Betty Polster

Overview

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Elizabeth “Betty” Polster  (née Henshaw) born PA February 28, 1925 (d. 2015).  Quaker pacifist; war tax refuser. National President WILPF, 1965-69. Moved to Canadian Argenta Quaker refuge for conscientious objectors in Vietnam War protest, 1967; attended Selma March with personal friend Martin Luther King, Jr. Active in Canadian Voice of Women (VOW); co-clerk of Canadian Friends Yearly Meeting. Principal, Argenta Friends School, 1970-80.

Quotations

“Those who protest government policies which involve us in war, which one believes to be wrong, are not cowards or anti-American–but are preserving our democracy.” (Oct. 1965, Beth Taylor, Excepts from Plain Language;  photo Legacy.com)

Penny Patch

Overview

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Penelope “Penny” Patch born Manhattan, NY December 30, 1943. Civil rights worker, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), 1962-65. First white woman to work for southern voter registration, often arrested. First arrested in Maryland sit-in, 1962; took part in anti-war protests Berkeley, 1965.

Quotations

Intangible Implications of our aims and our work. . . I see it as the opening of doors to people who have always seen closed doors, seen them so much and for so long that they don't see the doors any longer.” (National Guardian, Feb. 28, 1963)

[A]ll people, however powerless they might seem, carry within themselves the ability to make great change.” (Deep in Our Hearts, p. 166; photo sistermentors)

Betty Peterson

Overview

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Betty Peterson (née Farber) born Reading, PA November 27, 1917 (d. 2018). Canadian Quaker peace activist. Conscientious objector, WWI; protested Hiroshima. Moved to Canada after Vietnam War protests, 1975. Leader of Nova Scotia Voice for Peace; organized Women’s Peace Petition of 250,000, 1981. Wore t-shirt with 60 peace buttons on New York march against nuclear weapons, 1982. Protested NATO Brussels; Greenham Common; supported Innu women’s protest, Labrador, 1987. Held 88-day peace vigil against Gulf War, Halifax Library, 1990.

Quotations

Keep on keeping on. It helps you to keep your sanity, and it gives other people hope and calls them into action.” (Globe and Mail, Mar. 16, 2018; photo women social activists)

Maysoon Pachachi

Overview

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Maysoon Pachachi born Washington DC September 17, 1947. Co-founded Act Together: Women Against Sanctions and War with Iraq, 2000. Film director and editor; documented Iraq occupation and the Algerian war.

Quotations

What people needed was justice, but they got revenge and that creates more violence.” (Financial Times, March 12, 2013)

"I think there's a difference between being an optimist and having hope. And you can't lose hope." (quote and photo The Guardian, April 30, 2009)

Grace Paley

Overview

Grace Paley born Bronx, NY December 11, 1922 (d. 2007). Pacifist author and professor; "combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist"; held one of the first meetings opposing Vietnam War in Greenwich Village; led seven-year vigil against war; peace visit to Hanoi, 1969; arrested at White House, 1978; organized Women & Life on Earth Conference, 1980; Pentagon Protest, 1980; opposed draft, nuclear weapons, Apartheid, central American intervention.

Quotations

"The education in nonviolent direct action couldn’t have been learned without a war. It had to take a war for people to learn that things could be defied and resisted. I think that was a very important legacy of the peace movement." (Nonviolent Activist March 2000; photo http://bit.ly/wRrt44)

Esther Pank

Overview

Esther Pank (née Sylar) born February 6, 1935 (d. 2010). Organized against nuclear arms; facilitated workshops on nonviolent civil disobedience; director of National Peace Foundation's Eurasian Leadership Program. Led movement which closed nuclear power plant Shoreham, New York; arrested in Vietnam War protest St. Patrick's Cathedral, 1974; received War Resisters League 29th Annual Peace Award, 1990.

Margaret Papandreou

Overview

Margarita Papandreou (née Margaret Chant) born Oak Park, IL September 22, 1930. Greek first lady. Organized international feminist anti-war conference Athens Nov. 1986; contributed to end of Cold War by visit to USSR 1987; democratic Socialist.

Quotations

Women are not at the peace table. We are not there where our commitment to peace, our capacities to find solutions through dialogue, debate, our sensitivities to human needs, human rights are sorely needed. . . The feminist movement has a vision. We understand, first of all, that we have but one earth, shared by one humanity. . . . we will make it a woman’s world, not in the sense of control, or power, or dominance, but those values that we call women-centered values, will be diffused throughout society.” (“Feminism and Political Power,” Canadian Women Studies, 1987, vol. 8, no. 2, p.82; photo y3sman.wordpress)

Therese Paquet-Sevigny

Overview

Thérèse Paquet-Sévigny born Quebec, Canada March 3, 1939. Canadian journalist. First female UN Undersecretary, for Public Information, 1987-91.

Quotations

“The notion of peace is much more than the absence of war. When the United Nations was founded, the allies were committed to the idea that to create real peace, understanding and solidarity had to be built between the nations of the world, and this could only be achieved by an informed public. Whoever speaks of peace has to speak of mutual understanding, of dialogue, and obviously of information and communication.” (International Affairs, 1990, p.46; photo ACNU)

Alice Locke Park

Overview

Alice Locke Park born Boston, MA February 3, 1861 (d. 1961). Absolute pacifist; opposed Spanish-American War; quit Unitarian society over its failure to oppose World War I. Delegate to International Women's Congress for Peace and Freedom, the Hague, 1915; member of Ford Peace Expedition, 1915; leader of WILPF. Founded Palo Alto Women's Peace Party, 1915. Her poem "Disarm Christmas" opposed the giving of war toys.

