August 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1801 Fredrika Bremer born Abo, Finland (d. 1865). Swedish author and feminist; co-founded Women’s Society for the Improvement of Prisoners 1854; suffragist.

  • 1885 Clara Wichmann born Hamburg (d. 1922). Dutch jurist, sociologist, feminist, anarchist and philosopher of nonviolence; co-founded Committee on Crime & Punishment 1919; co-founded International Anti-Militarist Bureau 1920.

  • 1912 Elsie Locke born Hamilton, New Zealand. (d. 2001). Author; historian; peace activist; communist; defended Maori rights; opposed conscription and nuclear weapons; co-founded Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which led to nuclear free zone; opposed Korean, Vietnam and Iraq Wars.

  • 1919 Shulamith Katznelson born Geneva (d. 1999). Founded Ulpan Akiva language school Netanya for Arabs and Jews 1951; twice nominated for Nobel prize.

  • 1923 Juanita Morrow Nelson (d. 2015) born Cleveland, OH. Black peace activist 50 years; arrested 1943 sit-in; first Freedom Ride Journey of Reconciliation 1947; co-founded war tax resistance Peacemakers, 1948; held record 60+ years war tax refusal; arrested, tried Philadelphia 1959; charges dropped.

  • 1925 Eva Kollisch born Vienna, Austria. American poet and professor of comparative literature. Feminist lesbian peace activist; anti-Stalinist Marxist Trotskyite. Escaped Germany in Childrens’ Transport, 1940. Arrested for anti-Vietnam protests. Received Clara Lemlich Award for Social Activism, 2016.

  • 1960 Naomi Wallace born Prospect, KY. American playwright, poet and professor; peace activist; “The Fever Chart: Three Versions of the Middle East” (2008) exposes the cruelty of Palestine’s occupation and Iraq War; Women’s Boat for Gaza 2016.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1907 Pacifist Clara Zetkin elected Secretary of International Socialist Women, at Stuttgart.

  • 1917 Six suffragettes arrested and sentenced to 60 days, Occoquan Workhouse, without presidential pardon.

  • 1982 Anti-Apartheid activist Ruth First killed by letter bomb, Maputo, Mozambique.

  • 1991 German women formed peace network Women’s Action Scheherazade to protest Iraq War.

  • 1992 Paulette Blair and Carolyn Holmberg arrested Boyd County NB protest against low-level nuclear dump.

  • 2011 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) faulted US protection against domestic violence in Gonzalez case.

  • 2012 FEMEN women cut down cross in Kiev to support Pussy Riot protests in Russia.

  • 2015: 470 Women of Zabadani, Syria demanded “Stop the Violence!”