Margaret Cole

Overview

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Margaret Postgate Cole born Cambridge, England May 6, 1893 (d. 1980). British pacifist poet; leading Fabian Socialist; feminist. Opposed World War I; promoted conscientious objection.

Quotations

Today, as I rode by,
I saw the brown leaves dropping from their tree
In a still afternoon,
When no wind whirled them whistling to the sky,
But thickly, silently,
They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon;
And wandered slowly thence
For thinking of a gallant multitude
Which now all withering lay,
Slain by no wind of age or pestilence,
But in their beauty strewed

Like snowflakes falling on the Flemish clay.

(“The Falling Leaves”, Nov. 1915; photo Spartacus)

Anne Cobden-Sanderson

Overview

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Anne Cobden-Sanderson born London, England March 26, 1853 (d. 1926). British suffragist; socialist. Early WILPF leader. Arrested for suffrage protest, 1906; served one month of two-month sentence at Holloway Prison. Arrested again, 1909, 1910. Co-founded Women’s Tax Resistance League, 1909. Signed women pacifist friendship to German women, 1917. Opposed World War I.

Quotations

We have talked so much for the Cause now let us suffer for it. . . I am a law breaker because I want to be a law maker.” (at trial, Oct. 1909; photo Spartacus.com)

Helen Chenevix

Overview

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Helen Chenevix born Blackrock, Ireland November 13, 1886 (d. 1963). Irish suffragist, Quaker, and trade union leader. Worked for world peace and nuclear disarmament with partner Louie Bennett in WILPF, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Irish Pacifist League. Gave refuge to Jews, 1937; postwar vice president of Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. (photo with Louie Bennett, wikicommons)

Queen Charlotte of Great Britain

Overview

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Queen Charlotte of Great Britain born Lower Castle, Mirow, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Germany May 19, 1744 (d. 1818). German princess; amateur botanist and patron of Handel and Mozart. George III married her because of her peace appeal to Frederick II the Great, 1761.

Quotations

I know Sire, that it seems unbecoming in my sex, in this age of viscous refinement, to feel for one’s country, to lament the horrors of war, or to wish for the return of peace. . . but however unbecoming it may be in me, I cannot resist the desire of interceding for this unhappy people. It was but a few years ago that this territory wore the more pleasing appearance; the country was cultivated, the peasants looked cheerful, and the towns abounded with riches and festivity. What an alteration at present from such a charming scene! . . . sure even conquerors themselves would weep at the hideous prospect now before me. The whole country, my dear country, lies one frightful waste, presenting only objects to excite pity, terror, and despair. The business of the husbandman and the shepherd is quite discontinued; the husbandman and shepherd are become soldiers themselves, and help to ravage the soil they formerly occupied.” (History of Royal Women [potentially forged statement]; photo allemannia)

Mary S. Calderone

Overview

Mary Steichen Calderone born Paris, France July 1, 1904 (d. 1998). Quaker Medical Director of Planned Parenthood 1953; founded SIECUS Sex Info & Education 1964; American pioneer in sex education; lifelong absolute pacifist.

Quotations

"One hardly thinks of Friends, men or women, as revolutionaries and, in truth, their outer demeanor, comportment, and life style have tended to be quite conservative. But on major social issues—slavery, peace, alternative service during war, religious ecumenicism, racial equality—on such issues Quaker concern and conscience come on strong. Quaker voices are usually heard loud and clear ‘speaking truth to power.’" (Friends General Conference, "Friends and Womankind," 1996; photo Wikipedia)

Micheline Calmy-Rey

Overview

Micheline Calmy-Rey born Chermignon, Sion, Valais July 8, 1945. First woman Swiss Foreign Minister 2003, second female President 2007; Social Democrat; member Council of Women World Leaders; co-author of UN report on "The Future We Want", Global Sustainablility 2012.

Quotations

"[F]or the majority of conflicts, the most sustainable solution is a negotiated one rather than a military victory. And for the international community it makes more sense and is more cost effective to invest in the mediation and prevention of conflicts rather than in expensive and difficult peacekeeping operations." (UN General Assembly, Sept. 21, 2011; photo de.Wikipedia)

Marcelle Capy

Overview

Marcelle Capy (née Marques) born Cherbourg, France March 16, 1891 (d. 1962). French journalist and public speaker. Founded anti-war feminist weekly La Vague, 1916.

Quotations

“Hang that bestiality which awakened screaming in the flesh of Europeans who thought they were civilized. We, the women, have learned, that all that horror which made us suffer, we express our disgust at the brutality.” (A Voice of a Woman in the Melee; photo literature.dk)

Janet Case

Overview

Janet Case born Hampstead, London, England July 28, 1863 (d. 1937). Classical scholar and teacher at Girton College, Cambridge. Pacifist; joined antiwar Peace Pledge Union prior to WWII. Friend of Virginia Woolf, who called her “a rare humanist.” Related strong women like Antigone and Clystemnestra to contemporary politics of suffrage and war.

Quotations

Aeschylus gives his women brains as well as hearts. He believes in women.” (“Women in the Plays of Aeschylus”, 1914; photo theamericanreader.com)

Elsa Cedergren

Overview

Elsa Cedergren (née Bernadotte) born Stockholm, Sweden August 3, 1893 (d. 1996). Quaker granddaughter of Swedish King Oscar II; leader of Action Group against Swedish Nuclear Bomb; head of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), the international association of Quakers 1959-61; the first worldwide meeting of FWCC in Africa, Nairobi 1961.

Quotations

"[T]he Christian Church must admit its failure in promoting brotherhood and peace." (Stockholm, May 19, 1948, Toledo Blade; photo agefotostock.com)

Laura Ormiston Chant

Overview

Laura Ormiston Chant (née Dibbin) born Woolaston, Gloucestershire, England October 9, 1849 (d. 1923). English suffragist, social reformer, poet, and author. First woman vice-president of Peace Society, 1889. Undertook relief work in Bulgaria for Armenian refugees, 1894-96. Led Red Cross nurses in Greek war on Crete, 1897. Opposed toy soldiers, arguing for peace education in the nursery.

Quotations

[I] could not imagine a mother looking on placidly at the number of men who were trained in the world for no other purpose than to be run through with bayonets.” (Journal of IAPA, July 31, 1885, in Heloise Brown, Truest form of Patriotism, p. 127; photo fineartamerica.com)

Monique Chemillier-Gendreau

Overview

Monique Chemillier-Gendreau born Antananarivo, Madagascar April 14, 1935. French jurist, professor of international law; numerous cases at World Court; sponsor of Russell Tribunal on Palestine; critical of US violation of international law in Vietnam agent orange, Iraq, Kosovo, Guantanamo.

Quotations

The march toward catastrophe and the climb toward the apocalypse are not projections of depressed souls. The burden of militarization of all societies is a reality. The development of world industry is oriented toward preparation for war, and not for peace or for the welfare of its peoples.” (De la Guerre; photo youtube.com)

Ada Nield Chew

Overview

Ada Nield Chew born Audley, Staffordshire, England January 28, 1870 (d. 1945). Suffragist leader; labor organizer; radical feminist; pacifist. Opposed to World War I. Tried to attend Hague Women's Peace Congress, 1915; founding member of WILPF.

Quotations

On her pro-war colleagues: “The militant section of the movement. . . would without doubt place itself in the trenches quite cheerfully, if allowed. It is now. . . demanding, with all its usual pomp and circumstance of banner and procession, its share in the war. This is an entirely logical attitude and strictly in line with its attitude before the war. It always glorified the power of the primitive knock on the nose in preference to the more humane appeal to reason.” (Cotton Factory Times, March 9, 1917; photo Wikipedia)

Christine Chinkin

Overview

Christine Chinkin born Kent, England March 27, 1949. Professor of international law, London School of Economics. Presided as judge of Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal, Tokyo, 2000. Member of UN Human Rights Council Gaza Fact-Finding Mission, 2009; member of UN Kosovo Human Rights Advisory Panel, 2010-present.

Quotations

Confining women for the sole purpose of sexual service at the bidding of military personnel deprives them of the rights of ownership to their bodies, the embodiment of slavery.” (“Toward the Tokyo Tribunal 2000”, iccwomen.org; photo iuscogens)

Louise Christian

Overview

Louise Christian born Oxford, England May 22, 1952. British solicitor who defended Guantanamo prisoner; leader of Stop the War Coalition 2001.

Quotations

We cannot stand by as innocent bystanders, there is no such thing as an innocent bystander when it comes to torture and abuse—we all have a responsibility.” (Innovative Minds, March 15, 2008)

On the Afghan war: "They are claiming justification under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which is self-defence. But there were no people from Afghanistan involved in what happened on 11 September. There is no justification in international law. . . All we have achieved in Afghanistan is to replace the Taliban with gangs of warlords who have no legitimacy and who are fighting amongst themselves.” (Independent, Nov. 19, 2001; photo thejusticegap.com)

Christina, Queen of Sweden

Overview

Queen Christina Vasa of Sweden born Stockholm December 8, 1626 (d. 1689). Patron of the father of international law, Hugo Grotius; major influence on Peace of Westphalia, which ended Thirty Years War, 1648; held Swedish throne, 1644-53; student of Islam.

Quotations

"If we let God act within us, how good it would be. . . What miracles would God not work within us and outside of us!" (Maxims cited by Tracy Marks; Bourdin port. In Swe Nat. Gal. pd)

Helen Bright Clark

Overview

Helen Bright Clark born Rochdale, Lancashire, England October 10, 1840 (d. 1927). Pioneering British women’s rights activist; suffragist. Quaker absolute pacifist. Raised two peacemaker daughters, Hilda and Alice. Founding member of anti-racist Society for the Furtherance of Human Brotherhood. Active in Aborigines' Protection Society. Decried Boer War as “a measureless calamity”; opposed WWI. Early signator of Open Christmas Letter to German women peace appeal, 1915. Served on committee for Hague Women's Peace Congress, 1915. Argued that suffrage would promote peace.

Quotations

And so far as the question of peace or war is to the front, we must all admit that overrides every other, for it carries the fate of every other question with it: and any government, or any party, that will keep the question of peace permanently unsettled, will succeed in stifling discussion and checking progress.” (Jan. 29, 1879, Bristol; photo ancestry.com)