While it was another year of solid achievement, in our own relatively small way, it seems to have been a fairly ‘quiet’ year in terms of events we organised. As well as being involved with the organisation and publicising of the ‘Alternatives’ festival to the G8 jamboree which hit Northern Ireland in June, we ran a couple of cultural-social-political walking tours of Belfast as part of the programme. Unfortunately our autumn seminar, for International Day of Peace, entitled ‘Grounding Peace’, had to be rescheduled because of venue and co-sponsor issues, and was subsequently cancelled with insufficient demand.
However our other normal work went on. We have now completed a set of over fifty mini-posters which will be going on our website shortly (for home printing); they cover peace, nonviolence, green, and human rights issues as well as dealing with the past. The posters will be on display at the War Resisters’ International Triennial conference in Cape Town in July. We hope to exhibit them in Ireland as well and possibly base some programme around them. On display in the same venue at the WRI Triennial will be an exhibition of arpilleras curated by our member Roberta Bacic, “SMALL Actions, BIG Movements”,
The website continues to be well visited from home and abroad, with some of our training and resource materials very well utilised. Our linked flickr photo site (most easily accessed from the home page of our website) has continued to grow and we welcome photos for inclusion, old or new, and are happy to add whole new sets. As part of our networking function we always add contacts, usually now website addresses, to photos and we also include the contacts for news items in our newsletter/magazine Nonviolent News (I’m not quite sure when a newsletter becomes a magazine!)
Nonviolent News appeared in ‘full’ issue its usual 10 times, with additional news supplements for January and August. Each issue typically runs to almost 9,000 words with a mixture of news and views, the latter including editorials, Larry Speight’s excellent eco-column, and Billy King’s ponderings and meanderings of various kinds. Nonviolent News celebrates twenty years of monthly production this year (it had been produced on an occasional basis from 1990-94) – the website was going 15 years last year.
Nonviolence, and INNATE, feature in the Up Standing material from Corrymeela due to an inclusion in the booklet featuring people who have stood up against violence and sectarianism.
We respond to requests for information and materials, from home and abroad, as best we can, and we meet interested visitors learning about Northern Ireland and peace initiatives here. We continue to offer training and input, one input this year was co-facilitating a workshop at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference in the North, another for WAVE on people who stood up against violence in the Troubles. Following the flags issue emerging in December 2012 we worked to put together relevant suitable material for nonviolent tactics training. We held one meeting in 2013 on the Belfast peace trail but hope to take this further for Belfast and elsewhere in 2014.
We continue to try to facilitate contact and cooperation, for groups and individuals, both through our information output and directly as well. We made a submission to the Haass consultation in Northern Ireland but that, in the final analysis, was a party political failure.
The ‘Belfast networking group’ of INNATE meets more or less monthly, discusses issues and plans programme and initiatives. Dates are included in Nonviolent News and all interested are welcome. More generally, if you think we might be able to help you, or you to help us, wherever you are, do get in touch.
With greetings and solidarity,
Coordinator, INNATE, February 2014.