Tag Archive | suffrage movement

“Seneca Falls” and “Suffrage” aren’t household words yet, but they may be soon enough!

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With the announcement of Hillary Clinton as the first woman to be a major party’s presidential candidate, there was loud cheering for the connection between the issues of the present day and the past. And especially loud cheering for the activists of the women’s suffrage movement. The word “suffrage” is coming into its own. It still has a long way to go in terms of mass recognition, but things have changed. Not long ago, mention of the word “suffrage” was guaranteed to make people’s eyes glaze over. That’s changing. About time! And the references to Seneca Falls, New York has brought that 1848 event located in upstate New York to the attention of millions of Americans. Keep the conversation ongoing. The year 2020 is the national centennial observance of women voting in the United States.

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“Stamping for Suffrage,” an Article by Kenneth Florey

Stamping for Suffrageby Kenneth Florey

Given past practice, it is highly likely that the US Postal Service will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the federal amendment granting women the right to vote in some fashion. Doubtless it will issue at least one postage stamp honoring “Votes for Women,” if not, more probably, a “souvenir sheet,” containing a variety of stamps picturing different elements of the movement.

In 1948, for example, the post office printed a stamp honoring the “one hundred years of progress of women” featuring images of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Carrie Chapman Catt. In 1970, the PO distributed an issue for the 50th anniversary of the suffrage amendment picturing a “votes for women” touring car that was so popular during the campaign. And in 1995, it honored the 75th anniversary with a very colorful design featuring a large group of suffragists in front of the Capitol Building. Its souvenir sheets celebrating the major events of the different decades of the 20th century included a stamp delineating a woman voting.

PAST HISTORY OF THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE HONORING SUFFRAGE ACTIVISTS

The Post Office has not neglected individual suffragists either. There have been stamps honoring Susan B. Anthony (twice), Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Blackwell, Abigail Adams, Dr. Mary Walker, Julia Ward Howe, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Belva Lockwood, and Alice Paul. Still yet to be pictured are such notables as Harriot Stanton Blatch, Anna Howard Shaw, and Inez Milholland, the suffrage martyr. Victoria Woodhull, the first woman ever to run for President (1872), has not been graced with a stamp either, although her period notoriety, particularly her stance on “free love,” could preclude her from ever appearing.

But again, I suspect that in 2020 we will see a souvenir sheet picturing either famous events from the suffrage movement or famous suffragists, perhaps a combination of both. The reason why I believe in the possibility of multiple stamps is that the PO in its current budget crisis has not been bashful in printing many different series to attract stamp collectors. If cartoon characters, famous chefs, baseball players, jazz musicians, Olympic athletes, early TV memories, and Gulf Coast lighthouses can be honored with multiple issues as they have been, surely the centennial celebration of women’s right to vote should attain at least equal if not greater recognition.

STAMPING FOR SUFFRAGE? THERE ARE SEVERAL POSSIBILITIES!

The Post Office welcomes ideas for stamps from citizens. If you have a suggestion about possible suffrage stamps, you can pass it along on the following official link: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/csac/process.htm. Perhaps those of us who are interested could send in collective suggestions. One additional note: There are several sites, which can be found readily enough on the Internet, that will take photos and drawings that you submit and make them into stamps, complete with postage. These stamps are valid, and can be used in place of regular stamps. Prior to 1920, suffrage supporters made up their own postcards. Would it not be fitting in 2020 for people interested in women’s rights to print up their own stamps as well?

Check out Kenneth Florey’s website and his recently published book, “American Woman Suffrage Postcards: A Study and Catalog.” Image, courtesy of Kenneth Florey who will be speaking on May 28, 2016, 1 p.m., at the World Stamp Show and Exhibition at the Javits Center in New York City on May 28-June 4, 2016. Because of its size and scope, the show and exhibition is only scheduled every decade; the anticipated international attendance is  250,000.  The U.S. Postal Service will issue two stamps for this show.  The title of Florey’s presentation is “Philatelics, Postcards, and the Woman’s Suffrage Movement.” For more information. can be found at http://www.ny2016.org/Event.aspx?eventid=312

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Does your organization have a 5-year plan for suffrage centennial events?

