Women peace groups all over the world made October 8, the day when the US began bombing Afghanistan last year, the 'International Day of Action against War and for Peace,' and held pro-peace, anti-war rallies in some 27 cities on the 1st anniversary.
Women groups belonging to the East Asia-US-Puerto Rico Women's Network against Militarism and the Asian Peace Alliance issued a joint statement criticizing American President Bush's anti-terrorism war policies and opposing the US's invasion of Iraq.
On the same day, the Korea Women's Network against Militarism, which has the membership of such groups as Durehbang, Society of Women Making Peace, the Alliance for Peace and Human Rights and Korea Church Women United, together with the participation of more than 50 other civic organizations including Womenlink Korea, Peace Network, the Korea Federation of Trade Unions and the People's Alliance for Participatory Democracy, held a press conference and rally in front of the US Embassy at 11 am, demanding the US to stop its plans to invade Iraq and Korea to withdraw plans to support the war.
During the press conference, the participating organizations said that "the Bush administration's real motive behind the war against Iraq is to safeguard the profits of the weapon industry and oil capitalists, the administration's strongest supporters." They criticized the US "for searching for another scapegoat on the pretext of the war against terrorism, when the US itself produces, holds and exports the most weapons of mass destructions in the world." Protesters demanded that "Washington and Seoul put a stop to their military policies and guarantee genuine security and peace for women, children and minorities."
From half past noon, another event took place in Insa-dong as part of the International Day of Action against War and for Peace, under the slogan "We remember the US bombing of Afghanistan a year ago and oppose US invasion of Iraq."
During the event, a performance exposing the falsehood of anti-terrorism action was put up to relay the message that "the raid of Afghanistan a year ago was real live suffering, not a CNN satellite virtual game."
Following a 'clothes-line performance' in which laundry sporting slogans and pictures calling for peace and human rights were hung on a clothes-line, an actress dressed as an Arab woman stood up to shout, "Tell me that there must be no war, no matter what the cause! For it is the duty of the living to prevent further bloodshed…"
Women and children of Durehbang who live in base camp villages took over to testify to the effects of militarism on women and children, which they described as "a state of war." This was followed by the WAW's (Women Against War) statement declaring, "In the name of women and the social minorities, we will tell those who keep their silence about the war of the suffering and tragedy hidden behind the scenes of war games. Stop justifying war in the name of human rights!"
The statement also said, "The women on the Korean peninsula who want peace ask the Korean government to give up immediately any plans to support Bush's war, for support in any form whatsoever can only mean moral support for acts of war that will bring on the vicious cycle of violence. We reject all forms of war and violence."