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Serbia: Always Disobedient – Still on the Streets ! 25 Year Anniversary of Women in Black

Saturday 29 October 2016, by siawi3

Source: WIB, 29.10.2016

[(Always Disobedient – Still on the Streets
25 Year Anniversary of Women in Black)]


From October 7th to 10th, actions and activities were organized regarding the 25 year anniversary of the founding of Women in Black, Belgrade.

In the Centre for Cultural Decontamination on October 7th the exhibit Always Disobedient – On the Same Task was held.
At the exhibit, the stage action Personal/Political/International was performed, in which alongside Dah Theatre, women from various Women in Black chapters from across Europe participated.
Following the performance was the screening of the documentary film Women’s Court: Feminist Ethics of Justice, directed by Marija Vidić.

Three panels followed the film screening:

First Panel
• Militarization of Europe: The Rise of the Power of the Right, Persecution of Refugees… - Responses from Peaceful Female Activists and Social Movements from the Region and Europe
- Sissy Vovou, feminist-antimilitarist activist, Athena/Greece
- Ana Dević, sociologist, Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena an der Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena/Germany
- Anna Valente, Women in Black, Torino/Italy
- Concha Martin Sanchez, Women in Black, Madrid/Spain
- Elena Vilenskaya, House of Peace, activist from International Women in Black Network, St. Petersburg/Russia
- Yana Zakorko, Women in Black volunteer, Ukraine
- Jadranka Miličević¸ CURE Foundation, activist in Women in Black network, Sarajevo/Bosnia & Herzegovina

Second Panel
• A Different Europe is Possible – Podemos Experiences: On the Streets and in Parliament…
Discussion with Mari Carmen Garcia Bueno, member of Podemos and union leader.
Ne Da(vi)mo Beograd and Local Front (from Kraljevo) also participated in this discussion.

Third Panel
• Quo Vadis Evropo – Refugee Crisis and the Responses from Social Movements
- Zoran Solomun, director and social activist, Berlin/Germany
- Mikloš Biro, professor of clinical psychology, University of Novi Sad
- Ivana Radović, Astra, Belgrade
- Jelena Hrnjak, Atina, Belgrade
- Yolanda Ruiller, Women in Black, Santander/Spain
- Ionne Guerrini, Women in Black, Ravenna
- No Borders activists

That day, two street actions were held:

• We Do Not Want a European Fortress – We Want Open Borders – Refugees Welcome!
At the action, the following signs were held (in Serbian, English, German, Dutch, Danish, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Kurdish, Arabic, and Dari):

-  Solidarity with Refugees
-  Peace
-  Hate-Free Zone
-  Open the Borders
-  Europe 1938 – Europe 2016
-  We Want Open Borders, Not a European Fortress
-  Stop War, Not Refugees
-  Refugees Welcome

There were approximately one hundred activists who participated in the action. The action was covered by the media and occurred without incident, alongside police security.

• Remembering Resistance – after 25 years of anti-war action, a vigil was held and candles were lit in front of the President of the Republic of Serbia Building (by Pioneer Park)
There were approximately one hundred participants in this action, including people from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Denmark, and Belgium.

The next day, on October 9th, two solidarity actions took place in Belgrade parks, in solidarity with refugees escaping war in the Middle East, called Solidarity is Our Strength. Activists participated in distributing humanitarian aid to those seeking asylum in Europe. In addition to those actions, there were working groups organized that day in which representatives from Ne Da(vi)mo Beograd, as well as Maria Rosa Martínez Rodríguez, a Podemos member of parliament, participated in, alongside the Women in Black network from Spain, Italy, Russia, and Germany.

On October 10th, a full-day working meeting was held, in which members of Women in Black participated in, from the following: Zagreb, Sarajevo, Herceg Novi, Petrovgrad, Leuven, Madrid, Santander, Verona, Ravenne, Torino, and Belgrade.

In the meeting, participants discussed the ongoing refugee crisis, the militarization of Europe, and collective actions. It was agreed upon that in all future collective actions, war, refugees, and the arms trade will all be the connecting themes.

The following dates were agreed upon for important future dates to mark:
November 9th – International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism – Street Action
November 10th – Solidarity action with protest in Belgium
December 2nd – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – Street Action
December 10th – International Human Rights Day