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2017 is big year for women’s suffrage movement events and special programs! on Vimeo.

The year 2017 seems like a long way into the future to be planning for women’s suffrage centennial events and special programs. But work is already underway for 2017 and the 100th anniversary of the Silent Sentinels picketing the White House in 1917. And 2017 is also the year for the New York State suffrage centennial.

Projects in the works include a national suffragist memorial in Lorton, Virginia; the continuation of the Women on 20s campaign; a proposed statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in NYC’s Central Park; a new effort by the National Women’s History Project to gather support for the designation of August 26th as a national holiday; and a 2016 centennial observance for Inez Milholland, American’s suffrage martyr. There’s also support for funding New York State’s women’s suffrage centennial commission, plus more in the works.

If the education and fundraising arm of your organization is interested in planning ahead, you’ll have access now to some great presenters whose schedules are filling up NOW. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote and be on the front lines in your community and region.

When planning for your organization, consider a five-year plan that will take your group through the 2020 national centyennial observance when American women will have been voting for 100 years.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Get ready for Inez Milholland centennial observance in 2016

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A star for Inez Milholland, America’s women’s suffrage martyr on Vimeo.

INEZ MILHOLLAND, SUFFRAGE MARTYR: The grave of Inez Milholland is in Lewis, NY, not far from the Canadian border. It’s not easy to find or visit, but those who take the time and effort are rewarded. It’s likely that people will visit the Inez Milholland grave during 2016, the centennial year of her death. As America’s suffrage martyr, more people will be aware of Inez and her life than ever, especially during an election year. SuffrageCentennials.com is a partner in the 2016 Inez Milholland centennial observance. Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter. The national Inez Milholland Centennial web site has all the information you need to: (1.) Sign up as a partner (2.) Check on excellent resources about Inez Milholland (3.) Sign up for the Inez centennial newsletter (4.) Add your name to the digital petition supporting the granting of the Presidential Citizens medal to Inez Milholland (5.) Follow the blog and Twitter that will keep you up to date. Go to: InezMilhollandCentennial.com

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

U.S. film audiences in a tizzy about limited release of “Suffragette” film

“Suffragette” film from UK directed by Sarah Gavron, directed by Abi Morgan, & starring Meryl Streep & others! on Vimeo.

This web site has been covering the making, production, and release of the “Suffragette” film from the UK for all of 2015. We view it as a window on an important part of American history that parallels the English women’s suffrage movement. Both the UK and US have suffrage martyrs (Emily Davison and Inez Milholland). Women from the US and England sent workers and speakers across the Atlantic to participate in each other’s movements. As Americans, we’ve been anticipating this film since 2014. Trailer.

GOOD CHANCE YOU WON’T GET TO SEE “SUFFRAGETTE” FILM

But will we get to see it? Don’t hold your breath. However, there’s a stirring in the United States. It’s unacceptable to tease us for a year with a carrot and then pull the rug out from under the film. The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on October 23, 2015. This weekend there’s another round of releases. We believe the film can now be seen in New York City, the San Francisco area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Austin, and Seattle. Albany, NY may be next, thanks to Patricia Dolton who got on the horn and shook the social media tree in upstate New York.

If there’s enough of a turnout this weekend, perhaps the principals of the production will give a high sign to a wider release. But this hasn’t been their intention. The word has leaked out that the plan has been to give the film a flash release and then poof. It will disappear. But the cat is out of the bag. “Suffragette” is sending shock waves throughout the UK and those in the US who have seen it in the limited number of theaters and pre-release events.

