May 24th - International Day of Women's Actions for Peace and Disarmament

On the occasion of this important international date for the female Peace Movement, Women for Peace, Leskovac and Women in Black, Belgrade organized in Leskovac on May 24th, 2016 (from 5p.m. to 7p.m.) feminist anti-militarist march under the slogan "All for peace, health and knowledge - nothing for arms ".

On this occasion, we want to warn:

We live in a country where the war continued by other means – peace is not just the absence of war but the absence of fear, hatred, poverty, injustice. As long as the vast number of citizen’s everyday is imbued with fear, misery, injustice ... we can not talk about peace.

We live in a country where a huge number of women live in poverty - the slave exploitation of workers, daily humiliation, sexual blackmail daily happening in the factory "Jura" in Leskovac and elsewhere and in the presence and with the approval of the state. Trade union activists and all those who are struggling in this country for social justice are exposed to brutal repression ...

We live in the country with autocratic regime - The lives of citizens who do not serve the regime and are not supporters of the regime reduced to mere survival, excluded, marginalized, reduced to commodities ...

- The state of Serbia has not signed the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions – hence the victims of cluster bombs in Serbia (during the bombing in 1999) are not entitled to international assistance. Serbia is the only country in the region that has not signed the Convention. The state has failed to comply all of our many years of requests to the Parliament to adopt without delay the Convention on Cluster Munitions and to begin its implementation. Serbia still producing cluster bombs!

- Serbia exports arms to warring states, various dictatorships - who tortured and killed civilians in these countries, and T. Nikolić, President of Serbia honor Omar el-Bashir, President of Sudan, who is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity before the International criminal Court / ICC, which Serbia is member.

- Serbia is first in the region in the number of registered firearms per capita - women are victims of domestic violence, a third of the murders of women underwent a firearm by a partner or male family members. Femicide in Serbia has reached dramatic dimensions of a state reacts inadequately!

- Misuse of schools for militaristic propaganda – Although the law provide certain categories of citizens in the case of national defense to have certain obligations, and the law also provided records of all citizens in the register of births, authorities impose, under threat of fines or imprisonment, the obligation entry in the so-called. military records. The aim of these actions is not recording, because the records already exists, but the aim is indoctrination of underage citizens with militaristic propaganda, carried out by the army, through the military departments. Of particular concern is that schools and education systems are used as a tool in this work.

- Health care in Serbia is disastrous - in terms of quality of health care, Serbia is among the last countries in Europe, and among the first by deaths from malignant and cardiovascular diseases; while about 1.5 million inhabitants of Serbia have not completed primary school, etc.

- In Serbia fascism is growing - is manifested in many ways, especially in the celebration and rehabilitation of war criminals, as from the Second World War, also from the wars in the 90s, while the defenders of peace and human rights activists who demand accountability for war and war crimes committed in our name are declared "enemies of the state" and become the targets of pro-fascist organizations.

In addition to the peace march, activists of Women in Black from various towns in Serbia will perform more scenic actions / performances:

- Stop the war and not the people – solidarity with war refugees from the Middle East
- Food Not Bombs - Freedom Not Masks – against the case of terror in 'Savamala'
- Peace caterpillars - for converting military expenditures for civilian purposes

On May 24th we announce that we will continue to::

• Be Disobedient, to express publicly, clearly and loudly solidarity with all the oppressed ...
• A non-violent struggle against militarism, nationalism, racism, sexism ...
• A non-violent struggle against all forms of exploitation - especially of class and gender, but also any other ...
• We will never accept to be the subjects of regime, churches, political parties, the army - because we are free and responsible citizens ...

Sve za mir, zdravlje i znanje – ništa za naoružanje!

Women in Black, Women for Peace
Belgrade / Leskovac, May 23rd, 2016.

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