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Can We Peace Grandmothers Foment an Egypt-Style Revolt to End Our Wars?

By JoanWile - Posted on 05 February 2011

by Joan Wile, author,
"Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace" (Citadel Press)

There we were, last Wednesday as usual, our little straggly group of elderly grandmothers and supporters standing on Fifth Avenue in front of Rockefeller Center chanting, "BRING THEM BACK...FROM AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ! STOP THE KILLING NOW!" We were into our eighth year of our Grandmothers Against the War weekly late-afternoon one-hour vigil begun on Jan. 14, 2004, and held continuously until now without hardly a single break, no matter what the elements threw at us. On this particular Wednesday, we were down to only seven protesters, a disappointing decrease from our usual approximately 15. Of course, the weather had something to do with the meager turnout -- New York City was still recovering from the multiple onslaughts of snow crippling people's ability to get around.

While standing there (our aging bones making it painful after the first half hour), we began discussing the situation in Egypt. We wondered if there were any way at all for there to be a similar eruption of public discontent here in the U.S.

Sadly, we concluded it was extremely unlikely. Oh, yes, we peace grannies and the Veterans for Peace who join us every week are passionate about our cause. We deplore the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are horrified about the loss of American military and civilian life in both countries (still ongoing in Iraq, despite the perception encouraged by the muted reporting in the media that implies otherwise). We lament the obscene amounts of money tossed away on unwinnable and unjustified wars as the funds for our domestic needs dwindle away to the point where our citizens are in desperate straits. Yes, we are concerned enough to take to the streets and try to bring awareness to the indifferent masses of people passing by us that we are in critical trouble, that we must end these wars and occupations for our very survival. But, we are so few.

There are always a handful people walking by who acknowledge us, give us a thumbs up or a "Thank you," as they smilingly continue on their way. Usually, these sympathizers are from other countries -- our sense is that people from abroad absolutely hate our wars. But, mostly, passers-by pretty much ignore us.

We assume that this apathy is wide-spread throughout the United States. We marvel at the fact that the Tea Party has been able to mobilize people to hit the streets, and are displeased that their causes are so antipathetic to our beliefs.
Will the Tea Party be able to foment a revolt similar to Egypt's? I hope not.

But, why can't WE even begin to goose our population into demanding we end the wars? It's a strange dichotomy -- the issues that people are really heated about -- jobs, inferior education, inadequate health care, as prime examples -- cannot be solved until we bring the money home along with the troops; yet, the unconscionable conflicts are almost never mentioned in politicians' speeches or media editorials. PEOPLE DO NOT SEE THE CONNECTION!

I've concluded that the anti-war grandmothers' job is to make that connection in people's minds. I'm trying to dream up an action that will gain enough attention to start infiltrating into people's consciousness.

To that end, I am herewith pleading to all grandmothers everywhere reading this article to contact me -- -- with their ideas and suggestions as to how we can create a grandmothers' movement that will wake up America. And, beyond that, let me know if you will join with me and my peer grannnies to make it happen.

Grandmothers are thought of as wise, nurturing, and balanced. People will listen to us if our message is made available to them. Let us take off our night caps and don our thinking ones. We know what's at stake -- the future of our children and grandchildren. We must do all within our power to end these wars and foster a world of peace for them.


They're not mine, for mine died decades ago, and the other, who I never knew, died before I was born; but I'll make a figurative adoption today. I'll adopt them all. They can all be my grandmothers today. That's not to say that they'd want me for grandson, but they clearly are kind of heart and I'll figuratively, spiritually and philosophically adopt them anyway.

They'd make a fantastic US Congress, the Grannies Congress, or the Kick-political-(and Wall Street)-butt Grannies Congress. Think, DREAM about that!

"Granny D" was great from what I learned of her. In her 90s she was far ahead in being "on the ball", compared to by far most members of Congress; and most of the general population, as well. She was of old age, but had more true, real youth in her soul or spirt than evidently most Americans do.

Viva the Grannies!

It's also a great name for an activist group. Think of NED, so-called National Endowment for Democracy, totally bullshit, hypocrisy. We get nothing of the like from the Grannies, who clearly are of true souls and real minds.

They and veterans join every [week] for protest demonstrations while the rest of the country wants to know what's playing at the movies? Like the old adage says, we reap what we sow, and Americans have been sowing their and others destruction, impoverishment, and so on.

Dem. Party supporters, the truly partisan ones, who are many, are only waiting for the next presidential elections so that they can again attack Ralph Nader and his supporters. They relish these moments. It's all these Dem. Party supporters live for, opportunities for blindly attacking others and pretending that their chosen party isn't more war criminal than the main "opposition" party, Repub., is when Dems were more war criminal during the 20th century. That's okay, they figure, for they conjecture that we can overlook the 20th century, like they chose to overlook the fact that Obama's years in the Senate definitely [proved] that he was [unfit] for presidential race; prefering to only speak of the earlier time, 2002, when they say he opposed war on Iraq, yet could or would not cite any of his words, which were not really or sufficiently in opposition to recourse to war on Iraq in order to be considered words of real opposition.

These Dem. supporters got their way. They blindly hate all contenders against their blindly selected party and repeat all sorts of lies in trying to prove that their party is supposedly better, and while they pretend to also care about the US Constitution. Once they win, then ethics is forgotten, in total; they become supporters of their criminal, rogue party, silently complicit with the crimes. Voters who merit disenfranchisement, because of their [repeated], continuous political treason[s]! They live in [wilful] denial and this wilfuness is very incriminating for them. We just lack an appropriate court of law and Congress.

Bats have more sight, or vision.

Anyway, viva the Grannies and, hopefully, many more will join them. Also viva the military, war veterans who join these Grannies!

Joan, thanks for the post. We have to organize locally and pressure local governments to act, make a stand, on behalf of local citizens.

I am overwhelmed by both of the above supportive comments. Thank you, both, for taking the time to read my post and then responding to it.

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