Change was the name of the game in 2020 when we, as individuals, groups and organisations adapted to the restrictions associated with Covid-19. The expectation that there would resultantly be ‘less news’ to report in our publication ‘Nonviolent News’ turned out not to be correct as events and networking went online. Of course many events did not happen at all but this report may seem quite ‘normal’ as we worked away in different circumstances. INNATE meetings moved online – which means anyone, anywhere can be involved or contribute – and even the Christmas ‘party’ happened remotely...
Our main website at continued to be well used and has a mass of material built up over decades not just including Nonviolent News but also resources, training materials and downloadable posters. Our Flickr photo site at now has almost two thousand photos which are categorised in 34 albums; going to a particular album can make it much easier to find the photos in which you are interested…..unless you have plenty of time to browse. However most of the photos added in 2020 were from other years, because of Covid-19. It is hoped some of the photos can be a contribution to INNATE’s ‘Civil society and the Troubles’ project to record work by all parts of civil society during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Nonviolent News appeared in its usual 10 full issues with two news supplements (January and August) for when a full issue does not appear. In the ‘Readings in Nonviolence’ slot we have embarked on a series on ‘Art and Peace’. Larry Speight in his long running column continued to analyse the world from a perceptive green viewpoint.
Unfortunately however, while the e-mail and web editions of Nonviolent News continued as normal it was not possible, because of Covid restrictions, to send the paper edition out as normal although ‘missing’ issues are sent out retrospectively as circumstances allow.
“Nonviolence in Ireland: A study guide” is a 10-page guide for individual or group study which was produced in 2020; it looks at nonviolence from the earliest times up to today and its many links are all online. It is available on the INNATE website under either ‘Resources’ or ‘Workshops’.
There were a number of open workshops or meetings organised online. One served as a launch for the ‘Nonviolence in Ireland’ study guide.
Another was a joint one on consensus decision making jointly with the de Borda Institute. A seminar on the arms trade was held with speakers Femi Omotoyinbo, Roy Hirschbein and John Lannon; this was followed up by a networking meeting for people interested in working on arms trade issues in Ireland and it is expected that this will continue and develop its work.
INNATE was, as usual, involved in wider networking in 2020 with others at home and abroad, which it is hoped will benefit the cause of peace and nonviolence. There was little work done on peace trails because of Covid-19 though an online seminar was run on this topic for Good Relations in Causeway Coast and Glens.
Financially INNATE exists on a rather frayed shoestring but we kept our heads above water in a year which has been very difficult financially for many NGOs. That does mean that we really value the subscriptions and donations received.
Here is to the work in 2021.
Coordinator, INNATE, February 2021.