INNATE, as a nonviolence network on the island of Ireland, is involved in a variety of issues in the field, and believes strongly that a nonviolent approach has to include both green and human rights approaches as central. Both the latter two are sadly deficient in various ways in Ireland, in the Republic and Northern Ireland, and the issue of ‘peace’ is often circumscribed with many connections which should be made (e.g. Irish neutrality entailing no US military at Shannon) being avoided by ‘the powers that be’. The dire nature of the ecological crisis facing the whole world has massive implications for the possibilities of establishing peace and justice at home and everywhere, and the Irish response has been stunningly inadequate.
With a small core group in Belfast, INNATE does what it can to network, provide information, and support different initiatives by others. While the wider function is information provision and networking, the INNATE group also acts as an action group on its issues of concern.
As usual, in 2019 there was the production of 10 full issues of Nonviolent News, INNATE’s monthly publication, with news supplements for the two months there was no full issue. Produced in e-mail, web, and shorter (two page) paper editions, Nonviolent News is as much a magazine as a newsletter, frequently running to 10 or 12 pages, though there are no photos or illustrations in order to ‘get the news out’ speedily. We also produced paper copies of our ‘nonviolent manifesto’
The INNATE website at has an extensive range of material available on peace, nonviolence and related issues. INNATE’s photo site at www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland does provide a visual focus and outlet (the main website also includes downloadable posters); there are now over 1800 entries on the latter. Both websites continued to be well used during the year. We are looking to transfer the material from our current website which requires coding to a WordPress website which allows easier input.
On the arms trade, there was a screening in Belfast of Shadow World, a thoughtful and damning analysis, with its screenwriter (and book author) Andrew Feinstein in attendance for questions and answers. This is being followed up in 2020 with seminars to be held in Queen’s University Belfast. Northern Ireland already has a prominent place in the arms trade (e.g. Thales) but the Republic is heading the same reprehensible direction not least in supporting the EU’s PESCO policy.
INNATE is looking to support one particular peace education initiative which is still at an early, and analytical, stage. It was a quiet year in the peace trails project but a start was made on peace trails for St Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square in Dublin.
The INNATE networking group meets monthly, usually on a Wednesday evening, and if you are accessible to Belfast you are welcome to attend as we grapple with issues and make plans. INNATE exists on a rather frayed shoestring budget but still has a variety of bills to pay and we really appreciate subscriptions and donations - these can be made by British or Irish cheques, or by PayPal on the main website. But support can come in other ways too, including providing us with information about initiatives we may not know about so we can in turn inform others.
We cannot afford the luxury of apathy and inaction in the face of the violence and injustice at home and abroad, and the threat of this increasing exponentially.