Féile Bríde 2016: A Time of Opportunity

sunrise_dandelions_by_abradale-d520lqcFéile Bríde 2016
A Time of Opportunity

Saturday 6th February in Solas Bhríde, Kildare Town

The recent Climate Conference in Paris, while lacking binding commitments, marked a milestone in terms of governments of the world coming together and recognising the seriousness of the situation and the need to tackle climate change.  Even more important, in advance of, and during, the conference an unprecedented demonstration of people power was witnessed.  Post-Paris it is clear that this people power needs to continue and grow, that it is up to citizens of the world, we the people, to take responsibility and ‘be the change we want to see in the world’.  This is a time of opportunity and Féile Bríde will explore what can be done – and what is already being done – by ordinary people to save our planet. Continue reading “Féile Bríde 2016: A Time of Opportunity”

Food Sovereignty Proclamation Launched at Dublin Climate March

Climate March
Afri at the Dublin Climate March in November where a food sovereignty proclamation was launched

Afri attended the Climate March in Dublin on the 29th November to join with people around the world who were marching ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Paris calling on world leaders to take immediate action on climate change.

Film by Dave Donnellan

Afri Coordinator, Joe Murray stated, “One of the problems about the debate on climate change is that people keep speaking in the future tense…about what will happen to our children and our grandchildren.  Unfortunately, however, climate change is not a future tense issue, it’s a real and present danger.  Another myth is that climate change only affects countries of the Global South.  While it is true that countries in the southern hemisphere are among the most seriously affected, it is also having a profound effect on all countries, including Ireland.

The message is clear: we cannot wait for our governments to act on such a crucial issue.  We, the people, must lead and they will be forced to follow.”

The Food Sovereignty Proclamation is pasted to the Department of Agriculture during the Climate March. Photo: William Hederman
The Food Sovereignty Proclamation is pasted to the Department of Agriculture during the Climate March. Photo: William Hederman

After the March Afri and Food Sovereignty Ireland launched the Food Sovereignty Proclamation at the Department of Agriculture.   Food Sovereignty is an effective response to the challenges posed to food systems by climate change.  To read the proclamation and to sign it you can visit the Food Sovereignty Ireland website here.

Students At U2’s Former School Send Powerful Message To World Leaders

For the past several weeks Afri has been working with students in Mount Temple School in Dublin on an exciting film and music project.  Our aim was to prepare a strong message to send to World leaders who will gather in Paris for the UN Conference on Climate Change on November 30th. This meeting is critically important for our world and for the future of all of us.

We are very pleased with the outcome of our work – this short film represents the creativity, passion and hope of a new generation – young people who can see the madness of destroying our planet through war, violence and an insatiable addiction to fossil fuels… and who are ready and willing to do what they can to bring about change.

Please spread this message far and wide.

Suggested tweet:
Students At U2’s Former School Send Powerful Message To World Leaders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJaa8Xk57CM via @AfriPeace #ClimateMarch #Cop21

Hedge School 2015: One Earth, One Change – Climate Change & Human Rights

Hedge School 2015_WEBAfri Hedge School 2015: One Earth, One Chance – Climate Change & Human Rights

I.T. Blanchardstown, Room A57

Tuesday 10th November 2015, 9.30am – 4pm

In our history, Hedge Schools were places of learning, continuity and resistance, emerging out of the draconian Penal Laws that forbade formal education to most Irish people. Learning about and resisting the causes of poverty is at the heart of Afri’s work and the Hedge School symbolizes the kind of resilience and creativity needed to address the crisis facing our world as a result of climate change and the obscenity of the war industry.

The 2015 Hedge School will explore the themes of climate change and human rights.  This year’s Hedge School is organised in partnership with the students from the Social and Community Development Course from I.T. Blanchardstown.

The 10th November 2015 is the 20th anniversary of the execution of the great nonviolent environmentalist Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 9.  We will be marking this event at the Hedge School.

To book tickets go here and visit our facebook page here.

Waltzing on Borrowed Time

Afri recently launched an appeal to artists to help raise awareness about global warming and climate change – especially in the lead in to the UN Summit on Climate in Paris in December 2015.  Artists responded including Damien Dempsey, Liam O’Maonlai, Donal O’Kelly, Noirín Ní Riain, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Pete St. John and many more.

