The Raging Grannies (or just "Raging Grannies") are activist organizations in many cities and towns in Canada, the United States, and in other countries. They are social justice activists, all women old enough to be grandmothers, who dress up in clothes that mock stereotypes of older women, and sing songs at protests. They typically write the lyrics themselves, putting their political messages to the tunes of well known songs. Their activism includes peace and environmental causes.
The first group started in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada over the winter of 1986/87. They originally called themselves "NERT—Nuclear Emergency Response Team". The members believed the presence of US Navy nuclear-powered ships' presence in Victoria Harbour posed potential health and environmental risks to the city.
In May 2005, a California chapter of the Raging Grannies was allegedly spied upon by a unit of the California National Guard after it organized a Mother's Day anti-war rally. California State Senator Joe Dunn launched an investigation and the intelligence unit was subsequently shut down.
In July 2005, five members of the group were charged with trespassing after they attempted to enlist at a US Army recruiting center in Tucson, Arizona. A spokesperson for the group said they wanted to enlist and be sent to Iraq so that their children and grandchildren could come home. A group also went to New York City, where they were arrested for allegedly blocking access to a recruitment center in Times Square; on April 28, 2006, they were acquitted of all charges.
The Action League of the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, as the group is known in the Bay Area, was the subject of the 2009 video documentary Raging Grannies.
The original Grannies were honoured on their 30th anniversary with a display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, MB.
Works about the Raging Grannies
At least two films, Granny Power and Two Raging Grannies, and multiple academic articles talk about the Raging Grannies. They state and show how they challenge stereotypical conceptions about activism and aging (the grannies did not grow more conservative as they aged, for example). There are two books about them: Off Our Rockers, by Alison Acker and Betty Brightwell, and The Raging Grannies: Wild Hats, Cheeky Songs and Witty Actions for a Better World.
- Activist Ageing
- Betty Krawczyk
- Code Pink
- Gray Panthers
- Granny Peace Brigade
- Harriet Nahanee
- Radical cheerleading
- Anemona Hartocollis: New York Judge Tells 'Grannies' To Go in Peace. In: The New York Times - Abstract, April 28, 2006
- Marc Pitzke: Omas gegen den Krieg. Die Rache der alten Damen. In: Spiegel online June 11, 2006. (German Newspaper, German)
- Armin Ulm: Omas müssen nicht nur nett sein. Erboste amerik. Grossmütter demonstrieren vor dem Nato-Hauptquartier für den Frieden und gegen die Politik George W. Bushs. RNZ-Heidelberg July 17, 2006, P. 3 - 20 Demonstrants of the Granny Peace Brigade before G W B coming to Germany (with big Image, (a German Newspaper, germ. lang.).
- Acker, Alison, and Betty Brightwell. Off Our Rockers and into Trouble: The Raging Grannies, Horsdal & Schubart Publishers, (September 30, 2004). ISBN 1-894898-10-9; ISBN 978-1-894898-10-2.
- Jennifer Pederson. The Raging Grannies Activist Grandmothering for Peace. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative 1(1): 64-74.
- The Pentagon's New Spies : Rolling Stone
- Meet Bush's latest enemy in the war on Iraq: the Raging Grannies of Tucson, Arizona | World news | The Guardian
- Granny Power: https://vimeo.com/89467996
- Michael D. Read. A reverential tribute to the Raging Grannies. Times Colonist, Feb 15, 2015: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/film-festival/a-reverential-tribute-to-the-raging-grannies-1.1763611
- Peter D'Auria. This “Raging Granny” Crashed a Wall Street Dinner to Demand Answers. Yes Magazine, Mar 27, 2015: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/together-with-earth/this-raging-granny-crashed-wall-street-dinner
- Narushima, M. (2004). A gaggle of raging grannies: The empowerment of older Canadian women through social activism. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 23(1), 23–42.
- Dumond, R. (2017). Speaking up: Communicating with authorities through positive disruptions. unpublished Masters of Design thesis, University of Washington.
- Guillemot, J. R., & Price, D. J. (2017). Politicisation in later life: experience and motivations of older people participating in a protest for the first time. Contemporary Social Science, 1-16.
- Aging Horizons Bulletin. Interview with Dana Sawchuk: The Raging Grannies’ Cheeky Protests for a Better World: http://aginghorizons.com/2009/12/interview-the-raging-grannies-cheeky-protests-for-a-better-world.
- Carole Roy. The Raging Grannies, Blazing a Trail of Humorous Protests. Canadian Dimension, 2004: https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-raging-grannies-blazing-a-trail-of-humorous-protests
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