Category Archives : CONVOCATIONS IN ENGLISH 2010


CONVOCATION 28 NOVEMBER 2010: In consideration of 25 November, international day against violence towards women

   In consideration of 25 November, international day against violence towards women,

Women in Black against war want to focus our attention on the violence suffered by women who are in a situation of armed conflict.

Wars always affect the civil population more than the armies that fight them, especially modern wars. Among the civil population, it is women who experience the worst. All the armed actors in any conflict use specific forms of violence against women. The best known examples include utilization of rape as a weapon, domestic and sexual slavery, restriction of liberty to circulate outdoors because of fear of kidnapping and rape, coercion to assume the role of unconditional caretakers becoming the ”warrior’s rest” or “bearing children for war”….The result is that the bodies of women continue to be a field of battle.

Furthermore, it is the women who customarily take on the responsibility of daily life, sustenance and family care in time of war. In a situation of armed conflict, these tasks become risky and difficult, all in an environment that gives priority to military expenditures and loss of basic rights. Women and young boys and girls who are fleeing wars constitute 80% of the millions of displaced refugees in the world. The violence that women suffer in a situation of armed conflict is, therefore, an extreme manifestation of discrimination and abuses that they suffer in times of peace, and of the inequality of power relationships between men and women in the majority of societies.

Likewise, we are concerned and denounce the persistence or increase in crimes of honor that occur in some societies that use religious fundamentalism or customary practice as a way of controlling women.

However, it is the women themselves who live in a situation of conflict who bring light and hope. The networks created among women before and during war time make possible not only the survival of the civil population but, in the search for solutions, have also produced a collection of peace alternatives. For this reason, it should be precisely these networks that are used as a base to recover the social fabric damaged by the conflict, giving them prominence in the peace negotiations and accords (as established in the UN resolution 1325).

As Women in Black against war, we want:

-To make the voice of women heard to express their feelings, needs, proposals and alternatives to militarism and war.
-To demilitarize our forms of feeling, thinking and acting.
-To allot more of the budget for the development of a life with dignity and less for military expenditures.
-To disseminate information about the reality of countries and regions in conflict and violence suffered by women in these countries.
-To construct solidarity networks among women without regard to frontiers, ethnicity, religions….
-To denounce militarization in daily life, local and global.
-Truth, Justice and Reparation so that the horrors of war not be repeated.

…once and for all, may the bodies of women never more be a field of battle.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 31 OCTOBER 2010: NO TO RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA

The last Sunday of the month
In the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue), at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
invite you
to a vigil in black and in silence.

31 OCTOBER 2010
NO to racism and xenophobia

Women in Black against War – Madrid

Invite the citizenry:
To a personal reflection on attitudes and prejudices regarding immigration, as well as the rejection of its utilization in politics and voting.

We urge the government of Spain and public institutions:
To adopt with urgency national legislation against racism and xenophobia.

Let us expel war and violence
from history
and from our lives

……………………………………………………………………….

Women in Black say NO to Racism and Xenophobia

At a meeting in Barcelona, 3-6 October 2010, the European ombudsmen (Defensor@s del Pueblo) reported on the increase of xenophobia in Europe because of the crisis and have issued a call to protect the rights of the most vulnerable people. They also issued an alert regarding the growing hatred and fear of Moslems and discrimination against minority groups such as gypsies.

Europe is suffering a weakening in its culture of democratic values, which, in some places, is giving rise to violations of human rights.

Among the most recent episodes are the decision in Italy to designate those “without papers” as delinquents, closing of the borders of Great Britain, and the expulsion of Romanian gypsies in France. All this has been generated by a political speech linking immigration with delinquency.

The expulsion of the gypsies can reinforce prejudice against this ethnic group, which is already one of the most discriminated against in the European Union, as well as against immigrants. For this reason, ENAR (The European Network against Racism) has advocated for a global European strategy for the inclusion of gypsies, which would guarantee that they be protected against discrimination, that they have equal access to education, employment, housing and health services, as well as the possibility of participating in the civic and economic life of their countries.

This increase in racist violence is accompanied by a new tendency that constitutes a grave threat to democracy and human rights: political utilization of racism and its intellectual legitimization, owing above all to the influence of the racist and xenophobic platforms in the political programs of democratic parties, as well as their interest in obtaining votes, which will subsequently result in discriminatory laws.

Women in Black invite the citizenry:
· To a personal reflection on attitudes and prejudices regarding immigration, in order to be able to live amongst a human diversity.
· To reject the acceptance of racism and xenophobia as something normal.
· To reject its utilization in politics and elections.
We urge the government of Spain and public institutions:
· To adopt with urgency national legislation against racism and xenophobia, as indicated by the International Convention against the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
· To confront, through education, investigation and reporting, the ideas, concepts and images that incite and justify racism and xenophobia.