A few Hollywood reviewers have panned the film, saying that “Suffragette” doesn’t inspire them. But they don’t speak for a growing constituency of people annoyed that the largest nonviolent social revolution in the United States (the women’s suffrage movement) either wasn’t taught to them in history class, or if it was, only marginally with a photo and caption of Susan B. Anthony who spent 50 years of her life organizing for women’s voting rights.

JOIN THE EFFORT TO SUPPORT WIDESPREAD RELEASE FOR THE “SUFFRAGETTE” FILM

Turning Point Suffragist Memorial and Womenon20s.org are mobilizing their networks to get people into the theaters. Don’t take these efforts lightly. The film is important because the content is relevant for us today. Hollywood films where women move the plot forward are rare. Women have been shut out of Hollywood in pivotal roles, and women-focused stories are few and far between in the entertainment industry.

The “Suffragette” film is about women taking charge of their lives and future. It’s written, directed, and performed by mostly women. It faced a uphill struggle in financing and various aspects of its production.

The film’s potential is tremendous. The HBO production of “Iron Jawed Angels” released in 2004 is still being shown by community organizations throughout the nation who are sponsoring the film’s showings to educate about the right to vote and the long and hard struggle in the United States to win these rights.

“10 DAYS IN A MADHOUSE” IS AN IMPORTANT FILM TO WATCH FOR IN NOVEMBER

And get ready for another surprise: the November 2015 release of “10 Days in a Madhouse” (directed by Timothy Hines and produced by Susan Goforth) about investigative reporter and suffrage activist Nellie Bly. More about that production soon on SuffrageCentennials.com and a special November program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on November 8, 2015.

Don’t take anything for granted. If you are in any of the “Suffragette” film markets, make plans NOW. Buy tickets. Organize a night out on the town. Buy out a theatre for a performance. And watch for “10 Days in a Madhouse” in November. Trailer. Support these productions because they’re part of a movement to bring women’s history to a larger audience. Next year, 2016, is an election year, and descendants of the anti-suffrage movement of more than 100 years ago have been getting nervous.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Parties for Elizabeth Cady Stanton in November: 200 years old, plus “Suffragette” film spin

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Birthday parties for Elizabeth Cady Stanton in New York during November! on Vimeo.

It’s a terrific time to be celebrating the 200th birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The “Suffragette” film has been released in the United States. And just as we hoped, the release of “Suffragette” is bringing attention to the U.S. movement to win voting rights for women. It’s been in the shadows far too long. Even Time Magazine this week highlighted the centennial observance of the 1915 big suffrage parade in New York City. And there’s more to come (we hope)!

The 200th birthday party for Mrs. Stanton at Cooper Union on November 12, 2015 (7:30 p.m.) includes a long lineup of entertainers and performers for the program, “Declaration of Sentiments: The Remix.” It’s presented by the NYC Department of Records and Information Services and WomensActivism.NYC at The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003 sponsored by the City of NY, Mayors Fund to Advance NYC, The Cooper Union, and Lebenthal Asset Management.

The occasion is also being celebrated in Seneca Falls, NY on November 14, 2015 at the the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. The event starts at 4 p.m. with a “Winter Wheat Gathering” inside the Wesleyan Chapel, site of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. Dramatic re-enactments by historical researchers, biographers, and interpreters will honor Mrs. Stanton’s women’s rights activism. At 6 p.m., the event will move to Fall Street, the Gould Hotel, for a reception with birthday cake, punch, and dancing. All events are free and open to the public. The public is invited to dress in 19th century period attire. Women’s Rights National Historical Park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information: (315) 568-2991.
RESOURCES:
Send birthday wishes to Mrs. Stanton to be displayed in the Seneca Falls national park visitors’ center. For electronic and video birthday sentiments, forward them to wori_information_desk@nps.gov. For cards and letters, mail them to Elizabeth Cady Stanton at Women’s Rights NHP, 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY, 13148.
UPDATE ON ANTHONY-STANTON STATUE PROJECT IN CENTRAL PARK
The fund to build statues in Central Park (NYC) of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony is accepting pledges and contributions for the design and creation of the statue as well as for organizing, outreach and media efforts. Checks are payable to The Stanton and Anthony Statue Fund, POB 150-074 Van Brunt Station, Brooklyn, NY 11215-9997. StantonandAnthonyStatueFund@gmail.com.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Suffrage Centennial News Notes: Mark your calendar NOW!

