Category Archives : CONVOCATIONS IN ENGLISH 2016


CONVOCATION 27 November 2016: PEACE IN COLOMBIA IS THE PEOPLE’S PEACE



PEACE IN COLOMBIA IS THE PEOPLE'S PEACE

After 50 years of war – though never declared as such – with more than 250,000 dead and 6 million displaced, peace in Colombia must belong to the people.

Achieving peace is a long and difficult process that must not stop any step of the way. Among the steps is to reconsider the referendum that NO to peace was won by a very scant margin. And the process should also keep in mind the suffering and violence experienced by the civil population, especially by defenders of human rights and activists for peace who have been the victims of threats, kidnappings and assassinations.
We want that the voices that emerge from the civil population be taken into account, activist groups, communities and individuals who have been working for peace for many years with a feminist and antimilitaristic perspective:

The peace process cannot be left only in the hands of those who have promoted the war (the various guerilla groups and the government; and including the paramilitaries whom no one mentions). The peace process must be demilitarized, allowing greater participation to the unarmed actors. Peace also implies social demilitarization because those who killed keep guns in their minds.

To destroy the idea that war is not a victory of some over others is a benefit for all.

It is essential to remove from the peace process political and electoral positions that strive to demonstrate who is more powerful. Everyone must be included, both those who favor “no” as well as those who favor “yes”.

Recognize the process that took place in Havana, its advances and achievements, and make known concessions made on each side.

Reject a return to war. The cease fire must be definitive in order to reach a peace without discrimination, racism and poverty in a real democracy. Peace is unstoppable!

Maintain in the peace process a viewpoint of Transitional Justice, which includes recognition of the harms committed by all the armed actors, reparation to the victims for the harms inflicted and their participation in the process.

Take into account the experiences in building peace and other local projects that have stayed strong in their wish for peace during the conflict: peace communities like San Jose de Apartado, the multiple feminist initiatives and those of the people; the Afro-Colombian initiatives for peace and the movement of conscientious objectors.

The peace process should include the perspective of human rights of women and girls, as well as maintain the agreements that have already been reached in matters dealing with a gender focus. It is necessary to construct peace from the perspective of women, decentralizing power, eliminating patriarchal and militarist practices and seeking new strategies – cultural, artistic, ancestral and pedagogical. Women are important in the process because they have a bearing on the culture of non-violence, reconciliation and harmonious coexistence as central values of society.

Request that the international community and the United Nations continue their accompaniment to the peace process.

We refuse to accept war as the destiny of our sons and daughters.
Women and children declare that peace is ours also.”
(Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres)

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain


CONVOCATION 30 October 2016: OPEN THE BORDERS! REFUGEES ARE WELCOME!


WE DON'T WANT FORTRESS EUROPE!
OPEN THE BORDERS!
REFUGEES ARE WELCOME!


Gathered in Belgrade, on the 25th anniversary of Women in Black of Belgrade, activists of the network from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, as well as from the countries of the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia,

We express:

A request to stop the war in Syria and elsewhere - because the responsibility for the war, suffering and destruction shall be borne also by the European countries that are exclusively lead by their geostrategic interests and profits from the sale of weapons;

The deepest indignation against the closure of the borders - wire fences, persecutions, deportation, humiliation of refugees fleeing from war, poverty, repression;

Opposition to shameful decisions and agreements of the EU and other European countries - Turkey and some African countries - because it is a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the laws on asylum and foreigners in the EU and other European countries;

The sharpest protest against the racist, xenophobic, fascist campaign against refugees in the media, in the statements of officials, including part of the population...

Stop the War, Not Refugees!
Stop the construction of wire fences and walls - open the borders!
Stop the trade of arms and human beings - invest in peace, not in war!


We use this opportunity to reaffirm:

Solidarity, responsibility, support with women and children who are the most vulnerable part of the refugee population, but also with the men who refuse to be cannon fodder in wars, seeking refuge in European countries;

Welcome refugees - with dignity and equal treatment, integration and regulation of the status of refugees;

We want another Europe - supportive, open, without wires and borders!