Traslator Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 26 SEPTEMBER 2010: WEAPONS, AN INDUSTRY OF DEATH: A BUSINESS THAT KNOWS NO CRISIS


The last Sunday of the month
in the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue), at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
invite you
to a vigil in black and in silence

26 September 2010

WEAPONS, AN INDUSTRY OF DEATH: A BUSINESS THAT KNOWS NO CRISIS

In Spain in 2009, more than 1300 million dollars were exchanged in the weapons business. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute places Spain in sixth place among the nations that export weapons.
For us, the only path is disarmament.
We ask the government of Spain:
· to cease allocating funds for research on death weapons and direct those funds to research for peace and social development.
· that it respect the EU Code of Conduct, bearing in mind the criteria for human rights.
We ask the civil society to be aware that the benefits accruing to us that are generated by this sector cause war, destruction and misery for other people and nations.

Let us expel war and violence
from history
and from our lives

……………………………………………………………………..

WEAPONS, INDUSTRY OF DEATH: A BUSINESS THAT KNOWS NO CRISIS

The weapons business is the most productive of the planet and the one to which the most economic resources and hours of research are dedicated. It is the business that causes the most death and destruction. The military-industrial complex has developed weapons with such power that it refutes the supposed defensive function of the armies, converting them into the greatest threat for the survival of humanity. The armed conflicts feed this terrible industry and at the same time one might ask if it is not also true that this industry feeds armed conflicts.

Last year in Spain more than 1,300 million dollars were exchanged in the business of arms, according to data of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an organization which makes accounting of the world commerce in heavy arms, placing Spain sixth on the scale of exporters, above countries like China and Israel. In the midst of full economic recession, while the real estate and automobile sectors were paralyzed, the sale of aircraft, armored vehicles, military vessels or artillery materiel grew by 53% in relation to the previous period.

In Spain, exportation of arms requires previous authorization from the government. However, given that these exports are considered classified information according to the Law of Official Secrets, almost no information is available.

Failing to comply with the code of conduct of the European Union, among the clients for arms from Spain are the following countries currently embattled in armed conflict (Colombia and Israel), with internal instability (Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka), countries that allocate more resources to military expenses than to health and education (Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, Ecuador, Brazil and Angola), where human rights are not respected (Kenya, Singapore, Thailand), countries historically in conflict with one another (India and Pakistan), and including the poorest countries of the world (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Angola and Mauritania). Some of the above countries receive Official Aid for Development from Spain. First we conduct business and then we carry out the social work that the respective governments should do for themselves instead of spending money on weapons.

The five countries that are permanent members of the UN Security Council (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China) responsible for maintaining world peace and avoiding international armed conflict, nevertheless have enormous potential for nuclear destruction, and move 76% of the world commerce in arms.For us, the only path is contrary to that which is being followed now: Disarmament. For this reason, we ask the government of Spain:-to cease allocating funds for research on death weapons and direct those funds to research for peace and social development.-to respect the EU Code of Conduct, bearing in mind the criteria for human rights.We ask the civil society to be aware that the benefits to us generated by this sector cause war, destruction and misery for other people and countries.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 27 JUNE 2010: WOMEN IN BLACK FOR NOVIOLENCE


The last Sunday of the month
in the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue) at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
invite you
to a vigil in black and in silence.

27 June 2010

WOMEN IN BLACK FOR NONVIOLENCE

Women in Black against War work for nonviolence from a feminist, pacifist and anti-militarist perspective. Nonviolence does not just mean to be against violence but also to seek alternatives, to approach conflicts with the conviction that they can be resolved without aggression and without wars.
We believe that one can say and should continue to say: No war in our name; budgets for social needs, not military; demilitarization of consciences; another nonviolent world is possible.

Let us expel war and violence
from history
and from our lives

……………………………………………………………………..

WOMEN IN BLACK FOR NONVIOLENCE

Women in Black against war work for nonviolence from a feminist, pacifist and anti-militarist perspective. Nonviolence does not just mean to be against violence but also to seek alternatives, to approach conflicts with the conviction that they can be resolved without aggression and without wars.

Non-violence is a path, a process, a continuous learning experience, both personally and also with regard to human relations; it is an ethical tool for social transformation, which gives strength to those who practice it and takes power away from the violent.

As feminists, we denounce specific violence against women in war; we build networks of solidarity across borders, ethnicity and religions; we transmit the voices of women against war who live in countries in conflict.

