Tactics story
Talking over the wall, Northern Ireland

Tactic: Prevent

More than 3500 people died in ‘The Troubles’ – 30 years of political violence between Protestant Unionists (who want Northern Ireland to remain in the UK) and Catholic Irish Republicans. These communities live separately, sometimes physically divided by 3-8m high ‘peace walls’ that aim to minimise violence.

During the Troubles (1968-1998), suspicions about what was happening across the wall could lead to violence. Interaction Belfast created a network of volunteers on both sides of the wall, giving them mobile phones to communicate. Volunteers called each other to warn of situations developing and to share information. They then spread accurate information, reducing suspicions and preventing violence, especially during sensitive events like political parades.

Source: New Tactics in Human rights, www.newtactics.org; Interaction Belfast, www.peacewall.org

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