Activity report for the period May - Avgust 2021

As we have done in the past, we are providing you with a short report on the activities of Women in Black in the reporting period.

We would like to thank you in advance, in solidarity.

Street actions: In this reporting period we organized eleven (11) events, and we also actively participated in other street actions
- commemoration/marking important dates of crimes committed in our names;
- Feminist, anti-fascist, anti-war, anti-racist, anti-militaristic actions...

Commemoration / marking of important dates of crimes committed in our name, as well as other crimes against civilian population, during and after wars, in the territory of the former Yugoslavia:

May 24th, Kruševac “We Remember the Brave Resistance of Women!”
- Women’s organization “Peščanik” from Kruševac and Women in Black, Belgrade marked the 22nd anniversary of the women’s protest against forced mobilization in 1999. By this peace action, organized on the occasion of May 24th – International Day of Women’s Action for Peace and Disarmament, activists recalled the courageous resistance of women to mobilization and war in Kosovo.
The following banners were displayed during the vigil:

  • We remember the courage of the Rasina district women
  • We remember women’s resistance to forced mobilization
  • Women’s courage
  • Everything for Peace, Health and Education – Nothing for Armament etc.

During this street action, twenty (20) activists of the Women’s Association Peščanik, the Alternative Center for Girls, and Women in Black were exposed to verbal attacks and provocations by people who referred to themselves as members of the Serbian Radical Party. Members of the mentioned party, who set up a stand at the same time and at the same place and distributed promotional material, called us names and commented: “How ugly you are”, “Shame on you”, “There was no genocide in Srebrenica”. Insults were mainly hurled at Women in Black activists and Staša Zajović. In addition to verbal abuse, members of the Serbian Radical Party trampled on the inscription “We remember the resistance of women”, which, as a message of action, was shaped with salt on the concrete. The policemen got out of the vehicle, which was parked in the main street, across the road from the scene, only when the organizers approached them and asked them to ensure that the action, which was duly and timely reported to the Kruševac Police Department, be carried out, without intrusions.

Belgrade, June 17th “We remember women rape in war”
on the occasion of June 19thInternational Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in War, Women in Black and the Autonomous Women’s Center organized a vigil in mourning and silence in Republic Square.

Foča June 19th
During the protest, the performance “We remember the women of foča” was performed: four activists dressed in white (symbol of mourning for Bosniaks), spread a white canvas, on which one activist spray-painted the word, then the following banners were displayed in a semicircle:

  • We remember women raped in war
  • During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina more than 20 000 women were raped
  • We remember the women raped in Bosnia and Herzegovina – the site of the most massive war crime of rape
  • Map of sexual crimes in: the Sports Hall “Partisan”; the Correctional facility in Karaman’s House in Miljevina; Buk Bijela, the High School in Foča...
  • The state of Serbia does not recognize the war crime of rape - Admit it!

The protest was attended by thirty-odd (30) female and male activists.
During the protest, a couple of passers-by hurled verbal abuse at the activists: “Are these Muslim women?” (to the policeman) “Just look at you, who would want to rape you?”; “These are Women in Black, they are state enemies.” etc.

Foča June 19th, (Bosnia and herzegovina) “We Remember Women Raped in War in Bosnia and herzegovina”
On the occasion of the 19th of June - the International Day Against Sexual Violence in War, the action organized by War victims associations 92-95 from Sarajevo.
The UN General Assembly declared June 19, 2015, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in War. During the war more than 20 000 Bosniaks/Muslims were expelled from foča, over 3,000 Bosniaks were killed in Foča, of whom one in three victims were women; it is at the very top of the scale in terms of the number of raped women; in Foča, girls were also raped, the youngest of whom was only 11 years old, etc.
The following activities were organized as part of this event:

