Always disobedient – Women in Black

Activist group and network of feminist/antimilitaristic/antinationalistic/ antifascist/alter globalist orientation, whose members are women, but also men of diverse  generations and ethnicities, level of education, social status, lifestyles and sexual orientations. We began our public, non-violent anti-war protest on October 9, 1991 in Belgrade. Since the very beginning of our activities, we have:

  • Made visible non-violent resistance – to war and war crimes, militarism, sexism, nationalism, racism, neoliberal economic globalization, homophobia, as well as all forms of violence and discrimination; so far, we have organized around 2,000 street actions…

For 26 years, we have been building an active policy of peace, non/violence, solidarity, feminism, pacifism/antimilitarism, antifascism, anti-homophobia, alter globalism…

  • Created networks of women solidarity – we started the International Network of Women in Black, and from 1992 until 2001, we organized 10 meetings. We started the Network of Women in Black in 1997, which in the beginning gathered together activist groups from all parts of Serbia, and later became a regional network, including groups and activists from BH, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Slovenia. The Kosovo Women Network and the Network of Women in Black of Serbia founded the Women Peace Coalition / Koallicioni paqesor i grave in 2006.

For 26 years, we have actively been building solidarity networks beyond state and national boundaries and divisions, both in the area of the former Yugoslavia, and on all continents…

Created antimilitaristic/antifascist/internationalist/anti-war networks and coalitions: Network of Conscientious Objectors and Anti-Militarists; Coalitions for Secular State; Anti-Fascist Coalition…

For 26 years we have been trying to overcome walls of hatred and evil, violating consciously, with premeditation and deliberately all forms of imposed politics and consensuses of national states, armies, churches, etc.…

Demanded confrontation with the past and the sanctioning of war crimes – before the Special Court for War Crimes in Belgrade, we monitored 700 hearings in war crimes proceedings, about which we have been informing regional and international networks.

For 26 years we have been building peace with justice – a policy of solidarity, mutual support and trust, primarily with the victims of crimes committed in our name, and also with all those who have been pushed to the margins, and excluded from economic, political and social power, both in our social environment, and throughout the world…

Launching campaigns, legislative initiatives – regarding accountability for war and war crimes, social justice, women’s human rights, Resolution 1325, secularism.

For 26 years, we have been organizing non-violent actions against militarism – regional and global, we have been denouncing the interdependence and interconnectedness of the local, regional and global patriarchal militaristic power, promoting antimilitaristic-feminist alternatives…

Creating alternative forms of justice from the feminist perspective – the first Women’s Court /W’sC in the territory of Europe was held in Sarajevo, in May 2015. WiB coordinated the five-year organizing process, and also the follow-up of the W’sC (archive, publications, regional W’sC meetings , public  presentations, preparations for  organizing ‘mini’ W’sC, etc.); we continually develop practices of feminist ethics of care and responsibility (visiting the sites of crimes committed in our name,  mothers in solidarity for peace, women’s solidarity for the sanctioning of war crimes, network of W’sC witnesses, artistic –activist street actions, video – activism…

  • Organizing education for peace – by way of activists’ encounters, conferences, roundtable and panel discussions, workshops, debates on feminism, pacifism/anti-militarism, non-violence, alter globalism, women’s peace policy, feminist-anti-militaristic concept of security, transitional justice from the feminist point of view, secularism, on current socio-political developments; we have organized around 6,000 diverse activities in 50 cities of Serbia, in doyens of places throughout the region.
  • Creating alternative history – promoting plurality of history, and inscribing in history otherness and diversity and so far we have published around 250 publishing units.

For 26 years we have been producing knowledge, creating alternative history, through equal validation of academic knowledge and activist experience, learning together, reflection and exchange, in our environment and throughout the world…

Organizing direct actions of solidarity with the refugees – both during the war in the former Yugoslavia, and nowadays with war refugees from the Middle East and Central Asia, (visiting places where refugees are located, providing humanitarian help, street actions, reports on the position of the refugees, exploitation of the refugee tragedy, etc. Also, we organize actions of solidarity with members of all the threatened and underprivileged minority communities (ethnic/racial, sexual), citizens whose human rights (labor, educational, cultural) are violated.

Cultivating and developing our artistic-activist engagement – WiB Group for  video activism has made 120 documentary films on our street actions, and also films for the needs of our educational program.

For 26 years , together with artists and art collectives (Škart, Dah Theater, MMC Art Clinic…) we persist in our aesthetic expression od anti-patriarchal resistance…

We remain in the streets – always disobedient!

Basic ethical principles of Women in Black peace policy

Not in our name: public, clear and loud non-violent resistance to the regime that inflicted aggression and waged wars in our name, and after the wars, to all those who deny, downplay,  relativize or glorify the crimes committed in our name. We shall not stop disturbing the authorities and the public with questions about the accountability for the past atrocities. We shall not discontinue our critical attitude towards all authorities, above all towards the authorities of the state we live in, and also towards all others.

We shall not be deceived by our own people, first by our own, and then by others: feminist ethics of responsibility always requires that we first oppose nationalists, militarists, all proponents of patriarchy in the state we live in, and then all others. Our feminist ethics means assuming responsibility and care for a certain time, context and area, but also for the entire world we live in.

Always disobedient: to war and all other forms of patriarchy. We are disobedient because we are responsible citizens, autonomous women, free thinking beings. We reject obedience to patriarchal power because it means absence of freedom and slavery for women, and also irresponsibility towards the country and the world we live in.

Women in Black feminist engagement:

Radically anti-patriarchal: because patriarchy is not only a system of subjugation  (of one sex over the other, one class/race/nation against the other), but because patriarchy is at the root of all wars and because our feminist engagement is inextricably anti-war.

Anti-nationalistic: because nationalism is one of the most visible and most destructive manifestations of patriarchy – reducing women to the roles of mothers and wives, childbearing machines, depriving women of their right to a choice and self-determination, as basic values of the feminist theory and practice.

Anti-militaristic: because militarism is armed patriarchy, because expenditure for war, armies, and armament affect women most, because militarism relies on force and violence in resolving all problems and conflicts, whereas feminist  anti-militarism is non-violent women’s resistance to all armies, military power and violence. We demand the that military expenditure be redirected to civilian ends under the slogan “Everything for peace, health and knowledge – nothing for armament“.

Internationalist: solidarity and networking beyond all racial, ethnic, religious and state allegiances. WiB takes part in all global anti-war actions against war, and is member of numerous anti-war international networks.

Anti-clerical/anti-fundamentalist: for strict separation of church and state, against the misuse of religion by religious communities in order to gain political power, spreading social control, violating basic women’s human rights, women’s integrity and dignity.

Alter globalist: instead of unfair neoliberal globalization, Women in Black pledge for globalization of peace, the sanctioning of all war crimes, and solidarity with all the oppressed  (on gender, racial, class, or ethnical grounds).

Anti-homophobic: we pledge for equal treatment of sexual preferences as a basic human right.

We remain in the streets – always disobedient!