Featured Post

Dick's Wars and Warming Radio Editorials on KPSQ (#1-42)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

US WWI NEWSLETTER #11, CENTENNIAL APRIL 6, 2017

OMNI
WWI, APRIL 6, 1917, US DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY AND AUSTRIA, CONTINUATION OF ARMISTICE DAY NEWSLETTERS (Veterans Day), NEWSLETTER #11, APRIL 6, 2017

WE, THE PEOPLE BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE AND JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE
Compiled by Dick Bennett



Contents
ARKANSAS WORLD WAR I CENTENNIAL 2017:
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Reporting Arkansas’ Commemoration Events
Celebrate or Mourn?
PBS, AETN, “American Experience: The Great War”
   PBS Publicity and Dick’s Commentary

   Jeff Guskey:  Myths about Black/American troops in Europe during WWI

   Woodrow Wilson and War versus Democracy: Espionage and Sedition
      Acts
Peace and Justice Heroes Against WWI
   Eugene V. Debs 
   Jane Addams
   Alice Paul
   National Woman’s Party
ACTIONS, Resistance to US Wars (see earlier newsletters)


Commemorating World War I Centennial in Arkansas  in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (ADG), April 2017.
     April 6, 2017, was 100 years since the United States entered WWI.  Between April 2 and April 15 the state newspaper published six articles about the centennial, of which four expressed jubilation for the heroism and reverence for the “sacrifice” of the US troops, one offered qualified celebration, and the sixth muted criticism.   The first two manifested the militarism we have been indoctrinated into accepting.  The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, anticipated the Day on April 2 with a long, illustrated (8) article entitled “War and Remembrance: State’s Centennial Celebrations to Honor All Involved in WWI” by Jack Schnedler.  It begins by declaring its intention to be positive, to offer the “pluses,” for example to the economy, for the jobs the war provided, and to keep the troops, the “doughboys” as they were called, “at forefront.”  There are to be festivities, “a potpourri of events and exhibits responding to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s centennial call ’to commemorate, preserve and honor the courage, sacrifice and valiant efforts of all Arkansans who served in World War I.’”  A traveling exhibit, “The Great War: Arkansas in World War I” will be set up at the Old State House Museum.  The creation of the Arkansas State Archives, the State is heavily invested in promoting the war.
    Not that the actual horror of the war is completely omitted.   Mentioned are the deaths of 2,183 Arkansans, with 1,751 “wounded or injured,” that “brought grief to families and friends in all 75 counties.”  And the “war to end all wars” is described as “wishful thinking.”
      The Day April 6 was celebrated by the ADG  in an editorial titled “Vive les Americains!”   The writer covers events leading up to the US declaration of war and the unpromising preparations for war, until the troops arrived in Paris on July 4, 1917, cheered by the French.   Little did they know of what was ahead—from tanks to trench foot, from trench latrines to flame throwers.  
       And generals.  This writer observes what the others suppressed:  leaders devoid of sense and humanity. “The generals threw their men into frontal assaults directly into machine gun fire. Over and again. . . .What madness is this?”  “All that death and cold and gas and frontal assaults.  Also ahead, the future of the bloody century. . . .”    Is the war an occasion for festivities or  lamentation?
     (The two articles project tepid patriotism compared to celebrations in Kansas City, where the nation’s official World War I monument is located.   An “eight-plane flyover left the sky streaked with plumes of red, white and blue contrails” and “members of the 129th Artillery Battalion fire[d] a salute” for the “Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace.”  “…dozens of foreign ambassadors watched [as] a color guard dressed as WWI-era doughboys present[ed] the colors,” while “short films displayed on twin screens 25 feet tall offered documentary-style flashbacks,” and “military pomp and recitations of writings of the period filled voids between speeches.”  But this reporter did add this reminder of the slaughter:  “By the time U.S. troops helped vanquish Germany and the conflict ended in 1918, more than 9 million people died, including some 116,000 Americans.”    (ADG April 7, 2017 from wire stories.)  But even these data are softened by subtraction.  Here’s Wikipedia’s more numerous count: “The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was more than 38 million: there were over 17 million deaths and 20 million wounded, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.”). 
     On April 9 the ADG published two more articles about WWI observances.   Jake Sandlin, “Officer in WWI Battled for State.”   The report is an upbeat, patriotic celebration of Lt. William Heber McLaughlin from Lonoke County, who at age 35 was one of the first US soldiers wounded in combat.  Despite his severe wounds from shrapnel, “’he refused to leave the field of battle’” from which he emerged a decorated hero.  The “’Americans brought a new and aggressive spirit, which the Germans had difficulty coping with and which amazed the French.’”  The article summarizes his life following the war, and gives statistics about the war.  The “festivities” were sponsored by the world War I Centennial Commemoration Committee.  “Arkansas Heritage Month in May will also focus on World War I.”  And other topics.
Brandon Mulder, “State Kicks Off WWI Observance.”  The article describes re-enactors at the beginning of the war at the kickoff of “Arkansas and the Great War: Remembering 1917,” focusing on two college student actors.  Arkansas’ Governor Hutchinson, who had created the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee, attended.  We learn also that additional events will occur “throughout the next two years to honor Arkansas’ role in the war.”   
      Both articles celebrate Arkansas preparing for and engaging in war, with brief comment by the Governor providing statistics of deaths and wounded, and about the how the war did not produce the peace the president and many citizens hoped for.  
      Finally, or at least up to April 15 (the month of May and the next two years will provide additional events), a regular political commentator, Prof. Emer. Hoyt Purvis, provided a column on “No War to End War?” in which he relates his sobering visit to WWI battlefields, and comments on the continuation of conflict to this day, putting his finger on one cause:   WWI was the last war actually declared by the US. “even though there is a long list of U.S. military conflicts and interventions” since that time”  (in his books Killing Hope and Rogue State William Blum discusses some 40 illegal US invasions and interventions).  Purvis lists a few very recent invasions and interventions by the US.  Further, despite the heroic propaganda contributing to US going to war, the war “certainly did not prove to be the “war to end war.”   The column challenges the appropriateness of all the “festivities” reported earlier by the newspaper, except to those credulous readers unread in U.S. history .

