INNATE was 25 years ‘on the go’ in 2012 so you might think we could be just part of the woodwork by now but I hope you’ll agree there is no danger of that, and it is obvious that our message of nonviolence and nonviolent struggle is as relevant today as ever. INNATE is a mixture of network, information agency and action group and we have continued with a broad range of activities in the last year, with plenty up our sleeves for 2013. One sad note during the year was the death of our member Conn Mulvenna, coordinator of Kilcranny House in Coleraine, see some tributes we put together . We also co-hosted a small meeting with Corrymeela marking the death of Corrymeela founder Ray Davey.
We marked our 25th anniversary on International Day of Peace in September with an event run in Coleraine in collaboration with our member Roberta Bacic who curated the exhibition there of arpilleras entitled Stitching and unstitching the Troubles. The keynote speaker at our anniversary event was Mairead Maguire. Statements made about INNATE by people around Ireland, compiled for our 25th anniversary, can be seen at here In addition to our normal monthly meetings we also organised speaker meetings with Leonna O’Neill on Faslane nuclear weapons base, and with our member Máiréad Collins on EAPPI in Israel and Palestine.
Given that we produce a sizeable monthly newsletter or magazine we have not been producing pamphlet material but our forty-page pamphlet “My kind of nonviolence – Personal views from Ireland on what nonviolence means” was launched at our Coleraine 25th anniversary event and is available online . This has fifteen personal stories.
Our Irish Peace Trail project went places in May, specifically Co Mayo when the trail for that county was launched in cooperation with Afri and their Famine Walk there. It is intended to tackle other local trails in 2013. See here
We leafleted potential recruits to the British army at one recruitment fair at Kinnegar, Co Down, suggesting they ‘think twice’ and saying why.
Material continues to build on the INNATE website with numerous enquiries arising, though the purpose of Nonviolent News is to signpost people directly to what many different groups and organisations are doing. As the main website is not very visual (though our linked photo site with over 550 photos can be accessed from our main home page) we have plans to add a strong visual section or element shortly.
Nonviolent News appeared its usual ten times in the full three (shorter paper and longer e-mail and web) editions with an average word count of eight and a half thousand words, plus a news supplement for January; we passed the 200 issues mark in mid-year. Stephen Ryan, Senior Lecturer, Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Ulster said “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.”
We are always delighted to look at working together with individuals or groups anywhere on the island of Ireland and sometimes further afield - we are directly linked with the War Resisters International and the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, as well as having many other more informal links at home and abroad. We are delighted to receive information on projects and work which we can cover in Nonviolent News – we are keen to cover small local projects as well as bigger and broader based ones. If there is anything you think might possibly interest us, please get in touch. For those accessible to Belfast, you are most welcome to our monthly networking meeting.
With greetings and solidarity, and here is to what we can achieve together in 2013,
Rob Fairmichael, Coordinator, INNATE, February 2013. www.innatenonviolence.org