Nonviolent News 290

How Raytheon got kicked out of Derry

Raytheon left Derry in 2010 with their tail between their legs after a local campaign to rid the city of this arms company. They had consistently denied they were involved in arms related work in their Derry office – and they were consistently lying through their teeth. An online seminar at 7.30pm on Wednesday 16th June will look at what took place in terms of the campaign to oust Raytheon, and lessons for arms campaigning elsewhere. “Derry’s response to the international arms trade – FEIC off!” is organised by the network on the arms trade in Ireland. The speakers were all centrally involved in the campaign: Jim Keys of Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign (FEIC); Eamon McCann of the Derry Anti-War Coalition (DAWC), involved in the Raytheon 9 occupation; and Goretti Horgan of the Derry Anti-War Coalition, involved with all 3 occupations. The platform will be Zoom and to book to receive the link, or for queries, contact INNATE innate@ntlworld.com Flyer attached for the e-mail edition of Nonviolent News

l The next business session of the network on the arms trade in Ireland is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8th June – if you’d like to join in the session then e-mail innate@ntlworld.com to receive the link.

Corrymeela: Moving from Violence to Peace (and ‘good to go’)

A detailed but fairly short report “Moving from violence to peace” produced by an international working group from Corrymeela and the University of Ohio’s Mershon Center for International Security Studies looks at transitioning from violence to peace; “While the character of violence might differ, from paramilitarism and criminal gangs to civil war and genocide, societies moving toward peace share similar challenges. As such, the lessons gleaned from one context are informative for others…[and] several overlapping themes emerged.” The report can be found via the Corrymeela website at https://www.corrymeela.org/news/210/new-report-moving-from-violence

l Meanwhile their report “Crossing Borders: Brexit & The Book of Ruth” looking at issues of migration, belonging, community and stereotyping can be downloaded at https://www.corrymeela.org/resources/faith-life

l It has been a tough time for everyone over the last year and a bit but when you run a meeting place where people can’t meet….well, that has been hard. Corrymeela have now reopened their Ballycastle Centre to groups and have been awarded the industry standard ‘We’re Good to Go’, which means groups can have confidence that they are implementing all the latest public health guidance to keep them safe. Contact bookings@corrymeela.org or phone +44 (0)28 2076 2626

CAJ welcomes Ballymurphy inquest findings

CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice has welcomed the inquest verdicts and findings into the deaths of ten people killed at Ballymurphy between 9 and 11 August 1971. CAJ states: ”The findings of Coroner Mrs Justice Keegan have vindicated them. It was held that each of the victims was entirely innocent of any wrongdoing, and no valid justification was provided for soldiers opening fire. The Coroner found that there was a breach of Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights (right to life) as the shooting occurred without the minimisation of risk. The Coroner also found that the original investigations were shockingly inadequate, and the state failed in its obligations to properly investigate these deaths under Article 2 ECHR.” They go on to state this case demonstrates the vital role of an independent investigation in compliance with Article 2 ECHR; “something which many victims in our society are entitled to but are still being denied.” https://caj.org.uk/2021/05/12/statement-on-ballymurphy-inquest-findings/ which has a link to the summary inquest findings.

The right to protest

ICCL/Irish Council for Civil Liberties have pointed out that in mid-May the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had to cancel a pandemic-safe rally planned for Saturday after gardaí told them they could be prosecuted for organising a protest. ICCL have pointed out that protest is a fundamental right and reiterated its long-standing call for an end to the extreme restrictions on protest: “Government and gardaí are duty-bound to facilitate peaceful protest. They must clarify how people can make their voices heard safely.“ See https://www.thejournal.ie/rally-palestine-dublin-5435406-May2021/ and https://www.iccl.ie/ for more on their monitoring of rights during the pandemic.

Afri Famine Walk session

This is the second year that Afri’s May Famine Walk has been online. The video of the session, including a very useful look at An Gorta Mór by Prof Christine Kinealy, can be found at https://www.afri.ie/category/virtual-famine-walk-2021-talks-music-and-poetry/ Also included is music and poetry, and reflections by Rose Kelly. Afri’s goal is the promotion of global justice and peace, and the reduction of poverty; this includes, but is not limited to, the progressive reduction of global militarisation, and responding to the threat of climate change, corporate control of resources and water, and interference with food sovereignty.

