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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Harris & Ewing. Mary Winsor (1873–1956). Mary Winsor (Pennsylvania.) ‘17 holding suffrage prisoners banner. Photograph, 1917. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (105.00.00)

Obstructing Traffic or Exercising Free Assembly?

Both in court and later in prison, suffragists arrested on criminal charges of obstructing traffic demanded to be treated as political prisoners. They asserted that silent picketing and peaceful assembly were protected First Amendment rights, and that their arrests were politically motivated, as Mary Winsor’s sign suggests. Winsor was arrested twice, the first time on September 4, 1917, during Draft Day festivities holding a banner questioning why women had no voice in a government that was conscripting their sons.

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