• "Inciting a Riot": Silent Sentinels, Group Protests, and Prisoners' Petition and Associational Rights

    Author(s):
    Nicole Godfrey
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    MSU Law Faculty Repository
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/xmz0-d241
    Abstract:
    In January 1917, a group of women led by Alice Paul began a twoand- a-half year protest in support of women's suffrage.1 As the first activists to ever picket the White House,2 these women became known as the "Silent Sentinels" for their practice of standing in peaceful silence while holding banners displaying "provocative political slogans or demanding the right to vote ."3 While President Woodrow Wilson initially appeared "amused and interested"4 in the women's protest, even ordering the White House guards to "invite them for a cup of coffee,"5 the White House's toleration of the picketers diminished after the United States entered World War I in April 1917.6 Shortly thereafter, the peaceful nature of the Silent Sentinels' protest changed. This change came to fruition not because of any actions taken by the women; rather, local police, with implicit support from the White House, began "arresting and jailing picketers for disorderly conduct and obstructing sidewalk traffic, even though they were doing nothing differently than they had for the past six months."
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 weeks ago
    License:
    Attribution
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