AETN’S 6-HOUR DOCUMENTARY
      Thanks to PBS and the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), additional thoughtfulness was provided the citizens in a three-part, 6-hour documentary on WWI, “American Experience: The Great War” (April 10-12).   Here is the official announcement:
The Great War poster image
·         THE GREAT WAR
·         CAST & CREW
·         TRANSCRIPT
The Great War
Aired April 12, 2017A nation comes of age.
Film Description
"Detailed and entertaining...full of arresting images and startling snippets." -- The New York Times
"Enormously absorbing" -- The Wall Street Journal
"Sprawling and engrossing" -- TV Guide
Drawing on unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters, The Great War tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. The Great War explores how a brilliant PR man bolstered support for the war in a country hesitant to put lives on the line for a foreign conflict; how President Woodrow Wilson steered the nation through years of neutrality, only to reluctantly lead America into the bloodiest conflict the world had ever seen, thereby transforming the United States into a dominant player on the international stage; and how the ardent patriotism and determination to support America’s crusade for liberty abroad led to one of the most oppressive crackdowns on civil liberties at home in U.S. history. It is a story of heroism and sacrifice that would ultimately claim 15 million lives and profoundly change the world forever.
Dick’s Commentary on the film and (or about) Helfand, Guskey, Rottmann, Remarque, Wilson, Creel, propaganda for the war, opponents of the war, civil liberties disasters: Espionage Act and Sedition Acts. 

     An article in Skeptical Inquirer (May/June 2017), “Surviving the Misinformation Age” by David Helfand, explores the origins of present loosened standards of truth.  He does not discuss the role that visual and audial media have played, when no text is available.  That is, imagine a treaty whose record is only what people are filmed saying about it.   So I expect this film will inspire considerable and often confusing controversy until the precise words are in print, except for those individuals who possess exceptional memory of eidetic imagery or hyperthymesia.   

