Shannon trial of Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers

The jury began their deliberations on 29th April in the trial of Ken Mayers (85) and Tarak Kauff (80) for an action at Shannon Airport in March 2019; with no decision after a couple of hours, the jury were sent home for the weekend. Both men are US citizens and members of Veterans for Peace. The trial itself began on Monday 25th April at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin; Mayers and Kauff pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal damage, trespass, and interfering with airport operations and safety. On St. Patrick’s Day 2019 the two men entered Shannon airport to attempt to search and investigate any aircraft associated with the US military that were there; when they entered there were two US military aircraft at the airport and one civilian aircraft on contract to the US military. They were prevented from searching these aircraft by airport security personnel and Gardai and were arrested and detained at Shannon Garda Station overnight and then charged with criminal damage to the airport fence. They were committed to Limerick prison where they were held for two weeks until the High Court released them on bail conditions which included the seizure of their passports, and they were thus prevented from returning to their homes in the USA for over eight months.

Such trials always reveal fascinating and revealing details about the state and various agencies. One such detail concerned John Francis, Chief Airport Security Officer at Shannon since 2003; when asked if was aware of the prohibition on the transport of arms through the airport unless a specific exemption is granted, he said he was unaware of whether any arms were in fact transported through the airport or if any such exemption had ever been granted. He said that the Omni troop flights were “not scheduled,” “they can show up any time,” and that he “wouldn’t be aware” if a plane carrying weapons was coming through the airport or whether any exemption had been granted to allow such transport.

38 peace activists have been brought before the courts in Ireland on similar charges since 2001. Fuller trial reports are available on the Shannonwatch website at and at

Meanwhile an Irish Times/Ipsos poll has shown strong continued support in the Republic for Irish neutrality And the Neutrality Bill proposed by People Before Profit in Dáil Éireann which would have meant a referendum on the issue of enshrining neutrality in the Constitution was supported by Sinn Féin, Labour, Social Democrats, Aontú and Independents with 53 votes but was was rejected by government parties Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens with 67 votes. The Peoples Movement have a protest against EU militarisation at Dáil Éireann on Wednesday 18th May at 1pm.

Doolough Famine Walk – Tackling global warming & global warring

Afri’s Famine Walk in Co Mayo is back on the ‘real road’ on Saturday 21st May (after two years online); walkers will gather in Louisburgh for conversation, talks and music before being ferried by bus to the start of the walk, retracing the steps of several hundred people who made this journey in search of food during An Gorta Mór, walkers will make their way through the spectacular Doolough Valley marking the tragedy of 1849 but linking to contemporary events. Registration from 12.00 noon in Parish Hall, Louisburgh. Beginning at 1pm. The title is ‘Tackling global warming and global warring – Breaking the cycle of hunger and displacement”. Walk leaders include Robbie McVeigh and Catherine Connolly TD. Registration €25, unwaged €15, children free. See

Elements of Change

This community-led sustainability festival celebrating culture, creativity, and climate action organised by Cultivate takes place in Cloughjordan Ecovillage on 25th and 26th June with multiple venues including: Talks and interactive workshops; Bands, musicians, and DJs; Locally sourced and organic food; Crafts and gift stalls; Children’s entertainment; Conversation cafés etc. Details at Adult full price tickets for the weekend €50.

A renaissance of the peace process?

It may have taken place in September 2019 but the recently published report of a one day conference on this topic (sponsored by CAJ, ICCL, QUB Human Rights Centre and the George Mitchell Institute at QUB) makes for fascinating and useful reading:

Back to normal for AVP, seeks volunteer facilitators

The Alternatives to Violence Project/AVP is ‘back to normal’ in its prison workshops and is looking for new volunteers who would make a commitment to stay for a few years and available 4 – 5 full weekends a year, prepared to undertake the training and committed to the AVP ethos, with an open and non judgemental mindset. Rewards include learning new skills in facilitation and conflict resolution – and fun as well as serious work. If interested contact or text 0851512582 to schedule a phone call. There will be open information meetings for potential new volunteers in June, September and December. More info on AVP at

VSI – Return to short-term international volunteering projects

Are you interested in making a difference in your free time and finding a cost-effective way to explore Europe? VSI/Voluntary Service International have resumed sending in-person volunteers on short-term projects in Europe. Their staff team have put together a list of projects which focus on their core values including solidarity, environmentalism, and human rights. Visit to learn more about these opportunities and how to apply. Or contact VSI’s Programmes Officer, Eiméar, by email or phone +353 852104197.

Corrymeela Belfast office move

Corymeela has moved its Belfast office to the Russell Centre (ex-Russell Court Hotel) on the Lisburn Road. While this will be used as a staff and meeting location there will be no receptionist and only used as a meeting place by invitation; normal queries and post should go to Ballycastle, phone 028 20762626 or email and postal address The Corrymeela Centre, 5 Drumaroan Road, Ballycastle, BT54 6QU.

IAWM Ukraine demo

The Irish Anti-war Movement has a Stop The War in Ukraine demonstration on Saturday 7th May at 2:30pm at the Spire in O’Connell Street Dublin. The aims of the protest are: Immediate withdrawal of all Russian Forces from Ukraine, Solidarity with the Russian Anti-War protesters, and No NATO escalation.

New PANA website

The Peace And Neutrality Alliance has revamped its website at while older material is still available.

UN Chernobyl Remembrance Day

This took place on 26th April, the 36th anniversary of the explosion there, while Adi Roche, Voluntary CEO of Chernobyl Children International (CCI) pointed out that “The catastrophic Russian Invasion Assault on Ukraine, which began at the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in February has potentially triggered a second ‘invisible’ war, as radioactivity in the Chernobyl Zone is being re-released into the atmosphere……Chernobyl is not something from the past; Chernobyl ‘was forever’, Chernobyl ‘is forever’; the impact of that single shocking nuclear accident can never be undone; its radioactive footprint is embedded in our world forever and millions of people are still being affected by its deadly legacy. ….”

Jesus and nonviolence

A talk by Johnston McMaster on ‘Jesus and nonviolence’ in the Irish situation is available on the Corrymeela website at It was originally part of a workshop in the Four Corners Festival in Belfast and a photo from another presentation of it is at Meanwhile the paper by John Dear on the same topic and event is included in the email and web editions of this issue of Nonviolent News; John Dear is the director of where he offers and hosts zoom workshops on Gospel nonviolence.

Arts Activism Toolkit

Creativity in our actions is key to communicating and breaking through barriers. If you word search for ‘arts activism toolkit’ you will come up with a variety of different material; one very useful recent example can be found at

World military expenditure tops $2 trillion for first time

Total global military expenditure increased by 0.7 per cent in real terms in 2021, to reach $2113 billion. The five largest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, together accounting for 62% of expenditure, according to SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. See SIPRI’s paper on trends in international arms transfers can be found at

Global Days of Action on Military Spending continues until 12th May with the theme ‘Give Peace a Budget’; see and

Human rights in Tibet

The grave situation in Tibet under China’s sinicization policy is shown in the annual report from the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) available at

Julian Assange

The British Courts have paved the way for the UK Home Secretary to sign the extradition order for Julian Assange to be dispatched into the hands of the USA justice system and the defence have one last chance to get the extradition decision overturned and Assange released from HMP Belmarsh. You can sign the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) petition at