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Revolutionary Nonviolence

Carolyn Wildflower
On Science (November 2022)

Dear Editor: I was delighted to see an article about Lawrence and Viola Scott and their Quaker activities in the “Pages for All Ages” section of the July/August 2022 issue of Western Friend.

A Friend in our Kalamazoo Michigan Friends Meeting traveled to Maryland to join the Fort Detrick vigil. Our family and several other Michigan Quaker families brought their children with them to the two-day silent vigil at the Pentagon in 1960. That was a powerful witness for us teenagers, among others. I didn’t know then that several of us would end up in Philadelphia, pursuing peace with some of the organizers of that vigil.

Lawrence and Viola Scott owned a large four-story house in Philadelphia. They lived in an apartment on the second floor. The rest of the house was occupied by about ten young adults working in the peace movement and sharing a kitchen and living room on the main floor. I lived in that house from 1970-1973.

We learned that Viola was not a tax resister, and so Lawrence and Viola filed separate tax returns. We were active with A Quaker Action Group (AQAG). I think the most dramatic and very Quaker action that AQAG took was to send medical supplies to North and South Vietnam on a small sailboat, the Phoenix. This echoes the earlier service to both sides of the wars in Europe by Quakers through the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Even though Lawrence Scott felt AFSC didn’t do enough acting, he was able to persuade AFSC to donate the medical supplies.

It was exciting when AQAG became Movement for a New Society, taking on a new name and a new structure, to be more inclusive and build a revolutionary nonviolent way of life still based on Quaker values.

– Caroline Wildflower, Port Townsend Friends Meeting (NPYM)

peace activism Nonviolent action

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