Author Archive | Peter Doran

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Who is Donald Trump?

[Donald John, or Dòmnall Iain is one of the most common names on the Isle of Lewis, the birthplace of Donald Trump’s ancestors. It translates, from the Latin and Norse roots, as dom and val, as The Ruler of the World] In a wide-ranging interview, the writer, activist and ecologist, Alastair McIntosh, has raised an more…

Brother Phap Lai ('Ben') of Plum Village returns to Parliament Buildings on Tuesday evening 25th April at 19.00. He will lead a talk and discussion on the role of mindfulness in cultivating reconciliation.

Does mindfulness have a role in cultivating reconciliation and ‘ethical remembering’?

When the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh addressed over one hundred politicians and representatives of civil society in the Senate Chamber at Parliament Buildings in April 2012, the celebrated Vietnamese Zen practitioner, poet, peace activist and writer brought with him a profound sense of identification and empathy. He also brought a proposal or invitation to consider more…

Cavalier attitude to EC State Aid decision on RHI could save the day

The comedy of errors that is the Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme may be about to take yet another strange twist. And at last there may be some good news for the tax payer. Earlier this week when I tweeted an alert to the EC’s decision on State Aid (SA.34140 (2012/N) for the Northern Ireland more…

Local Environmentalists Celebrate Activism to Mark International Human Rights Day

An emergent network of environmentalists gathered at the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast Saturday to mark International Human Rights Day. Four stories of activist achievement, focused on the human right to safe drinking water, were shared by activists engaged in campaigns to: “Save Our Sperrins” (SOS) from plans by the Canadian Gold-mining company, Dalradian Resources, more…

"The Vault"

Collusion – When The State Is The Lie

In his book, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, the veteran war correspondent and former divinity student Chris Hedges warned us that: ‘States at war silence their own authentic and humane culture. When this destruction is well advanced they find the lack of critical and moral restraint useful in the campaign to exterminate the culture more…

At the frontline during the UN Climate Summit

The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit

Where does the Climate Change Summit sit in the context of a Post-2015 Climate Agreement? When the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, took to the streets of New York with 300,000 climate change demonstrators – in parallel with one hundred protest actions around the world – he was signalling a decisive new phase more…

Festival of Fools

Belfast’s Festival of Fools: No laughing matter at the ‘Dome of Delight’?

Earlier this year, organisers at Belfast’s award winning Festival of Fools received news from Belfast City Council’s Tourism, Culture and Arts Unit that they were to be excluded from multi-annual funding. In addition, their annual allocation was reduced from £11,000 (2012) to £6000 (2013). The Festival’s funding from the City Council’s Community Festivals Fund remains unchanged. more…

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Rio 20 Years On – The UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012

The results of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development here in Rio de Janeiro said more about the state of geopolitics than any advance in sustainability. About fifty thousand people gathered for one of the most participatory global summits in history…but to what avail? Non Governmental Organisations, led by Greenpeace, have been quick to dismiss the more…

Hnat Hanh called on Luther King to oppose the war

Who is Thich Nhat Hanh?

On the morning of Tuesday 17th April 2012 Parliament Buildings will receive a remarkable visitor. The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master, poet, scholar, peace activist and renowned teacher of mindful living, will deliver an address on ‘Peace building’ to an invited audience of MLAs and others engaged in supporting the peace process here. After more…

A Bloody Sunday March will proceed

The strains of the protest song ‘We shall overcome’ shall ring out over Derry on Sunday 29th of January at the conclusion of a march to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. The march has been organised in the face of a disputed decision last year by the Bloody Sunday Committee and a majority more…

Countdown to revelations about planning practices

Today is the deadline for responses to a Friends of the Earth online survey that has attracted over four hundred submissions on local planning practices. Responses from across society and the professions, including a number of revelations from within the developer-planner nexus, promise to make for uncomfortable reading for those charged with the protection of more…

Agnew’s achievement in North Down

Steven Agnew’s achievement in North Down is a much more significant breakthrough for the Greens than even Brian Wilson’s election in 2007. For the first time the Greens have mustered a vote in a regional election entirely under their own steam, whereas Wilson was able to draw on a significant personal vote garnered as an more…

The Acts of Man – Concerns about ‘Mark 1’ nuclear reactors go back years

The unfolding crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors has begun to prompt a re-examination of Japan’s failure to respond to decades of concern about the design of the Mark 1 reactors used at the Fukushima Daichii plant and a wholesale refusal by that country’s Government and Courts to address citizen-led concerns about the inadequacy of reactor more…

Viva Palestina

Iran’s Press TV has interviewed a number of Irish activists entering Gaza with the Viva Palestina convoy, led by the Respect MP, George Galloway. The Viva Palestina aid convoy crossed over from Egypt where a number of activists were injured during scuffles with police at the port of el Arish. A group of five Derry more…

Copenhagen Discord – Obama’s lesson in realpolitik

The Copenhagen Accord negotiated by US President Obama together with Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, will help smooth the passage of the Senate Energy and Climate Bill and serves notice on a UN climate negotiations framework that could not deliver a binding agreement in the absence of a clear political framework. It has been apparent for more…

Greens decide that the perfect must not become the enemy of the possible

There was no shortage of realism at the special Green Party Convention to discuss the revised Programme for Government at the RDS on Saturday. As the result of votes on two Motions indicate, a significant minority (31 percent) held out against support for NAMA, while an overwhelming majority (84 percent) sided with the Party’s leadership more…

American Prayer

This American Prayer was posted to my Facebook page Sunday by Hollywood actor, Michael O Keefe! It’s a music video featuring some celebrity friends of Obama and is doing the rounds among Democrat supporters in the United States….with funds raised from the song going to the Political Action Committee, MoveOn.org Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame more…