Category Archives : CONVOCATIONS IN ENGLISH 2012


CONVOCATION 25 NOVEMBER 2012: THIS CRISIS IS ALSO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN


On the November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Because this crisis is also violence against women


This crisis is a permanent economic war against the major part of civil society.

Women are the ones who suffer the most in the precarious work situation and they habitually carry the largely invisible workload of care for others. In many cases they have a double workday (domestic and public), which is becoming every day more difficult to carry out because of the loss of workers’ rights and benefits. In addition, women take responsibility for other members of the family to the detriment of their own needs. Care of dependents and the struggle against social exclusion receive less and less public assistance, and it is the women who must confront these situations.

More than two million minors live below the poverty threshold and cuts continue in social services, which have been reduced by 65% in the last two years. At the same time, banks are rescued with public money, fiscal benefits are given to the big fortunes (SICAV) and a military system that provides no benefit to the civil society is maintained.

We spend more than 45 million euros every day for the military while 21% of the population lives on less than 7355 euros a year.

This contrast is even more dramatic if we remember that financial speculation is one of the factors responsible for the crisis and that one crucial part of the public deficit is nourished by an excessive debt derived from the purchase of weapons (“the armament bubble”).

Women in Black of Madrid against War denounce:

-That to help the family get ahead is reducing the expectations and health of women, impeding their participation in public, social, work and political life.

-The existence of big businesses that are not affected by the crisis, among them those that deal in the sale of weapons and have financial interests in the military industry.

-The current management of the crisis, which is fomenting social inequality, fear of unemployment and poverty, a feeling of guilt for lack of work, loss of benefits, criminalization of protests and resistance.

-The enormous military expenditure (46,650,000 euros daily in 2012 and 45,180,000 euros daily predicted for 2013), and the responsibility of the “armament bubble” in this crisis.

We express our admiration, solidarity and support for those women who:

-Actively resist the loss of all that has been obtained up to now.

-Know that fear is a result of unemployment, poverty and insecurity… and that it can be overcome by friendship, mutual support and solidarity.

-In crisis situations transform indignation into nonviolent resistance; desperation into public acts of civil disobedience; and sadness and powerlessness into solidarity among women.

Today on 25 November, international day for the elimination of violence against women:

We demand a radical change in the budget, so that we quit wasting money on weapons and dedicate it to social goals, especially goals aimed at the eradication of gender violence.

We affirm our confidence in dialogue, justice and nonviolence as means to reach understandings among people.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 28 OCTOBER 2012: ON THE USE OF FORCE BY THE GOVERNMENT


On the use of force by the Government

It might be legal but is it just?


While the socio-economic situation of the citizens becomes daily more disastrous, with reductions in rights and liberties, and other extremely violent measures that are being used, the privileges of those who make the decisions: politicians, financial entities… remain, the social movements of the country are gaining in force.

While the gap grows between the interests of the government and the needs of the people, the citizens’ reply gives life and hope in the streets. One perceives a very strong collective sentiment, a sentiment saying “We are not afraid.”

Facing the growing and continuous mobilization since 15M (a Spanish protest movement), the government response has been excessive repression, which is not a show of its strength, rather of its fear of the people. The government’s lack of will for dialogue is the response to the shout of the people “We are not the enemy”.

As feminists and anti-militarists, we believe that it is a mistake of the government to turn the Fuerzas del Orden into enemies of the citizenry, and we condemn the violation of rights on the part of the Security Forces.

We condemn those responsible for the crisis, which is an economic war that to maintain the privileges of the few, impoverishes the majority.

We wish for direct action through active nonviolent resistance to continue developing. Nonviolence is now a priority.

We request:
To avoid through every means possible social fracture and to apply policies with social justice: to promote employment and eradicate poverty, creating conditions that will result in equality of the sexes.
That the expenditure for social repression be used instead for social policies
That information given by the media be truthful and allow for debate
That the government not establish censorship to protect excesses by the police
That the system not be formulated in such a way as to assign all the common and public wealth for private benefit
Independent investigation to determine the real authors of these violations and crisis, and that those responsible do not remain in impunity.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 30 SEPTEMBER 2012: REGARDING THE POSSIBLE LOCATING OF EUROVEGAS IN MADRIDEUROVEGAS


Regarding the possible location of locating of Eurovegas in Madrid

Mr. President Mariano Rajoy, Mr. President of the Community of Madrid Ignacio Gonzalez:

Women in Black of Madrid against war wish to declare our position and opinion as feminists and pacifists regarding the possible locating of Eurovegas* in Madrid.

You present Eurovegas as a macro-project for gaming and entertainment that is going to generate a considerable number of jobs in the zone where it is installed. However, we see only a project in which the majority of men and women, directly or indirectly associated with it, are going to work in highly vulnerable conditions. The exception will be that a minority of people will see their economic interests multiply, such as the businessman Mr. Sheldon Adelson, known worldwide for amoral businesses and for his facile and rapid enrichment. Land speculators and related industries will also see an increase in their income.

We are outraged before the ease and availability that you show to modify and adapt the laws to the pleasure and criteria of Mr. Adelson, so that a large number of economic resources from the contributors must be previously available. You do all that with the excuse of creating hypothetical jobs dedicated to leisure and gambling; a space with its own law (a lawless state within the State), without labor unions and semi-slavery work conditions. At the same time, you show that you have no scruples about leaving education, health and other public services without resources and, by law, destroying thousands of jobs necessary for society.

You say that Eurovegas will be a mega-project for entertainment and games. Women in Black say that it will be a mega-project for prostitution, mafia and money laundering, because mafia and money laundering is what has existed in all the places with these characteristics.

As pacifists and feminists we are horrified by your attitude. You are using the vote that has been given to you by a portion of the citizens to create a space in which mafia will be the law, governed by current financial interests, in the trafficking in women and men, drugs and weapons. We are concerned about the increase in violence in that space the control of which will be in the hands of private businesses that provide armed protection.

We will support any initiative against a project like this one, which is in itself a focus for crime. Likewise, in such case that it is installed, we ask that responsibilities be clarified and that any delinquency not remain in impunity.

For Women in Black all work projects should provide these basic conditions:

No speculation with the jobs and that these positions be sustainable and kept for the women and men of the zone.
We defend the idea that all projects be governed in a way that dignifies the people and the job itself.

We roundly request that:

1. Eurovegas not be installed anywhere in Spain.
2. That the money the State has destined for Eurovegas be dedicated to education and public health.
3. We will support existing initiatives against this macro-project.

*Eurovegas would be a Las Vegas in Europe

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 24 JUNE 2012: 40th ANNIVERSARY FOR GLOBAL DAY OF ENVIRONMENT


40th Anniversary for Global Day of Environment

For a long time, the environment has been a silent victim of war, suffering before, during and after combat. (Mark Engler)

The Global Day of the Environment was celebrated on 5 June. While Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action) called for something as obvious as that “environmental laws be enforced”, we discover that on the other hand the usual European treatment of waste materials does not include legislation regarding materials destined for military uses. We can imagine the source for this favorable treatment.

Calculations accomplished by the Institute of Investigation for Peace Policy of Starnberg (Germany) concluded that between 10 and 30% of environmental degradation worldwide is owing to activities related to the military. “The armed forces are the major contaminators in our planet – and the least regulated.”

The effects of war are so shocking that little attention has been devoted to its effects on the environment. Fortunately, there are more and more studies on this issue, and more and more social movements that denounce these effects. The conclusion is that the impact on the environment of military activities is so negative that it endangers the very biosphere.

Women in Black against War wish to join these denunciations, pointing out some of the destructive results of militarism on our surroundings:

♀ A great part of the energy that is consumed in the North is destined directly or indirectly for military ends.

♀ Military activities exhaust the natural resources of the planet, especially minerals.

♀ They contribute to global warming; it is calculated that the contribution of the armies to the greenhouse effect is about 10% of all emissions.

♀ The armies of the world produce millions of tons of toxics. These waste materials contaminate our oceans: the North Atlantic and the Pacific are the most affected, along with the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.

♀ The effects of weapons also include deforestation, the disappearance of animal species and genetic deformities. The radiation from weapons and nuclear tests shows its consequences in carcinogenic illness and genetic changes.

♀ Between 50 and 100 million animals are used every year in scientific experiments that have military ends.

All this leads to the destruction of biodiversity and changes in the ecosystems. Likewise, the contamination of the air, the land and the water by chemical, biological and nuclear weapons has grave consequences for the health and equilibrium of the planet.

We demand that economic investments for weapons and military activities cease and that these investments be destined for the protection of nature and the development of sustainable agriculture, which have been dangerously reduced in the budget.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 27 MAY 2012: COMMEMORATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY FOR PEACE AND DISARMAMENT

The last Sunday of the month 27 MAY 2012
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.

Commemorating 24th May International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament

Confronting
“peace” based on the interests of the powerful classes and not on the interests of the civil population.

WOMEN IN BLACK OF MADRID AGAINST WAR

Denounce:

The regression in human rights and the rights of women.

The fear policies that criminalize social movements.

The existence of the big businesses that are not in crisis, among which are those involved with commerce in weapons.

Our admiration, solidarity and support for the women who:

Defend the idea that feminine resistance in the face of war and destruction is a struggle for life and survival.

In war situations, transform indignation into nonviolent resistance; despair, into public acts of civil disobedience.

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

C/ San Cosme y San Damián, Nº 24, 2º
28012 – Madrid

……………………………………………………………………….

24th May International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament

Confronting “peace” based on the interests of the powerful classes and not on the interests of the civil population

The policies being utilized in this crisis are harmful to the people, especially women: scarcity of resources; loss of rights; excess load of cares and concerns… while wars and militarization are supported and the war economy is maintained and linked to finances.

International domination is reinforced through NATO, traffic in weapons and control of information. This crisis is developing like a psychological war that is gripping the civil population.

Women in Black of Madrid against War denounce:

“Peace” based on the interests of the more powerful classes and not on the interests of the civil population, even less on human rights and the rights of women.

Increase in the number of people who have no possibility of controlling their own lives: the power of decision is held by the few.

Growing fear because of unemployment, poverty and insecurity, fear that is being used as a political tool.

Consequences of the politics of fear that lead to criminalization of social movements. Those who protest are found guilty. Nonviolent attitudes, actions and protests are considered crimes.

The difficulties that the crisis has thrust upon families fall mainly on women. To get ahead in life, she will lower her expectations, her health will suffer and it will oblige them to remain in the house, with fewer opportunities, denying them a public, social, work and political life.

Existence of big businesses that are not in crisis, among them commerce in arms and financial participation in the military industry.

The financial system, which receives the most support and resources, and also permits harmful and evil acts to remain in impunity.

Our admiration, solidarity and support to the women who:

Actively resist the loss of all that has been won up until now.

Believe that the root of violence is in the power structure, among which militarism is one of the major players, and denounce these policies.

Realize that fear is the fruit of unemployment, poverty and insecurity… and is conquered through friendship, mutual support and solidarity.

Know that women’s resistance to war and destruction is the struggle for life and survival.

In war situations, by their attitude and position transform indignation into nonviolent resistance; despair into public acts of civil disobedience, and sadness and impotence into solidarity among

This 24th day of May we affirm our confidence in dialogue, justice and nonviolence as a path to understanding among peoples.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 29 APRIL 2012: REDUCTIONS? YES, IN THE MILITARY


REDUCTIONS? YES, IN THE MILITARY
NOT INSERT COIN (NOT ONE PENNY MORE)
Women in Black against war denounce the misguided policies relative to the crisis we are experiencing. While the majority of the population is suffering a worsening of their conditions of life, various States are taking advantage to cut rights and advances achieved for labor and to reduce appropriations for the social good. At the same time, they maintain or covertly increase the military apparatus.

This crisis has not produced a reduction in militarism and social control, seeing that 2012 has begun with budgetary items inherited from the previous year. Therefore, although the budget for the Ministry of Defense is nominally lowered by 7%, the real reduction for military expenditures and social control is roundly false. Example: The Ministry of Industry helps to make up the Defense budget with the so-called Special Armament Programs, which has generated a debt of 30,000 million Euros, about 3% of the GDP of Spain. Between Interior, Industry and Foreign Affairs, the expected budget climbs to 17,000 million (much above the 8,500 planned for Defense). While there are general reductions in education, health or social services, not only are military investments not canceled, other new programs are included, such as acquiring the 5th Frigate F-100 or an increase in investment for the anti-missile shield.

Women in Black of Madrid against war reject, as usual, the commitment to militarization, for its economic, social, environmental, ethical and human consequences. In addition, it seems especially serious in the current context, as such a commitment is produced at the cost of reductions that promote an increase in inequalities and condemn the people to social exclusion and poverty.

We support, more emphatically than ever, the campaign for Fiscal Objection to the Military Expenditures as one submits the income tax return for 2011, which is beginning around this date (more details at www.nodo50.org/objecionfiscal). We do not want the money from our taxes to finance wars.

Considering all this, we ask the government for:

♀ An increase in the budget for Education, Health and Social Services, taking this appropriation from the reductions for the Ministry of Defense.

♀ Immediate cessation of the policies of social oppression and reductions in rights.

♀ Respect for the will to not finance military expenses as manifested by the people who participate in the campaign of Fiscal Objection to Military Expenditures.

We ask the people for:
♀ Support for the initiatives that work for peace, opposing militarization of our society.

♀ Participation in the campaign for Fiscal Objection to Military Expenditures.

NOT ONE WOMAN NOR ONE MAN NOR ONE EURO NOR ONE THOUGHT FOR WAR

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 25 MARCH 2012: Confronting the “defense” policy of the Government in our country


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.
25th March 2012

Confronting the direction in which the “defense” policy of the Government in our country is headed

WOMEN IN BLACK OF MADRID AGAINST WAR

Are alarmed that the person who has been put at the head of the Ministry of Defense is Mr. Pedro Morenes, one of the Spaniards with the most personal interests in the weapons industry.

We have reasons to not trust that that this gentleman will concern himself with the real defense of the people of this country, but will, instead, seek to defend his personal interests in the defense industry.

We request:
That Mr. Pedro Morenes be removed from his position as Minister of Defense.
An increase in the budget for Education and Health, moving the budgetary reductions to the Ministry of Defense.

Let us expel war and violence
from History
and from our lives.

C/ San Cosme y San Damián, Nº 24, 2º
28012 – Madrid

……………………………………………………………………….

Confronting the direction in which the “defense” policy of the Government of our country is heading

Women in Black of Madrid against War are very concerned about the direction in which the “defense” policy of the government of our country is headed.

While austerity and reductions are implemented in other Ministries, mainly Education and Health, thus adversely affecting the rights that the Constitution bestows upon us to free education and medical care for all, the Ministry of Defense increases its budget.

We are also alarmed that the person who has been placed at the head of that Ministry is Mr. Pedro Morenes, one of the Spaniards who has the most personal interest in the weapons industry. Pedro Morenes has been president of MDBA (manufacturer of missiles), owner of Boguillas SL (“negotiation and representation of interests”), owner of I-Sec Iberica (“security” consultants), adviser to Gamo Outdoor (manufacturers of rifles), adviser to Aritex (design of components for military airplanes), president of Kuitber (consultants in “defense” and “security”), president of Segur Iberica (private “security”) and other companies related to the weapons industry (see Curriculum Mr. Morenés 2010). Among these companies is Instalanza, a cluster bomb factory in Zaragoza, which initiated a lawsuit against the State after Spain prohibited this type of especially criminal weapon; Instalanza is asking for 40 million euros indemnity for “general damages and loss of earnings” for prohibiting the manufacture of cluster bombs. In his new position as Minister of Defense, Mr. Morenes will be on both sides of the negotiations in this lawsuit becoming both interested party and judge.

With this life history we have reasons to not trust that this gentleman will concern himself with the real defense of the people of this country, rather, that he will instead defend his personal interests in the weapons industry.

Women in Black of Madrid against War want to know:

What defense policy does the government formed by Mr. Rajoy want to create?
Will the Spanish army be rearmed to an even greater extent because of the personal interests of the Minister of Defense? What guarantee can we have that Mr. Moranes will not put first his own interests and the interests of those around him? What sort of policies can a person with so many interests in this field make?

We request:

The removal of the Minister of Defense, Mr. Pedro Morenes.
An increase in the budget for Education and Health, moving the budgetary reductions to the Ministry of Defense.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 26 FEBRUARY 2012: COMMEMORATING THE WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE

Women in Black against the war – Madrid

Commemorating Wold Day of Social Justice


World Day of Social Justice has been commemorated on 20 February ever since it was proclaimed by the United Nations in 2007 with the intention of eradicating poverty and promoting full employment and decent work. Social Justice must create the conditions to produce gender equity and access to well-being and social justice for all. That is to say, dignity, stability and opportunities for everyone without restrictions because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or handicap.

The Social Justice protected by the UN has a marked economic focus and is oriented towards compensating inequalities through the distribution of income, employment, social protection and rights of workers and labor unions.

This declaration doesn’t come out of the blue, rather from the persevering revindication of thousands of civil organizations all over the world that work for the eradication of poverty and the end of exclusion. Grass-roots civil organizations opt for sustainable and equitable social well-being, contrary to accumulating wealth and outside of consumer society which causes this exclusion. The very people who are affected, in many cases criminalized or made invisible, denounce that the rights and assistance established are not sufficient to achieve individual autonomy but merely pursue social control.

Women in Black against War want to point out how governments and states are headed in a direction contrary to Social Justice. And we want to do it from the viewpoint of continuing military expenditures, which is little questioned in the midst of so much debate on the crisis.

In the first place, the greatest (budgetary) reductions are going to take place in the areas of Sanitation, Education and Dependency, through which they will only manage to expand the circle of social exclusion in our country. These measures, which include many areas (widowhood, chronic and long-term illness, surgery, medications, schooling, scholarships, transport, health, policies for equality, aid to dependents, minimum salary, etc. etc.) will affect the most vulnerable sectors of the population: the elderly, immigrants, infants and women, the unemployed (or those without paid work). This is not exactly an economic budget of which we can be proud.

But perhaps we can be proud of being the sixth world power in exporting weapons, especially to countries that violate Human Rights. We can boast about a “Defense” budget of 26,000 million euros.

We can argue that the reduction for the Ministry of Defense is 340 million euros, but only so long as items for military expenses are not hidden in other Ministries.

From our feminist and antimilitarist vision, we do not claim that the reduction of these expenditures will avoid a crisis born from the roots of the very system that feeds the social inequalities, although without doubt it would help to alleviate its effects in other areas that are more essential.

We simply appeal to ethics and dignity to abandon a “Defense” that does not defend us and that we set out on a path to real Social Justice to protect ourselves from poverty and social exclusion, a path that will bring us increased security.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA


CONVOCATION 29 JANUARY 2012: THE SCHOOL DAY OF NONVIOLENCE

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

29 January 2012

commemorating

The School Day of Nonviolence

Women in Black against the war

WE DENOUNCE:

The impunity afforded the local and global financiers responsible for the current economic situation.
Cutting of budgetary appropriations for public education and the increasing support for private schooling.
Legislators’ utilization of the crisis as psychological war against the people.

WE REQUEST:

That the crisis be paid for by those who have produced it, principally the financial institutions.
That legislators and governors view education as the best economic investment in the present and the future.

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

C/ San Cosme y San Damián, Nº 24, 2º
28012 – Madrid

……………………………………………………………………….

Women in Black of Madrid against war, on 30 January, School Day of Nonviolence, date on which we aspire to foster the values embodied in Gandhi

WE DECLARE:
Our concern for the models that we are now experiencing and how we are educating infants and youth in a culture that teaches us that war and violence are the only solutions to conflicts and causes us to collaborate with this approach either actively or passively. The strongest, the most powerful wins, with the result that conflicts are not resolved, rather they are silenced and will emerge again when conditions are favorable to do so.

The promotion of values that correspond to a social model of violence: fear, social control, machismo, blind obedience, power-submission relationships, resolution of conflicts through violence and by force, disdain for those that are considered different and weaker. We see that these are values that pervade the development of national and international policies, serving as the cauldron to cultivate racism and xenophobia. Racism and xenophobia cause us to view emigrants as responsible for the crisis, pointing to them as enemies and justifying the “need for security” which augments social militarization and militarization of conscience.

We see that the current crisis is an express form of violence against the populace and has a direct effect on education. While the budget appropriation for education decreases, military expenditures will be maintained, or even increased, hidden in other budgetary items.

The sustainability of armed defense is maintained before sustainability of numerous rights and services of a social nature. Economic and work stability of the people are not maintained and all that is left is the security that the security forces “ provide” for us.

WE DENOUNCE:
♀ The impunity afforded the local and global financiers for the current economic situation.
♀ Cutting appropriations for public education and the growing support for private schooling.
♀ The decrease in appropriations for social purposes.
♀ Governors’ utilization of the crisis as psychological war against the people.
♀ Naming as Minister of Defense a person who has interests in the weapons industry.

WE REQUEST:
♀ That we make ourselves aware of our responsibility in the decisions made every day by politicians.
♀ That the crises be paid for by those who have produced them, principally, financial institutions.
♀ That our legislators view education as the best economic investment for the present and the future.
♀ That society be cognizant of the importance of inculcating in new generations values that will promote solidarity as a policy for inter-personal relationships.

Traslation: Trisha Novak USA