As part of this call Afri brought together Pete St. John, composer of the famous song ‘The Fields of Athenry’, Ugandan singer, Justine Nantale, and the children and teachers of Gaelscoil Cholmcille in Dublin to perform Pete’s song ‘Waltzing on Borrowed time’.  This video (filmed by Dave Donnellan and RoJ Whelan) captures some of the magic of the occasion.

Please share widely.

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes the Minister’s commitment to amend Climate Bill

scc_logo_highresStop Climate Chaos welcomed the statement by Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly TD, that he will bring forward amendments to the Government’s Climate Bill. The Minister was speaking during the Committee Stage debate, where the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill passed without amendment. Several opposition amendments were withdrawn following assurances from the Minister he will consider the issues raised by TDs ahead of the next stage in the Dáil.

Commenting, Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos Coordinator, said

“The Minister’s commitment to amending the Climate Bill is welcome. Now we need to see his proposed changes. The final Bill needs to make clear how much we’ll reduce emissions by 2050, guarantee the independence of the Advisory Council, and ensure Ireland pursues the principle of climate justice.”

Before the Committee’s debate Stop Climate Chaos presented the Minister with a petition from more than 5,000 people calling on him to bring forward amendments that would strengthen the Climate Bill and to ensure it is passed into law before the summer recess. Continue reading “Stop Climate Chaos welcomes the Minister’s commitment to amend Climate Bill”

This could be our last chance to fix the Climate Bill

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In less than a week’s time the Climate Bill will go through another crucial stage in the Dáil. This is make or break…. It could be the last chance we have to fix the Bill before it becomes law. Tell Minister Alan Kelly you want to see the amendments he promised now.

The Minister has told the Dáil he is considering possible amendments to the Bill. We need to make sure the changes he makes are the right ones, by clearly indicating how much we plan to reduce emissions by 2050, by ensuring that the independence of the Expert Advisory Council is explicitly guaranteed and by committing to climate justice as a guiding principle.

Last week UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Ireland to do more to tackle climate change. He called on Ireland to “align its climate effort with its admirable engagement on hunger”. It’s time fo r the Minister to step up to this challenge. Ask Alan Kelly to strengthen the Climate Bill and keep his promise to have the Bill passed into law before the summer break.

It’s almost three months since the draft law was first debated in the Dáil and we’re still waiting for the Government’s proposed changes. Time is ticking and the crucial UN summit in Paris is now less than six months away. Countries like Ireland, with high emissions and higher historical responsibility, have to demonstrate a credible commitment to climate action if we are to build the trust required for a global deal in Paris.

The only thing that has kept the Climate Bill on track to become law at all is the continuous pressure from campaigners like you. We need one last push to make it a climate law we can be proud of. Please sign the petition now and share it with your friends.

Afri is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. For more about Stop Climate Chaos, visit their website here.

Global Call For Artists To Sow Seeds Of Hope For Planet Earth

Irish peace organisation Afri has joined with the Choctaw people – renowned for their respect and reverence for the planet – to call on artists everywhere to raise awareness and inspire urgent action on global warming ahead of the December climate change conference in Paris.

'Fields of Athenry' composer Pete St. John supports Afri call for action on global warming
‘Fields of Athenry’ composer Pete St. John supports Afri call for action on global warming

 The effects of global warming are increasingly clear: ecosystems are being lost at an alarming rate; species extinction is occurring on an unprecedented scale and communities, especially those who are already suffering, face decimation and displacement. Unless we make radical changes, things are going to get a lot worse.

But resistance is also on the rise.  In 2014, a coalition of native Alaskan tribes, backed by green campaigners, won a court victory against Shell’s drilling for oil in the Arctic.  Indigenous groups in the Amazon have been holding back plans to cut down more forests to facilitate oil exploration.

Damien Dempsey sings 'Choctaw Nation' at the 2010 Afri Famine Walk in Mayo. Photo by Derek Speirs
Damien Dempsey sings ‘Choctaw Nation’ at the 2010 Afri Famine Walk in Mayo. Photo by Derek Speirs

 

These artists have already pledged to act. Will you? Damien Dempsey, Liam Ó’Maonlaí, Steve Wall (The Walls/The Stunning), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames), Dónal O’Kelly, Noirín Ní Riain, Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan and more. Full list below and more to be announced soon. Are you an artist? Add your name to the list of supporters here.

