May 28, 2010



Feisty grannies stand up for peace
by Jim Hightower

How grand it was in Washington for Hamid Karzai. The corrupt, inept President of Afghanistan whose regime is being propped up by 87, 000 of our troops and $7-billion-a-month from us taxpayers got the red-carpet treatment in our Capitol city in May, including a meeting with President Obama in the grandeur of the White House.

Laurie Leon: Granny Pece
A grandmother participating in the Granny Peace Brigade.
On the same day as the Obama-Karzai chat, about 20 women gathered curbside on a busy Manhattan street. The scene there was less grand, but a whole lot more honest. Inspiring, even. These were "the grannies," a brigade of ladies whose ages range from the mid-sixties into the nineties. They come together every Wednesday to protest Mr. Obama's war in Afghanistan.

This particular Wednesday marked the 331st consecutive week of the grannies' stand, going back to the early months of George W's Iraq war, which is still going on, so they protest it, too. Every week, whether in the cold of winter, or in the searing heat of August, they unfurl their banners, unfold their homemade placards, politely hand out their leaflets, and talk with anyone who'll listen about their deeply held convictions against the two wars. Occasionally they'll ring out with a chant: "Bring our troops home now... Alive!"

Persistence, integrity, speaking out it all matters in our country. Yes, the wars go on. And, no, Obama, the generals, the war contractors, and our lawmakers are not listening to these feisty citizens. But others do hear them. "The point is to interfere with the routine," explains one of them. "As people walk down the street, it has an impact on their consciousness."

Thank goodness someone is standing up for peace and justice. Laurie Leon, whose age she simply describes as "very, very senior," cheerfully says, "I won't stop till I drop." The question is not why these ladies are out there every week. The question is why aren't we?

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Copyright 2010 by Jim Hightower & Associates
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