INNATE is not always very good about blowing - or even glowing, showing or throwing - our own trumpet but for the 25th anniversary of INNATE, which occurs this year, we asked a variety of people around Ireland to write a short statement about INNATE. This is, unedited, what we received from them. – Rob Fairmichael, INNATE Coordinator.
INNATE has served as an important and understated part of the process of challenge, learning and understanding which has underpinned the work for peace of many activists in, and visitors to, Northern Ireland. Its holistic and global focus, combined with local training and action has involved it in a huge range of initiatives which far outweighs the sum of its parts. From coordinating observers at contentious parades to actions against the war in Iraq to producing publications such as that on lessons to be learnt from the South African peace process, to training human rights observers for Amnesty and Frontline to monitor the Corrib gas situation on the ground in Mayo, INNATE has been a consistent presence this past quarter century, urging us to both reflection and action. The backbone of all of this has been Nonviolent News - a significant communication and networking tool which, while providing helpful and timely information on events, also helps us mark some of the more trying as well as the happier aspects of peacebuilding in these islands and beyond.
Mary O’Rawe, former chair of Community of the Peace People, CAJ and Amnesty International Lawyers' Network NI
Congratulations and thank you to Rob Fairmichael and co-workers on this the 25th Anniversary of INNATE and Nonviolent News. I have the honour of being a member of INNATE for many years and participating in many nonviolent actions, particularly against nuclear weapons and war. I always look forward to reading Nonviolent News which keeps us all informed about people and events and links us together as friends and co-workers in our vision of peace and nonviolence for the human family.
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace laureate, co-founder Peace People
I look forward each month to the arrival of the coloured page sheet from Innate. It gives me a snapshot of what is going on with various peace and campaigning groups in Ireland and throughout the world. It also makes an easy link to them if I want to find out more about individual initiatives. It is also a useful tool to send to enquiries from many countries around the world who want to make contact with active peace organisations in Ireland. Well done on the first 25 years. Good seeds have been sown! -
Tom Ryder, Coordinator, Voluntary Service International
INNATE must be (on achieving 25 years) almost like another child, that had to be nurtured almost daily in the early years and now brings its own joys and headaches. An achievement for you, all the members of Innate over the years plus Carmel, to bring it to its quarter century.
Anne Bennett, former representative, Quaker House, Belfast
Happy 25th Birthday INNATE! I work on an oral history archive about the experience of the conflict and it often strikes me when I read Nonviolent News that it documents and reveals a particular history ‘from below’ of the conflict and peace process in Ireland. The editorials provide a commentary on Irish political developments within a local and international context through a non-violent lens. The listings of peace building and solidarity activities show the broad spectrum of ongoing work and activism going on in Ireland. I value Nonviolent News both as a rich record and a useful resource.
Claire Hackett, Dúchas oral history archive, Falls Community Council
INNATE is a quiet hero of the Irish peace-building process. It connects individuals and groups, publicises events and courses, and analyses issues and developments. Amongst other things, Nonviolent News serves as a Time Out listings of the Irish Peace scene. It is an invaluable guide on what the churches, the community and voluntary sector, education, and NGOs are doing for peace. It is also a constant reminder of what more needs to be done. Each time NN comes out it is essential and thought-provoking reading from an organisation which knows the Irish peace scene inside-out. Thank you for all you have done over the last twenty-five years, and warmest wishes for the years to come.
David Tombs, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin
It is easy to initiate work, it is more challenging to sustain it. Well done INNATE for 25 years of witness for peace and non-violence in a tough environment. Non-violence does not promote a passive response to violence but a pacifist response passionately committed to taking action to work for peace and reconciliation. A world with increasingly complex war tools needs creative resources and wisdom to resist the path of violence. We can all do something. Keep encouraging us INNATE.
Inderjit Bhogal, Leader of Corrymeela
Students on our MSc in Peace and Conflict Studies are always asking about peace activities on the island of Ireland that they can contribute to. I always advise them that their best source of information is Nonviolent News.
Stephen Ryan, Senior Lecturer Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Ulster
In our violent world, the struggle to promote conflict resolution through nonviolent means and inculcate values based on nonviolence is a voice of hope for the future of humanity. INNATE is a voice and a witness of that global effort to promote peace and justice which gives an opportunity to promote the work done by civil society organisations. Our grateful thanks to Rob Fairmichael for his decades of diligent work for peace and nonviolence in Northern Ireland predating INNATE. All our best wishes to INNATE and long may it continue sustaining the hope for a peaceful future for humanity.
Tony D’Costa, General Secretary, Pax Christi Ireland
Over the last 25 years we have been seduced by the idea that in order to do anything and have any impact we need a clever strategic plan, glossy presentation, a new angle, and so on. But over the same period INNATE and Nonviolent News has reminded us constantly about the importance of non-violence as an approach, shown us what others are doing, kept commitment to non-violence alive in a hostile environment, and demonstrated what a very small group with no resources can do when they have a clear focus, persistence and commitment. Long may they continue.
- 'Nonviolent News' is my main source of information about peace work, peace related conferences, new publications etc in Ireland as a whole and coming by email or post for a very small charge is a wonderful resource for me. There is no other way it would be possible for me to be aware of this range of peace and non violent activities other than Nonviolent News. Having the info gives me the opportunity to share news with other folk. Thank you for all the time and effort gathering all this info and keeping us in touch in such an effective and efficient way. Best wishes for the future.
Nonviolent News is valuable in providing information on what is going on in this field. It covers a wide spectrum on one sheet of paper! Thank you.
Helen Haughton, Alternatives to Violence (Ireland).
I first became acquainted with INNATE as a member of the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign (FEIC). In FEIC, as well as campaigning directly around raising awareness of the existence of Raytheon in Derry and the nature of the company's work, we have also tried to promote a culture of peace. INNATE, I believe have been engaged in just such peace building for many years. Receiving their newsletter giving news of all the activities that were taking place in the name of peace in this part of the world, was really heartening. The publication, together with the many workshops on non-violent living and communication which INNATE have facilitated or hosted over the years have been a source of support and inspiration. Congratulations on 25 years of living and working for peace...long may it continue!
In a world where so many media organs unquestioningly support the war agenda and the military industry, either implicitly or explicitly, it is good that INNATE proposes a different world view. One of the more bizarre occurrences in Ireland is that since the Good Friday Agreement, and the significant ending of the conflict in Ireland, many people now seem to feel free to ‘celebrate’ the ‘Great Wars’ of the past and to passively support current and ongoing wars . The millions who have been killed in wars and indirectly by the diversion of resources to the war machine seem to be forgotten. The wastage of more than $1600 billion annually in making wars and the weapons of war is rarely mentioned as overseas aid, health and education budgets are cut. In this context, it is important that INNATE continues to remind us that many people refuse to accept this agenda and continue to organise, strategise and work for a world built on principles of peace, justice, fairness and equality.
Joe Murray, Coordinator, Afri