We say NO to the patriarchy because it is a system of power and oppression against women, but also because it is inimical to many men, as it exalts values like physical strength, heroism in war, victory and hierarchy. We do not want an equality that repeats the violence or power structure of the patriarchy, and we do not believe that being in an army is a step ahead for us.

As pacifists, we believe that peace is not just the absence of war. There is no peace in the name of which and with the pretext of terrorism countries can be invaded and subjugated. We do not believe that any army can be a force for pacification. We do not believe in any sort of insurgent armed group for “liberation”. No war is undertaken for the good or the defense of the people, rather for economic or hidden political interests.

We express the need to:
· Find the primary causes that generate conflicts and attempt to overcome them through social transformation, ending with injustice and giving priority to the good of civil society.
· Maintain historical memory so that forgetfulness, prevarication and manipulation do not succeed.
· Defend the validity of human rights to protect personal dignity.

As anti-militarists, we say NO to armies and to social militarization, because its goal is power and subjugation; we do not believe in concepts like national defense, discipline, obedience owed to the homeland.

Nether do we defend any type of armed struggle or armed group, or any violence that justifies itself through ideology.

We live in a moment of grave economic crisis, cuts in spending for social services, and we, nevertheless, continue to fail to question the militarization of our budget, which destines for defense an amount of money that would more than cover the cuts foreseen by the government of Spain.

Women in Black against war also declare that:
· Every time a non-violent reply is given there is a transformation.
· It is important to construct a new language based on nonviolence, excluding words derived from a macho, xenophobic or militarist culture.
· We work to recover from history the events and actions and protagonists of nonviolence that are generally not well-known and, above all, the role of women as active war resisters.

We believe that one can say and should continue to say: No war in our name; budgets for social needs, not military; demilitarization of consciences; another nonviolent world is possible.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION MAY 30 2010: COMMEMORATING 24 MAY INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN FOR PEACE AND DISARMAMENT


Women in Black Against War – Madrid commemorating 24th May
International Day of Women for Peace and Disarmament

We women create spaces where the voices of women against war can be heard and so that their indignation can be transformed into active non-violent resistance to war.

We build networks of solidarity among women without regard to borders, ethnicity, religions…

We support the participation of women in peace negotiations at the local, regional and global levels.

We are against wars, all militarism, because this is perpetuated in the established patriarchal order, a system of domination and injustice which does not guarantee a just and sustainable human development; we do not believe in armed struggle because it perpetuates the law of the most powerful.

Militarism transmits and exalts macho values which in no way favor equity and equality of opportunity. It leads to the normalization of violence and devalues life in all its integrity; it maintains a dichotomous view of the world, dividing it into friends/enemies; we/they; to die/to kill; with me/against me. The army and its buildup of arms are an apology for death in the face of the value of life.

And it is in this sense that we express our concern regarding the investment of public funds for military ends. As long as countries keep allocating resources for research and development in weapons, another world will not be possible. The production and commerce in arms fuels all the armed conflicts.

While it is true that this government has increased Ayuda Oficial al Desarrollo (Official Aid to Development) the numbers speak for themselves: “Every Spaniard gives 83 euros a year to aid development and 179 for military expenses.” Spain continues producing cluster bombs and anti-personnel land mines.

In our opinion, no army defends the peace. The misnamed humanitarian wars are one more deception in the new model of defense rooted in fear.

For these reasons, we declare:

-That it is necessary and urgent to strengthen the work of Education for Peace with a gender perspective that has as its goal the formation of a “nonviolent” person who can achieve his/her full development and learn to resolve conflicts through negotiation.

-That urgent measures should be taken directed toward the eradication of research, manufacture and sale of arms to end this commerce that fuels violence and the conflicts that are today devastating humanity.

-We invite you to participate in the Campaña de Objecion Fiscal en la Declaracion de la Renta * (campaign regarding uses of income tax) as a service in achieving the goals of peace. The purpose of this campaign is that “Not one euro, not one woman, not one man, not one thought be destined for war”; nor for research and manufacture of arms that kill human beings.

