Lynda Van Devanter

Overview

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Lynda Van Devanter born Arlington County, VA May 27, 1947 (d. 2002). Army nurse; protested Vietnam War by Thanksgiving Day fast at Peiku Hospital, 1969. Founded Women’s Project of Vietnam Veterans, 1979. Died of Agent Orange exposure, 2002.

Quotations

When each new woman tells me she's made her peace with Vietnam, I know I've helped in some small way.” (encyclopedia.com; photo Country Joe Macdonald)

Angela Vallina

Overview

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Ángela Vallina de la Noval born Castrillon, Asturias, Spain July 6, 1959. Spanish political activist. Mayor of Castrillon, 2003-14. Left representative of European Parliament on mission to Palestine, 2014. Opposed Colombia joining NATO. Sailed with Boat to Gaza; protested Israeli Gaza killings, 2018.

Quotations

How far does ethnic cleansing in Gaza have to go for the EU to act?” (contrainformacion, May 20, 2018)

Colombia needs peace agreements to be implemented without destabilizing foreign interference. The normalization of the situation by all parties involved. The EU, which contributes money in the process, must be a supporting actor. Peace belongs to all of us.” (twitter, May 30, 2018)

On migrants’ drowning: “Europe is doing everything wrong. The same Europe that created the wars and the conflicts these women, men and children have been escaping deprive the same persons of any rights once they reach Europe.” (derrysinnfein, Jun. 24, 2015; photo Wikipedia)

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard

Overview

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Mara Verheyden-Hilliard born Washington DC August 28, 1964. Civil rights attorney. Led opposition to Iraq War, 2002; defended nonviolent protests. Led protection of Venezuelan embassy from attempted coup, 2019.

Quotations

So while we’re faced with what is I think overt repression. . . we also are faced with the fact that there are millions of people who are engaging in political protest and political organizing who have never done so before, and that’s a force that really can’t be stopped.” (Partnership for Civil Justice, Aug. 1, 2017; photo justiceonline)

Maria Voce

Overview

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Maria Voce Emmaus born Aiello Calabro, Calabria, Italy July 16, 1937. Italian lawyer. Second head of global Focolare Movement, lay Catholic peace and humanitarian movement, 2008.

Quotations

The response to the ‘piecemeal world war’ is to build world peace ‘one piece at a time,’ through small steps, and concrete gestures. Everyone has a role to play. Everyone is responsible. . . reinventing peace means loving other countries as our own, loving other peoples, ethnicities and cultures as our own.” (to UNESCO, Paris, Nov. 15, 2016; photo asianews.it)

Elena Vacarescu

Overview

Elena Văcărescu born Bucharest September 21, 1864 (d. 1947). Romanian poet, author, and folklorist; first and only woman ambassador to League of Nations 1925-6 (interim 1922-4, 1926-39); delegate to two peace conferences 1919, 1945; co-founder UNESCO’s predecessor, International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation 1924 to promote intellectual cooperation, human rights, disarmament, collective security, and peaceful settlement; two-time laureate of French Academy.

Quotations

"After losing our best officers and bravest soldiers, we at last became masters of the place, but when weary and haggard, mere wrecks of humanity, we tried to regain our encampments, we had to wade through a lake of blood in which corpses lay thick under the starlit sky." (her father’s account of 1877 Battle of Plevna, Kings and Queens I Have Known, p. 150, 1904; photo Wikipedia)

Hedi Vaccaro Frehner

Overview

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Hedi Vaccaro Frehner born near Zürich, Switzerland January 1, 1926 (d. 2014). Italian peace activist; mathematician; founding head Italian Fellowship of Reconciliation 1962ff.; won National Prize for Culture of Peace 1992; long fast against India-Pakistan War 1972; opposed Vietnam War, nuclear missiles, conscription.

Quotations

"I've always felt that my life was guided; No, I've never had to choose. When I did act, I acted because I understood within me that those were the right things to do. My life was not the result of a rational, predetermined path.” (quote and photo “Movimento Internazionale della Riconciliazione 60th anniversary)

Mathilde Vaerting

Overview

Mathilde Themis Vaerting born Messingen, Lower Saxony, Germany January 10, 1884 (d. 1977). German professor of education; psychologist; authority on gender differences. Showed that dominance by either sex could cause war; fired and banned by Nazis, 1933.

Quotations

The more power-free interaction is interspersed in a people, the greater is its tendency to cooperate with other peoples, and its ability to achieve peace.” (“The Structure of the Peaceful Human”, 1933, p.8)

It is absolutely essential that humanity should discover ways and means for the permanent realisation of the ideal of sex equality, and for the permanent prevention of either type of monosexual dominance.” (The Dominant Sex, 1923, p. 268; photo Danish Peace Academy)

Urvashi Vaid

Overview

Urvashi Vaid born New Delhi, India October 8, 1958. Attorney; human rights advocate; gay rights leader; ACLU lawyer; anti-Apartheid leader; co-founder of New Yorkers Say No to War, 2003; arrested at White House protest on abortion, 1992; opposed wars in Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan.

