Welcome to Building Bridges for Peace

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the IRA Bombing in Brighton.

Two Events in Brighton on the Anniversary


 Building Bridges for Peace Presents:

30 Years On: ‘Beyond Right and Wrong’ and the Brighton Bombing

This wonderful documentary will be screened on:

October 12th 2014 


The Old Market, Brighton.

Tickets for the film can be purchased from www.theoldmarket.com

Following the film, there will be a discussion chaired by Simon Fanshawe where questions can be put to the panel of Jo Berry, Patrick Magee and Jean Paul Samputu of Rwanda.

The film ‘Beyond Right and Wrong’ shares the story of Jo Berry’s reconciliatory journey with Patrick Magee, the man responsible for planting the bomb which killed her father and four others. They have had many conversations over the last 13 years and have spoken publically in many countries around the world. Jo explains, ‘‘I have been focusing on bringing something positive out of the absolute trauma of losing my father in the bomb. I would like the anniversary to be an inspirational day showing how we can use empathy and dialogue to transform conflict and create a different future.

I have asked Pat to be there with me on this occasion to help me to demonstrate how two people who could be enemies can sit and listen with respect to each other’s story and achieve an understanding of the ‘other’ so that peacebuilding can begin. Ours is story which shows that demonization leads to violence but that peace can be achieved when we see the humanity of all.’

The documentary also explores other narratives that shed light on the path from tragedy to reconciliation for survivors of conflicts in Rwanda and Israel-Palestine. Produced by Lekha Singh and co-directed by Singh and Roger Spottiswoode, this transformative film has won many awards (Best Avant Garde Film, American Psychological Association; Best Documentary Film, Fingal Film Festival; Runner-up for Best Documentary, LA Jewish Film Festival; Social Impact Award, The Collective) and has attracted worldwide attention. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented the film to the General Assembly before they adopted a far-reaching resolution for the peaceful mediation of conflict.

We do hope that you will join us in this commemoration. For more information about the anniversary events, please visit our News Page.

What’s the alternative? Beyond Violence, Injustice and Extremism

11am -5pm The Old Market, Brighton.

As part of the commemorative events organised by Building Bridges for Peace for the 30th Anniversary of the IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, there will be a visionary, ground breaking private event for youth, their workers and those working to stop violent extremism on 12th October 2014 in Brighton.

Building Bridges for Peace founder, Jo Berry, will be joined by the Institute of Strategic Dialogue and the Department of Peace Operations of PATRIR in hosting this special event, which will develop the capacity of young people to engage with the challenging issues of violence, conflict and peace in a constructive way. There will be an opportunity for them to hear first-hand of the experiences of perpetrators and survivors of violence from some of the most protracted and difficult conflicts in the world, including a survivor of the Utoya (Norway) attack, a Rwandan who lost his entire family, an ex-racist who preached violence and hatred who now works in community peace building, a former member of a radical Islamist organisation who now works to engage youth to resist extremism, and an ex-gang member from London.

This will consider the difficult topics of violence, conflict and peace in our time. It is a unique event in that it will be bringing together both perpetrators and survivors of violence from some of the most protracted and often difficult conflicts in the world. The event is a milestone in the history of Brighton and the UK, and a courageous step beyond violence, war and extremism, towards dignity, peace and healing. It is intended specifically to inspire young people, to help them better understand drivers and impacts of violence and the sensitive issues surrounding violence and extremism, to show that alternatives are possible, and to empower them to see what they can do to be the change they want to see in the world.

We have space for 120 young people and those who work with them. The event will be carefully and sensitively facilitated by Kai Brand-Jacobsen, Director of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and a world-renowned peace mediator and expert in the field. Given the complex violent conflicts occurring both at home and abroad, young people will be made to feel safe, respected, and confident to share their questions and views, and to discuss these issues in a sensitive way across different backgrounds.

Building the capacity of youth to engage with challenging issues in a constructive way is critical to preventing extremism and violence. Experience in the UK and internationally has shown that this is often best done through experiential learning; offering young people a chance to hear first-hand from those affected by violence, and discuss difficult issues head on. Those who have been affected by or involved in violence and who have recognised the need to find better alternatives are amongst the most credible messengers to engage young people on these issues.

The day will start with a unique opportunity to hear the stories of two people both affected by violence and the anniversary of the Brighton bombing. One is Pat Magee, the IRA combatant who planted the bomb which killed five people. The other is Jo Berry, whose father was amongst those killed by that bomb. After years of work Jo and Pat have courageously developed a dialogue and shared commitment to working to prevent violence and build bridges across divided communities, engaging in the often challenging work for peace with dignity.

Participants will have the opportunity to share stories and experiences, and take part in expertly facilitated workshops on conflict, violence and peacebuilding designed for youth and communities affected by conflicts. Those sharing will include former gang members, former violent extremists and those affected by violence, all now working with young people to prevent them becoming involved in violent extremism

The workshops will build skills to resolve conflicts peacefully and show that alternatives are possible. Open for all young people aged 14-24 as well as youth workers and support organisations.

If you are interested in taking part in this session, please contact joberry@buildingbridgesforpeace.org directly. Thanks