“We women do not bear sons and daughters for war.” (Women in Black of Colombia)

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA

*For more information on the Objecion Fiscal a los Gastos Militares, see:
www.educarueca.org
www.nodo50.org/objecionfiscal
www.antimilitaristas.org
www.grupotortuga.org


CONVOCATION 25 APRIL 2010: CONFRONTING WEAPONRY, A BUSINESS THAT KNOWS NO CRISIS

The last Sunday of the month
In the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue) at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
invite you
to a vigil in black and in silence.25 April 2010

CONFRONTING WEAPONRY: A BUSINESS THAT KNOWS NO CRISIS

The business of armaments is the most productive on the planet and the one that causes the most death and destruction.
WOMEN IN BLACK OF MADRID AGAINST WAR
Ask the government of Spain:
-to cease allocating funds for research into weapons of death and direct those funds to research for peace and social development.
-to respect the Code of Conduct of the European Union, bearing in mind the criteria of human rights.
We ask the civil society to be aware that the benefits generated for us by this sector cause war, destruction and misery for other people and countries.

Let us expel war and violence
from history
and from our lives

……………………………………………………………………

WEAPONS, INDUSTRY OF DEATH: A BUSINESS THAT KNOWS NO CRISIS

The weapons business is the most productive of the planet and the one to which the most economic resources and hours of research are dedicated. It is the business that causes the most death and destruction. The military-industrial complex has developed weapons with such power that it refutes the supposed defensive function of the armies, converting them into the greatest threat for the survival of humanity. The armed conflicts feed this terrible industry and at the same time one might ask if it is not also true that this industry feeds armed conflicts.

Last year in Spain more than 1,300 million dollars were exchanged in the business of arms, according to data of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an organization which makes accounting of the world commerce in heavy arms, placing Spain sixth on the scale of exporters, above countries like China and Israel. In the midst of full economic recession, while the real estate and automobile sectors were paralyzed, the sale of aircraft, armored vehicles, military vessels or artillery materiel grew by 53% in relation to the previous period.

In Spain, exportation of arms requires previous authorization from the government. However, given that these exports are considered classified information according to the Law of Official Secrets, almost no information is available.

Failing to comply with the code of conduct of the European Union, among the clients for arms from Spain are the following countries currently embattled in armed conflict (Colombia and Israel), with internal instability (Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka), countries that allocate more resources to military expenses than to health and education (Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, Ecuador, Brazil and Angola), where human rights are not respected (Kenya, Singapore, Thailand), countries historically in conflict with one another (India and Pakistan), and including the poorest countries of the world (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Angola and Mauritania). Some of the above countries receive Official Aid for Development from Spain. First we conduct business and then we carry out the social work that the respective governments should do for themselves instead of spending money on weapons.

The five countries that are permanent members of the UN Security Council (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China) responsible for maintaining world peace and avoiding international armed conflict, nevertheless have enormous potential for nuclear destruction, and move 76% of the world commerce in arms.

For us, the only path is contrary to that which is being followed now: Disarmament. For this reason, we ask the government of Spain:

-to cease allocating funds for research on death weapons and direct those funds to research for peace and social development.

-to respect the EU Code of Conduct, bearing in mind the criteria for human rights.

We ask the civil society to be aware that the benefits to us generated by this sector cause war, destruction and misery for other people and countries.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 28 MARCH 2010: CONSIDERING THE SPANISH PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The last Sunday of the month
in the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue), at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
invite you
to a vigil in black and in silence.

28 March 2010

Considering THE SPANISH PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

WOMEN IN BLACK AGAINST WAR – MADRID

Are concerned about the situation regarding human rights all over the world.
We believe that to promote and implement human rights locally and globally is the best legacy we can leave to coming generations.

Mr. President: As on other occasions, we direct ourselves to you crying out about the flagrant vitiation of human rights in places that we see first hand as Women in Black.

Let us expel war and violence
from history
and from our lives

……………………………………………………………………….

Mr. President, Mrs. Vice President, Minister of Foreign Relations:

We Women in Black are concerned about the human rights situation all around the globe. We believe that to promote and implement human rights locally and globally is the best legacy we can leave to coming generations. The reality demonstrates that these rights are systematically violated everywhere. As on other occasions, we direct ourselves to you to cry out in the face of the flagrant vitiation of human rights in places we see first hand as Women in Black.

At the halfway point of the Spanish presidency of the European Union, we send you our concerns and petitions:

Afghanistan: a war that you do not recognize as such, in which the Spanish army is involved.
Mr. Rodriguez Zapatero: We ask that you take the Spanish troops out of Afghanistan and participate in the search for other means of cooperating with the Afghani social sectors that are involved with the reconstruction of the country. In Afghanistan, it will also be necessary to find a way to repeal the law of “National Reconciliation” (which guarantees immunity for war crimes committed during the past 30 years).

Colombia: Since the inception of the Presidency of Mr. Alvaro Uribe, the violation of human rights has been a constant. The involvement or omission on the part of the army in assassinations has been demonstrated in some judicial proceedings.
Mr. Zapatero: Women in Black would have liked that Mr. Uribe’s policy of violating human rights had not been looked upon with favor by your government. We would like for you to change your attitude in the time remaining as President of the European Union and the legislature.

