University of Massachusetts Amherst

Through The Photographer's Eyes: The Diana Mara Henry Collection (20th Century Photographer)

The Women's Pentagon Action

Imagine enough people gathered together to surround the Pentagon, about one mile in circumference. That's at least how many women came out in a protest action that included a preliminary march through Arlington National Cemetery, street theater, and the puppets of Amy Trompetter. Protesters blocked several entrances of the Pentagon and confronted workers as they entered and exited the Department of Defense headquarters. Others created vast webs of colored yarn that symbolized the interconnectedness of all living beings; webs cut down and removed by police officers as they attempted to clear the area.

Bella Abzug was there, as was Grace Paley, Maya Angelou, and Danielle Notaro, who wrote her name in a notebook so Henry could send her a photograph of her graffiti that read: "rendered impotent by act of women". Notaro was arrested for this graffiti and again the subject of one Henry’s photographs as she lifted her handcuffed hands in the van to wave goodbye.  As a companion to her photographs, Henry endeavored to collect materials that documented the historic events she witnessed, including press releases, maps, coordinating plans, and mission statements.