Rights body Afri plans citizenship campaign

 

PEACE AND human rights organisation Afri plans to initiate a national “active citizenship” campaign in the new year as it says “traditional sources of authority have proven to be ineffective”.

The organisation cites the recent Bord Pleanála decision on the Corrib gas onshore pipeline in north Mayo as an example of “the need for new avenues of civic participation”.

“The ruling vindicates the struggle of the local community over the past 10 years, but also brings into question why the people there have had to endure intimidation, jail, beatings and media demonisation for much of that time,” Afri co-ordinator Joe Murray has said.

This month, Bord Pleanála deferred a final ruling on the high-pressure pipeline as it said up to half its route was unsafe due to proximity to housing.

“The Corrib gas dispute in many ways tells the story of modern Ireland,” Mr Murray said. “The result has been an erosion of civil liberties and the emergence of corporate rule, where multinationals appear to have greater rights than Irish citizens,” he said.

Continued use of Shannon Airport in pursuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was another example of the voices of ordinary people in Ireland being ignored, he added.