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Billy King


Nonviolence News


Annual report 2001

A sort of annual report from INNATE
INNATE is a fairly loose affair existing mainly at the level of information exchange…mundane this may be but it is a fact that people don’t know what other people are doing, or if they know something then part of what they know is distorted, or a vital part missing. This is a fact of human existence and the complexity of modern life. Learning, cooperating and avoiding the re-invention of the wheel all depend on the quality of the information we have. And, since this is so, an effort has been made in the last year to increase the content of the INNATE website which now includes a variety of other information as well as Nonviolent News. And the web / e-mail editions of Nonviolent News now include more material than the paper edition (usually an editorial, sometimes more news items, and the columnist Billy King) – you can choose what you receive (ask for a subscription/mailing form if you’d like one). The website also has a word search facility – useful for finding that elusive information from a year ago that you can’t quite track down. My thanks to Mark McCann who manages the website so efficiently.

The Belfast networking group of INNATE meets regularly but is small, in fact at a point where a couple of additional members could make a considerable difference in enabling things to happen. So I would ask individuals and groups accessible to Belfast if this is something you could consider; no assumptions are made about those attending meetings doing anything until or if they decide to do so (i.e. we don’t operate on the ‘treasurer-at-your-first-meeting’ syndrome!). The danger with a small group is that it becomes simply ‘another group’ struggling to exist rather than having the networking function intended. That said, some useful work has been done by the group in supporting particular initiatives.

There are plenty of possibilities for INNATE to expand its work, or to do what it does with greater outreach, anywhere in Ireland. That depends on ‘you’ as well as ‘us’. The vision is a much greater one than our reality, a vision of groups pushing back the boundaries, and cooperating together where possible.

One significant event will take place in Ireland next year, July 2002, in the Dublin area – the War Resisters International (WRI) Triennial conference (while a whole raft of groups in Dublin is backing this event, INNATE is currently the only group formally linked to the WRI). This will be an international conference for up to 400 people with the majority of them coming from abroad and will be a real challenge to make it an event to remember. One key element of the whole Triennial will be an, optional, home stay programme where local activists around Ireland, North and South, get to host international activists and use them for meetings locally (and international activists get to see locals at work and play). You will be hearing more about this! Information and updates will appear on the website. More...

Some realities change, for better or worse, and others stay the same. Where we are on this island, North or South, East or West, or indeed in the middle, old certainties have gone or are disappearing and new uncertainties rear their heads. Pluralism of the old sort has to grow into multiculturalism, while increasing involvement in world economies and EU-structures makes for an island tied into western economic and power structures which are difficult – though not impossible – to challenge. The Northern Ireland situation remains as difficult and complex as ever but also more open to new initiatives in a post-kind-of-settlement era, however while the divisions and enmity may remain similar, the form and expression of these evolves.

Finally, thanks for being on board, I hope you enjoy the ride this year. And if you have any news about things you’re involved in that you want to share that you think would be relevant, we’d be delighted to hear, likewise regarding suggestions for activities. You can get in touch by phone, fax, e-mail or post (pigeon post not available).

Rob Fairmichael,
Coordinator, INNATE,
February 2001


Copyright INNATE 2016