Next, we held an Appreciative Inquiry into “real security”. By telling each other stories about good personal experiences of feeling secure, we found the common themes of trust, solidarity, hospitality, closeness, and being part of something positive that had sustained people in the face of danger and fear. The people at the workshop were from many different countries and brought many different stories of peace work, cultural work and creating autonomous spaces. Their stories showed how they had used skills of communication and building friendship, and had shared their practical skills and acted from their own knowledge.
Then we started to think what a contrast this was with the kind of “security” we had seen on the streets of Sheffield on Wednesday evening. There we saw a culture of force and fear being implemented, as we faced the ranks of riot police with their batons, horses and dogs. The G8 closed down our streets, thinking that from their secure compound they could make the world more secure for themselves.
Our message from this workshop to the G8: Real security comes from trust, closeness, and being part of something positive. We want to live in a world where we can develop our skills of communication, friendship and taking responsibility – not in the world of force and fear you are pushing.