Betty Williams( Irish activist for Peace Nobel Peace Prize, 1976)
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Biography Betty Williams
genus. May 22, 1943
Irish peace activist Betty Smith Williams was born in Andersonstaune, a poor Catholic suburb of Belfast (Northern Ireland). She was the eldest daughter of a Protestant, the owner of a butcher's shop, and Catholic mother, received a Catholic upbringing. Parents with very young children had warned her daughter from hatred, which for centuries shared the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland. Considerable influence on the little girl had a maternal grandmother, a Polish Jew, most of her relatives were killed by the Nazis during the Second World War.
. When she was 13 years old, her mother was paralyzed by a stroke and all the household duties fell on Betty
. She studied at the elementary school St.. Theresa and grammar school, St.. Dominica, after which the qualification of a secretary-typist. Betty married a marine engineer, Edward Williams - English Protestant. For some time she traveled with her husband, then went to work in Belfast, retaining an interest in world politics.
. The civil war in Northern Ireland once again flared up in 1968, . when Catholic students under the influence of social movement in the U.S. created the Northern Ireland Association for Civil Rights and began to protest discrimination against the Catholic minority,
. A year later, the outbreak of violence and the threat of armed intervention of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), led the Northern Ireland Government to seek assistance from England. In 1972. British government dissolved the Northern Irish parliament, dominated by Protestants, and established direct rule by London.
The first time I. sympathized with the radical elements in the republican movement. She hid Catholic activists and helped smuggle them across the border of the Republic of Ireland. However, increasing terrorism, the IRA forced her to question the legality of such methods, especially after two of her relatives were victims of militants. Convinced that violence can lead only to more violence, I. with Protestant priest, Joseph Parker, arranged in 1972. peaceful demonstration in front of the municipality, and some of the neighbors criticized her for trying to help a British soldier, injured in a shootout. As we say in. later, 'people are clearly no longer recognize the value of human life'.
A similar case in 1976. We made. take decisive action. In August she saw British soldiers shot dead a member of the IRA at the wheel of his car, which lost control hit by three children, walked with her mother (her mother also received some damage). Shaken by the death of children,. went round the house, collecting signatures on a peace petition. After a relative of the dead Mairead Corrigan spoke on television to condemn the terrorist IRA, Y. also announced their petition before the TV camera. She urged all women, regardless of religion, to exert all efforts to stop terror IRA; Y. announced a peace march which was to be held in Andersonstaune.
August 14, following appeals have. and Corrigan, came outside about 10 thousand. women, with prayers and hymns, they moved to the children's graves, not paying attention to the supporters of the IRA, who tried conceals their way. The next day. and Corrigan, together with the Dublin correspondent of the newspaper 'Mandarine press' a movement, which was named 'Community of innocent people'.
Community organized a peaceful demonstration in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Londonderry, Dublin, Glasgow, London. In August of that year in Belfast 35 thousand. Catholic women crossed the border Protestant area Shenkill, where they were welcomed by local resident. In Drozd (Ireland) in December, was convened by Congress, where they arrived delegates of Canada, Norway, Sweden, West Germany, USA. Symbolic demonstration took place on bridges of peace across Wars. Here in 1690. Protestant forces of King William III defeated the army of Catholic King James II, the Protestants of Northern Ireland noted this event annually.
The founders of the Community Y. was the most energetic. Critical of the Catholic Church, U. was accused its hierarchy lack of moral authority. One day she was attacked by two supporters of the IRA, invited her to the house. In this regard, it recognized that to forgive enemies 'bloody hard'.
. When it became known that women's work began too late in order to meet the requirements of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976, Norwegian journalists gathered 340 thousand
. dollars as the 'People's Peace Prize, Y. Corrigan and took it in November of that year in Oslo. Norwegian Nobel Committee, having examined 50 nominations, took no action, in next year's Nobel Prize 1976. was awarded to Y. Corrigan and in recognition of their achievements in the world. The representative of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Egil Orvik in his speech said: "They did not reckon with the difficulty of his task ... They dispensed with the ingenious theories, sophisticated diplomacy, lush demonstrations ... 'Instead, the two women continued Orvik,' made a daring and completely selfless act, inspired thousands who gave hope to those who believed that all was lost '.
'We are deeply committed to the policy of non-violence - have said. in his Nobel lecture. - Those who call us naive idealists, we object: only we are realists. Those who remained committed to militarism and push to complete self-destruction of the human race '.
Despite the opposition of both the Protestant and Catholic circles, Y. Corrigan and continued peace policy. In 1977. the number of violent deaths dropped by nearly half. In April 1978. W., Corrigan and Makkeon left their posts in the Community of peaceful people, to give an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to other activists. U. gradually moved away from the work of the Community, although it retained an interest in politics. In 1984, for example, she accompanied the shipment of food, passed by Sweden and Norway, the Government of Nicaragua.
Divorced her first husband in 1982, Y. married an American businessman Jim Perkins and moved to Florida with her son and daughter from his first marriage.