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“Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling raises questions! on Vimeo.

The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling series continues on Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Ventriloquist Jonathan Geffner adds to the fun with his performance and commentary.

The “Suffragette” film from the UK opens in U.S. theaters on October 23. This is an opportunity for all of us suff buffs to get the rest of the world to pay attention to this amazing part of history. For most people, it will be an eyeopener. And with some encouragement, they’ll be hooked. Take advantage of the opportunity provided by the “Suffragette” film by planning for events and observances during 2016. Trailer. 

A Center for the Study of Women’s History opening at the New-York Historical Society will specialize in women’s history exhibitions from the suffrage movement to contemporary women’s movements. It will also support scholarship, produce an interactive film, plan an annual conference to be held in March of each year starting in 2016, sponsor an online class, offer fellowships in women’s history, and much more.

STAY ON TOP OF THE SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL NEWS!

There’s so much happening that no one web site can keep track of everything. So it’s more important than ever for us to share the information. One rich resource is the Suffrage 2020 ListServ compiled by Jill Zahniser that recently announced that the 2020 Centennial Task Force is planning a press release to coincide with the opening of the film “Suffragette.” The Task Force will announce its program for the national 2020 suffrage centennial observance, promote a kickoff project, as well as publish a 2020 web page on the Sewall Belmont House website that could be expanded to a stand-alone website in the future. Post to Suffrage2020 by sending an email with an announcement to Suffrage2020@thezahnisers.com.

Vision 2020, based in Philadelphia, will convene the Fifth National Vision 2020 Congress in Nashville on October 26-28, 2015. The Vision 2020 initiative includes history-focused efforts aimed at achieving equality for women by 2020. For more information: http://drexel.edu/vision2020/.

MORE EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES THAN EVER!

Anne B. Gass continues on her journey to recreate the 1915 cross-country suffrage movement road trip of Sara Bard Field. Follow the trip progress: suffrageroadtrip.com. Mark your calendar for a November 12 event at Cooper Union celebrating Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday. A campaign to restore one of the few existing suffrage movement films, “Mothers of Men,” is underway. It requires funding and support. More about this on SuffrageCentennials.com The year 2017 is the centennial of the picketing of the White House. Support the Kickstarter campaign of a book for young people that includes photographs never before seen of the demonstrations.

The Inez Milholland Centennial observance, a program of the National Women’s History Project, is gearing up for a year-long observance starting in January 2016. More information coming soon about Inez Milholland, America’s suffrage martyr. Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney Jr. are national co chairs. Become a partner and plan programs honoring Inez Milholland during 2016.

A list containing the details of more than 1,300 suffrage activist arrests – including that of Emmeline Pankhurst – is available online. Suffrage activists arrested from 1906 through 1914 include Emily Wilding Davison, Louisa Garrett Anderson, Annie Kenney, and Emmeline Pankhurst. The information has been published by Ancestry to coincide with the release of the “Suffragette” film. The list is available on www.ancestry.co.uk.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

“Suffragette” film from UK has many excited about its implications!

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“Suffragette” film from U.K. raises questions for discussion! on Vimeo.

Dr. Helen Pankhurst sends message to American women voters from the U.K. on Vimeo.

The day is drawing near in the US for the release of “Suffragette,  the feature film from the UK about the Votes for Women movement in England. And it’s great to hear that Dr. Helen Pankhurst, the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, has a small role in the film. Many of the performers who are stepping up to the plate have been commenting on the importance of linking today with the past, especially with issues that remain unresolved today. The recent London premier of “Suffragette” was accompanied by a protest by Sisters Uncut, a demonstration that places current concerns squarely on the table –issues such as domestic violence and budget cuts impacting women in the UK.

