Not in our name, not with our money

Women in Black
Women’s peace initiative on the occasion of International Women’s Day
It was agreed to begin this international initiative at the international meeting “Let Us Globalize Feminism and Antimilitarism” that was organized in Belgrade on December 26th-28th, 2003 by Women in Black.
What do we demand?

That official institutions in the states in which we live do not send military troops for so-called peacekeeping missions in Iraq;

The redirection of the huge amount of funds that every country spends on sending military troops into so-called peacekeeping missions to civic development: health, education, shelter for female victims of violence, and for assisting civil initiatives in war-torn areas, especially in Iraq;

For states we live in not to hesitate, under any circumstances, to send all suspected war criminals in the territory of the former Yugoslavia to the Hague Tribunal; we demand that no funds from state budgets be paid to the Hague detainees or their families;

For states we live in not to sign bilateral agreements on the non-extradition of US citizens to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to annul all such agreements that have been signed;

For states we live in to declare neutrality, therefore to not take part in any military alliances nor to participate in any military actions, whether initiated by NATO or anyone else.

Why do we make these demands? Why do we advocate this peace initiative?

Because we, as women, have always paid the highest price for war, militarism, and violence – we have experienced this during the wars of the past decade in these territories and we know that in all war and post-war areas women suffer the most from the consequences of war and militarism;

Because, as citizens, we have a right to demand that our states make transparent their budget accounts: this is the money of all female and male citizens and we will not allow our money to be used towards death and violence; we demand that these funds be used for building peace, for development and in order to help the civilian population;

Because we, as female activists of the global peace movement and global civil society, know that peace cannot be accomplished by weapons, that terror cannot be reduced but only increased by the use of weapons and that this produces further militarization;

Because international law has been violated, considering that the UN Security Council did not approve the operations in Iraq;

Because we consider that the integration of the countries in which we live should not be of a militaristic character, but an exclusively peaceful form, and that the joining of military alliances, after a decade of war and suffering, would only signify the continuation of violence;

Because sending war crimes suspects to the Hague Tribunal is not only a moral imperative, but a prerequisite for a just peace and reconciliation in the area;

Because we, as activists in the global movement for women human rights, do not accept selective justice, we demand the universal jurisdiction of justice; because we are against every war and for the punishment of everyone who has committed war crimes regardless of their nationality and citizenship – whether they be from the USA, Serbia, Rwanda, Colombia, or Russia; and also because the signing of bilateral agreements on the non-extradition of US citizens represents a politics of power, hegemony, dictatorship, and injustice.

To whom do we address these demands? Who are we talking to?

To the parliaments and other institutions of the states in which we live;

To the entire public: the media, civil society, all NGOs, and political parties, with the demand that they join and support this initiative;

To international networks against war, for peace, for human rights, for women human rights, for democracy, to all female and male citizens.

How will we realize these peace initiatives?

Upon sending this initiative to all aforementioned actors and after a campaign to join our initiative, we will demand that the parliaments of our states receive women’s delegations on March 8th, 2004;

For us, activists of the feminist, international, antifascist, alter-globalist women’s peace movement, March 8th is an important historical day on which we organize many actions to demonstrate our global women’s solidarity, the interconnection and interdependence of the world and its events, and by organizing non-violent actions against all forms of injustice and discrimination.

Organizers of the Initiative

Women in Black, Belgrade; Women’s Center, Leskovac (Serbia)
Women in Black, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Women in Black, Zagreb; Center for Women War Victims (Croatia)