November 27, 2017

Day 13 Monday November 27th – Silent Sentinel Vigil

By Elizabeth Croydon AKA Jane Snow

Virginia is one of our battlegrounds for the ERA. With the recent election upheaval, it is hopeful that Virginia will ratify this year. Enter Eileen Davis, Candace Graham & Donna Granksi.

Witch: Where hast thou been, sister?
Witch: Killing swine.

The Equal Rights Amendment would already be wound up, packaged, and presented to the younger hands of generations we foster if it were up to these three women. It would be a done deal. The three Virginia sister suffragettes find a spot they wish to rabble rouse in front of the White House and set right to it. Eileen has a pocket full of equality dollars with the face of Alice Paul looking out at her would-be spenders imploring them to pick up the fight to ratify the ERA.

The equality dollar is a visual tool to help people understand that women only make 78 cents for every dollar paid a man. The disparity of earnings is even lower at times, mostly due to racial discrimination studies will show (African American women @67 cents and Latina women at a disgusting 54 cents). Eileen Davis hands this money out left and right to the foot traffic promenading on Peace Park’s sidewalk today. Each time, she directs them to the website

A promotional video for the Verizon Center is being shot by a small indie crew. A female basketball player is the centerpiece. The director is up on her Suffragette history, and asks the women of #equalmeansequal to be in the background actively engaging people walking past.

A handsome Frenchman touring the states is recruited by Eileen to hold up our banners for picture opportunities. These women are a welcome force of nature.

Later in the day, the three Sisters from Virginia are being interviewed by a news crew regarding the numerous media unseating due to sexual harassment allegations. Eileen, Candace and Donna always brought the thread of conversation back to ratifying the ERA.
“Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”

I look forward to these women returning to our vigil. The Silent Sentinel Challenge was not so silent today.

“You’re not protected by our constitution,” Eileen tells women passing us. “You think you are but you are not.”

Lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment, U.S. Capitol. Edmonston. ca. 1923. A group of young members of the National Woman's Party before the Capitol. They are about to invade the offices of the senators and congressmen from their states, to ask them to vote for Equal Rights. In the foreground is Miss Anita Pollitzer, secretary of the National Woman's Party, instructing the committee on the method of approach. Left to right: Blanche Alsop, Virginia; Heath Jones, Delaware; Maud Younger, California, legislative Chairman of the Woman's Party; Mrs. Legare Obear, Georgia; Mrs. Burnita Shelton Matthews, Mississippi; Mrs. Anne Archbold, Maine; Miss Wilma Henderson, Massachusetts; Mrs. Emma Brown, Maryland; Mrs. Rowena Dashwood Graves, Colorado.

Getting lunch I run into activist John Pylka. John is preparing and planning for the 50th anniversary of the White House Smoke In. Every July fourth, cannabis activists gather for a rally in front of the White House and march to a baseball diamond off Constitution Ave. where an all day concert for legalization is held. I tell John what I’m involved in…
“Ohh! The suffragettes inspired the Smoke In! They gave President Woodrow Wilson a head trip. I think it was December 16th, 1918 they set up a caldron and just started burning every word President Woodrow Wilson mentioned regarding democracy as a sign of his broken promises.”

Eleanor Van Buskirk (left) and ritualists from the “Forward into Light” pageant at the NWP’s “Women for Congress” conference. August 1924.

How do you spell Equal Rights? E. R. A.