International Women in Black at the World Peace Forum
Theresa Wolfwood, Victoria WIB
On June 26, 2006 under the auspices of the World Peace Forum in Vancouver, 40 + women gathered at a WIB workshop. The event was organized by Beth Burrows, USA, & me. We came from Canada – Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton & Montreal, USA, UK, Australia, Israel, Japan & the Philippines. Unfortunately those who tried to come from Africa were unable to get to Canada.
We discussed our actions and experiences in a circle for 2 hours. There is a great variety in WIB groups, but the silent vigil is at the core of every group. Some focus mainly on the Israel-Palestine issue; others speak out against war generally or the Iraq war specifically. Some WIB resist war and many forms of violence, including personal and economic. We all have different frequency & time/date of meeting. Some welcome men; others are women only. Some hand out a standard leaflet, others pass out different leaflets at every vigil and some only hold informational signs.
We all gather in public to give witness to our hope for peace & non-violence to the general public of our communities. We think of women in Israel & Palestine where WIB was created in 1988. We stand in solidarity with Women in Black groups everywhere; we remember and support those who suffer from war & violence anywhere as we stand in silence.
Some women who attended had not participated in WIB and were encouraged to contact or form a local group.
After the workshop, we stood in vigil outside the Vancouver Public Library for one hour, passing out informational leaflets to those passersby who were interested.
Later some of us went to the Vancouver Art Gallery and joined Vancouver WIB in their regular vigil at Howe & Robson.