Tag Archives: Social defence

Readings in Nonviolence: Nonviolent civilian defence and extending Irish neutrality

As stated elsewhere in this issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, under general instructions from the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, rejected INNATE making an oral presentation on nonviolent civilian defence and possibilities for extending Irish neutrality. While this was included in INNATE’s written submission to the ‘Consultative Forum on International Security’ it is quite clear that if you were not involved in presenting at the four days of oral hearings then your thoughts were unlikely to get attention.

But INNATE was in good company in being excluded. Dr Karen Devine, an academic and expert on modern Irish neutrality including the non-aligned, anti-imperialist and pro-disarmament policy of Fianna Fáil under Minister for External Affairs Frank Aiken in the 1950s and 1960s, was, incredibly, omitted from the speaking roster. A ‘forum’ is defined as ‘a public space for open discussion’ so it was clear it was not a ‘forum’ in any meaningful sense – it was a long conference with all the content decided by the Minister and his civil servants who he would obviously have instructed as to what he wanted.

Anyway, below is the link for the 11-page INNATE submission, containing later on the sections on nonviolent civilian defence and extending Irish neutrality in a positive way. We used the term ‘nonviolent civilian defence’ in this context rather than the related term ‘social defence’ to be more comprehensible in the context of discussing geographical state security. We would prefer the term ‘social defence’ in general as a more progressive and less state-oriented term but we stand over everything in the submission.

The submission can be downloaded at https://tinyurl.com/3rurehhv