We also demand the Spanish government to welcome the refugees it has assumed to; to stop the sales of arms, fences and wires and not to consent racist, fascist and xenophobic campaigns.

PEACE AND SOLIDARITY ARE EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY!!!


CONVOCATION 25 September 2016: SECURITY AND DEFENSE? #ForShame!


SECURITY AND DEFENSE? #ForShame!

Women in Black of Madrid want to denounce the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union and also the foreign policy of Spain.

At this time, we wish to be mindful of the causes for human displacements such as the wars favored by our governors in various countries of the planet for the clear interests of control and dominion, as well as the policies they carry out in support of governors who do not respect human rights. We believe that the real and definitive solution for conflicts must come from a change in the values in policies at all levels, including international, and from the essential participation of civil society, a belief that is clearly confirmed and reinforced in the wake of the disaster of military interventions that have taken place up until now.

We denounce the war economy and the economic interest in the conflicts. To tolerate the suffering of millions of people so that a few companies become even richer is both unacceptable and immoral. It is not acceptable that the defense budgets of many countries, ours included, are maintained and even expand when there are may social needs to cover and which are increasingly reduced.

We are concerned about the world situation, from Turkey to Nicaragua, the war in Syria…the military coups that have engendered violations of human rights where they have taken place. Where the army has taken control by force, violence has become institutionalized and the societies that have been witness to the coups have been dragged into spiral of violence.

We look with great worry upon the growth of nationalism and racism in Europe.

We are hopeful regarding the peace process in Colombia and the involvement of the civil society and women. We are joyful along with our companions of Women in Black of Colombia.

Women in Black of Madrid

Demand an urgent change in the policies for security and defense at the international level. We ask for policies that will permit people to live with dignity and respect for human rights any place on the planet.

We demand that our government and the European Union develop policies regarding migration that are more worthy and humanitarian.

We support the initiatives of the civil society that have as their objective to promote harmonious co-existence and human rights locally, regionally and globally so that these rights may one day become universal.

We declare our support to the NGOs, collectives and individuals involved in support of the migrants.

We express the need to seek actions against racism and xenophobia, integrating a perspective of gender.

We are in solidarity with the pacifists and conscientious objectors of Turkey, who we know are experiencing moments of great pain and frustration.

Let us remove war from history and from our lives

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain


CONVOCATION 19 June 2016: June 20th 2016 “World Refugee Day” CROSSING BORDERS



Facing the painful and shameful situation that we are living through in Europe because of the response of our governments to the drama that refugees are experiencing,

The third Sunday of the month
19 June 2016
in the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue) at noon
Women in Black of Madrid
invite you
to a vigil in black and in silence

for a Europe without wire fencing, walls or encampments.

NOT IN OUR NAME

Women in Black of Madrid, Padua, Torino, Fano, Alba, Ravenna, Rome, Leuven, Copenhagen, Belgrade, Majorca, Santander, Sevilla and Valencia

Declare that:

The WARS backed or provoked by Europe generate death, destruction and the obligation for thousands of people to flee.

We do not know the INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF WOMEN WHO ARE REFUGEES, especially from Syria, but also from various countries in Africa. Often the women refugees come from a history of violence and mistreatment and on the way they confront more violence, harassment, blackmail, economic exploitation by other refugees, traffickers and the police without the possibility of recourse to justice or protection.

We remember here that on 19 June we celebrate the “International day for the elimination of violence against women in conflict situations” approved by the United Nations.



Let us expel war from history and from our lives

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


June 20th 2016
“World Refugee Day”


Established by the UN General Assembly since 2001 on the 50th anniversary for the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugee

CROSSING BORDERS
For a no barbed wire, no walls, no lager Europe


NOT IN OUR NAME:


THE WARS SUPPORTED or FOUGHT by Europe and the West which produce death, destruction and force hundreds of thousands of people to escape;

THE CLOSURE OF BORDERS, the inhuman treatment of people who seek safety and a future in our countries;

THE EUROPEAN AND NATIONAL SHAMEFUL POLITICS, AGREEMENTS AND DECISIONS: the bilateral agreement with Turkey, then also with Libya and other African countries, forced repatriations , selections within refugees, use of repression, “humanitarian” business, tolerated mafias, in blatant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