Find out about Dr. Pankhurst’s thoughts about the film and the family name she carries. The release of the “Suffragette” film is also expected to be an open door for American activists busy planning the US women’s suffrage 2020 centennial celebration.

Meryl Streep has been granting some excellent interviews related to her performance in the “Suffragette” film as Emmeline Pankhurst. Her work in lobbying the U.S. Congress to move the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forward is much needed and it has been an extraordinary contribution. Bravo. Directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Abi Morgan, “Suffragette” stars Carey Mulligan,Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and Anne-Marie Duff.

We’re reminded time and again that many of the issues of the early 20th century, as portrayed in the “Suffragette” film, persist today. The film publicity has been ample and the graphic posters memorable. The struggle for equality remains uphill, say many who are optimistic that the film will open Hollywood to more opportunities for women performers, directors, producers, and support staff. “Suffragette” and “10 Days in a Madhouse” are two productions weighted heavily in favor of women’s history that will hopefully have recognition at the Oscars.

Those who believe that women should have the same rights as men (that is, feminists) are insistent that the future of the planet relies on a balanced representation of the world’s population in decision making. Public discussion of this topic has been associated with the “Suffragette” previews and pre-release publicity, another reason the production deserves widespread support. Stay tuned for our pre-release coverage of “10 Days in a Madhouse,” the US film about investigative reporter Nellie Bly based on her undercover reporting that’s scheduled to open in early November. With more than 90% women performers in the production, “10 Days in a Madhouse” is written and directed by Timothy Hines and produced by Susan Goforth.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Suffrage centennial road trip & campaign to restore suffrage movement silent film!

Suffrage Envoys, v. 3

Author Anne Gass set out on September 21, 2015 for a Sara Bard Field cross-country trip for woman suffrage that will continue through November 19, 2015. She left from San Francisco headed for Auburn, then Reno, and onto Salt Lake City, Midvale, Utah and then will drive across Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Chicago, Ohio, and then upstate New York where she’ll visit Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany. She’ll be in Wilmington, Baltimore and finally Washington D.C., and finally arriving in November 16 for several nights before returning home to Maine. Travel can be unpredictable, as Sara Bard Field and her companions often found before the construction of modern highway networks. You can follow the road trip online.

The trip traces suffragist and poet Sara Bard Field’s cross-country automobile trip that carried a petition from the Panama Pacific Exposition to President Woodrow Wilson demanding the 19th Amendment to the constitution. Anne is seeking more information and artifacts from the historic journey, which was sponsored by Alice Paul’s Congressional Union (later the National Woman’s Party) and was met by a large demonstration in Washington D.C. 100 years ago.

"Mothers of Men"

Mothers of Men, a melodrama made in 1917, one the few surviving women’s suffrage films, stars Dorothy Davenport. Made just three years before the 19th Amendment, the production attempted to show the nation how strong women could be if allowed to hold political office. The only known film elements are held outside the United States and have been deteriorating to the point that it is imperative to begin the restoration. Donations are requested. For more information.

IN OTHER NEWS: The Honorable Margaret Milner Richardson received the Silent Sentinel award on September 17, 2015 from the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial project. Elizabeth Crawford continues with her blogging in anticipation of “Suffragette” film from the UK. New Zealand suffrage petition with 24,000 names available online. Continuing coverage of Woodstock, NY town board resolution supporting 2017 and 2020 suffrage centennials that shares local women’s history with a broader audience (Women in Black). Book for young people about Silent Sentinels and the picketing of the White House. U.S. suffrage martyr Inez Milholland honored on National Voter Registration Day. Follow 2016 Inez Milholland centennial on Twitter. Suffrage Wagon Cooking School celebrates its first birthday. Fundraising for the proposed statue of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Central Park continues. Susan B. Anthony Museum and House 2015-2016 lecture series announced.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

The Women in Black, 25+ years of peaceful vigils move toward a centennial observance!