Quotations

"Because war will interrupt the regular suffrage work, as war has for long done in other cases, is no reason why we should turn aside from our chosen work and take up other work." (letter to Carrie Chapman Catt, Feb. 17, 1917, in Bolt, Women's Movements, p. 246)

Rosa Parks

Overview

Rosa Parks (née McCauley) born Tuskegee, AL February 4, 1913 (d. 2005). Described by the US Congress as, "the mother of the freedom movement." Initiated Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusal to surrender seat to a white passenger, 1955.

Quotations

"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear." (1955 photo, Wikipedia)

Irene Marryat Parlby

Overview

Irene Marryat Parlby born London, England January 9, 1868 (d. 1965). Canadian delegate to League of Nations, 1930; one of the Famous Five, a group of women who greatly impacted women's rights in Canada.

Quotations

"Evolution cannot be brought about by the use of dynamite." (Status of Women Canada, www.swc-cfc.gc.ca; photo http://bit.ly/xt2Cfc)

Elsie Clews Parsons

Overview

Elsie Clews Parsons born New York, NY November 27, 1875 (d. 1941). American anthropologist and sociologist; self-styled “militant pacifist,” publicly opposed World War I, as member of Women’s Peace Party. Leader of American League to Limit Armaments, 1915. Feminist member of Heterodoxy Club; co-founder New School.

Quotations

One may be a nonresistant in war because of a very passionate resistance against adding to the pain and suffering of the world.” (New York Tribune, Jan. 22, 1918; photo Spartacus-educational.com)

Susan Partnow

Overview

Susan Partnow born Los Angeles, CA February 20, 1947. Speech pathologist; peace activist; mediator; co-founded Families for Peace, Seattle, 1983-1990, citizen diplomat Middle East Listening Project, 1992, Peace Trees Vietnam, 1998; compassionate listening project.

Quotations

It is within the families themselves where peace can begin. If families can learn to respect their members, and deal with conflict resolution, that would be the first step to keeping peace on a global level.” (Puget Sound Consumers Coop Newsletter, Spring 1986; photo engagingptresence.org)

Abby Hutchinson Patton

Overview

Abby Hutchinson Patton born Milford, NH August 29, 1829 (d. 1892). Singer for peace, abolition and women's rights; poet and member of famous troupe of itinerant singers, song "Kind Words Can Never Die" (1855).

Quotations

"Man's life on this earth is so short that he needs not war to hasten his own or his neighbor's destruction. In this age of enlightenment nations should go to war no more." (A Handful of Pebbles, p. 37, 1891; portrait by Frank Carpenter, coolohio.com)

Alexandra Paul

Overview

Alexandra Paul born Manhattan, NY July 29, 1963. American actress and athlete, twice arrested for civil disobedience in protest against Iraq War; jailed 5 days; dozen arrests for peaceful protest at Nevada Test Site; Great Peace March for global nuclear disarmament across US 1986; sponsored aid to South Africa and Guatemala.

Quotations

"Civil disobedience is done as a last resort, because someone feels so strongly about something, they are willing to get arrested for their beliefs." (June 11, 2003 trial, on website; photo PBS)

Alice Paul

Overview

Alice Paul born Laurel Hill, NJ January 11, 1886 (d. 1977). Quaker pacifist; suffragist; member of the National Women's Suffrage Association; later founded National Woman’s Party, 1913; organized first nonviolent pickets of the White House, 1917.

Quotations

"Well, I think that we feel that we ought to continue and I feel that we will continue."(June 1917, when threatened with arrest, A. Fry interview, Dec. 24-26, 1972; 1920 photo Wikipedia)

Sita Akka Paulickpulle

Overview

Sita Akka Paulickpulle born Sri Lanka August 15, 1908 (d. 2003). American nurse and teacher. Peace poet at Washington Peace Center; protested against war at White House.

Quotations

Should not all religious, worldwide, unite to happily live together,
As loving sister, brother? Ensure no nation indulges any war activity!
All truly religious, worldwide, realize people must love, never kill another—
When all nations live happily together, humanity will surely be war free!

(photo prop1.org/sita/index.html)

Ava Helen Pauling

Overview

Ava Helen Pauling (née Miller) born Beavercreek, OR December 25, 1903 (d. 1981). American pacifist speaker and organizer; anti-nuclear advocate. Three-time national vice-president of WILPF. Founding member, Women Strike for Peace, 1961. Honorary chairwoman, Women Act for Disarmament. Introduced her chemist husband Linus Pauling to peace advocacy, for which he won his second Nobel Prize, 1962. Opposed internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. Spoke against Cold War militarism.

Quotations

Say NO to the war in Cambodia
NO to the war in Vietnam
...NO to imperialism
NO to Pentagonism
Let us fight the real enemies of mankind.
Hunger, disease, poverty, illiteracy, discrimination, and exploitation.”

(San Diego City College, May 14, 1970, in Mina Carson, Ava Helen Pauling, p. 166)

No woman wants to be put up on a pedestal, where she can be easily ignored and neglected... She wants to be taking and doing her part in the affairs of the world with her feet on the ground and sharing in and contributing to the life around her.” (paulingblog, July 25, 2012; photo scarc.library.oregonstate.edu)