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Women In Black - Women Against War

Stasa Zajovic of the women’s anti-war group in Belgrade, Women in Black—Women Against War, was invited by other anti-war groups to the State of Spain this April. Stasa spoke in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and many other cities. Her talks were well attended (over 150 people at each public talk) and the tour received good press coverage. Most of all, solidarity between peace groups in the various countries was strengthened. The following is a compilation of several reports about her visit.

“I was woken up by the radio,” Maruja Torres of El Pais wrote, “by a woman speaking Castellano (Spanish), her voice blurred by emotion and a foreign accent, pronouncing a speech ancient as the world itself, a text only victims and poets are able to pronounce: a statement against war. Stasa is part of the movement Women in Black, which with the stubborn insistence of a Greek chorus demonstrates weekly in Belgrade, raising their voices against the widespread horror occurring today in former Yugoslavia, particularly against the horror women are suffering…

‘This is the first time,’ she said, ‘that the world knows about women being raped while it is happening.’ Only recently have we heard about the atrocities the Japanese committed against women from neighboring countries during World War II, the first time the world knows that the soldiers are also raping their wives, turning their homes into a second front.

“Once more Troy is burning. These women in black cry to the world about what is being lost. Don’t let anyone tell you Helen is to blame.”

Concha Martin, a member of the Committee of Tax Resistance of MOC (Conscientious Objectors’ Movement) in Madrid, explains in her article how Stasa’s visit came about: “Last December five MOC resisters travelled throughout former Yugoslavia contacting different anti-war groups (students, feminists, pacifists, trade unionists, etc.). In Belgrade’s Centre of Antiwar Action they met Stasa Zajovic. She is intensely involved in antiwar activities and has a perfect command of Spanish. She was invited to make a tour in the state of Spain, in order to offer her message to the widest possible audience…

“Her experiences have aroused increasing interest and different solidarity networks to support Women in Black and oppose the war have started. Women in Black—Women Against the War have been nominated for the International Human Rights Prize given by the Asociación de Derechos Humanos de Espafia (APDH—Spanish Association of Human Rights)…

“Her descriptions of what women’s and pacifists’ group did was very clear: before the war they denounced the militarization of society and the dangerous manipulation of the media; then the ideological and ethnic cleansings, and the validity of fundamentalist leaders as the sole representatives of the people…The groups called for civil disobedience, desertion, and denounced the manipulation and rape of women…”