Cuba: Solidarity with the Ladies in White

The Ladies in White: Peaceful protest for human rights in spite of violence, intimidation, and arbitrary arrests by Cuban state security forces.

At a Glance

The Ladies in White are the most internationally renowned civil rights movement in Cuba.  The ‘Damas de Blanco’ formed in 2003 during the Cuban ‘Black Spring’, in which 75 civil rights activists and independent journalists were arbitrarily arrested.  Since then, the wives, sisters, and mothers of the political prisoners have peacefully advocated for the release of all political prisoners in Cuba.  Dressed in white, they regularly attend Sunday Mass in many cities in Cuba and then march in silence through the streets, with a gladiola in one hand, and a photo of jailed relatives in the other.  Today, the movement in Cuba has well over one hundred members.  In Cuba, wearing white clothing symbolizes resistance to the repressive Castro regime; as a result, there is an unwritten law in Cuban prisons against wearing white.  In December 2005, the European Parliament awarded the 'Ladies in White' for their courageous commitment to human rights with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Although they face increasing violence and reprisals, the women refuse to give up their struggle for human rights and freedom in Cuba.  They are regularly attacked by thugs that are linked to the regime, prevented by governmental bodies in exercising peaceful expression, and their human rights are impeded by force. Demanding these basic human rights has already costed several hundred people their freedom in Cuba. 

Every Sunday after church service since 2003, the "Ladies in White" walk through the streets of Havana to demand the release of all political prisoners.
The Cuban police and mobs who were incited to disrupt the peaceful march attacked the civil rights activists and "arrested" seven demonstrators.
Since the group’s founding in 2003, the "Ladies in White" have become constantvictims of repression and arbitrary arrests by police and state security forces.