 

Earth Photo

Join Neil Young, Pharrell Williams and others

Artists are helping lead the change.  Neil Young launched a Canadian tour in 2014 under the title ‘Honour the Treaties’, backing the struggle of Canada’s indigenous nations against environmentally destructive tar sands extraction. Pharrell Williams recently announced a series of Live Earth Concerts around the globe on June 18th of this year.

In Ireland, renowned violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire of The Frames (and ex Swell Season and Kila) will soon launch his new solo album ‘and now the weather’ which takes in the theme of our relationship with the planet. What we need now is a constant, continuous and multi-dimensional effort from now until the Paris Summit in December 2015 and beyond. 

We are calling on artists, musicians, poets, painters, writers, crafts people, designers, dancers and all creative souls everywhere to use their creative genius to awaken the super-power of world opinion.  Imagine the impact, if artists and those who love art, those who love Earth were to rise up and make their voices heard with one clear message: Stop killing our planet… save our world.

Please join our call by creating art that helps awaken, activate and inspire. Share your creations with your friends, fans and followers and be part of a movement of movements that is determined to forge a new world for our children and grandchildren.

Joe Murray, Afri – Action From Ireland (Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Gary White Deer, Choctaw artist

 

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The teachings of all First Nations tell us that all people share a common Mother Earth,
who takes care of us and we are born knowing this. In this Spirit, let us then take care
of Mother Earth as well as each other.

– Gary White Deer, Choctaw Nation

 

This call is supported by:

Liam Ó’Maonlaí, Damien Dempsey, Steve Wall (The Walls/The Stunning), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames), Q A.K.A Colm Quearney,   Dónal O’Kelly (actor and playwright), Gary White Deer (Choctaw artist), Sarah Clancy, Colm Keegan, Enda Reilly, Queen Elvis,  Veronika Stalder, Valentina Gaia Lops, Iain Dowling, Blue Drum,  Gary Dunne (music), Caroline K Stanley (music), Ciara Ryan-Gerhardt (creative writing, singing), Little John Nee (writer/performer/story maker), Dave Lordan (poet), Róisín Coyle (Visual artist), Maria McManus (writer), Bibly Mosa (poetry), Denise Keenaghan (poetry), Kate O’Shea (poetry), Homeira (Printmaker), Angela T. Carr (poetry), Rosie McGurran (visual arts), Shelley Tracey (poetry), Luke Concannon (singer-songwriter), Connor McDermott (music/writing), Michelle McCarron (photography, film, writing), Ailbhe Darcy (writing), Sorcha Fox (poetry and performance),  Rosemarie Rowley (poetry),  William Wall (writer), Mary Madec (poetry), Tara Baoth Mooney (musician and artist), Theo Dorgan (poet), Paula Meehan (poetry),  Eleanor Hooker (poet), Elise Brown/Hands on Crreation (craft, photography, poetry, dance), Celeste Auge (writing), Nessa O’Mahony (poetry), Sheila Mannix (writing), Béibhinn O’Connor (music), Jenni Ledwell (actress), Lavelle (music),  Eabhan Ni Shuileabhain (poetry),  Sue Hassstt (writing, research, music, activism, participatory arts),  Brian Fleming (music/ theatre),  Lou McMahon (singer-songwriter),  Shevaun Doherty (botanical artist), Lucia Comnes (songwriter/singer/fiddler),  Édaín Ní Dhomhnaill (art),  Martina Flaherty (singer/songwriter), Lauren Guillery (musician – Dublin), Lucy Vigne Welsh (acting, painting, writing – Wicklow), Giselle Harvey (art/craft – Clare),  Bee Smith (writing/poetry – Cavan),  Danny Groenland (soul music – Dublin), Beverly Farley (painting – Quebec, Canada), Wendy Jack (singer songwriter – Ireland), Terry Corcoran (painter – Missouri, U.S.A.), Ceara Conway (visual art/singing – Galway), David Carroll (music – Bordeaux, France),  Michelle Culligan (craft/ writing / mosaic),  Nóirín Ní Riain PhD (music/theology),  Barbara O’Meara (visual artist – Dublin), Martin Sharry (writing – Dublin), Breda Larkin (comedian – Cork), Helena Tobin (artist – Dublin), Kathleen O’Hara Farren (mixed media – Donegal), Sharon Corcoran (poetry & writing – Missouri, U.S.A.), Deborah J. Stockdale (textile artist – Donegal), Caroline Kuyper (yarn craftivism – Donegal), Jules Bitter (music – Netherlands), Ciara Delaney (music – Belfast), Saffron Thomas (sculpture – Sligo), Kathleen McCreery (theatre and writing – Donegal), Bernadette Hopkins (visual artist – Donegal), Kate Thompson (writer – Galway), Aodán McCardle (artist/poet – Donegal), Ciaran Keogh (actor/singer and film maker – Donegal), Kevin Ovita Teddy (event organizing – Kenya), Paul Byrne (music – Dublin), Kate O’Callaghan (music – Donegal),  Róisín Ní Ghallóglaigh (music – Limerick),  Mary Lynch (art/ drawing – Belfast), Ruth Brewer (poetry –Dublin),  Laura Dicus (watercolor painting-Washington, U.S.A.), Aislinn Adams (botanical and nature artist – Oregon, U.S.A.), Stephen Murray (poetry –Dublin), Ger Killeen (poetry – Oregon, U.S.A.),  Cynthia Domenico (videodance – São Paulo,  Brazil),  Pete Mullineaux (music/poetry/drama/fiction – Galway),  Oisin McGann (writing and illustration – Meath), Debbie Chapman (visual artist – Dublin), Lisa Fingleton (artist & filmmaker – Kerry),  Sam (art & poetry – Ireland), Conor Bowman (writing – Meath), Stephen James Smith (poet – Dublin),  Marigold Fairweather (visual art – Victoria, Australia),  Freya Watson (writing – Kildare), Dolores Whelan (writer /teacher in spirituality –Louth), Fintan Vallely (music – Dublin), Diana Oleartchik  (Writer – Tel Aviv, Israel).

