Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Women In Black

Yesterday while in Bellport doing an interview, I heard that the Women In Black were going to leave their corner. The one they've been standing on since the war in Iraq began. I first met them last summer when I stumbled upon them after covering a regatta for The Long Island Advance and wrote a story about them for the paper. I have no idea if the story I wrote about them yesterday will make the Advance, but my editor has been very good about letting me find my own stories.... so, I'm hopeful. I took some great pictures of them too, but as stated many times previously, my lack of ability to do things like post pictures can be a hindrance at times. Below is the story that I'm hoping will make this weeks issue:

Women In Black, Standing for Three Years

For three years, the Women In Black have been standing each Saturday morning on the corner of South Country Road and Station Road in the Village of Bellport, silently protesting the war in Iraq. This past Saturday marked the third anniversary of the beginning of the war and on this day, as all the other Saturday’s, the Women In Black stood. They have stood in spring rains, in the heat of the summer sun as it baked the concrete sidewalk, in the windswept fall as leaves blew all around them, and continued on into the winter months bundled up to ward off the cold. For three years they have stood on this corner with their signs asking for peace.

On this particular Saturday, the Women In Black were joined by members of the South Country Peace Group and Pax Christi as they left their corner and silently walked single file across the street and down the sidewalk to the Bellport Fire House. Crossing the street again, they made their way back to Station and South Country Roads where they again took up their vigil.

Eve Sokol, a founding member of this particular Woman in Black group said about leaving the corner, “We are so stressed that this illegal war has gone on for three years that we wanted to raise the consciousness of as many people as possible.” She said, “It’s our constitutional right to be here,” and added “We didn’t disrupt traffic and crossed at all the corners,” when talking about the short protest walk that the group took. It was clear that they made sure to follow all the rules when venturing off of the spot they have stood on for the past three years.

Women In Black is not a formal organization, but an international peace network that was started in Israel in 1988 by women protesting the war against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Since 1993 Women In Black New York have been standing in silent vigil in protest of war and in support of other peace groups throughout the world.

For more information on the Women In Black you can visit or

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