Serbian women protest war talks 

The female activist group "Women in Black" staged an anti-war action in Belgrade on September 21, the International Day of Peace. The region's armed conflicts are long gone, they say, but there's an equally devastating "social war" taking place. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Serbian women protest war talks  - NewsMavens
Women in black protest, Beograd, April 2018, YourTube

Why this story matters:

The inclinations of the Serbian government towards militarist rhetoric makes peace fragile and susceptible to damage. The war with guns might have ended, but the weapons of autocracy and corruption are destroying the country all the same. 

While more and more Serbians living in poverty,the  government is spending money on expensive military parades. 

The Serbian "Women in Black" are protesting the youth military camps, even if the guns and pistols there were not real. They are protesting announcements about the re-introduction of obligatory military service, even if it was only a PR trick. 

They are protesting Serbia's denial of war crimes committed in former Yugoslavia, even if it makes the group one of the most unpopular associations in the country. 

Their protests are not warmly welcomed by locals, but this makes their work even more important.

Details from the story:

  • "Women in Black" is a world-wide network of women activists for peace and justice. 
  • During their actions (vigils, protests, performances, etc.), participants usually wear black. Wearing black in some cultures signifies mourning for the dead member of the family, but "Women in Black"'s aim is to convert women’s traditional passive mourning into a pro-active role in the fight against wars.
  • The Serbian branch of "Women in Black" started organizing non-violent vigils and protests against the war in 1991 and has so far organized more than 1,000 protests, most of which took place in the streets of Serbia and other countries of former Yugoslavia.
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