Grannies Call for Change in Democratic Platform

August 30, 2008 Updated: August 30, 2008

NEW YORK—In an effort to have their voices heard, members of the anti-war organization, Granny Peace Brigade, walked along “platforms for peace” planks in front of the Times Square Armed Forces Recruiting Station on Aug. 26. The date holds historical significance as the dawn of women's suffrage in 1920.

“If this is Women's Equality Day, what does it mean to have endless war squandering the resources that should be used for the most vulnerable population: the young, the elderly, the Latino, the people of color, the poor,” said award-winning Broadway actress and activist Vinie Burrows.

Raging Grannies and Veterans for Peace kicked off the event with anti-war songs and joined in the activities, publicly displaying planks inscribed with eight demands for the 2008 Democratic Party platform.
A large portion of the activists were long-time protesters, some of whom had been involved in the protests against the Vietnam War, segregation, and discrimination against women.

The two groups were joined by elderly men and women of all ages, including political figures, veterans, performers, and other elderly protesters from various backgrounds.

According to Granny Peace Brigade member Eva-Lee Baird, the group says that the current Democratic platform “is not good enough for us.”

Baird says that the current Democratic platform draft supports the removal of combat brigades at a pace of one or two per month with plans to complete redeployment within 16 months.
“We don't want the troops redeployed, we want them home,” said Baird.

The slogans on the planks included phrases such as, “Peace Please”, “Contractors Out of Iraq”, “Don't Attack Iran”, Recruiters Out of Schools”, and “No Nukes.”

The recruitment center in Times Square was the location of a 2005 Granny Peace Brigade protest in which 18 women, ages 59 to 91, asked to enlist to replace young people deployed to Iraq. They were arrested and eventually acquitted after a six day trial in Criminal Court.

From Times Square, the Granny Peace Brigade “walked their planks” down to the local Democratic Party office to present their demands.