Palestine and Israel: We believe that Israel is not fulfilling the resolutions of the United Nations and reinforces this non-compliance with each unpunished violation of human rights, which it commits with the acquiescence of international organizations, the European Union included.
Mr. Zapatero: On 10 March the European Parliament accepted the Goldstone Report. We ask that it not be just a symbolic declaration and that in the time remaining of the Presidency you use diplomatic measures to put pressure on Israel to stop the occupation and guarantee safety for the work of the civil movements for peace.

Russia, Chechnya and the Caucasus: The policy of the European Union has been to look the other way regarding issues that involve human rights. Our companion and colleague Natalia Estemirova was assassinated in July of 2009, and her Organization for Human Rights “Memorial” service had to take place away from Grozni because of the danger that other members of the organization might be assassinated as well.
Mr. Rodriguez Zapatero, we ask that the European Union intervene to the end that Estemirova’s assassination not remain in impunity. Likewise, we ask for a clear commitment of support for the defenders of human rights in the entire territory.

Serbia: The situation in Serbia continues to be difficult for the defenders of human rights and the peace activists who struggle against impunity and for the truth regarding victims of war. The situation of gays and lesbians and gypsies is also highly vulnerable.
Mr. Zapatero, we ask for your commitment in support of the activists who work against impunity involved with war, so that they can demonstrate freely. We also ask support for the proposal that the government of Serbia officially declare 11 July as “Day of Genocide in Srebrenica”.

Women in Black of Madrid maintain our commitment to the defense and implementation of human rights. Once again, we lament that in Spain the possibility of universal justice has been suppressed during the current legislature.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 28 FEBRUARY 2010: WHO WE ARE WOMEN IN BLACK AGAINST WARS

Women in Black against War – Madrid
On the last Sunday of the month
in the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue) at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
invite you
to a vigil in black and in silence.
28 February 2010
WHO WE ARE: WOMEN IN BLACK AGAINST WARS
WE WANT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO
-The history of Women in Black.
-The position of the International Network of Women in Black against wars and violence.
Let us expel wars and violence
from present and future history
and from our lives.


CONVOCATION 31 JANUARY 2010: ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE

the last Sunday of the month:
31 January 2010
in the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue) at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
invite you
to a vigil in black and silence

ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE

WE DENOUNCE:
- The utilization of war as means of moderating conflicts
- Socialization in a culture that educates us with the idea that war and violence are the only solutions to conflicts
- The promotion and enablement of values that reflect a social model of violence

WOMEN IN BLACK AGAINST WAR – MADRID
WE WANT:
To build peace striving for another society and creating new models. We are on the side of values that lead to social change endowing us with critical attitudes and taking a role in our social reality.

Let us expel war and violence
from history
and from our lives

……………………………………………………………………

Commemorating the Day of Non-violence

WE DENOUNCE

- The utilization of war as a means of solving the conflicts of the planet and the hidden economic interests that underlie armed conflicts (the weapons industry, plundering of resources, etc.)

- The socialization in a culture that educates us in the idea that war and violence are the only solutions to conflicts and teaches us to collaborate with war actively or passively. The strongest, the one with the most power wins, with the result that the conflict is not solved but is only silenced and will emerge whenever it finds favorable conditions.

- The promotion and enablement of values that correspond to a social model of violence: fear, social control, machismo (male dominance), blind obedience, power/subjugation relationships, resolution of conflicts with violence and force, and scorn for the weak and those who are different. We see that it is these values that pervade the development of politics, both internal and international, and are the broth for the cultivation of racism and xenophobia, which are necessary in times of crisis: essential elements for the creation of the “enemy” and the “need of security”, which lead to the increase of social militarization as well as that of one’s concience.

Women in Black against War

Want to build peace, striving for another society and creating new models. We are on the side of values that lead to a social change endowing us with critical attitudes and a role in our social reality.

WE REQUEST

Facing the current crisis and the apparent reduction in expenses dedicated to Defecence in the State Budget and the fact that investment for the military continues to represent 10.06% of the total of nationl investments,

- That one part of the 49.75 million euros dedicated daily to defense in Spain during 2010, be allocated to the promotion of peace through education, defense and promotion of human rights and the reduction of the great economic and ecological imbalances existing between the industrialized nations and the rest of the world.

- Support for studies to research peace.

- That governments always utilize dialogue and negotiation as democratizign and peace-making tools and that Human Rights be given priority over economic interests.

Traslation: Trisha Novak, USA