Monday, July 25, 2005

Cool Tucson Raging Grannies are Hot Item Flashing Over The Net, Page, TV and Radio News

There is much to write and so little time to write it. Just heard from one of the Raging Grannies. (And what media coverage of their arrest for attempting to enlist. 10 days after the July 13th event.... but the issue was hot over the weekend! More on that in a bit.)

According to a message left on my phone by a "Granny" at 9:30 a.m., there was a good turn out for the press conference they held in front of the Tucson City Court at 8 a.m. today. I wanted to cover the event, but my attorney asked me not to show up at the court as we asked for a continuance. According to this source, arraignment went quickly and smoothly. Their court date is set for August 19th. I haven't heard how the arraignment of the cited journalists turned out. And, I have not heard when my new arraignment date will be.

The Grannies emerged from their court appearance into the bright Tucson day to gather together to sing a couple of the classic Raging Granny songs. At the end of these songs one Granny raised her fist and shouted, "Power to the Peaceful!" The folks gathered around them cheered in approval.

I don't have the specific song lyrics of the songs they performed today, but here are some of the lyrics to a couple of my favorite songs of theirs.


There’s no business like war business
The worst business we know
Never mind the homeless and the hungry,
Never mind the people without jobs
Nowhere can you get that special feeling
Than when you’re – piling up the bombs.

There’s no business like war business
The best business we know
Multinational profits going through the sky
They multiply while children die
The same amount buys food and clothes
For everyone all over the world.

(tune: Puff the Magic Dragon)

Without the right to protest
Where would we be?
There’d be no votes for women yet
And no democracy.
Blacks still segregated
The poor would have no schools
Small tots still working in the mines
While rich folk set the rules.

Now we’re going backward
The Patriot Act is in
Detaining people without cause
Should be a cardinal sin
Good people, see what’s going on
Find power in the word.
The right to speak for what is right
Your right to be heard.

Now there’s silent searches
They’re taking all our rights
Protesters are called terrorists
Who dare to rage and fight
Good people, see what’s going on
Find power in the word.
The right to speak for what is right
Your right is to be heard


One of the most interesting aspects of this whole escalating story is that these wonderfully sassy women were not doing civil disobedience the day they were arrested. They were trying to enlist. The statement they read at the Enlistment office was a statement of why they wanted to enlist. (I will try to get a copy of the statement and post it here.) It was not a protest. Yes, they have protested in front of the recruitment center once a week (Wednesday mornings) for the past three years. Did they think they would be granted an age exemption? I can't say. I'm not a Granny.

These are idealistic, sincere women. For those of you who don't know... The Raging Grannies are a "project" within the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. I've admired the ability of WILPF to frame issues of the day in compelling and salient ways ever since their "It will be a great day when teachers have all the money they need and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber" poster that I first saw in the mid-1970s. WILPF has been around for 90 years. Peace is a "women's issue."


The most disturbing component of this evolving Granny is the vehement hatred, hostility and murderous rage purported patriots direct at people who oppose the war. The vile threats made in the comments section of the Arizona Indy Media article are truly disturbing and show a very dark side of "patriotism." While the true nature of the U.S. may now have more to do with the evolution of corporate rights based in the commerce clause, most Americans feel is the essence of America is contained within our liberty to think, speak, and gather together without fear of repression or punishment by the by the government. But people want to silence us and punish us for attempting to insure that the essence of America remains uncorrupted even in the face of adversity such as the expansion of terror attacks onto U.S. soil.

I am saddened by the inability of so many Americans to see that attacks on people are used by entities who do not want to, or cannot, defend the issues and events. The "attack the person rather than the message" mentality perpetrated by Linbaugh, Rove, and Cheney/Bush harms our nation. Lies must be exposed for they can live on as history. Liars are less important as they will eventually be exposed or die.

It is unfortunate that folks such as The Grannies have to employ the methodology of the "cult of the person" in order to even be heard. In this 21st Century issues and arguments cannot play out on TV in 15 second spots. Only images and icons can convey meaning to the masses (Geesh... just like the images and icons used used by The Church in the dark ages to convey meaning to the illiterate masses! I think I may be on to something here.) So "Bush Good = War Good" messages of the government can only be countered by equally simplistic methodologies employed by "singing grandmother in a funny old hat and shawl" or "women in pink lingerie unfurling a pink banner" calling for peace.

I personally think it is good that peaceful, people oriented folks are now able to counter the messages of prowar, corporate entites in a way that does provide counterpoint that is noticed by the media and the masses. But even these small steps do not bring any balance of representation back into the U.S. government. And should that balance be restored.... we still would not have returned to a culture of ideas backed up by reason and illustrated through artful, informative argument built around facts. This is the true enemy we must disempower -- ignorance.

I may just be a cock-eyed (no comments from the peanut gallery please) optimist, but compassion and justice will only arise when education and information are given more respect and attention than power and money.

We have to build a different society. We can do it.

Power to the peaceful!


Known media coverage of Raging Grannies Attempted Enlistment on July 13
(as of 7-24-05)


Tucson TV Channel 13, July 13
Tucson TV Channel 9, July 13
Davenport, Iowa July 22, 2005 (Fox Channel)
CNN Headline News July 23, 2005


CNN radio interview in Atlanta
KNST radio Tucson
BBC radio interview (live) Saturday evening 7/23/06
Afrenta KRBZ radio, Kansas City
D.J. (“Dave”) Singer CBS News, Los Angeles
KXCI Slightly Off Ceter, Tucson, 7/24/05
German equivalent of NPR (taped 7/24/05)


Green Valley News, July 15, 2005
Arizona Daily Star, Friday July 22, 2005 (This article morphed into the CNN coverage
Sweden (Afton Bladet) 7-22-05
Britain (BBC)
Germany (Der Spiegel) July 22, 2005
Russia (Pravda) (Grannies want to Iraq) or at


AZ Indymedia

Michael Moore's Web Site

This site a.k.a. Peace Builder


I suspect there are a great many more references as the newswires picked it up this past weekend.


People Power Granny said...

This Granny is running a poll on her blog on whether Cheney should be impeached. Please check it out at

People Power Granny said...

This Granny is running a poll on her blog on whether Cheney should be impeached. Please check it out at