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A forum to discuss new ideas and perspectives on Unionism…

Draft Public Assemblies Bill…

The draft Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests Bill stirred up some controversy.

It went out to consultation on April 20 2010. OFMDFM say 410 responses came back. The department produced a consultation summary and analysis of the responses in September 2010. The conclusion of that analysis was this:

After consideration of the views expressed during the public consultation process the First Minister and deputy First Minister will make a number of changes to the draft Bill before it is introduced in the Northern Ireland Assembly in September 2010.

After consideration of the views expressed during the public consultation process the First Minister and deputy First Minister will make a number of changes to the draft Bill before it is introduced in the Northern Ireland Assembly in September 2010.

Seems straight forward. An analysis of consultation responses took place their intention to proceed was published.

Last week Tom Elliott asked this:

the First Minister and deputy First Minister if they will make public the amended version of the draft Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests Bill that has been developed following the consultation process.

(AQW 2222/11)

First Minister and deputy First Minister (Mr P Robinson and Mr M McGuinness): We announced our intention to amend the draft Bill following consultation. Following analysis of the consultation responses we have not decided to proceed at this time.

(Wouldn’t reference to this have been the more honest answer?)

But let’s take FM & DFM at face value – they say another piece of analysis took place after declaring their intention to proceed.

Can we see it?

The first analysis was published. It would be reasonable to assume that the second piece of analysis can be published. When?

Filed under: Community, consultations, ,

Applications urged for international student festival in Norway…

The International Studentfestival in Trondheim, Norway (ISFiT 2011), is the world’s largest student Festival. Every second year 450 students from across the world come together in Trondheim to discuss social and political topics at The ISFiT festival.
.
The festival aims at fostering inspiration and being a starting point for international cooperation amongst students… and it’s inviting students from Northern Ireland to participate in a Dialogue seminar 01-20th February 2011. In total 24 participants – four representatives from each side of three different conflict areas (Armenia/Azerbaijan; Rwanda/Burundi; and Northern Ireland) – will spend 20 days in Norway.

Previous main speakers include Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and José Ramos Horta, as well as His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Looks like a great opportunity.

If anyone is interested in the festival visit www.isfit.org. Application deadline is the 15th of october – and the ISFIT team want as many as possible to get the chance to apply for and participate at the dialogue-seminar. Get involved!

Filed under: Community, conferences, ,

Dealing with the past…

[picapp src=”1/a/7/3/Political_Battle_For_b284.jpg?adImageId=6403688&imageId=6873665″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]
The DUP’s Jimmy Spratt has just given one of those interviews which may, at best, make no better contribution than to entrench old stereotypes of unionists and, at worst, to make unionists appear equivocal on the subject of collusion.
This is what Jimmy told the BBC (listen in atc.1 hr 20 mins):

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Community, dealing with the past

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