Every Saturday for the last 15 years I’ve noticed the Women in Black standing on Manor Drive and Palmetto. If you’re like me, you’re running around doing errands and notice their silent presence.
Women in Black began standing in Pacifica 15 years ago, on the first Saturday after our invasion of Iraq. They are part of a global group, started in 1988 with Israeli and Palestinian women standing together in silence for peace. Women from all over the world have joined the effort.
Women in Black stand for a world without war, nuclear weapons, violence, aggression, oppression and injustice. They are a peace network committed to nonviolent resistance to bigotry, prejudice, government-approved racism, misogyny and oppression.
Pacifica Women in Black enjoy wide local support and have almost become an institution. Now I wave when I drive by and even have friends who are out there some Saturdays.
One of the Women in Black signs reads, “Mothers everywhere are grieving”. I’m a mother and can’t imagine how terrible it would be to lose a child. And women’s children are dying all over the world due to war and other atrocities.
So why do I have mixed feelings when I see these folks? I wholeheartedly support peace and non-violence. I was opposed to invading Iraq. I wish all wars and violence would stop. Is my reaction part support and part anxiety? Why would I be anxious about world peace?
After thinking about this for quite some time, I have concluded that I respect the Women in Black and feel somewhat ashamed that I am not doing more to stand up for peace in the world. Maybe this is a sign I should join their silent protest and maybe you should too.