Some events around Peace Day 19 July 1919, as reported in the Melbourne press over one week
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a. THEY OPPOSED THE WAR
The Woman Voter 11 August 1914
At a meeting held on the 7th the following resolutions were passed:
That this Association expresses profound sorrow that the Statesmanship of civilised nations has proved unequal to the task of
It is, nevertheless, gratifying to think that the theory that crushing armaments are a guarantee of peace has been annihilated, and this Association hopes that women everywhere, the life givers of the world, will work henceforth with one mind to destroy the perverted sense of national honour, that only can be satisfied by the murder of men, and demand that international disputes be settled by
This Association resolves to cable to the President of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, asking that women of all
WE WAR AGAINST WAR!
The Woman Voter 29 September 1914
Immediately when war was declared we cleared the decks of our little Peace Dreadnought and prepared for action. We passed a resolution regretting that the statesmanship of nations had failed...We published articles against war...
On 9th instant an armed guard, with fixed bayonets, a commanding officer, a detective, and police, took charge of the establishment of our printers, Messrs Fraser and Jenkinson... seized the first prints of the “Woman Voter”, and the correspondence etc. referred to above
On September 3 we received a communication from the Military
We replied that the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” was likely to inspire military enthusiasm and we would teach that in season and out of season! ...
The Censor’s staff told us that they had more trouble with our paper than with any other publication in Melbourne...The Woman Voter is the only paper that has even attempted to make a fight for civil liberty, and we urge you to help us in that fight. Take extra copies of this week’s issue, distribute the paper widely,
We are fighting for Civil Liberty and against Military Despotism in Australia...The new government will take office almost immediately, and we must appeal to them to safeguard the rights of the people. We shall ask them to receive a deputation, and we urge you to accompany us when we interview the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence.
c. THEY CONDUCTED RESEARCH
The Woman Voter 13 October 1914
We earnestly impress upon those of our readers who earn their own living, no matter in what capacity, the duty to themselves and their fellow workers of filling up the following form, and returning it, without delay, to the WPA, 229 Collins Street, Melbourne.
What do you pay for -
No signature necessary.The facts given will be most helpful in the equal pay case now before the Industrial Appeal Court.
Vida Goldstein, President
The Woman Voter 17 November 1914
WPA has decided to make an investigation into the conditions of distress caused by the war. It will commence operations in Port Melbourne.
The Woman Voter 24 June 1915
Hands Off the People’s Bread - Cost of Living Women’s Deputation to State Parliament, Thursday, July 1st at 3.30 p.m. to demand
1. That Parliament shall protect the People against those who Gamble in the People’s Food.
2. That Women shall be appointed to the Price of Goods Board. Meetings to explain the objects of the Deputation will be held
The Argus 2 July 1915
Persistent Deputation - Parliamentary Rebuff -
A demonstration in force at the State Parliament House, of members of the Women's Political Association was contemplated yesterday. About 40 women arrived in the Exhibition Gardens shortly before half past 4 o'clock in the expectation of meeting the Premier (Sir Alexander Peacock) and other members of the Legislative Assembly... They said the situation was bearing hardly on the poorer sections of the community.
This was the first of many similar demonstrations and meetings that took place regularly well into September. "The processions grew bigger and bigger every day", (Adela) Pankhurst recalled some years later.
"I tried to negotiate a peaceful settlement and wrote to the Prime Minister... If he had... explained why the government took no action to preserve the people's food there would have been no disorder. He did nothing."
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