At the end of April, Afri’s Co-ordinator Joe Murray and Choctaw Gary White Deer travelled to Moville for a ‘Just a Second’ event, as part of our WorldWise Global Schools Project. The ‘Just a Second’ educational programme focuses on the absurdity of in excess of €40,000 being spent every second on war and weapons while a billion people suffer from hunger, lack of clean water and adequate housing. We began by walking from Moville Community College to the Quays. This was the departure point for many people from Donegal and surrounding areas who emigrated down through the years, often because of poverty or famine. We were joined there by Rose Kelly and students from Scoil Eoghain. We had music, poetry and readings focussed on those who are being forced from their their homelands today as a result of poverty, war and climate change. Following this moving event, participants walked back to Moville Community College where we planted a mountain ash together with students and teachers and then had a short seminar touching on issues to do with climate change, militarisation, famine and forced migration. Continue reading “Just A Second in Moville”
“I became a vegetarian and I started using ‘Ecosia’ as my search engine”, was how Keziah Keenan O’Shea, one of the youngest ever speakers at Féile Bríde described her response to becoming aware of the urgent threat posed by climate change. Keziah was one of two students from Mount Temple School, with which Afri had worked in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference in order to send a message to world leaders on young people’s concerns about the welfare of our planet.
Short film by RoJ
The other student was Ruairí Atack, who spoke about the link between climate change and militarisation – an often missed link in public discourse. Ruairí spoke about the” incredible levels” of military spending – $1747 billion worth in 2014. The military impact of this was shown in a recent report in the Guardian newspaper stating that: “The Iraq war was responsible for 141m tonnes of carbon releases in its first four years… On an annual basis, this was more than the emissions from 139 countries in this period, or about the same as putting an extra 25m cars on to US roads for a year.” Continue reading “A Time of Opportunity: Reflections from Féile Bríde 2016”
“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.
Anyone who doubts this would only need to have travelled through Ireland over the weekend to see the floods that have laid waste to much of the country. Severe flooding is now occurring with a regularity and intensity not seen before, while response of our governments has been less that inspiring, to say the least. Enda Kenny’s response is to twiddle his thumbs and speak out of both sides of his mouth. Enda’s performance at the Climate Conference in Paris was particularly cynical – delivering one message to the conference and the opposite one for the benefit of the Irish Farmers Association, which itself is mired in controversy over inflated salaries and corruption at the highest level. Meanwhile the North of Ireland remains the only part of Ireland or Britain with no legislation to tackle climate change.
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.”
~ Joe Murray, Afri Co-ordinator
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”
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.
Students At U2’s Former School Send Powerful Message To World Leaders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJaa8Xk57CM via @AfriPeace #ClimateMarch #Cop21