“I believe that peace is not merely an absence of war, but the nurture of human life, and that in time this nurture will do away with war as a natural process… Only in freedom is permanent peace possible. To unite women in all countries who are opposed to any kind of war, exploitation and oppression and who work for universal disarmament and by the establishment of social, political, and economic justice for all without distinction of sex, race, class, or creeds.”
Have you noticed the women standing on the Higgins St. Bridge on Friday’s? They have been standing there almost every Friday since December 6th, 2001. These Missoula Women, are part of an international movement that began in 1988 in Israel when Israeli and Palestinian women stood united for peace while they mourned the victims of war and violence. They are part of an international history and the history of women here in Missoula. March is Women’s History Month, a time to note the contributions of ordinary women.
While the individual women have changed over the years the belief in peaceful protest, and consistent visibility is an action that brings attention to the ongoing loss of life by violence and war. The women stand as witness to the suffering of all victims of violence and in solidarity with people all over the world who struggle for peace and justice.
For the past eighteen plus years, each Friday, from 12:15 to 12:45 pm, women of all ages supported by brothers, partners, fathers and sons stand quietly as an on-going presence reminding others that war and violence continues. Each week we hand out peace cranes, we hold signs and we wait and we hope. We will continue to quietly stand as a presence dedicated to peace.
A few years ago, the Missoula Veterans for Peace, joined the peaceful protest of the Women in Black. They stand beside us sharing the belief that until we end violence and war, we will not have peace. Both the Women in Black and the Veterans for Peace, invite you to stand with us and share our common belief in peace; Peace in our homes, in our communities, in our governments.
Let Peace be worldwide,
Missoula Women in Black