October 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1917 Marsha Hunt born Chicago, IL. Actress; internationalist; leader of UN Association; protested House Un-American Activities, 1947; blacklisted despite lack of any communist association.

  • 1927 Corinne Willinger born Bronx, NY. Granny for peace whose 78th birthday present was protest at NY recruitment center 2005; led war toy protest at Toys-R-Us New York 2006.

  • 1929 Nirmala Deshpande born Nagpur, Maharashtra, India (d. 2008). Gandhian social reformer; author; member of Indian Parliament, 1997-99, 2004-08. Joined Vinoba Bhave's Bhoodan land reform movement, 1952; embarked upon 24,000-mile padayatra ("journey on foot") to spread Gandhi's message; led peace marches in Punjab and Kashmir; honored by both Pakistan and India for peace efforts. Led nonviolent peace effort on Tibet, 1997; created Gandhi Peace Center Kingsway Camp, Delhi, 2004; Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1945 Graca Machel born Incadine, Mozambique. Spearheaded UN report on child soldiers, 1996.

  • 1948 Ellen Margrethe Loj born Godesby, Denmark. Danish peacemaker; delegate to UN, 2001-7; ambassador to Israel, 1987-92; UN Special Representative to Liberia, 2007.

  • 1948 Diane Wilson born Spindrift, TX. Shrimp fishing captain; self-styled "eco-outlaw"; Vietnam-veteran medic. Began environmental protests, 1998; protest fast against Bhopal leak; arrested for posting banner on Dow Chemical tower, sentenced to 120 days jail, 2002; co-founder of Code Pink, protest against Iraq War; protest US Senate, BP meeting London, 2010.

  • 1973 Kshama Sawant born Pune, India. American social activist; economics professor. Socialist member of Seattle City Council, 2014-present.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 2002 Prof. Barbara Wien forced to resign from US Institute of Peace for advising against military response to 9/11.

  • 2002 Women of International Women’s Peace Service nonviolently interposed themselves between armed settlers of Tapuach and unarmed Palestinians.

  • 2005 Granny Peace Brigade founded. Eighteen grandmothers tried to enlist, Times Square. "We will not be silent."

  • 2010 1,700 women led by First Lady Olive Kabila marched against war rape, Bukava, Congo.

  • 2011 Tibetan Buddhist nun Tenzin Wangmo, 20, immolated herself.

  • 2012 Nasrin Sotoudeh fasted 49 days in prison thru December.

  • 2013 Mi’kmaq First Nation woman Annie Clair was arrested for chaining herself to fracking equipment, Elsipogtog, New Brunswick.