No More Them and Us

The following p.s. is issued as part of Community Relations Week 2012, which takes place from May 14 to May 20, organised by the Community Relations Council, with the theme ‘No More Them and Us?’ Over 150 events will take place across all local council areas making this the biggest event in the community relations calendar. A full listing of Community Relations Week events can be found at www.nicrc.org.uk and printed programmes can be obtained from local libraries. Click here for details of our 'In Conversation With Ian Bothwell' on Tuesday 15 May. I have snapshots in my head of mindless hatred by one tribe against another in various parts of this Province. At first sight it appears to be excused by saying that those involved are unthinking and therefore not really to blame – they are merely acting out of ignorance, but it is more complicated than that. Even a cursory reading of European history shows the revulsion displayed by all classes of society towards those they consider the enemy.  Hitler’s abhorrence of the Poles and Polish Jews in particular allowed an official policy of human destruction that aimed to reduce the population of Warsaw by 400,000 people and decimate the population of the entire country by over 10%. Continue reading

In Conversation With … Tony Macaulay

Faith, Community and Creativity

Tony Macaulay is a writer, broadcaster and consultant. He has worked in community development, youth work and peacebuilding for the past 30 years. He carries out research and evaluation to inform and shape government and agency policy and programmes, most recently scoping faith based community work in Northern Ireland. His first book, ‘Paperboy’, a memoir of growing up in the Upper Shankill in the 1970s, has just been published by HarperCollins in the UK, Australia and Canada and the film rights have been picked up by Titian Red Pictures. He is currently working on a range of creative writing, community and peacebuilding projects.  

Community Transformation

It was the evening of the 6th August 2011 when the London riots erupted. Two days before, the death of Mark Duggan had created significant anger which finally exploded into widespread civil unrest, rioting, arson and looting.  Other towns and cities were affected as the unrest spread. There were injuries to both the public and the police. Five people lost their lives. As of 15th August, 3100 people had been arrested and more than 1000 were charged. 3443 crimes in London were linked to the disorder with £200 million worth of damage done to property. In the subsequent analysis of the causes, suggested contributory factors were; poor relationships with the police, social exclusion, family breakdown, government cuts, unemployment,  gang culture, failure of the penal system and criminal opportunism. Continue reading