CAJ on Bill of Rights, and new office
Human rights group, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) has criticised the government’s proposals for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. In its response to the consultation, CAJ made it clear that it will continue to campaign for a Bill of Rights, but that the government proposals do not stand up in human rights terms and should be rejected in their totality. A full copy of CAJ’s response to the public consultation can be found at (see under ‘News’). On 24th February, the NIO extended the consultation period by four weeks until 31st March 2010.
CAJ has recently moved premises. It is now located at 2nd Floor, Sturgen Building, 9-15 Queen Street, Belfast BT1 6EA. The new contact telephone number is 028 - 9031 6000.
VSI – at home and abroad
VSI (Voluntary Service International) is seeking volunteers for 2 International Volunteer Projects at Easter – Mosney Asylum Centre, Co. Meath – volunteers will help with a wide range of creative and sporting activities for children and young people who are resident at the centre. Cuisle Centre, Co. Roscommon – volunteers will help with activities for wheelchair users who come to Cuisle on holidays. More details from http://www.vsi.ie
VSI’s partners in over 70 countries worldwide have finalised their projects for 2010. There are a huge range of projects – peace, solidarity, environmental, arts and culture and many others. The projects can be viewed on the VSI website
People keen on volunteering in a developing country will be interested in a VSI Exploring Development Workshop in Greystones, Co. Wicklow on March 27/28 next. The workshop will introduce people to current development issues, volunteering projects in developing countries and practical advice on keeping safe and healthy. More details from
Tom Ryder, Coordinator, Voluntary Service International, 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, ph 01 - 8551011.
Traditionally speaking the season of Lent is a time of repentance and reflection on the direction our lives are taking. Since repentance is essentially about “changing one’s mind”, it would be fairly important that one knows explicitly what one should be changing their mind towards. For the six weeks of Lent starting 23rd February and every Tuesday thereafter until March 30th, from 8pm-9.45ish, the Community Centre of Donnycarney, “Le Chéile”, beside Donnycarney Church in Dublin 5, will play host to a series of reflections on Jesus and his nonviolent teachings for a violent world. Original Christianity, for about 300 years after the life of Christ, forbade the use of violence and enmity. The full embracing of Gospel Nonviolence calls for a radical change in the way we think, talk, behave and feel. To a mind conditioned by a seemingly endless stream of examples in which violence is portrayed as a legitimate means of conflict resolution, the acceptance of nonviolence as truth is a huge challenge.
In this series of reflections we will come to know the Jesus of the Gospels in a way that will transform our understanding of how to live in the Kingdom of God moment to moment and follow the new commandment of Jesus to love one another. In a time of crisis for the Church, this understanding of Christianity has the potential to restore and revolutionize the faith of believers and non-believers alike! We will explore the response of Jesus to the problems of existence, critically analyse the Church’s attempts to live out Gospel Truths and ask where now for an Irish Church reeling from the backlash of a history of corruption and blatant disregard for the Christian values lived faithfully by the first generations of early Christians but obscured along the way by the worldly temptations of wealth and power. For details please contact Martin McMullan, e-mail: email@example.com
or phone 01 - 8510017.
Why Violence? Update and art and cartoon competitions
Why Violence? The Campaign for Violence Reduction has issued an update on the campaign’s activities in 2009 which included cartoon and art competitions and various events in the Why Violence Week, 21st September (UN World Peace Day) – 2nd October (UN Day of Nonviolence). The entries to the 2009 competitions will be on display in the Dublin Civic Offices, Wood Quay from 9 am – 5pm each day from 22nd – 26th March. Meanwhile this year the theme for both competitions is “Violent behaviour is never acceptable”. Closing date for both competitions is 1st July this year; a drawing for Junior Schools, and a cartoon (black and white) for second level students and youth clubs. Further information on the website at
Why Violence? Campaign for Violence Reduction, c/o Quaker House, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Haiti debt not cancelled
DDCI/Debt and Development Coalition Ireland point out that “Contrary to the recent media reports, Haiti's debt still is not cancelled. While the G7 announced that they will cancel the debts due to them from Haiti, this represents a minimal amount of Haiti's debt (not more than US$ 122 million). The bulk of Haiti's debt - US$ 650 million - still remains to be cancelled by international financial institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the IMF and the World Bank…. Ireland is implicated in this failure through our membership of the IMF and World Bank.” Canada represents Ireland at the executive boards of these institutions and DDCI has called on citizens to contact the Canadian and Irish governments urgently. Further information and form letters and addresses are available from DDCI, see their website at or contact Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, Unit F5, Spade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, Dublin 7 ph 01 – 6174835.
