Women in Black, Belgrade
9 November 2003
On the occasion of 9th November, International Day of Struggle against Fascism, Discrimination and Xenophobia, Women in Black and the Toplica Initiative of the Young express their concern and sharp protest because of the intensified attacks and singling out of our fellow citizens who are different. Our society, which is in the process of transition, must say no to the evil events that unfold before our eyes practically every day. Our citizens who are marginalized because of their religion, race, ethnicity or sexual choice are being attacked by various rightist movements and their supporters, while the judiciary and other competent institutions react extremely slowly in investigating such cases.
The most affected are our Roma fellow citizens who, because of their dark complexion, are unable to participate equally in the social community and daily confront situations that are characteristic of undemocratic societies.
Women in Black and the Toplica Initiative of the Young demand a confrontation with the past and punishment of all those who have committed crimes in the name of their nation, their fellow citizens and their entire society and country. We demand the establishment of a new system of values, one in which our differences will be understood as advantages for good neighborly communication. In addition, the authorities have the obligation to prevent the activities of movements that threaten the citizens; those who call for violence and intolerance towards the “other” and who wish to deny past atrocities, and those who propagate the nationalistic ideology of a Greater Serbia.
We demand equality of the sexes, the adoption of anti-discriminatory laws and respect for sexual differences. We believe that anyone who commits a violent act in either the verbal or physical sense in the name of some “superior” aims must be punished.
After a decade of wars and hardship, banishment and dislocation of citizens, it is our duty to pay our respects to all the victims, to return their dignity and acknowledge their victimization. Only then will our society be able to oppose fascism, discrimination and xenophobia. Let us stop fascism! Let us punish discrimination! Let us oppose xenophobia!
November 9th is marked in memory of the innocent victims of the Crystal Night in 1938, when the Nazi destroyed Jewish stores and property, looting and pillaging them and taking them away to concentration camps.
On November 9th Women in Black and the Toplica Initiative of the Young held a vigil at Republic Square. This was followed by a panel discussion entitled “Discrimination, Xenophobia and Fascism in Serbia” at the Center for Cultural Decontamination, with the following speakers:
Maja Savić, »Labris«
Goran Miletić, Humanitarian Law Fund
Nebojša Radosavljević, a victim of discrimination
Miodrag Petrović, a victim of discrimination,
Tanja Ignjatović, Glas Razlike
Moderator: Andrej Nosov
This annoucement is also undersigned by:
BUM – Vladičin Han
The Center for the Development of Democracy – Lebane
CZKD – Belgrade
Destinikon – Sjenica
»EVA« – Novi Sad
Feministička 94 – Belgrade
The Women's Forum – Prijepolje
The Women's Forum LSV – Novi Sad
Impuls – Tutin
»IVA« – Zrenjanin
The Committee for Human Rights – Majdanpek
The Committee for Human Rights – Negotin
The Committee for the Rights of Man – Vranje
The Committee for the Protection of Human Rights – Priboj
Osmeh – Vrbas
The Open Club – Niš
Resource Centers – Novi Pazar, Leskovac, Niš, Negotin, Bor
UrbanIN – Novi Pazar
ŽAD – Novi Sad
Women in Action – Velika Plana
Women in Black – Zaječar, Leskovac, Priboj, Niš, Čačak, Bela Crkva, Velika Plana...
The Women's Group – Bojnik
The Women's center – Leskovac
The Women's Center – Sadžak
Women's Studies »Mileva Marić-Ajnštajn« – Novi Sad
ŽMIG – Pančevo
Yukom – Belgrade
And many other groups...
From: Zene u crnom, Beograd Women in Black, Belgrade