On a humid Saturday in Glasgow, we were treated to the spectacular sight of Peace Crusaders dressed all in white, sashed and beribboned, on the Green. We hadn’t accidentally gone back in time (thank god, we love having the vote and the internet too much), we had arrived at the meeting point for the launch of the latest exhibition created by the Glasgow Women’s Library, entitled Forward! Remembering Women Peace Crusaders.
The exhibition aims to highlight and celebrate the first Women’s Peace Crusade, which marched through the city centre on the 23rd of July 2016. We were meeting and marching as these courageous women did 100 years to the day. It certainly put our own struggles into perspective. Despite the sombre topic, the march was a positive one, we were treated to insights into the personal stories of some of the crusaders, delivered with panache from the fully costumed GWL volunteers and staff.
The walk ended at the GWL itself, and we were all warmly welcomed inside to view the exhibition and enjoy a glass of wine and a nibble. The library itself is an incredibly positive space, and the History Girls were so impressed that we decided to become Friends of the organisation there and then. This is something we highly recommend. By donating as little as £2 a month, to an annual donation of as much as you fancy, you get free or discounted entry to events, invites to any exhibition launches and previews, a borrowing card and loads more.
The exhibition itself consists of projected films, a beautiful silk hanging, modern portraits, archival objects, and powerful newspaper-headline inspired quotes from important figures in the movement. We enjoyed learning more about the individual lives of the women who wanted to march that day, and the words of Helen Crawfurd in 1917 were particularly striking so we will end this post with them, we are women, hear us roar!
We are going forward whether you kill us or put us in prison. No matter what you do, we mean to make the voice of women heard and that this ghastly slaughter shall cease.
– Rachael & Karen