St Patriky: New chapel opens in Belarus

The first ever Eastern Orthodox church named in honour of St Patrick has been blessed and officially opened on the grounds of Vesnova Children’s Institution, where CCI/Chernobyl Children international, in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection in Mogilev, is leading pioneering work on de-institutionalisation to ensure that institutional care in Belarus will no longer be necessary and to enable children to live a free and independent life. The miniature, timber framed, gold domed, Church of St Patrick was funded by the Belarusian Orthodox Church, and was dedicated to “St Patrick”, or “St Patriky, the Enlightener of Ireland”, as he is known in the Orthodox tradition, as a tribute to the work of Irish donors and volunteers for the past 25 years in transforming the lives of the children and young adults who reside in Vesnova. Chernobyl Children International is a non-profit, international development, medical, and humanitarian organisation that works with children, families and communities that continue to be affected by the 1986 Chernobyl accident. https://www.chernobyl-international.com/

Open letter from Mairead Maguire to Presidents Biden & Putin

In late April, Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire sent an open letter to Presidents Biden and Putin, some of which is quoted here. The full letter is available on the Peace People website at http://www.peacepeople.com/ “…..I write to you both as World Leaders to ask for your advice and help in these challenging times. I would like to know what I can do, together with my friends, to help avert a Third World War, and prevent further suffering and death for millions for my brothers and sisters around the world.…….Having visited Russia and the USA and having met your peoples, I know they are good, who feel love for each other and humanity. I, believe your people are not, nor do they wish to be, enemies. For myself, I have no enemies only brothers and sisters. Yes, there is fear and anxiety about difference, but this should not divide and separate us, the human family………The artificial enmity between Russia and the USA has gone on too long already, and the world asks you to end this by becoming friends and peacemakers not only for your own people, but for the entire world, especially the children, who deserve your help to survive violence, hunger, pandemics, wars, climate changes…. The war games being practised in Europe are dangerous because something may happen that will trigger a war as evidenced by the two last World wars. We the Peoples of the World, do not want war, we want peace and disarmament, to feed the hungry and provide a better life for all children…….Please, President Putin and President Biden: Make peace not war, start to disarm and give the world some hope…..”

PCI: Young artists invited to contribute on nuclear weapons

As part of its work on nuclear disarmament, Pax Christi International is inviting young people to contribute in a creative way to efforts to finally getting rid of nuclear weapons…..the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force on 22 January 2021. People aged 15 to 35 years old are invited to create a video, animated graphic, or motion graphic or create a non-moving digital artwork (graphic, photography, etc) to express in a creative way why it would be important for countries to join the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Details at https://paxchristi.net/2021/05/10/open-call-artists-for-peace/ Deadline: 15th July.

Global gender gap widens significantly

The times scale needed to close the gender equality gap has increased by 36 years in just 12 months according to the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report unveiled by the World Economic Forum. While the 2020 report showed that 99.5 years were needed to do away with gender disparities, the 2021 report now puts this figure at an average of 135.6 years. The regress, which is believed to have been triggered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, is the first registered since the earliest issue of the report in 2006. Covering data from 156 countries, the Global Gender Gap Report follows gender-related progress over time among four key dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. See https://tinyurl.com/y99ht2j8 Source: Centre for Global Education E-Bulletin for May 2021, https://www.centreforglobaleducation.com/

European arms trade: Answering the difficult questions

A video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIn2Ibka3no on discussing how people can answer the difficult questions about the arms trade when talking to European policymakers, arms traders, colleagues, neighbours, or family members. It is from an April event organised by QCEA/Quaker Council for European Affairs, ENAAT/European Network Against the Arms Trade and Stop Fuelling War.

l A new 40 page report from QCEA on “Climate, peace and human rights – Are European policies coherent?” is available at www.qcea.org/peace/climateand you can find the QCEA periodical ‘Around Europe’ on their home page.

Mahatma Gandhi – Dying for freedom

This 42 minute Deutsche Welle documentary on Mohandas Gandhi is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpZwCRInrgo detailing some of his life and work including his opposition to sectarianism and violence but also why he was assassinated, and his ongoing legacy.

Local ownership in peace processes

On 22nd June, Principles for Peace and Peace Direct invite local activists, changemakers, organisers, healers, and peacebuilders to a one-day conversation on ‘Local Ownership in Peace Processes.’ This will be the first in a series of consultations on the issue. They state “…most of the world’s major violent conflicts are not being resolved, and close to half of all conflicts between 1989 and 2018 have recurred despite political settlements……Local ownership, and leadership are acknowledged as crucial to peace, but most peace processes continue to be externally designed, forcing locals into implementing roles instead of being in charge of their design and planning. Ambitious UN initiatives such as the Sustaining Peace agenda have demonstrated a global political will to change this, but they have thus far failed to establish new good practice for conducting effective peace processes.” Using Platform4Dialogue, this will discuss how local actors conceive of local ownership in peace processes.; it will also consider how to better structure, sequence and build more inclusive peace processes, ensuring that they are genuinely designed and led by local actors. Register at https://tinyurl.com/yckyrtkf See also https://www.interpeace.org/principles-for-peace/ and https://www.peacedirect.org/