Lilian Wolfe

Overview

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Lilian Wolfe born Edgware Road, London, England December 22, 1875 (d. 1974). English feminist; pacifist; anarchist. Arrested for antiwar activity encouraging draft resistance, 1916; sentenced to two months in Holloway Prison. During interwar decades, resided at Whiteway Colony, Tolstoyan nonviolent community. Wrote for antiwar anarchist journal Freedom. Opposed World War II in War Commentary, 1936-44; ran Freedom Press for 25 years. Protested at CND Aldermaston, 1958; arrested for sit-ins, 1961-64.

Quotations

The hope of Britain lies with the country’s youth.” (her motto, from J.B. Priestley; photo pedigogia libertaria)

Gertrude Weil

Overview

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Gertrude Weil born Goldsboro, NC December 11, 1879 (d. 1971). American Jewish progressive civic reformer and suffragist. Led League of Women Voters in lobbying the World Court for disarmament; promoted good relations with Latin America.

Quotations

The abolition of war is humanity’s supreme need today. . . Thus in working toward this end, woman takes her place in world progress.” (“Thoughts on Armistice Day” c. 1928, in Melissa Klapper, Ballots, Babies and Banners of Peace)

As women are the producers of the race, they would be naturally the conservers of the race. . . Viewed from any standpoint, we cannot see no justification for war. . . We find that war abrogates the teachings of all religions. The is nothing in war compatible with the doctrine of human brotherhood and the universal law of love.” (Leonard Rogoff, Gertrude Weil, p. 164; photo Jewish Women’s Archive)

Charlotte Waterlow

Overview

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Charlotte Waterlow born London, England May 31, 1915 (d. 2011). “Global Citizen.” World Federalist; history teacher; Middle East service in Foreign Office.

Quotations

The fate of the world depends on balancing the development of the mind, so powerfully promoted by science, with the development of the heart—the capacity to experience the higher emotions, the capacity to love.” (foreword to The Hinge of History 1995)

“[T]he crisis point is dawning: grow up or blow up! What does 'growing up' involve? First, to feel and express love, compassion and concern for others.” (The Federalist Debate, March 2003, p. 27; photo federalunion.org.uk)

Yoko Kawashima Watkins

Overview

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Yoko Kawashima Watkins born Harbin, Manchuria, Japanese-occupied China October 5, 1933. Japanese-American children’s writer; antiwar pacifist. Author of controversial semi-autobiographical story of war in Korea So Far From the Bamboo Grove, 1986. Received Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.

Quotations

Now myself and other Japanese people who see themselves as peacemakers and who lived in North Korea are in small ways trying to mend the Japanese government’s mistakes. I have been shouting all along, 'Forgive us!' 'No more fighting!' 'No more nuclear!' And who suffers most during any war? It’s innocent, unknown civilians!. . .  I say that peace must start from each one of us. To do that, first, we must be kind to each other. If we all carry hatred and revenge inside us, then we will never achieve peace in the world.” (quote and photo, Korea JoongAng Daily, Feb. 2, 2007)

Freda Wuesthoff

Overview

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Freda Wuesthoff (née Hoffmann) born Berlin, Germany May 16, 1896 (d. 1956). German pacifist, physicist, and patent attorney. Founded women’s Stuttgart Peace Circle against nuclear weapons, 1947. Promoted peace education in German schools.

Quotations

I think it is possible that the women of other countries could understand more quickly than men that there are really only two choices: further wars, that is, the agonizing death of the human race—or the start of humanity for lasting peace.” (letter to friends, Dec. 12, 1946 fembio; photo.geni.com)

Margaret Murray Washington

Overview

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Margaret Murray Washington born Macon, MI March 9, 1877 (d. 1925). African-American educator; international activist. Co-founder and first president, International Council of Women of the Darker Races, 1922. Led petition to Congress denouncing Belgian atrocities in Congo, 1910; opposed US occupation of Haiti.

Quotations

If we wish to help each other let us not only praise ourselves, but also criticize. Plain talk will not hurt us.” (wiki; photo firstthoughtco.com)

Delia Webster

Overview

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Delia Webster born Vergennes, VT December 17, 1817 (d. 1904). “Petticoat Abolitionist” jailed for aiding slaves escape; teacher, author, and suffragist. Conductor on Underground Railroad, Lexington, KY. Tried for helping slaves escape on her 27th birthday, 1844; sentenced to two years hard labor, but pardoned after two months. Second arrest 1854, escaped and rearrested, tried, and acquitted. Nurse during Civil War; founded school for African-American children.

Quotations

From my earliest knowledge of the existence and nature of American slavery, I have had an utter abhorrence of it, as a system of uncompounded wickedness, alike opposed to Christianity, and the principles of republican government.” (“Thoughts on Slavery”, Kentucky Jurisprudence, pp. 83-84, Frances Eisan, Saint or Demon, p. 10; photo vermonthistory.org)

Brigitte Wada

Overview

Brigitte Wada born Nalliers, Vendée, France November 9, 1959. President 2008ff. Secretary-General 2001-08 Woman Federation for World Peace-France.