 

Are you an artist? Add your name to the list of supporters here.

Northern Kenyans adopt nocturnal life to escape extreme heat

Asha Abdi, a woman in the northern Kenyan town of Atheley, sits outside a shelter designed to protect residents from stifling daytime heat. Photo: Abjata Khalif/Thomson Reuters Foundation
Asha Abdi, a woman in the northern Kenyan town of Atheley, sits outside a shelter designed to protect residents from stifling daytime heat. Photo: Abjata Khalif/Thomson Reuters Foundation

This report from our partner organisation, the Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network, shows the harsh consequences of climate change and how solar power is helping people to adapt.

By Abjata Khalif

ATHELEY, Kenya – It is 6 pm in Atheley and as the sun sets, bringing with it a cool breeze, this village in northern Kenya breaks out in a flurry of activity.

People gather outside, schoolchildren shout and play, and the sound of ululating fills the air. But this isn’t a wedding or a festival. The residents of this drought-stricken village are celebrating nightfall, because it means they can finally emerge from the shelters that have been protecting them from the extreme heat of the day and carry on with their lives.

“The ‘day’ has started and people are out of their hideouts ready to attend to their daily chores,” says community elder Abdi Abey. “Don’t mistake the celebration for a traditional festival. It’s a celebration of the changing weather.”

Over the past decade, Atheley and other villages in northern Kenya have suffered through a series of every-worsening droughts that have made normal life increasingly difficult. This year, for the first time, temperatures hitting over 40 degrees Celsius during the day have made farming, schooling, healthcare and other daily activities a struggle. Continue reading “Northern Kenyans adopt nocturnal life to escape extreme heat”

Date for the Diary: 2014 Hedge School

Hedge School poster

The 2014 Hedge School will be held on Tuesday 11th November in Room A57, Aontas Block on the I.T.B. campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.  

Registration is at 9.30am and the Hedge School will run from 10am to 4pm.

This event is organised in partnership with the students from the Social and Community Development Course in I.T. Blanchardstown.

You can book a ticket and find out directions for the 2014 Hedge School via our Eventbrite page here.