     Already however PBS’ “The Great War” is being examined by viewers who have gathered the verbatim text on specific parts of the film.  For example, Jeff Guskey, in “How Could PBS’s ‘The Great War’ Get It So Wrong?” (Huffington Post 04/15/2017) presents detailed corrective facts regarding myths about Black/American troops in Europe during WWI. 

     My intention for viewing the “The Great War” was particularly to see how credible it was in presenting the justifications for US engagement in the war, the proponents and opponents of the war, and facts about the enemy.   
     Of course, the enemy’s reality is not given.   A more productive, hopeful peacemaking war history is the type that presents opponents in their full humanity.   I am thinking of such books as Voices from the Ho Chi Minh Trail: Poetry of America and Vietnam, 1965-1993 compiled by Larry Rottmann (1993).   I can’t believe US leaders would have decimated the German cities during WWII, or the North Korean cities during the Korean War, had they been able to visualize the men, women, children inhabitants.   Even if the film maker or book author of “The Great War” stringently and comprehensively, critically and truthfully, reported the dark sides of “their side” of the war, as the film often seems to do, we still do not understand WWI with the “enemy” erased.  Even if viewers of the film had read books like All Quiet on the Western Front, a novel by Erich Maria Remarque about trench warfare from the German perspective, we cannot judge the necessity of President Wilson’s switch from opposing to choosing war, for especially disastrous to truth is the failure of the filmmakers to investigate who started the war.   Wilson denounced German evil and contrasted US (Wilson’s) noble efforts to bring democracy and peace to the world.  Only the one side, however, our side, is presented.
     General Pershing is shown magnificently fighting US wars of conquest against Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, without questioning the legality, morality, or necessity of those wars.  Instead the filmmakers seek our tears from the death of his wife and children in a fire, to which he responds with grief and the discipline of a brave soldier.   Attention is paid to the immense, triumphal achievement of the US arms build-up and transporting a million troops to a foreign war.   But the story of one million Frenchmen and a third of a million Britons already killed is little told.
         In these omissions of important contexts, the film restricts the scope and truth of its story of “The Great War.”
     The film is more comprehensively contextual in telling the home front story of the harms of the war to the U.S. itself and the equally important story of opposition to the war.
      U.S. democracy, liberty, the Bill of rights were significantly and permanently damaged.  The film exposes the intensive, patriotic, manipulative campaign of the Wilson administration, under the extraordinarily competent direction of George Creel, to turn the public from peace to war and to sustain the war effort, particularly the draft (Creel cleverly called it “selective service”).     And under Wilson and war, the Bill of Rights and civil liberties received two torpedoes whose damage remains with us today.  Alleging need to maintain order to save democracy and win the peace, the Espionage and Sedition Acts curtailed First Amendment dissent and anti-war activities.
      But not entirely.  The film also depicts the many critics of the war (for example, Debs, Goldman, La Follette, Addams, Paul), and their struggle against the Wilson administration’s efforts to silence them.  (More below).  And (though barely mentioned) C0s numbered 64,000, while 3 million evaded the call to draft registration.
       Nevertheless, Wilson, claiming “necessity,” armed by his Committee for “Public” Information (my quotation marks) and his criminalization of dissent, declared war even though the nation was about evenly divided.  
     In short, The People, massively indoctrinated and repressed, were treated as  the people by the perpetrators of the colossal calamities of Wilson’s “war to end all wars.”  
General Pershing, ordered by Wilson to achieve victories, watched 26,277 of his soldiers die in the Battle of Argonne Forest, and 95,786 wounded. Depressed by such victories, he turned his command of the American Expeditionary Force over to his subordinates.  After the Senate’s rejection of the League of Nations, Wilson became physically and mentally incompetent.

Jeff Guskey, MD.  “How Could PBS’s ‘The Great War’ Get It So Wrong?   Huffington Post 04/15/2017.  Myths and facts regarding Black/American troops in Europe during WWI.


