"Pray The Devil Back to Hell" -Last nights movie at Cambridge Library was very inspiring - Never underestimate the power of a woman scorned comes to mind...but when these women had had enough of war and rape and murder, they stood up against their fear, against armed rebels, and fierce dictators. In the end the non-violent women's movement won and Liberia saw one dictator leave and a woman president elected. Janet Johnson's insight was what made this evening special. The event was sponsored by MA Peace Action, Congo Action and Cambridge Peace Commission. After brief remarks by representatives of each sponsor Janet gave a talk and took questions. When asked about the current status of the "women's coalition" she said people have drifted back into their lines - tribal, ethnic and gender prejudice has re-emerged since the common goal of peace no longer holds them together. One strategic decision the group made early on was to stay non-partisan. They were not in favor of or against the rebels (LURD) or Charles Taylor - they remained steadfast in being against the violence and violence only. They took no sides and Janet was careful to watch the language and train people on the statements they made so that they were not appearing to be on one side or other politically. This was motivated in part by Taylor's habit of arresting people who criticized him or his government, but it also allowed the women to unite between Christian Muslim, City/countryside/tribe v. tribe. They also wore white and refrained from fancy hair-do's and make up, to show their committment and solidarity. America's role in the government of Liberia was analyzed and I will have to go back and read that history of this civil war that I missed or forgot about. Thanks to Janet and Abigail Disney for bringing this movie to the public - many valuable lessons here.