Quotations

We know that it is not easy to build a culture of peace and a happy world. It takes a lot of devotion, sacrifice and tears. We women have overcome for many years many discriminations and difficulties. With the wisdom and experience we have accumulated, we can build strong and happy families resplendent with sincere love. Let us continue to extend our work for peace to our neighbors, the community and the world!” (“Le Role de la Femme dans la Construction de Paix”, March 6, 2010, Universal Peace foundation; photo WFWP)

Elin Wagner

Overview

Elin Wägner born Lund, Sweden May 16, 1882 (d. 1949). Swedish journalist; feminist; pacifist; novelist, and radical environmentalist. Covered Hague Women's Conference, 1915; led Women's Unarmed Uprising Against War, 1935; authored plan for world parliament, 1935. Published The Alarm Clock, 1941.

Quotations

"[P]eace on earth. But peace with the earth." (photo sv.Wikipedia)

Lillian Wald

Overview

Lillian D. Wald born Cincinnati, OH March 10, 1897 (d. 1940). Nurse and community activist. “Militant pacifist” and “practical idealist.” Founder and first president of American Union Against Militarism, 1914. Co-founded League of Free Nations Association, forerunner of Foreign Policy Association, 1918. Active in feminist Women’s Peace Party and WILPF.

Quotations

Women are here to reaffirm their protest against war, to restate their unalterable faith in the righteousness of Peace.” (Better World Heroes; photo Wikipedia)

Patricia M. Wald

Overview

Patricia McGowan Wald born Torrington, CT September 16, 1928. American Judge of International Court for Yugoslavia 2002; opposed execution of Rosenbergs; only woman on 2004 commission to assess intelligence leading to Iraq War.

Quotations

"The Intelligence Community’s performance in assessing Iraq’s pre-war weapons of mass destruction programs was a major intelligence failure." (Iraq Intelligence Commission Report, p. 46, 2004; photo ICTY)

Julia Grace Wales

Overview

Julia Grace Wales born Bury, Quebec July 14, 1881 (d. 1957). Originated idea of continuous peace mediation 1915, which led to League of Nations; co-founded WILPF.

Quotations

"I ask myself, is it just a wild flight of imagination to conceive of a world without war. . . but someone must try. . . " (March 20, 1917)

"The time to make a resolute effort to save our world is now, before the destruction has gone any further." (Wisconsin Plan, Feb. 27, 1917; photo collectionscanada.gc.ca)

Alice Walker

Overview

Alice Walker born Eatonton, GA February 9, 1944. Author; essayist; poet; activist. Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Zinn, Rosa Parks, and Fannie Lou Hamer, registered Mississippi voters, 1965; with husband Melvyn Leventhal, first legally married interracial couple in Mississippi, 1967. Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1983; recipient National Book Award, 1983.

Quotations

"The quietly pacifist peaceful always die to make room for men who shout. . . I do not believe in war at all; although I am as capable of anger as anyone. To me war is something to be outgrown, recognized as immature, wasteful and so destructive to life that human beings should shun it as they shun swine flu, or HIV/AIDS or as they once shunned Bubonic Plague." (March 22, 2010, The Root Blog; 2007 photo Wikipedia)

Madam C. J. Walker

Overview

Madam C.J. Walker (née Sarah Breedlove) born Delta, LA December 23, 1867 (d. 1919). African-American tycoon; benefactor of NAACP Anti-lynching campaign.

Quotations

"We must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice. We should protest until the American sense of justice is so aroused that such affairs as the East St. Louis riot be forever impossible." (speech during World War I, Philadelphia, 1917; photo wikicommons pd)

Naomi Wallace

Overview

Naomi Wallace born Prospect, KY August 17, 1960. American playwright, poet and professor; peace activist; “The Fever Chart: Three Versions of the Middle East” (2008) exposes the cruelty of Palestine’s occupation and Iraq War; Women’s Boat for Gaza 2016.

Quotations

I believe the job of mainstream culture and mainstream theatre is to keep the peace. Our job, as teachers, is to encourage new writers to break it, to disrupt the lie, to speak truth to power.” (“On Writing as Transgression”, Oct. 2007 Palatine workshop; photo americantheatre.org)

Marion Wallace-Dunlop

Overview

Marion Wallace-Dunlop born Inverness, Scotland December 22, 1864 (d. 1942). Artist; militant suffragist, twice arrested, 1908, 1909; first British hunger strike lasting 91 hours; arrested for smashing windows, 1911.

Quotations

"It is the right of the subject to petition the King, and all commitments and prosecution for such petitions are illegal." (excerpt from Bill of Rights she posted on parliament building, 1909; Oxf. Dict. Nat. Bio citing Rosen 118; photo Spartacus.edu)

Margot Wallstrom

Overview

Margot Wallström born Skellefteå, Sweden September 28, 1954. UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict 2010; European Environment Commissioner 1999-2004; First Vice President European Commission 2004-10.

Quotations

"It’s just a matter of believing that the right man in the right place can be a woman." (Oreja de Europa, Nov. 12, 2009; photo Wikipedia)