    
WAR VERSUS DEMOCRACY: ESPIONAGE AND SEDITION ACTS
The Espionage Act, June 15, 1917, was designed to prevent sedition in the army and acts of espionage, such as sabotage and the passing of secrets to the enemy. Its scope was extended by the Sedition Act of 1918, which made it possible to prosecute anyone who cast the war and the U.S. in a negative light.  The Sedition Act was repealed following the war, but the Espionage Act continues to be employed.
Home  History  Encyclopedias almanacs transcripts and maps  Espionage and Sedition Acts of World War I
Espionage and Sedition Acts of World War I.  © The Oxford Companion to American Military History,   2000,
Espionage and Sedition Acts of World War I (1917, 1918) were the first forays since 1798 into federal regulation of First Amendment rights.   These criminalizations of certain forms of expression, belief, and association resulted in the prosecution of over 2,000 cases, but in reaction they also produced a movement to protect the civil liberties of all Americans.

The Espionage Act (15 June 1917), enacted quickly by Congress following the U.S. declaration of war on Germany, authorized federal officials to make summary arrests of people whose opinions “threatened national security.” The measure prohibited willfully making false reports with intent to interfere with the success of the military or naval forces, inciting insubordination, disloyalty, or mutiny in the military, and obstructing recruitment or the enlistment service of the United States. Further sections authorized the Postmaster General to ban from the mails material advocating resistance to any law of the United States. This gave Post Office officials in the Wilson administration virtual dictatorial control over circulation of the nation's subsidiary press.

Realizing that the vagueness of the Espionage Act opened up opportunities for broad repression by government officials, as well as for mob violence and vigilante action, Congress augmented it with the Sedition Act on 16 May 1918. This set forth eight new criminal offenses, including uttering, printing, writing, or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language intended to cause contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrespect for the U.S. government or the Constitution.

Before its repeal in 1921, the Sedition Act led to numerous arrests, particularly of dissident radicals, but also of important figures such as the socialist leader Eugene V. Debs. The Espionage Act remained on the books to be invoked in the post–World War II period to charge certain controversial figures such as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, accused of atomic espionage, with being a threat to the United States in the Cold War.
[See also Alien and Sedition ActsCivil Liberties and WarSchenk and Abrams Cases.]
Bibliography
Harry N. Scheiber , The Wilson Administration and Civil Liberties, 1960.
Paul L. Murphy , World War I and the Origin of Civil Liberties in the United States, 1979.
Paul L. Murphy


PEACE HEROES AGAINST THE WAR
EUGENE V. DEBS
JANE ADDAMS                
ALICE PAUL
NATIONAL WOMAN’S PARTY
(Related:  Adam Hochschild, To End All Wars, a history of opposition to the war in Britain: Bertrand Russell and Emily Hobhouse; Keir Hardie and Charlotte Despard; Stephen Hobhouse and Sylvia Pankhurst.)

EUGENE V. DEBS
The following is from Wikipedia

Incarceration[edit]