THE IGNORANCE and INDIFFERENCE as to the disparity of conditions and experiences of women and men in these situations, although care and support of the most vulnerable people are actually borne by women;

THE DISTINCTIONS WITHIN REFUGEES, DISPLACED PERSONS FOR WARS and “ECONOMICAL” OR ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRANTS, a senseless forcing because wars, persecutions, global economical crisis and environmental disasters are now closely connected causes that make it impossible for entire populations to survive;


We also want to denounce the RESPONSIBILITY OF MEDIA and POLITICIANS in SPREADING DISINFORMATION, UNJUSTIFIED ALARMISM about a non-existent invasion and an increasing risk of terrorism. Actually the flows of people are manageable, but amplified and manipulated by the various “sellers” of fear, in front of the inability of the ruling class to find appropriate responses.

The ignored fact is the INCREASING NUMBER of WOMEN in the MIGRATORY FLOW in particular from Syria, but also from various African countries. Often refugee women come from experiences of violence and abuse and during their flight - and even after arriving in our countries - they have to confront with further violence, harassment, blackmails, economical exploitation by other refugees, traffickers, police, without the possibility of seeking justice and obtaining protection.

In this connection, we remember that the 19 of June was established as the “International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict” by the United Nations a year ago. The date 19 June commemorates the breakthrough adoption in 2008 of UN Security Council resolution 1820, which recognized sexual violence as a tactic of war and a threat to global peace and security, requiring an operational security, justice and service response. It further recognized that rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and/or constitutive acts of genocide.

On the World Refugee Day,
we want to oppose
to a Europe of barbed wires, walls and lager, entrenched in the fear of the Other and the defense of its own interests,
a Europe of acceptance and hospitality, where borders can be crossed to promote the encounter between persons who identify themselves as sharing diversity as well as equality


WiB Italian Network
http://donneinnero.blogspot.it

Endorsements

Donne in Nero, Padova (Italy)
Donne in Nero, Torino (Italy)
Donne in Nero, Fano (Italy)
Donne in Nero, Alba (Italy)
Donne in Nero, Ravenna (Italy)
Donne in Nero, Roma (Italy)

Women in Black, Leuven (Belgium)
Women in Black, Copenhague (Denmark)
Women in Black, Belgrade (Serbia)
Mujeres de Negro, Santander (Spain)
Mujeres de Negro, Valencia (Spain)
Mujeres de Negro, Mallorca (Spain)
Mujeres de Negro contra la guerra, Madrid (Spain)


CONVOCATION 29 May 2016: Commemorating 24 May, International Day of Women for Peace and Disarmament


Commemorating 24 May, International Day of Women for Peace and Disarmament

We want to say that we are against war and all militarism because it perpetuates the established patriarchal order that maintains a system of domination that generates injustice and does not guarantee 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 feeds the “naturalization” of violence and devalues caring for life in all its integrity, maintaining a dichotomous vision of the world.

This is why we have always opposed the idea of presenting the incorporation of women into the armed forces or their participation in combat as some sort of advance. From our feminist viewpoint, this constitutes an acceptance of patriarchal values and one more step in the continuing social militarization. The feminist-antimilitarist position aims for a society without gender domination and, by extension, no domination at all.

Based on these premises, we want to denounce the situation of the areas in conflict and that the measures taken by the international community are ineffective if not inexistent. While these measures go from arming the various factions in the conflict to organizing useless summit meetings to establish the basis of a hypothetical negotiation that never takes place, the civilian populations of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Yemen, etc. continue to suffer the consequences of the war, militarization continues to expand and we see increasing silencing of voices that opt for nonviolent solutions to conflicts.

The situation becomes even more flagrant when we see how civilized Europe imposes policies comparable to those of any dictatorial regime regarding the refugees in the concentration camps of Greece and Turkey and, further, washes its hands [of responsibility] leaving the dirtiest measures to others (in this case, Turkey).


For all these reasons, we declare that:

It is necessary and urgent to generate other policies to welcome and show solidarity with the people who are suffering in zones of conflict.

