Blogging our way to 2015

Blogging our Way to 2015—Complete with Flash Mob

by Joan Bazar, Personnel Committee Chair, Communications Committee Chair

Clacking castanets in Madrid’s central square, 74 international members of WILPF chanted “Peace and Freedom . . . No War . . . the World We Want!”  The Spanish Section hosted February’s International Board meeting and choreographed our flash mob. Activists from 27 nations shared ideas and experiences during three days of intense work.

Ria Kulenovic (US director of operations), Catia Confortini (US representative to the IB) and Abigail  Ruane (US rep to UN meetings in NYC) stayed up until 2 am every night, texting reports to the WILPF-US blog, Facebook and Twitter. They shared news about possible collaborations with other WILPF Sections including the Americas Working Group's plans for a Latin American regional meeting to address such mutual concerns as militarization and the war on drugs.   

The six European Sections have met twice, taking a stance against the award of the Nobel Prize to the European Union and addressing the arms trade, the economic crisis and social justice issues. Along with women around the world, African Sections celebrated One Billion Women Rising, which was sparked by gender violence in the DR Congo. Sections in India and the Philippines are campaigning against nuclear plants.

Delegates brought resolutions on a peaceful transition in Nepal assuring right of women, and concern for Palestinian prisoners. Catia and the UK rep worked with WILPF Pakistan on a resolution opposing drone warfare. Abigail presented the US Earth Democracy proposals (the Precautionary Principle and Guardianship for Future Generations) to the Environmental Working Group.

Petra Totterman Andorff called for all WILPF members to assist in preparations for our 100th anniversary celebrations at the 2015 Congress April 22-25 at the Peace Palace in The Hague and an International Conference April 26-29 open to the public. Contact our IB Rep Catia [] to volunteer to raise $1,000 or join one of the international committees and the US Communications Committee (] to gather histories of WILPF members.

Also present from the US were Nancy Ramsden, international treasurer; Joan Bazar, convenor of the International Communications Committee, Bibiane (Aningina) Tshefu; NY Metro Branch; and Linda Belle, Jane Addams Peace Association executive director.

The International Board has invited US Section President Laura Roskos to serve on an ad hoc committee addressing possible restructuring of WILPF moving into the next century.

Image credit: Photo by Catia Confortini, Flash mob brings WILPF International message to Puerta del Sol, Madrid's central plaza

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