Teresa Crawford on Fri, 30 Apr 1999 11:45:51 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: WEB: Serbian NGO's fear loss of connect's w/ world


After traveling and working with students from Belgrade who worked on
behalf of human rights for everyone within FRY.  After working with Women
in Black in Belgrade whose platform is a support for all against violence I
am sick that there are still people who question their actions and beliefs.
 When the bombing first started it was only through WIB that I had any idea
that several of the women activists I knew in Prishtina were safe because
the women in Belgrade spent days calling and talking to them then relaying
their messages via email.  Please search the Jwatch archives for some of
the posts of the work of these women and others in the last few months.

I hope that the passages I post below will give you some idea that there
are Serbs who have a concern for the human rights of all although I am
concerned that you know little about them and their public acts and at the
same time you have thrown around the words genocidal people to describe
them.  Until and unless you are willing to go and put your body between
these people and the men who will come to the door in the night condemning
them without doing the research is unforgivable.  Who is going to protect
them when Milosevic is still in power when this is all over?

There can be no question about my commitment to a free Kosova but it will
not exist in a vacuum and neither will it be free if the only Kosovars
there are Albanian.


This is the text of a message that was reprinted in my Project's
publication On the Record at the UNHCR Executive Committee Meeting last
October. <www.advocacynet.org> Volume 2, Issue 4 -- October 10, 1998


With this in mind, we commend the following statement, which will be
read at 6:30 this afternoon (Friday) at a public demonstration in
Belgrade's Republic Square by Women in Black. This remarkable
organization has been consistent in its opposition to the wars in
Croatia, Bosnia and now Kosovo. Theirs has been a voice of reason in
the madness, and they have done more than anyone to salvage Serbia's
terrible reputation in the eyes of the world. For this, they have
received no thanks from their own government. Serbia is now turning
inwards -- trying to intimidate the press and stifle dissent. If the
governments here have any interest in putting a halt to the cycle of
hatred and tension in the Balkans, they must not let this happen.

I CONFESS to my longtime anti-war activity

  *  that I did not agree with the severe beating of people of other
     ethnicities and nationalities, faiths, race, sexual orientation;

  *  that I was not present at the ceremonial act of throwing
     flowers on the tanks headed for Vukovar, 1991 and Pristina,

  *  that I fed women and children in refugee camps, schools,
     churches, mosques;

  *  that I sent packages for women and men in the basements of
     occupied Sarajevo in 1993, 1994, 1995;

  *  that for the entire war I crossed the walls of Balkan
     ethno-states, because solidarity is the politics which interests

  *  that I understood democracy as support to anti-war
     activists/friends/sisters -- Albanian women, Croat women, Roma
     women, stateless women;

  *  that I first challenged the murderers from the state where I
     live and then those from other states, because I consider this
     to be responsible political behavior of a citizen;

  *  that throughout all the seasons of the year I insisted that
     there be an end to the slaughter, destruction, ethnic cleansing,
     forced evacuation of people, rape;

  *  that I took care of others while the patriots took care of

We are all women in black!

I excerpted a few passages from email from Serbian women from Belgrade who
work for human rights.


Many women have called and written in the last few days to ask how
are we.   Our sisters from Bosnia, Croatia and  other countries....
My response is that women in Belgrade are more or less all right, and
that women in Kosovo are in much more difficult situation.

Once again feminists and pacifists from Belgrade are again this time
sending sisterly tender words for our friends and Albanian women and
their families in Kosovo.

contact information:
(315) 471-7790 voice mail
Syracuse, NY 13210


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