Urgent measures should be taken towards the eradication of research, manufacture and sale of arms in order to cease this commerce that feeds violence and the conflicts that are devastating humanity.

We denounce the patriarchal and militarist character of the United Nations Resolution 1325 and other similar ones that depict war and military conflict as natural and inevitable.

We invite you to declare fiscal objection on the income tax form (Objecion Fiscal en la Declaracion de la Renta)* in the service of peace. By doing that, it is hoped that “Not one euro, not one woman, nor one man, nor any thought be for war”; that no euro be destined to manufacture/research weapons that kill human beings.

Peace is a fundamental value for the lives
of the people, the families and the nations of the world.

Translation: Trisha Novak

*Further information about this campaign (in Spanish):
www.nodo50.org/objecion fiscal/
www.educarueca.org/



CONVOCATION 24 April 2016: Without refuge


WITHOUT REFUGE

Political and social crises always present themselves to us as matters that are difficult to understand and to resolve. They tell us that all conflicts are “complicated” and all wars “inevitable”. It is a strategy to silence the voice of the civil population. No one, no government nor parliament in Europe is listening to the opinions and sentiments of their people. The upper echelons do not represent us.


Our “Western” governments (in Europe as in the USA, Russia…) have always been involved issues relating to the Middle East. Let us not forget the responsibility of our government for the invasion of Iraq. They have supported, and even installed, mercenary or dictatorial governments. They have supported various political factions, even armed groups. They have established their businesses and interests there, including petroleum and weapons.

Our governments have intervened with impunity without measuring the consequences of their actions on the people of those countries or of their own people. Now both are suffering because of terrorist attacks. Although we are still expressing our grief regarding the attacks of recent years, which could result in arguments for islamophobia, we should remember that terrorism has no borders nor does it differentiate between nationalities and religion: 80% of the deaths owing to terrorist attacks have occurred in just five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.

And we see that these actions have other consequences:
- There are millions of people displaced by wars in which we have been involved, millions of people without any possible refuge. And we are responsible for those who arrive at the doors of Europe as much as for those who cannot even escape the wars.
- Resolutions and agreements are approved that later are not carried out. The agreed number of refugees to be welcomed is shameful, but we don’t even accept anywhere near that number. How many refugees have been welcomed by the greatest world economic power, that is to say, Europe? How many refugee families should Spain accept and how many has it welcomed?
- Embarrassing agreements are arranged, such as the millions to the government of Turkey, which according to denouncements made by humanitarian organizations, has started shooting Syrian children on their borders, bombing Kurdish villages in Syria and repressing their own population without any consideration for human rights.

Another responsibility concerns us: the increase in racism and xenophobia in Europe. We cannot avoid taking seriously the rise of the ultra-right and Neo-nazism. Governments must take measures to dismantle the dangerous reasoning that these factions promote.

Women in Black of Madrid demand

To urgently prioritize a worthy and deserving welcome to refugees.

Welcome and support deserters and conscientious objectors to war.

Rescind agreements made with Turkey.

Act to combat and eradicate fascism, racism and xenophobia.

Renounce military responses in our region and elsewhere.

Initiate measures so that actions that originate in the current situation do not remain in impunity and responsibility is assumed.

Immediately draw a halt to commerce in weapons in the region.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain


CONVOCATION 28 February 2016: Advancing on the road to demilitarization and Peace



ADVANCING ON THE ROAD TO DEMILITARIZATION AND PEACE

This past 20 February marked the 27th year since the beginning of the movement for refusal to do military service (insumisión). On that day in 1989, 57 persons refusing to do military service presented themselves at courts to declare that they were not disposed to render service to the Servicio Militar Obligatorio (compulsory military service) nor to the Prestación Social Sustitutoria (alternate community service). These young people were confronting more than two years in jail, but despite this and the severe criticism that they suffered in the beginning, little by little they obtained impressive backing by the society, resulting in the Insumisión movement in Spain being unique in all the world.


This campaign of civil disobedience would continue until 2002 when the last of the insumisos were freed from jail. Military service was no longer obligatory but this resistance sought to highlight the ultimate objective of refusal to do military service: totally abolishing armies, military industry, production and commerce in armaments, and, once and for all, militarism as a means of resolving conflicts.

