Upcoming Events

Cork | Environment

no events match your query!

New Events

Cork

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2020/09/20 ? Open Thread Sun Sep 20, 2020 04:00 | Herb Swanson
2020/09/20 03:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Hyperinflation, Fascism and War: How the New World Order May Be Defeated Once More Sat Sep 19, 2020 22:56 | amarynth
By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog While the world?s attention is absorbed by tectonic shifts unfolding across America as ?a perfect storm of civil war, and military coup threatens

offsite link Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Statement About the Situation in Belarus Sat Sep 19, 2020 17:00 | Leonya V.
SVR RF Press Bureau – September 16, 2020 (Italics and bolding added for emphasis.) The Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation, Sergey Naryshkin stated: ?The events

offsite link We have lost a real giant (Stephen F. Cohen has died)! Sat Sep 19, 2020 16:57 | The Saker
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God (Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 5:9) Dear friends, It is with immense sadness that I have

offsite link Venezuela ? A Tribute for Endless Pursuit of Democracy Sat Sep 19, 2020 15:51 | The Saker
by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog Venezuela is again the shining light of Democracy ? pushing ahead with the 6 December National Assembly (NA) elections ? despite the endless

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Did RTE journalists collude against Sinn Fein?

offsite link Irish Examiner bias Anthony

offsite link RTE: Propaganda ambush of Sinn Fein Anthony

offsite link Hong Kong and democracy Anthony

offsite link Oliver Callan: Back in his box Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

offsite link Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights

offsite link US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights

offsite link UN Human Rights Council Should Address Human Rights Crisis in Cambodia Sat Aug 31, 2019 13:41 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Remember Saro-Wiwa Seminar Report 2007

category cork | environment | news report author Friday December 07, 2007 23:56author by Philip Ikurusi - Niger Delta Awarenessauthor email nigerdeltaawareness at hotmail dot comauthor address c/o 55 North Main Street, Corkauthor phone 0861908212 Report this post to the editors

Annual Remember Saro-Wiwa Seminar Report 2007



On Saturday 10th of November, UCC hosted for the second year running the Annual Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa Seminar. It proved to be a lively and highly participatory event, and great credit is due to the members of Niger Delta Awareness who organised and co-ordinated the proceedings. A key theme of this year’s seminar was ‘memory’ and the associated dangers of forgetting. There is a risk that so long after the state sanctioned murder of a visionary and articulate community leader like Ken, that the gaze of the media and broader public opinion will shift to new subjects; that the ‘politics of oil’ as they impact on the people of the Niger Delta will be consigned to yesterday’s news.

In his opening address, Philip Ikurusi reminded us of the ongoing struggles of the peoples of this region and emphasised that the vision for which Ken and others died is still unrealised today. He also discussed recent political changes in Nigeria, urging us to critically reflect on the extent to which they would bring real benefits to the communities of Niger Delta. He then proceeded to show a fascinating documentary that charted the efforts of a range of visual artists to design public tributes to Ken and to the struggles with which he was associated. This film reminded us of what government and oil industry spokespeople would have us forget; that violence and environmental degradation have been central to the expropriation of natural resources in this region; but more hopefully, that the arts have a central role to play in highlighting and challenging such oppression.

Michael Ewing is a senior researcher at Sligo IT and he guided us through the important and, from an activist perspective, potentially useful Aarhus Convention that has been signed by Ireland but not yet ratified by the state. Michael is currently undertaking case-study research with local and activist groups in order to ascertain their ease of access to quality information on environmental issues. The Convention stresses that clear and up to date information; real opportunities for community participation in decision-making; and legal supports are the basis of true environmental democracy. Seminar participants then discussed - with a fair degree of pessimism - whether the Irish state really is, or might become, converted to this participatory vision. We also wondered why our government has been unwilling to ratify the treaty - a debate that continued during lunch.

After lunch, John Baker and Tracy Harper in a very moving presentation read some of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s poems. Ken was an artist whose political commitments enlivened his art and an activist whose art enriched his politics. This relationship between creativity and struggle was an important theme of this year’s seminar. Another was Ireland’s place in the debate about environmental justice and capitalist globalisation.

Kieran Allen offered some compelling and provocative reflections on the ‘personality’ of corporations, arguing that they can never be expected to work in the public interest because they answer to a bottom line of shareholder profits. He demonstrated the harm that has been done by well-known corporations internationally, highlighting their role in supporting oppressive regimes, hindering democracy and subverting trade unionism. Kieran’s presentation also prompted a fascinating debate on resistance to capitalist globalisation, with quite diverging views on the effectiveness of Fair Trade, green-consumerist and individualised forms of protest being articulated by participants.

The final presentation was by Terence Conway, an activist who is centrally involved in the current Shell to Sea Campaign in Bellnaboy. It is probably true to say that everyone in attendance was deeply impressed by his clear and honest appraisal of the fortunes of that campaign. He called our attention to the poverty of mainstream media coverage of the protests but promised that despite the best efforts of government, Gardai and vested business interests, solidarity in that community remains alive. It was a powerful note on which to end, asserting the continuity between struggles in the Niger Delta and those in Ireland, reminding us that as capitalism globalises so too do resistance and the imagination of alternatives.

Related Link: http://www.nigerdeltaawareness.com
© 2001-2020 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy