ANNOUNCEMENT: FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR PROTEST AGAINST THE WAR
Contact Women In Black or read their statement on the Dayton Peace Treaty.
The acknowledgment of the date of our anniversary cannot have a ceremonial or celebrational character. We have neither put an end to the war nor had such an illusion. However, we have not abandoned ourselves to desperation, nor are we in the trap of helplessness, nor have we lost our hope. Despite the deep conflicts which war provokes in us we do not have doubts about continuing our actions. Despite insults, underestimations and condemnations that are addressed to the pacifist movement here, and not only here, we are still convinced that non-violent strategies are the only alternatives to war. Great energy and means are expended in war and armed violence, bringing only death, destruction and hatred. In non-violent strategies, almost no means are used and still their existence and dissemination encourage us, yet also disturb those who support, produce and lead the war. They would like to see us helpless, apathetic and passively accepting our fate; to see us in the condition in which they have already put most of the inhabitants...
For four years, since October 9, 1991, every Wednesday we have made visible our non-violent protests against war and the Serbian regime, which we hold responsible for war; we instigate civil disobedience against all forms of imposed indentification: nation, national state, all armies and flags.
We are transforming our anger over war and militarism into positive actions:
- We value (respect) voices of women against war and have recorded them in alternative women's history, the proof of this being in our large publishing activities (books, magazines, brochures etc.) in different languages.
- We organize international meetings of our women's solidarity network against war. The last such meeting (our fourth annual) was held in August 1995 in Tresnjevac. Our friends came from all countries of the former Yugoslavia and from 14 other countries. The Serbian police regime constantly presents us with numerous obstacles to this form of communication: this past August, for 30 hours, they blocked the passage of a bus of Italian pacifists, not allowing them to enter the country to attend our meeting. They refuse to give visas to Spanish and other pacifists and feminists and put activists from our group, our friends from Croatia and other countries under police interrogation etc.
What is it that the Serbian regime fears when it has in its hands such a police and military force? This proves that even our modest acts of non-violent resistance are a "threat" to the totalitarian regime which wants to control everything by instilling fear and through force.
- We condition, spread and strengthen the network of international alternative relationships to overcome the limits which are placed on us and to confront obstacles by confirming local and global connections.
- We stimulate and develop relationships of support and exchange with
refugees; instead of charity and victimization we want to assist them to regain their lost self-respect and dignity. In our work in refugee centers we are facing obstacles placed by the institutions and above all the Serbian Commission for Refugees - who are refusing, with no explanation, to grant us permission to go to the refugee centers. We continue, despite the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia, who, in accordance with the aforementioned commission, has forbade us to go to the refugee centers. They are also putting those refugees who cooperate with us under police interrogation; one more proof that this regime wants to strangle every form of self-organizing and autonomous thought.
- We support men who refuse to go to war, who refuse forced mobilization and war deserters. We plead for conscientious objection of military service to become a basic human right here also.
In short, we are convinced that only a network of civil society and non-violent resistance can change the logic of war and stop war machinery. It is a long-term strategy that requires patience, persistence and whose results happen gradually. We lean on each other for support, in solidarity of common troubles and for projects within the autonomous women's and pacifist movements worlwide.
We will continue to be on the streets of Belgrade to publicly protest against the war and all forms of militarism.
LET US BANISH WAR FROM HISTORY AND FROM OUR LIVES!
|WE INVITE ALL CITIZENS OF BELGRADE TO JOIN OUR NON-VIOLENT PROTEST ON OCTOBER 8, 1995 AT 18h IN REPUBLIC SQUARE and every Wednesday from 15h30-16h30 also in Republic Square.
Check here how some citizens replied to this invite.
WOMEN IN BLACK AGAINST WAR
BELGRADE, October 5, 1995