  • Karaman’s house in Miljevina, near Foča, one of the most famous places of detention of women and sexual slavery of women in the war); on this site, flowers were laid on the fence and the banner “We remember the women raped in the war” was placed;
  • Protest in front of the Partisan Sports Hall (as one of the many places of detention and sexual violence against women) flowers were laid and tribute was paid to all abused and killed women in Bosnia. On this occasion, the following women addressed the public: Halida Konjo Uzunović and Midheta Kaloper Oruli, the Association of War Victims FOČA 92-95, Melika Mahmutbegović, Vice-president of the Federation of B&H; Staša Zajović, Women in Black, Belgrade, who after her address, presented to the Association of War Victims 92-95’ artistic artifacts:
  • ‘Sites of Crime’ (memorial/commemorative plaque dedicated to raped women from 1992 to 1995), made by sculptor Dejan Jankov from the art collective Art Clinic in Novi Sad; A map of crimes in Foča made by Đordje Balmazović Žole from the art collective Škart from Belgrade, as well as a large white canvas with the inscription - from the June 17th action in Belgrade. This is the contribution of WiB to the future memorial, which has been advocated for years by the Association of Victims of 92- 95’. Unfortunately, the efforts so far have not borne fruit due to the obstruction of the municipal authorities in.
  • Peaceful march on the streets of Foča with banners (from the Partisan Hall to the Main Square);
  • Vigil in the Main Square commemorating all abused women in Bosnia;
  • Continuing our march through the city towards Aladza Mosque backyard - hanging out/meet up.

This event was attended by around two hundred persons, as well as eight (8) women activists of the WiB Network, the Autonomous Women’s Center and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights from Belgrade.

On 10th July 2021, on the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, Women in Black held a protest under the slogan “We will never forget the Srebrenica genocide” in Republic Square in Belgrade.
In mourning and silence, the scenic action “Srebrenica – the name of genocide” was performed, consisting of the following elements:

  • Srebrenica – the name of genocide – observing international court rulings, rebellion against the shameful renaming of genocide – central banner.
  • 8372 – bringing to the public stage the number of people killed in genocide is respect for court-established facts. In this way, we symbolically inscribe in the collective memory what is denied / falsified / played down by the majority public of Serbia - the scale of the genocide in Srebrenica.
  • Solidarity – Srebrenica – Women in Black – installing a symbolic / living memorial is a continuation of the construction of a monument to the victims of genocide, after our long-standing requests to approve the construction of a permanent monument to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide in Belgrade were rejected.
  • The factual truth about the genocide – which most people in Serbia do not want to see, know about or accept - ghostly figures denounce a society of moral breakdown, a community of zombies; instead of silence and complicity, they express sympathy and solidarity with the victims by disclosing long-known facts – this part of the action was carried out by seven activists completely wrapped in black tulle, which they unfolded by presenting information about the Srebrenica genocide on the public stage.
  • Installation of the flower of Srebrenica – a symbol of mass suffering of people, the petals of this flower represent July 11th, 1995; it is a symbol of the joint struggle for the dignity of the victims of genocide
  • Installing a symbolic memorial: the figure 8372 is engraved on the stone - as a sign of non-violent rebellion against the denial of the genocide in Srebrenica.
  • The Srebrenica genocide was carried out with the direct support of the Serbian regime.
  • The Srebrenica genocide took place from 11th to 22nd July 1995.
  • 8,372 Bosniak men aged between 12 and 77 were killed in the genocide.
  • Sites of mass executions: Jadar, Cerska, Tišća, Grbavci, Orahovac, Pilica, Branjevo.
  • Over 20,000 members of Serb armed formations took part in the genocide.
  • The remains of the killed were found in over 60 mass graves.
  • All buses for deportations were from Serbia: “7thJuly”-Šabac, “Strela”-Valjevo, “Raketa”-Užice ...

Even before the arrival of Women in Black, Republic Square was occupied by a large number of members of pro-fascist organizations. Women in Black reported the action to the police on June 25th, 2021. However, over sixty fascists constantly obstructed the action with insults, threats, and the like. They were carrying many pictures and flags with the image of the Hague convict Ratko Mladic, flags with skulls and other fascist symbols. Among them was Simo Spasić, president of the Association of Missing Kidnapped Serbs. We immediately asked the police when that rally had been reported, the police did not know or did not want to tell us, which led us to the conclusion that there is a direct connection between the regime and the hooligan / profascist groups. Everything the above-mentioned fascist group did was carried out without adequate police intervention...

Belgrade, 11th July – “lighting candles for the victims of Srebrenica”
a commemorative gathering on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the genocide, was held in front of the Presidency of Serbia, organized by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, with the support of the Humanitarian Law Center and Women in Black. In the immediate vicinity, pro-fascist organizations held a counterrally, insulting NGO activists, chanting songs in honor of R. Mladic, a RS Army general who was convicted in Srebrenica by the Hague Tribunal for genocide in Srebrenica on June 8, 2021, to a life sentence. Police prevented physical contact between NGO activists and profascists.

Feminist, anti-fascist, anti-war, anti-racist, anti-militarist actions...

Report on our activities in pdf.

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