St Patrick makes Belfast appearance to drive out military drones
St Patrick put in a personal appearance in Belfast on 17th March when he sought to drive out military drones and missiles; this was at Spirit AeroSystems (formerly Bombardier) in the harbour estate. Spirit AeroSystems are developing the ‘Loyal Wingman’ military drone there though St Patrick also specifically mentioned Thales’ production of missiles. See https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/51046065166/in/dateposted/ for photo and St Patrick’s full statement.
– The new network on the arms trade in Ireland meets remotely with the next meeting being Tuesday 27th April at 7.30pm. Contact INNATE firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the network mailing list and receive the meeting link.
Chernobyl Walk of Hope
To commemorate ‘UN Chernobyl Remembrance Day‘ and the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Chernobyl Children’s International are encouraging people to walk 35km throughout April (they say “Clock up 35km throughout April in whatever way you can.”) It is a kilometre to mark each that year that has passed since the Chernobyl tragedy. This virtual fundraiser will help support the 3rd generation of victims of Chernobyl. Register at https://www.chernobyl-international.com/product/walk-35-kilometres-for-chernobyl/ #35kmForChernobyl Donations can also be made on the website https://www.chernobyl-international.com/
VSI: Inclusive community workshop
On 2nd March VSI/Voluntary Service International, in collaboration with SCI Hellas in Greece and Liberties College in Dublin, facilitated an online workshop called ‘Online Youth Voices: How inclusive is your community?’ The workshop was designed to create an intercultural exchange for young people in Ireland and in Greece to come together as an online community of learners and learn about inclusion, solidarity and intercultural understanding and build upon their intercultural competencies with people from different regions of the world. It included a Padlet Silent Exhibition and a Jamboard poster-making session. See more info at https://2020.sci.ngo/project/67-online-youth-voices-how-inclusive-is-your-community/ This workshop was included in Service Civil International’s visibility campaign ‘100 Actions for Peace’ that celebrates its 100th anniversary by gathering different actions that work towards peace. VSI’s website is at https://www.vsi.ie/
AVP continue work and preparation
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is delivering a six weeks postal course in 9 prisons currently using AVP Britain materials and are in the process of training 17 assessors. The first feedback is very positive: for people who are incarcerated it is an opportunity to build meaningful skills such as communication, assertiveness, problem solving and conflict resolution, while enhancing self esteem, self awareness and sense of own values. In some prisons, participants manage to share a time together while completing the course when restrictions allow. AVP are also running run a monthly remotely facilitated workshop in Limerick prison and it’s working as well as possible, despite the technical challenges and the safety restrictions. They also produce a newsletter circulated in prison but are not currently recruiting volunteers because of uncertainties about when in person work will recommence. See https://avpireland.ie/ where you can subscribe to receive regular updates.
CAJ response to UK Human Right Act review
CAJ, the Committee on the Administration of Justice in Northern Ireland, has issued a 20-page response to the UK’s Independent Human Rights Act Review which was set up by the UK government to ‘consider how the Human Rights Act (HRA) is working in practice and whether any change is needed’. CAJ believes it is important to see this review in the context of a long list of attempts by the Conservative government to weaken or entirely scrap the HRA. They state the incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) through the HRA has been a central tenet of the NI peace settlement and weakening of these protections to be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement. See https://caj.org.uk/2021/03/04/caj-responds-to-review-of-the-human-rights-act/ which has a link to the CAJ response.
CGE: Policy and Practice, 15th anniversary edition
The Centre for Global Education has produced a special fifteenth anniversary collection of their bi-annual, peer reviewed and open access journal Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review. It weighs in at 400 pages and costs £14; it carries articles by scholars in the field who debate issues on the cutting edge of development education practice and the policy environment in which it is delivered. See https://publications.centreforglobaleducation.com/product/policy-practice-a-development-education-review-fifteenth-anniversary-edition/
CRC Good Relations award, NI centenary
The 2021 Good Relations Award from the Community Relations Council, announced at the end of March, has gone to May Blood. A special award was made to Trademark Belfast http://trademarkbelfast.com/ for the work of Mel Corry who died this year. Previous winners of the Good Relations Award, stretching back to 2006, are Paddy White, Marion Jamison and Charmain Jones (joint winners 2019), Eamonn Deane, Derrick Wilson, Anne Carr, Renee Crawford and Jean Brown, David Stevens, Mary Kelly, Rab McCallum and Michael Acheson, Chris O’Halloran, Maureen Hetherington, Paul McCrory, Fr Gary Donegan, and Eileen Weir. https://www.community-relations.org.uk/
l While marking the 100th anniversary of Northern Ireland is controversial, a new website for the Decade of Centenaries has been launched, developed by the Nerve Centre. See https://www.community-relations.org.uk/news-centre/creative-centenaries-information-hub-nerve-centre and link there.
ICCL: Film award and more
The Dissident, a documentary film following the shocking murder of Jamal Khashoggi, journalist and critic of the Saudi Arabian government, has won the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) Human Rights Film Award 2021 as part of the Dublin International Film Festival. It was directed by Bryan Fogel. Recent statements by ICCL on different issues including online safety legislation, protest in the current era, vaccine passports, mother and baby homes, Direct Provision etc can be found on their website at https://www.iccl.ie/
War Resisters’ International marking centenary, exhibition
2021 is the centenary of the establishment of the War Resisters’ International (WRI). https://www.wri-irg.org/ One of the features of the centenary is an online exhibition of textiles (arpilleras, quilts and wall hangings) on the theme ‘Nonviolence in Action: Antimilitarism in the 21st Century’, curated by Roberta Bacic, assisted by Breege Doherty. It comprises 28 pieces. See https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/conflict-textiles-exhibition-nonviolence-action-antimilitarism-21st-century or full details at https://cain.ulster.ac.uk/conflicttextiles/search-quilts2/fullevent1/?id=227 The latter includes a link for the exhibition launch webinar. The exhibition will be online to the end of 2021.
– INNATE hopes to mark the WRI centenary with a seminar later in the year on Irish peace movement history – though not exclusively on groups linked with WRI (which have included the Irish Pacifist Movement, Dawn, and currently INNATE); anyone interested in contributing please get in touch.
ICHR Summer School on International Criminal Court
The Irish Centre for Human Rights’ annual Summer School on the International Criminal Court/ICC will take place online from 8th – 11th June. Fee €75. Further details on this in depth event at https://www.nuigalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/newsevents/summer-school-on-the-international-criminal-court.html
Feasta: Banking on the community, investing locally
‘Banking on the community, investing locally for resilience’ takes place on 14th April. 10.00 – 11.30 am, and is the first of two events on finance, particularly relevant in the era of bank and bank branch closures. It is organised by Feasta and Cork Environmental Forum. Speakers are Caroline Whyte, Seamus Maye, Bridget Meehan and Neasa Hourigan. See https://www.feasta.org/ for info and booking link.
Amnesty welcomes Council of Europe move on Finucane case
Amnesty International has welcomed the decision of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to re-open its scrutiny of UK government failures to order a public inquiry into the 1989 murder of lawyer Patrick Finucane. The European Court of Human Rights had previously ruled that the UK authorities had violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights by not properly investigating the murder. https://www.amnesty.ie/ and https://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/Northern-Ireland
Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) at 50
ISE was founded in 1970, by Fr Michael Hurley SJ, and the anniversary is being marked by different events over the next period. See https://www.tcd.ie/ise/ise-at-50/
Stop Fuelling War
Paris-based group Stop Fuelling War works to raise awareness about the French arms trade, and to campaign against its existence with the goal to enable a transformation of the arms industry by redirecting resources focussed on producing weapons towards peacebuilding and conflict transformation. There is very useful material on their website at https://stopfuellingwar.org/en/ – include a look at ‘Resources’ both ‘Internal’ and ‘External’ in the menu panel.
Church and Peace conferences
Material from the March Britain and Ireland regional day on ‘Building peace from the ground up’ is available at https://www.church-and-peace.org/en/regional-conferences/ Meanwhile they have an upcoming conference on 19th April https://www.church-and-peace.org/en/2021/02/online-conversation-politics-of-division/ on UK ‘Politics of division’.
Revamped INNATE website
The INNATE website at www.innatenonviolence.org is about to have changes – it won’t look very different but new content will be input through WordPress and material up to the end of 2020 will be an ‘archive’ which you can access by a click on the home page. While the new and some of the old material will be directly available on the top menu bar, if you are word searching you may need to search both the WordPress site and in the old archive one. However in the long term it is hoped the changes will make the INNATE news output speedier and more flexible. All the resources – news since 1992, editorials, columnists Larry Speight and Billy King, Readings in Nonviolence, pamphlets, posters, information on peace trails, workshop material etc – will still be there. INNATE’s photo site meanwhile, at https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland now has over 2,000 entries.
– INNATE would like to offer a big thank you to Mark McCann who has been its webmaster since INNATE went online in 1998 and has done wonders for the INNATE online presence; 23 years, phew!