Weekly Women in Black Vigils
by Green Earth Al (Feb.22.2003)

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

    In 1988 a small group of committed women dressed in black and held a silent vigil. They were Israeli and Palestinian women upset by the toll that war was taking on the lives of people around them.

Roxanne braves the rain and snow and even
death threats to spread the word about
Women in Black

    That movement begun in Israel all those years ago has expanded to encompass the globe. Here in Buffalo, New York there is a growing weekly vigil of Women in Black on Saturdays at Elmwood and Bidwell from noon til 1pm.

    The new Women in Black flyer reads "Women in Black stand for Peace not War, Humanitarian Aid not Military Aid, International Criminal Court not Military Courts". And there is a wonderful young woman in black named Roxanne that distributes more of them than you would think is possible.

Green Earth Al
    As close as these vigils are to my house I must confess that I haven't attended many. But I have attended enough to see that they have been rapidly growing. Today's vigil was the first I've attended where the Women in Black lined both sides of the street. Usually the women line the east face of Bidwell parkway. Today there were so many that about a dozen broke off and went to start a line on the west side of the street.

    Though the original Women in Black was started by women, the Buffalo version encourages men to dress in black and stand with the women in solidarity. It's difficult to say how much can be accomplished by a growing number of thoughtful women dressed in black, but as the reaction from the passing motorists grows more and more positive every week it's clear that their silent vigils are saying a lot to the people of Buffalo, New York.

For more reading:

Thank you for the notice at this discussion site about the vigils. Thanks, too for your wonderful article about it...And great photoes. ( I often don't get a chance to see the signs at the vigils -- neat to see some in the photoes -- Loved that one that I'd never seen before "How many bodies per gallon?" ) So YOU"RE Green Earth Al!

And thanks for the plug for my article at the Bflo Rpt. I had not read that piece for quite a while. It was interesting to be reminded of what was going on almost a year ago...That there were people like the man from Palestine worried about the Israeli Occupying Forces entering Gaza...And they have for the past several months been there.

While I appreciate your kind words about me in the article, I want it to be clear that anyone can hand out the flyers, and many others do so, quite well in fact -- and just as many as I do (approximately 300-350/vigil). I say this because it's very important to me that every single one of the people who stand in vigil deserve equal praise for our courage, vision, energy, and power. We really are all Palestinians -- Only today I was thinking about the human sheilds in Iraq, and thinking that we are all human shields....

Peace and trees,

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