Readings in Nonviolence’ features extracts from our favourite books, pamphlets, articles or other material on nonviolence and related areas, or reviews of important works in the field (suggestions and contributions welcome)
Introduced by Rob Fairmichael
Peace movement history in Northern Ireland
Given the gradual growth in community or good relations and cross community work to the size and significance which they now have in Northern Ireland, it is difficult for an account of the ‘peace movement’ not to be overwhelmed by this. But it is important to be precise. ‘Peace and reconciliation’ can perhaps be a title which can include all, those striving for good relations within Northern Ireland and those who believe in that but have a wider definition of what is needed for peace. But such terminology is not precise and an individual needs to be careful to define what they are talking about.
The following list of material fits the general ‘peace and reconciliation’ concept; some are ‘historical’ references (e.g. 1972), some current As you go back in time there was much less cross community work and it usually fell away somewhat after a particular atrocity – one step forward and two back.
There are of course many other groups not mentioned, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, for example (both defunct in Northern Ireland though Irish CND is working away and a few groups have links with the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, including INNATE). ‘Nonviolent News’ and previously ‘Dawn’ magazine provide a partial record on ‘the peace movement’ stretching back to 1974. Other newsletters either provide a picture of thinking (e.g. ‘PACE Journal’, the magazine of Protestant And Catholic Encounter) or the Peace People’s “Peace by Peace” (1976+) and then “The Citizen”.
This is only a very brief look at some resources in this area. It does not purport to be comprehensive. That is, perhaps, for another day.
Peace, reconciliation, interface, mediation and research groups in Northern Ireland
Community groups played an important role locally during the Troubles, e.g. East Belfast Community Council (extinct) or Ballynafeigh Community Development Association: Web search name, includes Facebook
Women Together, included here (“Peace groups since the 30’s” article, 1978) Started 1970, defunct for about ten years.