life presents cross-curricular opportunities in a whole variety of subjects.
2) “Interdependence Day! Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals through Drama for All Ages” is written by Pete Mullineaux. It can be used by teachers at both primary and post-primary level, offering eight projects that are relevant and appropriate to all ages, from children as young as four through to older teenagers. The overarching aim is to encourage a whole-school approach to Global Citizenship Education.
3) “Pleananna ceachta le húsáid taobh le hacmhainní de chuid maidir leis an Oideachas Forbartha” consists of lesson plans in Irish built around three resources previously written for Afri’s Development Education programme: “Exploring Global Issues Through Drama and Theatre”; “Pathways of Peace” and ”Lessons from History.”. Compiled by Miriam Barragry with translation by Mark Doris.
All three are available for download at https://www.afri.ie/publications/education-publications/ and they are available as printed copies at €5 each, plus p&p, from Afri. https://www.afri.ie and e-mail email@example.com
21 Years Too Late Show: Direct Provision
“21 Years Too Late Show – Exploring the End of Direct Provision”, organised by MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland) and Amnesty International, was an online event at the end of April, available to view at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4wXfHauAe4sCZeNkWR4cHw MASI is at https://www.masi.ie/ and Amnesty at https://www.amnesty.ie/
– Information and analysis from Doras, Limerick, on direct provision can be found at http://doras.org/direct-provision/
CGE: Climate strikes and public activism
The three quarter of an hour video on this topic from an Imagine! Festival event organised by the Centre for Global Education/CGE can be seen at https://imaginebelfast.com/events/the-climate-strikes/ It involves activists Kaitlyn Laverty, Anna Kernahan, Lynda Sullivan (FOE-NI) and chaired by Stephen McCloskey of CGE. CGE is at https://www.centreforglobaleducation.com/
Eco-Congregation Ireland/ECI encourages Christian churches of all denominations to take an eco approach to worship, lifestyle, property and finance management, community outreach and contact with the developing world. It produces a regular newsletter, which you can subscribe to, and its annual report is available on their website; it offers resources and support to churches. See https://www.ecocongregationireland.com/
WRI: International CO’s Day
Every year on 15th May, the International Conscientious Objection Day, WRI/War Resisters’ International organises solidarity with conscientious objectors (COs) and draws attention to their resistance to war. This year there is a particular focus on Turkey – working closely with the Conscientious Objection Association – Turkey (VR-DER). In Turkey, there are thousands of COs who refuse to perform compulsory military service. The right to conscientious objection to military service isn’t recognised and anyone refusing compulsory military service faces lifetime persecution, including continuous arrest warrants and repeated prosecutions amounting to “civil death” – a term being used to describe their exclusion from social, cultural and economic life. More information at https://wri-irg.org/en/CODay2021
World Beyond War drones campaign
World Beyond War has launched an international campaign against killer drones, BanKillerDrones – to ban weaponized drones and military and police drone surveillance. They state “This comes at the moment when the Biden Administration is reportedly looking to increase U.S. drone killing and drone surveillance as key to retaining some level of colonial control in Afghanistan, under the guise of countering Al Qaeda, as U.S. troops are removed.” See https://worldbeyondwar.org/wbw-news-action-ban-killer-drones/
– The UK-based Drone Wars UK – whose director Chris Cole spoke at a recent arms trade network meeting in Ireland – is at https://dronewars.net/
Aloha national security for Hawai’i
What brings security? Not guns or big guns, that is for sure. A very useful paper on Hawai’i by Pōkā Laenui
in Transcend Media Service https://www.transcend.org/tms/2021/04/a-national-security-system-for-hawaii-built-on-aloha/ may contain some useful lessons for a different island, on the edge of Europe, which also sees itself as a place of welcome (even if the reality for many newcomers may not be quite that). Cèad míle fáilte?
Peace Direct: Pioneering Peace – digital inclusion
In the Covid era, organising for peace online has become a necessity. Peace Direct was involved with other groups in a collaboration entitled Shift Power for Peace working to support peacebuilders internationally, including making small grants – most applications were from Africa. A 40 page report is available at https://www.peacedirect.org/
The state of the world’s human rights
The Amnesty International Report 2020/21 documents the human rights situation in 149 countries in 2020, as well as providing global and regional analysis. It presents Amnesty lnternational’s concerns and calls for action to governments and others, at a time when Covid rocked the world and threw inequalities into start relief. See https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol10/3202/2021/en/
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