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Women stand together against violence

Friday at 5 p.m. a group of women will take a stand against violence.

Together, the women, all dressed in black, will stand on the corner of Nevada Way and Buchanan Boulevard by the Welcome to Boulder City sign, holding signs promoting peace.

Called Women in Black, the newly formed group is part of a very informal network of women across the globe who want to raise awareness of the amount of violence in the world and maybe get others to think about ways to stop it.

The Rev. Sandy Johnson of Boulder City United Methodist Church is spearheading the local effort.

“Come wearing all black. Signs will be available for everyone to hold and share our peaceful message to ‘end violence in our world,’ ” she posted on social media.

Although it is not an official church group, Sandy said a number of congregants have said they plan to join her in the peaceful demonstration. She also plans to wear her collar so that those driving by know that clergy is involved in the movement.

About 10 women are expected to participate in the group’s first silent protest.

According to the Women in Black website, the network is “committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence.” A key goal of the group is to challenge government militarist policies.

“We are not an organization, but a means of communicating and a formula for action,” it states.

Sandy said she first heard about Women in Black about 20 years ago when her mother joined a group in Eugene, Oregon, where Sandy was raised.

A group such as Women in Black was not uncommon in the “liberal, hippy town,” she said. “They meet once a week on a street corner.”

For Sandy, seeing her 85-year-old mother protest is normal. “She’s always been an activist; that’s just mom.”

But the idea of women taking a stand against violence really hit home for Sandy a few months ago after she visited Israel.

Upon returning home, there was a “period of horrific violence” in the nation and around the world. Shootings and bombings were becoming too commonplace.

It was then the idea sparked that maybe, just maybe, her mother was on to something. The fact that the group started as a coalition of Israeli and Palestinian mothers who wanted to do something took on more meaning after seeing firsthand how different people think when they live in a war-torn area.

According to Sandy, the group will continue to meet on the corner at 5 p.m. on the fourth Friday of each month, where it will spread a message of peace for an hour. Anyone who wants to stand with them is welcome, she said.

Realistically, she knows that the gathering will probably have very little impact on the violence in our nation and world.

It is her hope, however, that it will make people think, perhaps even about the political candidates they support. Every voter has the right to elect, or try to elect, someone who has the same mindset as they do. Someone who aims for peace rather than war, she said.

“It’s a simple message — women in black who are coming together to promote peace.”

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercity review.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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