Women in Black, 2015. Photo: Olivia Twine.This feature is part of a continuing series of articles highlighting women’s history of Woodstock, NY that was reinforced by a resolution of the town board in August 2015. Woodstock became the first community in New York State to officially honor its women’s history in support of the upcoming 2017 state suffrage centennial and the nation’s 2020 suffrage centennial. Woodstock’s Women in Black parallels the dramatic visual rhetoric of the American suffrage movement as their peaceful vigil heads in the direction of a centennial observance in the future. Olivia Twine’s articles and photographs about women’s history appear in local, regional, and New York State publications.

by Olivia Twine

Their numbers vary, but a contingent of the international movement for peace, Women in Black, have been demonstrating on the Woodstock, New York village green almost every Sunday afternoon since the first Iraq war began in 1991. For the first few years, and even on the coldest of winter days, the women (and occasionally a man or two) stood, mostly alone, holding their signs. As Woodstock’s popularity as a tourist destination revived in recent years, the stalwart group became part of a scene as busy as a Bruegel painting and only slightly less sensual. When controversies sharpen with crises in the Middle East, the women are occasionally confronted by (mostly men) demonstrating in support of war.

“WE STAND UP IN SILENCE,” EXPLAINS RENEE ENGLANDER

The women activists are well-versed in political history, and they don’t pontificate. “We stand up in silence,” said Renee Englander, a participant in the Woodstock group since the beginning. “We are silent because words cannot express the tragedy of war and hatred. The message of peace is not difficult to understand.”

Although they don’t engage in political discussion, literature is available to explain the positions and the history of Women in Black. The movement originated in Jerusalem in January 1988 when a group of Israeli women courageously stood together at a busy intersection to protest the occupation of Palestine. They drew inspiration for a public vigil from the mothers of Argentina who circled the main square carrying pictures of their missing loved ones and for wearing black from the South African Black Sash movement in opposition to apartheid.

OCCUPANTS OF THE WOODSTOCK VILLAGE GREEN REPRESENT PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE

“Solidarity vigils” sprang up in other countries. By 1990, the Women in Black had gained a reputation as a movement of women of conscience of all nationalities and denominations who advocate for justice, civil society, and peaceful co-existence. They stand against policies that kill, destroy cities, force migration, and annihilate human relations. “We oppose all forms of local and global violence: war, terrorism, inter-ethnic conflict, militarism the arms industry, nuclear weapons, racism, neo-Nazism, violence against women, and violence in neighborhoods,” the literature states.

One recent weekend, Englander was among several women demonstrating adjacent to Grandpa Woodstock, a living symbol of the post-Woodstock Festival era now available for photo ops. The weekly drum circle was getting started. An informal procession of young folks pranced to the beat on their way to the bus stop. The crowd of weekend visitors waiting for transport back to New York City gathered across the street, a built-in audience for activities on the Green. A photographer focused on Grandpa Woodstock as I angled to photograph the Women In Black. (It’s difficult to get a shot without backing into traffic or standing across the street and including cars in the frame.)

OTHER ADVOCATES TAKE UP POSITION TO PRESENT A FUTURE VISION

A photo of Grandpa Woodstock appeared a few days later in the New York Times, accompanied a September 4 article by Corey Kilgannon highlighting the irony of the Woodstock Nation era which represented the mutual sharing of resources now marketed to promote commercial success for the town.

Grandpa Woodstock expresses those humanitarian values to anyone who wants to listen. Does that idea attract visitors, or is it the accompanying suggestion of life as a timeless party? It’s all good as long as activists like Women In Black, who share a commitment to justice and a world free of violence, are able to share their vision of peace, compassion, and justice. On Saturdays, their place is taken by a Mennonite group known as Families for Peace. On balance, the Woodstock Village Green is a peaceful place which represents the town, standing side by side with commercialism.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.