Where the Shannon airport shows (support for US war efforts)
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th March: Gathering of Women for the Sixth Year of the Women’s Peace Camp. This year the camp will be part of the international women's day celebrations and will be held from 2 pm on Saturday 6th March, ending with an action-rally at 2pm Sunday March 7th. The camp will be set up adjacent to the small roundabout just before the airport entrance. Children & Men are Welcome. Sorry, No Dogs. For further details contact Margaretta D'Arcy, e-mail email@example.com phone 091 - 565430.
Sunday 2pm 14th March: Shannon Watch Vigil; Remembering the start of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq on 20th March 2003. Vigil will be from 2pm - 3pm. Assemble at roundabout before airport entrance. A bus is being arranged from Dublin on March 14th. To reserve a seat or for further details call Seamus Rhatigan (PANA), 086 - 8369793. Visit
Belfast Exposed on Demands and Denials of Freedom
Belfast Exposed, in conjunction with Index on Censorship, is organising a programme of a series of talks on Friday 12th March (from 12 noon) and on Tuesday 23rd March (from 4pm), with three different sessions each day on relevant issues to do with censorship, privacy and freedom. See for further details.
Stop Climate Chaos supports the appliance of science
Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of 28 civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. Current members include development, environmental, youth and faith based organisations. For more information see: www.stopclimatechaos.ie They note that “CO2 reductions pledged at Copenhagen would lead to global warming of more than 3.5 degrees by 2100, according to science.”
( ) and they want to share information with Irish people. "Scientific literacy is essential if we are going to respond to the many challenges of climate change" says Gavin Harte, spokesperson for Stop Climate Chaos, who is available to speak at meetings. For info contact: Molly Walsh, 01-6394653, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and web For interviews: Gavin Harte, ph 086-8280978, e-mail email@example.com and web Stop Climate Chaos, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2.
‘Learning for Change: Connecting Local and Global Education’
The Centre for Global Education’s 2010 conference will focus on the theme of ‘Learning for Change: Connecting Local and Global Education’, and will take place on Thursday, 11 March 2010 in the Camden Court Hotel in Dublin from 10:30am-4:30pm. It aims to identify the common principles that encourage ‘learning for change’, i.e. what kind of education results in the learner altering their lives and action choices to achieve a common goal of a just and sustainable world. It seeks to bring together a community of educators to share their work and recognise a common goal of inspiring learners and creating active citizens. It intends to support the work of participants by looking into theories behind the concept of learning for change and providing in-depth workshops on selected methodologies that can be adapted to different organisational and individual needs. David Selby will deliver the keynote address on the topic ‘Transformative Learning in Interesting Times: Thoughts from a Darkened Corner’, and Chris Chapman will facilitate a World Cafe session to encourage critical dialogue between participants. To register, please contact: Jenna Coriddi, Training and Research Officer, Centre for Global Education, 9 University Street, Belfast BT7 1FY, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ph 028 9024 1879. See also
Rossport Solidarity Camp
Local fisherman Pat O'Donnell has been jailed for 7 months for convictions arising from protest against the Corrib Gas project. Letters of support can be sent to him at: Pat O’Donnell, Castlerea Prison, Harristown, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon. In total 21 people appeared before Mayo courts in mid-February in relation to protests against the Corrib Gas Project; five were sentenced, receiving fines, a suspended sentence and community service. For a court report go to: The Rossport Solidarity House at Barr na Coilleadh - across the estuary from Rossport is contactable at e-mail email@example.com and/or ph 085 – 1141170.
OneVoice meeting in Belfast
OneVoice is an international mainstream grassroots movement with over 650,000 signatories in roughly equal numbers both in Israel and in Palestine, and 2,000 highly-trained youth leaders. It aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution, guaranteeing both the end of occupation and the establishment of a sustainable, independent Palestinian state as well as the safety and security of the state of Israel. The Belfast meeting is Monday 8th March at 5.30 pm in the Canada Room, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, Belfast; hear about the reality of the situation from a Palestinian and an Israeli living on the ground, hear about OneVoice’s groundbreaking poll results, and find out how you can be active in ending the conflict. OneVoice Europe, PO Box 817, Richmond, TW9 3WA, England, ph 0208 - 948 5222 See
Advanced Mediation and Peacemaking
Achieving Resolution and Transformation in Intractable and Complex Conflicts, 5-day course at the International Peace and Development Training Centre (IPDTC) – PATRIR from May, 17th – 21st, 2010 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Designed for government officials, conflict party leadership and representatives, and mediators involved in complex mediation and negotiations, domestic and international organizations and agencies facilitating mediation, and UN agencies, organizations and governments supporting mediation and peace processes. Participants to the Advanced Mediation and Peacemaking programme may also register to take part in the full Spring Peace Academy 2010 which includes the five-day Designing Peacebuilding Programmes from May 24 - 28. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org see
INNATE networking group meets next on Wednesday 10th March at 7pm in Corrymeela House, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast – all interested are welcome.
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