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d1/Debs%2C_Eastman%2C_Rose_Pastor_Strokes.jpg/220px-Debs%2C_Eastman%2C_Rose_Pastor_Strokes.jpg
Debs with Max Eastman and Rose Pastor Stokes in 1918
Debs' speeches against the Wilson administration and the war earned the enmity of President Woodrow Wilson, who later called Debs a "traitor to his country."[41] On June 16, 1918, Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio, urging resistance to the military draft of World War I. He was arrested on June 30 and charged with ten counts of sedition.[42]
His trial defense called no witnesses, asking that Debs be allowed to address the court in his defense. That unusual request was granted, and Debs spoke for two hours. He was found guilty on September 12. At his sentencing hearing on September 14, he again addressed the court, and his speech has become a classic. Heywood Broun, a liberal journalist and not a Debs partisan, said it was "one of the most beautiful and moving passages in the English language. He was for that one afternoon touched with inspiration. If anyone told me that tongues of fire danced upon his shoulders as he spoke, I would believe it."[43]
Debs said in part:[44]
Your honor, I have stated in this court that I am opposed to the form of our present government; that I am opposed to the social system in which we live; that I believe in the change of both but by perfectly peaceable and orderly means....
I am thinking this morning of the men in the mills and factories; I am thinking of the women who, for a paltry wage, are compelled to work out their lives; of the little children who, in this system, are robbed of their childhood, and in their early, tender years, are seized in the remorseless grasp of Mammon, and forced into the industrial dungeons, there to feed the machines while they themselves are being starved body and soul....
Your honor, I ask no mercy, I plead for no immunity. I realize that finally the right must prevail. I never more fully comprehended than now the great struggle between the powers of greed on the one hand and upon the other the rising hosts of freedom. I can see the dawn of a better day of humanity. The people are awakening. In due course of time they will come into their own.
When the mariner, sailing over tropic seas, looks for relief from his weary watch, he turns his eyes toward the Southern Cross, burning luridly above the tempest-vexed ocean. As the midnight approaches the Southern Cross begins to bend, and the whirling worlds change their places, and with starry finger-points the Almighty marks the passage of Time upon the dial of the universe; and though no bell may beat the glad tidings, the look-out knows that the midnight is passing – that relief and rest are close at hand.
Let the people take heart and hope everywhere, for the cross is bending, midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning.
Debs was sentenced on November 18, 1918, to ten years in prison. He was also disenfranchised for life.[3] Debs presented what has been called his best-remembered statement at his sentencing hearing:[45]
Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Debs appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court. In its ruling on Debs v. United States, the court examined several statements Debs had made regarding World War I and socialism. While Debs had carefully worded his speeches in an attempt to comply with the Espionage Act, the Court found he had the intention and effect of obstructing the draft and military recruitment. Among other things, the Court cited Debs' praise for those imprisoned for obstructing the draft. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. stated in his opinion that little attention was needed since Debs' case was essentially the same as that of Schenck v. United States, in which the Court had upheld a similar conviction. . . .
A recently published book about Debs and WWI:
Democracy's Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, the Great War, and the Right to Dissent.    By Ernest Freeberg.  Harvard University P, 2008. 
 Or read Ray Ginger's The Bending Cross (1940) or Nick Salvatore's life history, Eugene V. Debs: Citizen and Socialist (1982). Also see William Preston's Aliens and Dissenters (1963) or Paul Murphy's World War I and the Origins of Civil Liberties in the United States (1979) about federal repression of radicals and dissenters before, during, and after the Great War.
UAF’s Mullins Library Catalog has 19 entries; check it out.  but Freeberg’s book is not there; I’ll request purchase. 

JANE ADDAMS

From America’s Story  www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/addams/aa_addams_peace_1.html

Cartoon 'The Strangest of Infatuations,' 1918(?).
During World War I, newspaper cartoons like this one made fun of pacifists like Jane Addams.

Enlarge this image
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/assets/common/trans.gif
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/assets/common/trans.gif
Jane Addams, the Peacemaker 
Jane Addams was a peacemaker even when she was criticized for her views. She taught, wrote, and lectured about peace both nationally and internationally. Before World War I, Addams was probably the most beloved woman in America. In a newspaper poll that asked, "Who among our contemporaries are of the most value to the community?" Jane Addams was second, after Thomas Edison (another "Amazing American"). When she opposed America's involvement in World War I, however, newspaper editors called her a traitor and a fool, but she never changed her mind. Have you ever believed you were right about something, when most people thought you were wrong? 
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/assets/common/trans.gif
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/assets/aa/b_blank.gif page 1 of 3 Next

 

Jane Addams writes to Woodrow Wilson about dangers of preparing ...

www.history.com/.../jane-addams-writes-to-woodrow-wilson-about-dangers-of-prepar...
On this day in History, Jane Addams writes to Woodrow Wilson about dangers of ... When World War broke out in the summer of 1914, President Wilson ...


