Asamblea Antimilitarista and Mujeres de Negro contra la guerra de Madrid (Women in Black against the war - Madrid)
in support of the WEEK OF NONVIOLENCE OF IRAQ (7-9th October 2011)
We are in solidarity with the WEEK OF NONVIOLENCE, which will take place in Iraq this coming October. Non-governmental and Iraqi and international social movements will participate. This year, representatives of the Women in Black of Madrid and the Antimilitarist Assembly from Spain will be present.
Among the activities that will that will unfold during this week of Nonviolence, which was first celebrated in 2006, is the Third Conference of the Iraqui Civil Society Solidarity Initiative - ICSSI*, which will take place in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, 7 – 9 October 2011.
At the conference, the current situation in Iraq will be analyzed, including the role of the civil society and the social movements, and the creation of an Iraqi Social Forum, which will initiate solidarity campaigns and cooperation with international movements designed to bring about an Iraq with social justice and real democracy. Through these activities, Iraqi society seeks to recover their freedom and dignity, asking for the end to foreign occupation as well as the corruption and sectarianism of Iraqi institutions. They believe that civil society must play a prominent role in building a new Iraq, with nonviolence as the only path to change.
The following topics will be dealt with during the conference: Protests of the Iraqi social movements. Liberty of expression and of the press. Women and equality. The current situation of Iraqi youth. Workers’ liberties and rights. The role of the NGOs. Human rights in Iraq. Nonviolence and activism against militarization. Natural resources and effects of the war on the environment. The World Social Forum and its development in the Arab countries.
The First International Marathon will take place in Erbil before the conference, promoted by the civil organizations and the Iraqi Group for Nonviolence (LAONF**), a non-competitive activity aimed at drawing attention to the NGOs, youth groups, students, unions and other organizations.
Some 120 organizations from all over Iraq are part of the LAONF Network, including all the religious and ethnic communities, and which attempt to denounce the unjust occupation and demand respect for human rights, promoting dialogue and a culture of peace. LAONF (Nonviolence in Arab language) is not a political party nor an organization: it is a free union of people committed to nonviolence.
Women in Black Against War see the need for an independent investigation of the consequences of the invasion and military occupation and for the occupying countries to assume their responsibility for the social, cultural and economic destruction of Iraq, along with the loss of human life. Taking on this responsibility is a way to help avoid new military occupation in other countries.
Traslater Trisha Novak USA
* Iraqui Civil Society Solidarity Initiative www.iraqicivilsociety.org
** LAONF www.laonf.net