Quotations

"9.11 resulted in a massive militarization of American society, the dramatic re-orientation of fiscal priorities at the national level, cutbacks in domestic civil liberties and freedom, the launching of two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) so far, and the implementation of the new doctrine of 'pre-emptive' attack as one of our chief foreign policy strategies." (NE University, March 24, 2005; photo cuny clags)

Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier

Overview

Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier (née Vogel) born Paris, France November 3, 1912 (d. 1996). French Communist politican; photojournalist; Resistance heroine; arrested 1942, survived Auschwitz, Ravenbrück; Secretary General pacifist Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) 1946; opposed Vietnam War 1949, Algerian War, Korean War; witness at Nüremberg Trials.

Quotations

We know the anguish of American mothers who are losing their sons in this useless war. . . We ask you. . . to do everything possible to stop the war of extermination being conducted against the Korean people, while at the same time saving your own sons from destruction.” (Sept. 15, 1952 WIDF appeal; photo memoire vive)

Camila Vallejo Dowling

Overview

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Camila Vallejo Dowling born Santiago, Chile April 28, 1988. Chilean Communist student leader in 2011 nonviolent protests for education.

Quotations

"We don't want violence, our fight is not versus the police or to destroy commercial shops. . . Our fight is to recover the right to education, on that we have been emphatic and clear." (BrooWaha, Aug. 26, 2011; photo Wikipedia)

Jo Vallentine

Overview

Josephine “Jo” Vallentine born Perth, Australia May 30, 1946. Australian Quaker peace activist. Represented Nuclear Disarmament party in Senate, 1985-92. Arrested and jailed for Pine Gap protest, 1987; marched on Clark Air Base, Philippines, 1989. Co-founded Alternatives to Violence Project, 1994; made Peace Pilgrimage part of Anti-Nuclear Alliance, 1997; took part in Jabiluka campaign against uranium mine, 1998.

Quotations

Extraordinary circumstances like the threat of nuclear war require ordinary citizens to take extraordinary action.” (The Age, Oct. 19, 1987)

Thillaiyadi Valliammai

Overview

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Thillaiyadi Valliammai born Thilliayadi, Tamilnadu, India February 22, 1898 (d. 1914). Satyagrahi martyr. Activist against South African apartheid policies. Arrested and sentenced to 3 months hard labor, 1913; died shortly after release on her 16th birthday.

Quotations

To Gandhi, on the consequences of her activism: “Repent? I am even now ready to go to jail again if I am arrested.” (quote & photo Wikipedia)

Chris Van Den Wyngaert

Overview

Christine Van Den Wyngaert born Antwerp, Belgium April 2, 1952. Former singer and songwriter; professor of international law. Judge of World Court in arrest warrant case, 2000-02; judge of Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY), 2003-09; judge International Criminal Court, 2009-present. League of Human Rights prizewinner, 2006. Presiding judge in sentencing Bosnian Croat commander Ivica Rajic for 1993 destruction of Stupni Do, 2005; sentenced Bosnian Serb soldier Dragan Zelenović for torture and rape of eight Muslim women as crimes against humanity, 2007.

Quotations

"The sentence should reflect that the crimes were committed on a large scale and were of a particularly violent nature and caused severe pain to the victims and their relatives." (May 8, 2006, ICC Rajic trial, p.273; photo ICTY)

Adrienne van Melle-Hermans

Overview

Adrienne van Melle-Hermans born The Hague, Netherlands April 25, 1931 (d. 2007). Dutch peacemaker; opposed racism against immigrants. Opened contact with Eastern European women during Cold War; co-founded Dutch Women for Peace, 1979; opened clinic for children in Balkan War, 1994; nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, 2005.

Quotations

"I found that it was the men in the governments who made peace, but that peace can only happen on the ground if the women are involved." (World People's Blog, February 1, 2009; photo 1000 Nobel women)

Narcissa Cox Vanderlip

Overview

Narcissa Cox Vanderlip born Quincy, IL February 9, 1879 (d. 1966). Internationalist; organizer; suffragist. Chairperson of New York League of Women Voters, 1919-23; served as judge for Bok Peace Prize with Esther Lape and Eleanor Roosevelt. Promoted League of Nations and World Court with Eleanor Roosevelt. (photo http://bit.ly/IKq4c2)

Jennie Vanlerberghe

Overview

Jennie Vanlerberghe born Oostnieuwkerke, Belgium May 14, 1945. Founded Mothers for Peace Ypres for aid to Yugoslavia, 1992; expanded to Somalia, Afghanistan; war correspondent; nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2011; Ypres Peace Prize 2009.

Quotations

In Palestine and Bosnia, I have seen that the women who muster their forces back after the conflict and rebuild the country. They bring the family back together. Their husbands and sons were war criminals and rapists, and I think it's just the women, however difficult, were able there to deal with it and move on with life.” (Vrede.be, March 17, 2007; photo demorgen.be)

Tep Vanny

Overview

Tep Vanny born Phnom Penh, Cambodia April 12, 1980. Human rights activist. Jailed for peaceful protest, 2012. Received Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for her efforts to preserve Boeung Kak Lake in land conflict, 2013.

Quotations

The way [Cambodian] women demonstrate is not physical. They use their voices. It is a collection of voices to spread awareness. For men, there is more violence. When someone commits violence against them, they feel like they must fight back, but it is high risk because they can be accused of violence. With a woman’s strategy, we can endure it better. [Our] strategy reduces violence.” (April 1, 2013, Michelle Tolson, WIPnet; photo Vital Voices)