In these years, 20,000 young people publicly declared themselves insumisos, about 4,000 were tried and more than a thousand were jailed. Thousands of family members, friends, co-workers and school partners supported the young people and spread the word to disobey the armies. Many additional people were involved in various groups which, ever since then, have propagated the collective right to not take up arms and to confront wars in a non-violent fashion.

Although no country has seen an exactly similar phenomenon, today there are prisoners of conscience in various corners of the world: from Finland to Turkmenistan, from the Ukraine to the United States of America. Some of the most outstanding additional examples are:

Armenia: Jehovah’s Witnesses detained for refusing to carry out an alternative service.

Azerbaijan: prisoners accused as traitors for activities in favor of peace and reconciliation with Armenia.

South Korea: at least 635 conscientious objectors in jail, many of whom are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Eritrea: for evading recruitment or deserting national service. Young boys and girls are recruited for the armed forces in this country.

Israel: Young people, both male and female, from various and differing collectives refuse to submit to military service or to act as part of the military in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel.

India: for denouncing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (law for special authority of the armed forces).

Turkey: Conscientious objectors are prosecuted as deserters.

These are just some of the data collected by War Resisters International WRI and Amnesty International. There is hardly any news from other countries with regard to persons imprisoned for being conscientious objectors to military service, refusal to do military service or desertion. But we do know of the existence of movements for nonviolence in various regions. The so-called “Arab Spring” consisted of peaceful protests on the part of the civil society against dictatorships and in favor of human rights. In Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine and many other places, movements for nonviolence have been buried or silenced by the violence of armies and military factions.


For this reason, we raise our voices to demand:

Protection and support for the peace activists all over the world.

The right to conscientious objection to the military structures.

Civil disobedience in confronting armed conflicts.

Liberty for imprisoned peace workers, both male and female.

That recourse to weapons and militarism not be the solution to conflicts.


Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain




CONVOCATION 31 January 2016: 30 January, School Day of Non-Violence


30 January, School Day of Non-Violence

Today we remember Gandhi and the values he represents. Women in Black of Madrid, as feminists and anti-militarists and based on our ideology of non-violence wish to say that the celebration of this day in schools must be continued in an education that involves all peoples throughout their existence. We yearn for a society where the utopia of universal human rights becomes reality.


We seek a continuous learning in which we recover the acts and initiatives of all the people who have preceded us and who considered injustice, violence and war the cause of the evils of humanity, which is also our historic memory.

We espouse a school that will help to form people with a critical spirit who understand education for peace as a permanent process, tools that will contribute to the disappearance of militarism, patriarchy and nationalism, an education in which non-violence is a transformative force both individual and collective.

School should be a place where boys and girls become aware of the fact that if we do not universally respect human rights and seek only our own interests, we collaborate in creating more insecurity and fewer individual and collective rights.

We want an education for peace which will help us to:

♀ Review and respond to militarist policies for war employed by our leaders and which have led to destruction and suffering in entire regions as well as to the birth of violent groups or armies.

♀ Shed light on the consequences of the creation of new national borders and the closure of the present ones to people who migrate in search of a more secure and better life.

♀ Denounce the harm to society incurred by the reduction of civil and labor rights enforced by the world centers of power and our governments through various gag laws.

♀ Develop values with a gender perspective to form non-violent individuals.


Women in Black of Madrid against war say:

Not in our name to:

Militarization of schools, minds and society.

An Education Law that seeks to mold persons who are non-critical, submissive and individualists.

Yes in our name that:

Money for weapons and militarization be invested in public education, hospitals and social expenditures.

Our governors and international leaders not resort to war nor foment militarism.

Responsibility be assumed for the effects of all the recent wars on women, society, the environment and cultural heritage.

In schools a real formation be formed in universal values and that action be taken so that gender policies reach women in the entire world.

...Inculcate in the souls of your children the most profound horror of anything that speaks of war. No longer leave in their hands those little boxes of lead soldiers that can coddle them to being a new Bonaparte. Do not encourage the constant resurgence of barbarism.
María Poscowink.
(Redención -feminist magazine-, October 1915)

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain