Sinéad O'Connor

Overview

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Sinéad O’Connor born Glenageary, Dublin, Ireland December 8, 1966. Irish singer and songwriter; militant pacifist. Advocated for peaceful union of Ireland; gave benefits for victims of Iraq War.

Quotations

Nothing born of violence can succeed. Let's be one country.” (Irish News, Mar. 28, 2015)

On U.S. War on Terror: “I understand entirely why people would want to fight back. But I don’t think it actually achieves anything. It doesn’t bring back your lost people.” (Sinéad O’Connor’s Religion and Political Views, Hollowverse)

A no brute force do it.
Your weapons can't do it
So hear this!
Throw down your arms and come,
Throw down your arms and come,
Throw down your arms and come,
Drop them
Put them away to stay.

(“Throw Down Your Arms” 2005; photo alternativenation.net)

Hagar Olsson

Overview

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Hagar Olsson born Kustavi (Gustafs), Finland, Russia September 16, 1893 (d. 1978). Finnish-Swedish pacifist playwright, editor, and novelist. Pan-European cosmopolitan. Her play “S. O. S.” told the story of an arms manufacturer converting to pacifism, 1929; antiwar piece “Lumisola” (“Snowball War”) was banned, 1940.

Quotations

[Peace is] a destructive fire that will burn down the evil by the root. It is not directed towards specific political conditions. [Peace] aims at reshaping the whole of society like it reshapes each individual. . . For individuals, peace means awakening, conversion and a great mission: We are the soldiers and the missioners [of peace]. We have gone to the world like crusaders, not to rob graves but to win life." (“S. O. S.”, Mikko-Olavi Seppälä, p. 44; photo Wikipedia)

Violet Oakley

Overview

Violet Oakley born Jersey City, NJ June 10, 1874 (d. 1962). American artist. First woman to create a major mural, for the Pennsylvania state house, reflecting her own pacifist ideals, 1906. It depicted Quaker founders George Fox and William Penn, the Quaker peace with the Indians, ransoming slaves, and “International Unity and Understanding,” showing swords beaten into plowshares. Made peace mission to the League of Nations, where she painted portraits of founders, Geneva; did same for UN. Wrote tribute to her friend Jane Addams.

Quotations

"[My life is a] pilgrimage of a painter seeking peace."

Here beginneth the legend of peace. . . Touch not mine anointed.” (caption of mural showing white couple protected from Indian violence; c. 1900 self-portrait explorePAhistory.com)

Thoraya Obaid

Overview

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid born Baghdad, Iraq March 2, 1945. Saudi Arabian Director of UN Population Fund, 2001-10. Began first women’s development program in Western Asia, 1975.

Quotations

"Increased political will is needed to ensure that women and girls receive real protection from sexual violence and abuse in their homes and communities.” (UN Security Council, Oct. 28, 2004)

When women and girls suffer deep discrimination, they are more vulnerable to the worst effects of disaster or war, including rape and less likely to contribute to peacebuilding, which threatens long-term recovery.” (State of World Population, 2010; photo UNFPA)

Patricia O’Brien

Overview

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Patricia O’Brien born Brunei February 8, 1957. Lawyer and law professor. First woman to serve as UN Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs, 2008-13. Ambassador of Irish mission to UN Geneva, 2013-current.

Quotations

We are now truly in an age of accountability. . . The beginning of the end of impunity has begun.  No one is above the law. Leaders will be held accountable—this is a relatively new concept in terms of its implementation.  Sovereignty as a barricade to international criminal justice is gone.  And finally, there can be no sustainable peace without justice.” (UN News Centre, Aug. 19, 2013; photo Geneva Gender Champions)

Victoria Ocampo

Overview

Victoria Ocampo born Buenos Aires, Argentina April 7, 1890 (d. 1979). Argentine writer and intellectual leader; feminist. Friend of Gabriela Mistral, with whom she shared a birthday. Adopted Gandhi’s example of nonviolence, 1924. Called on women to vow to overthrow patriarchal violence by ahimsa (soul-force). Imprisoned for opposition to Perón regime for four weeks, 1953.

Quotations

I believe that by educating the child, that is, the man of tomorrow, woman can change the face of the world. And since up to the present date, 1977, man has failed in his attempts at peace, each minute becomes more urgent.” (Doris Meyer, Victoria Ocampo: Against the Wind and the Tide, 1979; photo danassaya.wordpress)

Maura O'Connell

Overview

Maura O'Connell born Ennis, County Clare September 16, 1958. Irish singer at Music for Peace concert Nashville Peace & Justice Center 2003.

Quotations

if we get another shot—
better try to aim a little higher.
it's gonna take a lot of thought
but we can't keep fighting fire with fire!

when guns of love are brought in to battle
the nights will burn like never before.
pride will fall.
foundations rattle.
when guns of love
put an end to war.
("Guns of Love")

"I got my first e-mail today, saying I shouldn't support the Peace and Justice Center, and I said, 'Should I be supporting the Bombing and Injustice Center?' That wasn't in the Yellow Pages." (CMT, March 13, 2003; 2006 photo wikicom pd)

Jessie Lloyd O'Connor

Overview

Jessie Lloyd O'Connor born Winnetka, IL February 14, 1904 (d. 1988). Daughter of WILPFfounding member Lola Maverick Lloyd. Journalist; social activist; second-generation WILPF member; lifelong pacifist. Traveled aboard Henry Ford Peace as child, 1915; delegate to People's World Constitutional Convention, 1950. Active and vocal opponent of HUAC, the Vietnam War, and Cold War militarism.

Quotations

On her decision to perform war relief during WWII: "I was torn. I didn’t really believe in war, and on the other hand I wouldn’t really oppose the war against Hitler." (http://bit.ly/IPeHxr)

"We have passed the ball of evil back and forth without a rest;
Love would be a shock absorber, but we have never made the test;
We did everything for Jesus save to follow his behest,
And war goes marching on."
("Hymn for the Atomic Age," to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic," quoted in Harvey and Jessie, p. 211; photo http://bit.ly/IBCWl2)

Caroline Love Goodwin O'Day

Overview

Caroline Love Goodwin O'Day born Perry, GA June 22, 1869 (d. 1943). Pacifist Representative from New York (Rye) 1934-1943; opposed both World Wars, and draft; member of WILPF; social worker and friend of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Quotations

"As mothers whose sons would be obliged to go to war; as women who, with the children, would remain at home to be the victims of air raids and bombing of cities, we should have the right to vote against it [the draft], and express our desire for peace." (Washington Post, July 15, 1937; photo Wikipedia)

Odetta

Overview

Odetta (née Holmes) born Birmingham, AL December 31, 1930 (d. 2008). African-American folk musician for peace and civil rights; known as "the voice of the civil rights movement." Opposed Vietnam War.

Quotations

"What is there left to be bombed except for civilians, many of which will be children. . . If there is an evil, it's on both sides of power." (Chicago Tribune, March 14, 2003)

Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me
And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in my grave.

(photo soulbounce.com wiki)

Elizabeth Odio Benito

Overview

Elizabeth Odio Benito born Punta Arenas, Costa Rica September 15, 1939 (d. 1993). International justice and human rights defender; Yugoslav War Crimes tribunal 1993-98; vice-president International Criminal Court 2003; instrumental in ruling that rape is torture; judge in conviction of Thomas Lubanga for war crime of recruiting child soldiers 2012.

Quotations

"After this tribunal, no single war criminal can say, 'I did not know that rape was not allowed in war.'" (June 1996, in New York Times, Jan. 10, 1999; photo world-citizenship.org)

Sadako Ogata

Overview

Sadako Ogata born Tokyo, Japan September 16, 1927. Diplomat and Professor of International Relations; UN High Commissioner for Refugees 1992-2001; Japan's International Cooperation Agency 2003-12; Asian Nobel prize Magsaysay Award for peace and international understanding 1997; Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2001.

Quotations

"Women are also crucial to building peace and making the transition to sustainable development. In fact, women are often the first to build bridges across divided communities and to work toward co-existence and reconciliation." (Geneva, Nov. 29, 2000; 1993 photo Johns Hopkins)

Kemi Ogunsanya

Overview

Kemi Ogunsanya born Lagos, Nigeria March 1, 1930. Conflict prevention and mitigation adviser at African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), working in Burundi, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda and the Congo.

Quotations

African women are now involved in politics and distinguished by their positive contributions to peace-making and peace-building.” (“Qualifying Women’s Leadership in Africa”, Conflict Trends, 2007; photo Gender, Peace & Security Hub)

Kate Richards O'Hare

Overview

Kate Richards O'Hare born Ada, KS March 26, 1877 (d. 1948). Socialist leader; prison reformer. First major protester against World War I; her antiwar activities resulted in her receiving a 5-year prison term, of which she served 14 months. Organized Children’s Crusade, a march on Washington DC to demand amnesty for war resisters, 1922.

Quotations

“We Socialists knew the relation of profits to war and we insisted on telling the truth about it. We talked war and profits, war and profits, war and profits until the administration was compelled, in sheer self-defense to attempt to squelch us.” (Appeal to Reason, Jul. 24, 1920; photo LibraryThing from Library of Congress)

Hiro Ohashi

Overview

Hiro Ohashi born Japan February 1, 1882 (d. 1973). Japanese botanist. Delegate to Fourth WILPF congress, Washington DC, 1924. President, Japan Women’s University, 1947-56.

Quotations

It is the general trend of the world today to establish a world community by forgetting the difference of customs, environments, and colors, to promote the happiness of mankind.” (“Speech to Young People”, Report of Fourth WILPF Congress, 1924, p. 123; photo jwu.ac.jp)

Gedong Bagus Oka

Overview

Gedong Bagus Oka (née Ni Wayan Gedong) born Kangasem, Bali, Dutch East Indies October 3, 1921 (d. 2002). Balinese Hindu leader. Gandhian philosopher of nonviolence and truth. Member of Indonesian Parliament, 1968, 1999. Founded Gandhian ashram Canti Sena, 1970. Awarded Gandhian Jamnalal Bajaj Prize, 1994.

Quotations

For Gandhiji ahimsa and active, pure love were interchangeable terms.” (Baidyanath Saraswati, ed., Cultural Dimensions of Education, 1998, p. 26; photo snipview.com)

Margo Okazawa-Rey

Overview

Margo Okazawa-Rey born Kobe, Japan November 26, 1945. American social worker; professor; co-founded International Network of Women Against Militarism; protested Roxbury killings 1979; co-founded Combalee River Collective of Black feminists.

Quotations

I am firmly convinced that we—those who care, those who struggle for a just peace—should give the last word to LOVE, understanding that its most generative expression is the struggle for justice. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has told us, justice is what love looks like in practice. As activists struggling for social and ecological justice, we must love as we DO: love the work, love the ideas and values that frame the work, and above all love the people we work with and humanity itself.” (Syracuse Peace Council, May 2015; photo Hamilton college)

Sybil Oldfield

Overview

Sybil Oldfield (née Mence) born London, England April 28, 1938. British professor; biographer of women peacemakers. Active in Committee for Nuclear Disarmament, 1968-present; member of WILPF, 1978-present.

Quotations

We do need a disarmament race worldwide; we do need an effective, impartial, and therefore respected international UN policing force. Perhaps we should not withhold aid but rather give to the subjects of dictatorship, acting on the basic principle of fellow humanity, instead of punishing the victims for the crimes of their rulers.” (‘Thinking Against the Current’, p. 123; photo sussex.ac.uk)