Show Your Solidarity
Messages of solidarity and concern are always appreciated. You can write, fax or email many of the women's groups in former Yugoslavia that you have read about in past issues of this newsletter. The booklet "Adressen von Friedens-Frauen-und Menschenrechtorganisationen im ehemaligen Jugoslawien" ("Addresses of Peace, Women's and Human Rights Organizations in Former Yugoslavia", in English and German) is an good source of information about contacts with women's groups in the area. It is available for DM 3 from the Bund für Soziale Verteidigung, Marienwall 9, D-32423 Minden, Germany, tel. +49 571 29 456; fax +49 571 23 019; email: C.Schweitzer@bionic.zer.de . You can also make a donation to Women's Aid to former Yugoslavia, 20 Tennyson Road, Portswood, Southampton, SO17 2GW, UK.
Keep Ankara Women's Shelter Open
After reading an announcement in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet that the Ankara women's shelter may be closed by local authorities, women's shelters in Hamburg, Germany began an international action for letters of support. The women, both immigrant and non-immigrant, ask that protest letters be writtten to Turkish authorities. The letters should request that the women's shelter be allowed to continue its work. The Ankara women's shelter has been threatened with closure since the last local election in March 1994.
Messages of support can be sent to: Kadin Dayanisma Vakfi (Organization for Women's Solidarity), tel./fax: +90 312 310 06 70. Addresses for protest letters: Kadin ve Aile Islerinden Sorumlu Devlet Bakani (Minister for Family and Women), Aysel Baykal, Basbakanlik, Ankara; and to TC Basbakanlik-Kadinin Statuesue ve Sorunlari Gen. Md., Mesrutiyet Cad. 19, Kat 4-5-7, Bakanliklar, Ankara, Turkey.
New Email Conference
A new conference on the defense of abortion clinics in the US has just opened up on Peacenet: <women.clinicdefense>. Clinics where abortions are performed in the US have been fire bombed, health care providers killed, and patients harassed.
The conference organizers write, "The conference will include, but is not limited to, information, discussion and analysis of the attack on women's reproductive rights, especially at abortion clinics. We hope that this forum will allow us to provide timely, accurate updates. We also want to include information on the Christian right-wing and Christian Identity/Patriot movements. Also, information on militias, neo-Nazi and White supremacists groups that may impact on women's rights. And, finally, we want this conference to include other related reproductive rights issues. This conference is sponsored by the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights."
Writings By Refugee Women Sought
"The Suitcase: Refugee Voices from Former Yugoslavia" is a collection of stories, essays, poems and letters from Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian refugees in Pakistan, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary and the US. Writings about beginning life in a new country are particularly sought, but submissions from refugees on any topic are welcomed. The book will be published in the US and Europe, with proceeds going to refugee and humanitarian groups chosen by the contributors. Writers may email the co-editor, Julie Mertus, at JULIE.MERTUS@ZAMIR-BG.ZTN.ZER.DE or fax +38 111 637 670, or Ellen Geiger, Curtis Brown, 10 Astor Place, New York, New York 10002, US.
Australian Women's Peace Camp
A national women's peace action and festival took place at the Australian Defence Industries munitions factory in Benalla, in the northeastern part of the state of Victoria, April 14-16. "The action at Benalla was an opportunity for women to voice our opposition to Australian militarism and its role in regional and global conflicts," said organizer and WRI Women's Working Group member Margaret Pestorius. "Women are often the people who suffer the most in a conflict. We need to challenge the culture of violence which allows the continuation of war and violence in all its forms." Benalla was chosen as a munitions plant opened there in March. Women from the Centre for Nonviolence, c/o Commonground, were very active in organizing the festival and camp. Centre for Nonviolence, c/o Commonground, P.O. Box 474, Seymour 3661, Australia. Tel/fax +61 057 938 257 or 057 938 400.