ALICE PAUL and NATIONAL WOMAN’S PARTY
From the National Women’s History Museum
Alice Paul (1885-1977)
ALICE PAULA vocal leader of the twentieth century women’s suffrage movement, Alice Paul advocated for and helped secure passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Paul next authored the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, which has yet to be adopted. . . .
In January 1917, Paul and over 1,000 “Silent Sentinels” began eighteen months of picketing the White House, standing at the gates with such signs as, “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?"  They endured verbal and physical attacks from spectators, which increased after the U.S. entered World War I. Instead of protecting the women’s right to free speech and peaceful assembly, the police arrested them on the flimsy charge of obstructing traffic.  Paul was sentence to jail for seven months, where she organized a hunger strike in protest. Doctors threatened to send Paul to an insane asylum and force-fed her, while newspaper accounts of her treatment garnered public sympathy and support for suffrage. By 1918, Wilson announced his support for suffrage.  It took two more years for the Senate, House, and the required 36 states to approve the amendment. . . .
Afterward, Paul and the National Women’s Party focused on the Equal Rights Amendment to guarantee women constitutional protection from discrimination.  Paul spent her life advocating for this and other women’s issues. The ERA was ratified by 35 states in the 1970s, but by the 1982 deadline was three states short of 38 needed to become a constitutional amendment.   --edited by Debra Michals, Ph.D.

NATIONAL WOMAN’S PARTY AND WWI WOMEN DISSENTERS
National Woman's Party Protests During World War I
Women carry protest signsNational Woman's Party picketers outside the White House.
National Woman's Party
“MR. PRESIDENT: IT IS UNJUST TO DENY WOMEN A VOICE IN THEIR GOVERNMENT WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS CONSCRIPTING THEIR SONS.”
-Draft Day Picket Banner, Sept 4, 1917

What is the role of political dissent during wartime? Is it treasonous to criticize a president when the nation is at war?
On June 20, 1917, National Woman’s Party (NWP) co-founder Lucy Burns took up her position on the sidewalk in front of the White House entry gate. Burns and NWP member Dora Lewis held between them a large banner address “To the Envoys of Russia.” The banner accused President Woodrow Wilson of deceiving the Russians when he claimed that the two countries were fighting to preserve democracy. “We, the Women of America, tell you that America is not a democracy,” the banner read. “Twenty million American Women are denied the right to vote. President Wilson is the chief opponent of their national enfranchisement.” The Russian delegation saw the banner as their car passed through the White House gate on their way to meet with the president.
The National Woman’s Party had organized pickets of the White House for six days a week, in all kinds of weather, since January 10, 1917. The “Silent Sentinels” as they were known showed up each day holding banners demanding the right to vote for American women. Rather than pursue enfranchisement state by state, as the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) had done, the NWP focused their efforts on the passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment, named for Susan B. Anthony and first introduced in 1878, guaranteed that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
National Woman's Party
The NWP strategy to promote passage of the Anthony Amendment included pressuring President Wilson to support it. Presidents have no role in amending the Constitution, but NWP leader Alice Paul believed that Wilson’s endorsement would sway members of Congress from the Democratic Party to vote for the amendment’s passage. Their efforts had only managed to push Wilson to offer tepid support for women’s suffrage eventually, although he asked for patience, chiding American women that “you can afford a little while to wait.”
During their months of picketing, the women often held banners echoing Wilson’s own words, such as:
“MR. PRESIDENT, YOU SAY LIBERTY IS THE FUNDAMENTAL DEMAND OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT.”
and
“MR. PRESIDENT, HOW LONG MUST WOMEN WAIT FOR LIBERTY?”
Once the United States entered the war in Europe, many in the women’s suffrage movement believed that their lobbying and activism should be put on hold. The leaders of the National Woman’s Party, however, decided to continue the demonstrations. Public opinion turned against the Silent Sentinels, who were now seen as unpatriotic.
Rather than back down, the NWP decided to become more confrontational. Onlookers became increasingly more hostile to the picketers. On that June day when Lucy and Dora raised the provocative banner addressing the Russians, the anger boiled over. Crowds ripped the banner out of the hands of the picketers and off its poles. The next day, picketers returned, this time with a banner quoting Wilson.
“WE SHALL FIGHT FOR THE THINGS WE HAVE ALWAYS HELD NEAREST TO OUR HEARTS.”
This time, the police tried to confiscate the banner. When the women refused, they were arrested.
Over the next several months, women continued to take up positions in front of the White House. They faced violence and arrest. More than 150 women were convicted of obstructing traffic for their protest. They served jail time rather than pay what they considered unjust fines for exercising their constitutional rights. As picketing and arrests continued, the sentences increased from a few days in the District Jail to several months in the Occoquan Work House in Virginia. The women, many of whom came from prominent and politically connected families, demanded to be treated as political prisoners. They went on hunger strikes to protest their conditions and many were violently force-fed.
Among the hunger strikers was NWP leader Alice Paul, arrested on October 20, 1917 carrying a banner that read:
“THE TIME HAS COME TO CONQUER OR SUBMIT. FOR US, THERE IS BUT ONE CHOICE. WE HAVE MADE IT.”
The slogan, adapted from Woodrow Wilson’s own words, was used throughout the country on posters supporting the war effort. Alice Paul declared her own war against injustice by co-opting the battle cry for the cause of women’s suffrage. As she declared in 1919:
“When men are denied justice, they go to war. This is our war, only we are fighting it with banners instead of guns.”

