The Warrington Bombings consisted of two separate attacks – the first in February 1993 at a gas storage facility, and the second the following month in the centre of the Cheshire town. In the second attack, The Samaritans received a coded message wrongly stating a bomb would be detonated in Liverpool. In the event, there were two blasts, in litter bins, within a minute of each other causing carnage and confusion. Jonathan Ball was killed almost instantly and Tim Parry was so badly injured his parents later had to take the agonising decision to turn off his life support machine. More than 50 other victims were injured, with many more suffering serious shrapnel wounds and cuts and lacerations from flying glass. The Warrington bombings triggered a campaign for peace, with Mr. Colin and Mrs Wendy Parry working tirelessly to promote greater understanding between Britain and Ireland. They set up a Peace Centre in the town and played an active role in the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, for which Mr Parry was earned an OBE in 2004.
Q : It is highly commendable how you and your wife conducted yourselves after the bombings, particularly the way you worked constructively for peace rather than hatred. What gave you this sense of purpose?
My son was twelve years old when he was killed. He was a bright boy of twelve years old who was shopping for shops one minute and had his life stolen the next. I am a father and a parent, and that is how I approach everything. The injustice of losing our son has given us all the sense of purpose we need.
Q : You founded the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace and developed the international Peace Centre. How does the Centre challenge extremism and those who support acts of terrorism?
We host young Palestinians and Israelis who are at war. Not war in the conventional sense, but at war none the less. What the centre providewsw is a neutral space; word’s don’t kill anyone and stereotypes can, and are being, challenged from those rooted in religion to gender.
Q : You’ve met former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Dr John Reid, has he ever visited the Peace Centre in Warrington. If so, what was his impression?
Dr. John Reid has visited the centre and I like him a lot, he speaks his mind which did not make him popular. I have also worked with the remarkable Mo Mowlam and, latterly the not so remarkable Peter Mandelsson.
Q : You are an example of an ordinary person, with something very coherent to say. Have you ever had any difficulties convincing politicians to help prevent atrocities?
It is very difficult to meet Politicians in the first place, being a ‘mouthy’ Scouser. The biggest problem for me, is not how to convince them, but to get the door open in the first place. I have met with members of the Royal Family and look forward to going to the United Arab Emirates and enjoyed meeting with the First Minister, Alex Salmond.
Q : Are there plans to mark the 20th anniversary of the Warrington bombing across Britain, and Ireland?
Not necessarily across Ireland but there will be Remembrance events across Church communities on the 16th March and Warrington is hosting BBC Question Time on the 20th March. Otherwise, there will be private, family remembrance involving visiting Tim’s grave.
Q : Have you ever met Gerry Adams?
I have met Gerry Adams. He met with me but was obviously following a carefully written script where he spoke with me as a peace campaigner and not the father of a lost child. I liked Martin McGuiness, I did not like Gerry Adams. For meeting them both, I have been accused of being a traitor to my son. I disagree, enemies have to be confronted. I am a father and a victim, they didn’t attempt to justify the attack, it was very scripted. As is their stance on many issues, for instance, sectarianism.
Q : You are due to visit the United Arab Emirates to present the Foundation’s work and discuss how your work could influence the United Nations global counterterrorism strategy. How do you plan to convince them to do so?
By speaking from the heart. I am not keen on scripting, I can only be honest and I can only give them the true picture of what we do and the results we’ve witnessed, after that the information is their’s to do with what they will.
Q : We are told that forgiveness means letting go of the past, but also that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Which do you think most important to help prevent other atrocities?
I’ve been asked that many times, but I don’t forgive the people that killed my son. For me, that is not an issue, I will never forgive. Santayana does say that we are condemned to repeat the past should we fail to remember History and it is true. History is full of human error and human decisions that ought to be learned from and avoided.
STUDENT COMMENTS :
Helped me to see the good in bad situations.
A very inspirational man, and an amazing charity.
Showed that even though it was a traumatic experience, the charity can use this experience to do good things.
A truly touching story. I am very inspired by all your charity work and you are such a great role model for youngsters.
Your talk was moving and emotional. Also, it made me aware of the situations of conflict thoughout the country and your charity is wonderful.
Thank you for the presentation, it was really helpful, I go to Rangers games who are obviously strong rivals with Celtic, so this speech helped me put it into perspective, a lot.
Good job starting a charity out of a bad situation.
Powerful and moving.
Very interesting talk, which taught me something new and inspired me to see the good in a bad situation. Thanks
The way you have campaigned for peace in memory of your son is highly inspirational. Not many people would have the strength you and you wife have had.
Interesting and inspirational.
Inspirational story which strongly influenced my views and my want to help.
I was inspired, a brilliant charity.
Moving and interesting.
You are so strong.
I appreciate you sharing your story and taking the time to visit us. Your charity is for an amazing cause.
Do you work on a personal level with people at the Peace Centre, or are you just the advocate for the charity?
How did Jonathan Bell’s parents cope with the tragedy?
If you could meet the man, who actually planted the bomb would you, and what would you say?
Do you and your wife feel that you made a massive impact on the ‘Anti-Racism’ scene?
Can we come to the centre, please?
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Musselburgh Grammar School hosted EUROQUIZ 2013, on Tuesday 22nd January 2013. An annual transition event where all Cluster Primary P6′s take part in a quiz about aspects of the European Union from Geography, Politics to Culture and Celebrities. MGS students organise and deliver the questions, facilitate the scoring and award certificates to all participants. The winning teams were awarded Book Vouchers.
The challenge, in a school community of over 1,400 students, aged 11-18 is producing a quarterly magazine that caters for everyone. We’ve cracked it. We have an edgy editorial, witty writing, cleverly formulated seasonal themes, whilst providing novelty freebies and interest in every issue.
It has taken time for our magazine and our editorial team to come together; we had to change the date of the weekly, lunchtime editorial meetings to accommodate everyone’s extra-curricular activities; we had to change the publication date of the winter issue because of the snow and our summer issue was sparse because meeting deadlines is the greatest weakness of some of our contributors’ (enthusiasm being their strongest), also, we are now far choosier with material. We’re now attracting more content by inviting the ‘career’ journalists in our school community to write about their pet projects, deciding the focus of each issue well in advance and communicating this within the school community to make sure we stay focussed and, hopefully, attract new team members.
The theme of this spring’s LOVE edition is challenging preconceptions about young adulthood. Our readers read all the glossy teenmags so we can’t just reproduce them or have the same features they’ve read a million times. We’ve tried to include content that’s in tune with our lives; career-minded, intelligent youngsters who regularly flick between Newsnight, America’s Next Top Model and Facebook. We’ve also made this the focus because of our new S1 intake, producing a copy each for all P7 Campie Primary Pupils which we are scheduled to deliver personally in the hope of making them feel more ‘at home’ when they get here. Next season’s edition (Youth Democracy) is looking strong already, especially since we’ve an elected Scottish Youth Parliament representative in our Sixth Year and local elections to look forward to.
The biggest change, this year, has been creating an online edition. Now we take time every week to update the blog, our new home for breaking news, urgent AIUK youth action, etc. complementing the magazine which puts news in context.
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To coincide with Human Rights’ Day on the 10th December 2012, some of our magnificent, hardworking and good looking Musselburgh Amnesty Groupers chose their favourite Human Right from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and wore costumes and accessories to that effect throughout the day.
To raise awareness of their chosen Right but also the plight of those around the world who are not afforded theirs.
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Amnesty believes that, £5 is not enough to meet the essential needs of people who have come to the UK to escape conflict and persecution.
Asylum seekers are not allowed to work to support themselves and many have to survive on just over £5 a day for several months. The poverty they face forces people to resort to things such as illegal work, prostitution and begging.
Amnesty is asking MPs to support our call to increase asylum support levels to at least 70% of Income Support – this would be £7 a day for a single adult over 25. Although this is only a small increase, it would allow asylum seekers to meet their most basic essential living needs while they are waiting for a decision on their application.
We wrote to our MP, Fiona O’Donnell, to support a change of current asylum policy which would raise the support asylum seekers receive to at least 70 per cent of Income Support (£7 a day for single adult over 25). And respectfully ask that she write to the Labour Party Leader, Ed Miliband saying she, as well as us, support this proposal and urge him to help change the policy.
Here’s what might be bought with FIVE pounds compared with what might be bought for SEVEN, which you will see features fresh produce.Campaigns | Comment (0)
The first of a series of 8 exciting, outdoor, live youth music events in East Lothian took place on 2 June 2012, supported and promoted by ELjam, in partnership with a range of other organisations. ELjam is on the hunt for talent, so Acts/Bands/Ensembles/Groups/Solo Performers of all styles were invited to apply for slots. And, in the interests of diversity and equal opportunities, ELjam is co-ordinating the selection process in collaboration with local event organisers.
So, on Fri 22 June 11.00 am- 2.00pm Musselburgh – FestiVale 2012- The Long-ish Day Lewisvale Park event was held with a host of ‘talent’ from Musselburgh Grammar School. The Amnesty Groupers saw their opportunity to have an Amnestea together with a photo petition in Support a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty. This year came the opportunity to disarm dictators, warlords and child soldiers when world leaders met in New York to draw up an historic document: the first ever international Arms Trade Treaty. Their talks ended without agreement but a reasonable draft Treaty and a second chance to make it a reality.
Amnesty are calling on all governments at the UN General Assembly to save the Arms Trade Treaty by supporting a resolution calling for one last round of talks in early 2013. For more details on how to support the Treaty, see Support a Bullet Proof Arms Treaty.
Some make someone’s day, others make our homes a bit greener, others make life better for chickens. All of them do a little chunk of good and we’re tracking which ones are doing here http://www.actiontracker.org.uk/groups/view/410/.Filed under Campaigns | Comment (0)
“If these feelings of disgust all over the world could be united into common action, something effective could be done.”
Peter Benenson, Amnesty founder, 1961
1. TAKE ACTION
Take a look at the Change the World for a Fiver Book, choose ONE action, do it now, do it all week, keep track of how many times and prepare to register AT our space on their website http://www.actiontracker.org.uk/groups/view/410/ password MAG@MGS.
THINK of an small action we can all do. You don’t have to track other suggested actions only, we can add our own and share it with everyone.
Collect a copy of the GUN CONTROL petition and stickers and information sheet and get them signed for next weeks’ meeting, where we will send them to David Cameron.
5. WRITE PEOPLE!
Deadline for Summer Edition MAG copy is 18th June 2012.
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