Alice Paul (1885-1977) - Education & Resources - National Women's ...

https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/alice-paul/
Paul's mother, a suffragist, brought her daughter with her to women's suffrage ... which increased after the U.S. entered World War I. Instead of protecting the ...
WWI Online :: Women Peace Activists During World War I
https://wwionline.org/articles/women-peace-activists-during-world-war-i/
Jul 15, 2014 - In 1915, U.S. activists Jane Addams, Carrie Chapman Catt, and others formed the Woman's Peace Party (WPP). ... Some of the women active during World War I, and who can be ....Opposition to the War in the United States

RESISTANCE NOW: WHAT DID WE LEARN?
The end of WWI on November 11, 1918, was originally celebrated as Armistice Day.   However, war-makers changed armistice to veterans, to Veterans Day--from signifying ending wars, to celebrating the troops and preparing for the next war.   This bellicose transformation calls peacemakers to action.  We should
1Strive to restore ARMISTICE DAY, and advocate peacemaking, not warmaking.  Remembering the history of the name helps.   The present Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.  But In 1954, President Eisenhower (who in his Farewell Address warned the nation against militarism) officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.   Thus the name is not etched in stone, can again be reversed, and will be by a nation whose citizens prefer peace over war.  (The militarization of Armistice Day into Veterans Day is reinforced by Memorial Day, the fourth Monday in May, that honors American service members who died or who were injured in battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead.)            
2.  Challenge monuments that glorify war, and try to stop monuments being planned or under construction.  Try to prevent war monuments in the future.   For example, Washington, D. C., is a city of war monuments, and another is in preparation, and it’s a local story too.  Joseph Weishaar, an Arkansas native and a 2013 graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, won the international competition to design a monument  for WWI to be placed in Washington, D.C.  He named his design The Weight of Sacrifice
Urge him to make his monument a peace monument.   Prevent the addition of more.  The year 2018 will mark the centennial of the end of WWI.   Whether there will be another effusion of patriotic pride in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, or more monuments glorifying war, depends upon us.  Read “Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia” by Chris Hedges describing how war memorials help perpetuate the national culture of violence and war.

3.  Advocate for peace monuments and memorials,  the anti-dote to war monuments and memorials..  See the admirable work by Ted Lollis to record all peace monuments in the world: website/directory,  http://peace.maripo.com; bibliography, http://peace.maripo.com/p_bibliography.htm   My essay contrasting war and peace monuments published in Peaceworks Magazine is apparently no longer available online http://www.peaceworkmagazine.org/pwork/0599/0510.htm  

Further Reading and Visuals
Museum of the City of New York.  Posters and Patriotism: Selling WWI in New York.  Imagery of both the “ubiquitous pro-war propaganda of the period” and anti-war art.
Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered.  Photographs by Jane Alden Stevens. 


Contents:  Armistice Day Newsletter #10, Nov. 11, 2016


No comments: