Grannies for Peace vigil at Washington Park, May 7, 2022, “For the Mothers and Children of Ukraine, and all who are suffering and dying. US help achieve a ceasefire, leading to peace!”

Middle of the vigil on May 7, 2022. Photo by Maud Easter.

Fran and Mickie Holding the grannies’ banner. Photo by Harry Thornhill

Maud, Maggie, Dan, Karen, Elaine and Kate. May 7, 2022. Photo by Marcia Hopple

Pat, Anita, Karen and Rio, Photo by Victor Anderson, May 7, 2022

At the start of the vigil, creating symmetry, May 7, 2022, photo by Harry Thornhill

On a slightly cool Saturday afternoon, surrounded by lovely tulips, celebratory families, with lots of canine members, seeking respite from some of the worries of war, pandemic illness and economic challenges, Grannies for peace gathered to share a mother’s and grandmother’s day calling for a ceasefire of the war in Ukraine.

At our annual Mother’s Day weekend vigils at the Tulipfest, Grannies and our allies have stood for ending wars, racism. and corporate war profiteering that create suffering for mothers and children and the poorest people of the world.

Some years the vigils have been large, with many allies joining us. This year’s vigil was a small gem of a demonstration with many signs, banners, and roses to give out with our leaflets. About 20 people included our eldest Granny, Pat Beetle, really glad to join our vigil once again, in between eye surgery and the upcoming removal of stitches. She was accompanied by her daughter, Karen, Karen’s partner Victor and our official canine greeter, Rio.

Since our “official photographer”, Mabel Leon, was attending another event we had help from 4 backup photographers to document many aspects of our vigil. Hence the large number of photos from different vantage points and perspectives.


Later in the vigil with Dot leafleting, handing out roses and talking to young women. Photo by Harry Thornhill

Maud and Joan holding Wars Make Refugees banner. Photo by Harry Thornhill

Maud, Maggie, Dan, Karen, Elaine and Kate. May 7, 2022. Photo by Marcia Hopple

Mickie talking with Pat, Elaine talking with Dot and Kate. Photo by Harry Thornhill, May7, 2022

Maggie and Joan holding Wars Make Refugees banner. Photo by Marcia Hopple, May 7, 2022

Howie Hawkins petitioners visit the vigil to gather signatures.Maggie and Marcia hold “Wars Make Refugees” banner. Photo by Maud Easter, May 7, 2022

Karen and Rio, Mary Baker, Maud. Photo May 7, 2022 by Victor Anderson

Discussions on either end of the vigil with Tulipfest goers. Photo by Maud Easter, May 7, 2022

Fest goers taking photos, Victor and Fran holding Grannies banner, Photo by Harry Thornhill

Our colorful banner Support All Our Children with roses for leafleting. Photo by Maud Easter

A particular shout out to some of our allies, including the faithful VFP poet, and flag bearer [and often photographer in other situations], Dan Wilcox; Harry Thornhill, leafletter, transporter of our signs and banners, photographer, and constant team member, with Joan Thornhill: Victor Anderson, photographer and part of the vital support team for Pat Beetle;  and Mary Baker, a member of Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and other allied peace and justice groups.

Lastly to all of those who came up to talk with us, took leaflets, took many photos(and a few selfies), and asked questions, shared ideas and feelings and made us feel seen, heard and understood during the time that we stood together in Washington Park.

Leaflet for Grannies May 7, 2022 vigil at the Tulipfest


Report on Women Against War April 8, 2022 vigil to End War in Ukraine (Women in Black) on the steps of the NY State Legislative Building

On the morning of Friday, April 8, 2022 at 10: 40 am, a group of women dressed in black began to gather and assemble signs and banners for a vigil to contribute our hopes and healing energy to ending the brutal war that had been waging in Ukraine for the past 6 weeks.  This vigil came together through the work of a committee of members of Women Against War who met virtually to plan the ceremony and the visual and written messages that we wished to send out into the world.  We knew that we didn’t just want to stand but also to call attention to the urgent need for a cease fire to stop the deaths and destruction and lay a groundwork for a negotiated peace.

This was our invitation to like minded, anti-war women in the community.  In it you can see a photo of the original 2002 demonstration, on the much grander inside staircase of the Legislative Office Building.
One of the most dramatic messages of peaceful anti-war hopes and dreams was the half hour of silent vigil that expressed our unity of spirit with the women of Ukraine and peace loving, pro-diplomacy people all over the world. But before the silent ceremony we began with our policy statement suggesting ways to reach that lifesaving ceasefire as soon as possible.

Maureen Aumand reading our collectively written policy statement. Photo by Mabel Leon

Center of the vigil, with Maureen reading our statement and her preamble, photo by Mabel Leon

There were many beautiful, wise, accomplished and healing women at our vigil but one that I’d like to highlight is Pat Beetle; our eldest community and world peacemaker, a member of Albany Friends Meeting, and an honored and valued member of Women Against War and several other peace and justice groups. She is 97 years old and still very active and involved.

Women in black with signs and banners and Pat Beetle seated and holding a beautiful peace plaque. Photo by Mabel Leon

Pat Beetle our eldest Woman Against War holding the ground with the Women Against War banner behind her. Photo by Mabel Leon

Mabel Leon, our semi-official action photographer took photos from many perspectives during the vigil. Here are some that highlight different aspects of our vigil, our signs and messages, and the visual context of the vigil on this amazingly clear morning at the end of a week of rain.

Support and Protect all our Children banner, April 8, 2022, Photo by Mabel Leon

Side view from later in the vigil, April 8, 2022, Photo by Mabel Leon

Early in the vigil as women assemble on the outside steps of the Albany Legislative Building. Photo by Mabel Leon

Wars make refugees and more signs about missiles April 8, 2022, photo by Mabel Leon

Right side of the vigil during the opening remarks April 8, 2022, photo by Mabel Leon

View from top left with the NY State Capitol building and other downtown Albany NY buildings around our vigil. Photo by Mabel Leon

Our vigil closed with a beautiful A Capella version of a Malvina Reynolds song sung by Terri Roben. Since we didn’t record Terri’s version here’s a short video of Malvina singing it.

And here’s Terri sharing it with us:

Terri Roben singing and a panoramic view at the close of the vigil

Terri Roben singing our closing song “From Way Up Here”, Written by Malvina Reynolds. photo by Mabel Leon

And here are two photos of the vigil without signs and banners, to match our original event in 2002.

The silent part of the vigil without signs and banners, April 8, 2022, Photo by Mabel Leon

Second photo without signs and banners to match our original Women in Black vigil in 2002.

Finally a couple of other media related events that publicized our vigil in advance and on that day. Maureen’s 9:51 minute interview with Mark Dunlea on the Hudson Mohawk Magazine the Wednesday before the vigil.

A photo on the front page of the Saturday, April 9th Daily Gazette:

Daily Gazette April 9th. Front Page photo of part of our vigil on April 8th. Photo Credit-Peter R. Barber/Daily Gazette

And two photos taken by Darrell Camp, from his Twitter page:

Photo at the very beginning of our vigil at 11:04 PM as people were holding signs and banners. Photo by Darrell Camp, reporter for NY Out Now/PBS

Some of our male allies at the foot of the LOB stairs, including Dan Wilcox, poet and Veteran for Peace with Mabel Leon taking photos Photo by Darrell Camp, NY Out Now

Instructions for the new WAW action list@google groups .com, dated 12/14/20

Dear WAW action list serve members,

It’s been a good long run for this list serve (which began in the spring of 2004). For much of that time we’ve had almost 400 members ~ from diverse peace, justice, and educational organizations and individuals working for progressive and radical change.

In mid-October of 2020 we were informed that Yahoo was shutting down all of its groups. Since that time we discussed where to move our listserve. The Steering Committee chose Google Groups.
As of this weekend (October 13, 2020) we’ve transferred all of the Yahoo list members who still have viable email addresses to our new list and it’s ready to go.
To post messages to the new list serve: address them to

The web address for our Women Against War Action list is If you’ve already been added to the list then you can access your group at that address.
If for some reason your email address has changed, or you’re not a member of the new list then you can subscribe by sending an email to this address:
For those having difficulty joining via subscription (and if you haven’t blocked direct adds and invitations from Google groups) you can send an email with the subject head “please subscribe me to your list serve” to .
If you have any other questions you can also address them to the info at Women Against War email address.

Alice Brody’s photos from our November 29th “Children are Starving in Yemen because of US bombs”

These are some more photos of our November 29, 2018 vigil to stop US support for the murderous Saudi led war against the people of Yemen.  They were all taken by Alice Brody but came in too late to include in the original article about the vigil and our reasons for being there with the 34 backpacks.  Thank you for the photos, Alice.

Children are starving in Yemen because of US bombs. 34 Backpack Vigil in Albany on Thursday, November 29th Noon to 1 PM.

Despairing of getting House and Senate leadership to allow privileged status, under Authorization of Military Force rules to sponsored bills that would end US support for the Saudi led War in Yemen, The Iran Project of Women Against War decided to hold another public vigil.
We felt that broader Congressional attention might finally be focused on US support and weapons sales – after the blocking of a long sponsored House resolution by Paul Ryan, the horrific August 9th bombing  of a school bus by a US made bomb, and the brutal October 2nd assassination of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, masterminded by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

A child stands near the mangled wreckage of the bombed-out school bus. Photo by Ahmad Algohbary/Al Jazeera

Women Against War has been lobbying and vigiling for years to remove all US military support and weapons sales to the Saudi Emirati coalition as the rate of starvation and deaths from preventable diseases has grown to epic proportions. But this obvious violation of the rules of war by targeting a civilian vehicle provided a dramatic point to educate the public.

November 2018, The Backpack Cemetery for Yemeni civilians at the Saudi Consulate. from Afghan Peace Volunteers

Voices for Creative Nonviolence had created the visuals for a moving and visceral vigil. We decided to work with their ideas and their materials while adding some of our own. Much appreciation to Fran Dempsey for contacting Kathy Kelly and obtaining the backpacks and placards that they had designed, along with those in Grannies for Peace who shared previous signs and banners about the blockades and bombings in Yemen.

One of our goals was to create our own media with the visual display and a leaflet to distribute to pedestrians:
Thanks to the excellent media outreach by Maureen Aumand we had some media coverage, including 5 excellent photos and a short description by Times Union photographer, John Carl D’Annibale. [Taken early in the vigil as people were still arriving.]  At the peak of the vigil we counted 43 people]

You’ll also notice that each backpack has the name of one of the 9 to 11 year old students who died in the bombing. That work was done by some members of Fran’s family/community as part of the preparation. The 4 red, white and black signs taken together tell the story of the bombing and of the context of humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

To get a wider picture of the spirit and physical impact of the vigil here are photos taken by Mabel Leon. Given the most recent focus in the Senate on “punishing” MbS rather than on the suffering of the people of Yemen we may still have a longer struggle ahead of us than we would have wished.  So stay tuned and keep on lobbying and being active!

Vigil and commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day in conjunction with Performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem , Saturday November 10th, at Proctor’s Schenectady from 6:15 to 7:30 PM

After receiving the announcement of the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem as the last of a series of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, Marcia Hopple brought the idea of leafleting and vigiling for peace at that performance to the October meeting of  WAW’s Iran Project.  After a discussion it was decided to vigil and leaflet in the courtyard leading to the back doors of Proctor’s theatre.  We obtained permission from both the Orchestra and Proctors to be there and be a voice for peace. Alexandra Lusak got permission for us to park in the lot of a nearby church so that we could leave the Proctors’ parking to the concert goers. Here are a few details from our outreach flyer to Capitol District peace groups:

Women Against War is planning a peace demonstration on Saturday November 10 to dovetail with a performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at Proctors Theater in Schenectady.  It will also allow us to stand in spirit with Veterans for Peace and others who will be vigiling on Sunday, 11/11/18 in Washington DC

TIME:  6:15  – 7:30 PM. There will be two groups: arriving for the Pre-concert talk with David  Alan Miller at 6:30 PM, and for the concert at 7:30 PM

LOCATION:  Rear of Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady NY 12305 (near State and Jay Streets) We will be standing in the courtyard outside doors to Proctors from rear parking areas

OCCASION:  Albany Symphony Orchestra performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem to commemorate the first Armistice Day 100 years ago, ending World War I (the war that was supposed to end all wars).

The concert is the culmination of several events commemorating the first Armistice Day 100 years ago

ACTION:  Handing out leaflets and displaying signs related to the theme End Endless War, as about 2,000 concert goers enter the theater.

We will provide signs.  Please try to carpool and dress for standing outside for the demonstration.  We will leaflet and hold our signs primarily at the rear of Proctors where most patrons arrive from the parking lots.  The Symphony and Proctors welcome us to be present at this Armistice Centennial event.  Proctors even offered to hand out coffee to the vigilers.

Parking available  WAW has permission to park in the lot at the First United Methodist Church of Schenectady.  They are at 603 State Street, about two blocks east of Proctors.  The lot is behind the church.  Another option is to park at Schenectady County library at 99 Clinton Street, at the corner of Liberty St., about three blocks from Proctors.  Please avoid parking in the lots directly behind Proctors to leave room for concert patrons. A parking garage near Proctors is usually free during performances and is accessible from Broadway.  Parking in the lots behind Proctors is not free.

As an update about our action: on a bitterly cold evening with a strong breeze 12 brave vigilers carried signs reading End Endless War and War Is Not The Answer and handed out about 500 leaflets with the theme Working for Peace through Music, Art, Poetry and Policy and ending with the phrase “Together we can make a Peaceful World.”



Grannies for Peace vigil for an End to Endless War, on September 21, 2018, The International Day of Peace.

On an extremely windy evening 20 Grannies for Peace and their allies held a vigil to call for an end to endless war. We were there on the occasion of The International Day of Peace. A commemorative day that was established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution. As it says on their website: “Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.”    

We stood from a little before 5 PM to 6 PM.  Because of the high winds we were unable to unfurl most of our banners. But we did hold the Women Against War banner. Wendy brought two peace flags of her own. Joan and Harry brought their peace flag. Pete also brought some sturdy plastic signs that he attached to poles at the spot where traffic came off the Northway heading to Central Avenue or Wolf Road.

A small committee of Grannies planned this vigil, including Joan, Doreen and Dot, with help from others on the usual tasks involving outreach. Our numbers were smaller than usual because several of us were out of town or had schedule conflicts. Nevertheless we still made a colorful and passionate group to which commuters responded with honks and peace signs.

Our outreach flyer shared our reasons for being there with these words, written by Maud:

End Endless War!

War is not the answer. Let’s declare war on war so that the outcome is peace upon peace.
Let’s work to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

And now for the pictures, taken by Harry Thornhill:

Grannies for Peace, SJC contingent, with Tom Ellis. Photo by John Amidon

There is also a short, 2 minute video taken by John Amidon.

Billboards with Peace Message from Albert Einstein launched in Schenectady on September 7, 2018

September 2018 Capital District Billboards with Albert Einstein quote.
Taken at Erie Blvd. during the September 7th billboard launch by Priscilla Fairbank

After a great deal of logistical and administrative work by Priscilla Fairbank and others (including Kate Cavanaugh and Marcia Hopple) a second set of billboards with an antiwar message went up in Schenectady and Albany. To read more about the reasons for the billboards, the national context of their display, and the locations of both billboards that will be up for the whole month of September and perhaps a bit beyond that check out Priscilla’s blog article posted at the end of August on our blog, Waging Peace

What was especially nice about this billboard launch (on Erie Blvd a little past Monroe Street in Schenectady) was the planned participation of many members of Schenectady neighbors For Peace who moved their usual Friday Noon vigil to the location of the billboard and arrived with signs and lots of energy.

As photographer, Lori Van Buren headlined her photo in the TU Regional Section on September 9th “Peace Groups Team Up for Billboards”  And speaking of media coverage, thanks go to media maven Maureen Aumand  who reached out to attract two TV stations as well as the Times Union.

Here are two unpublished photos of the billboard and the late vigil gathering taken by Lori Van Buren of the Times Union.

Members of Women Against War and their supporters join the Schenectady Neighbors for Peace and members of Upper Hudson Peace Action to launch one of two billboards, this on Erie Boulevard Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 in Schenectady, N.Y. The other billboard will be on Central Ave. in Albany west of Westgate Plaza and Yardboro Avenue, facing east. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

Members of Women Against War and their supporters join the Schenectady Neighbors for Peace. and members of Upper Hudson Peace Action to launch one of two billboards, this on Erie Boulevard Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 in Schenectady, N.Y. The other billboard will be on Central Ave. in Albany west of Westgate Plaza and Yardboro Avenue, facing east. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

When we gathered together around 11:30 am that morning there was a growing number of Women Against War joining the vigil to support the message and attract the attention of drivers on the busy boulevard. Jackie Donegan of Schenectady Neighbors for Peace had a large sign reading Honk for Peace, which elicited much honking and raised our spirits.

One more excellent piece of writing came out of the billboard launch in the form of a letter to the editor from WAW member and Steering Committee member, Kate Cavanaugh.  She further explored Albert Einstein’s ideas about war, and created a bridge to the Grannies for Peace September 21st vigil to End Endless War.

Now we’ll let the pictures taken by Mabel Leon and Priscilla Fairbank speak for themselves:

Priscilla being interviewed at the billboard, photo by Mabel Leon

Greg and Michael, September 7, 2018, photo by Mabel Leon

Schenectady billboard, September 7, 2018. photo by Mabel Leon

Part of Schenectady Neighbors for Peace contingent on the median, photo by Mabel Leon

On the median at Erie Boulevard, September 7, 2018, photo by Mabel Leon

Marcia, Fran, Doreen and Pat at billboard launch, September 7, 2018, photo by Mabel Leon

Schenectady billboard launch, photo by Priscilla Fairbank

Group gathered near our billboard at the end of our vigil on September 7, 2018, photo by Mabel Leon

Martin, Greg, Mabel and Maureen at the September 7th billboard launch in Schenectady NY. Photo by Priscilla Fairbank.

Final gathering on sidewalk near the billboard, Sept. 7, 2018, photo by Priscilla Fairbank

Alexandra and Mickie with signs, and Kim Kennedy’s handmade banner, at the beginning of the September 7th billboard launch on Erie Blvd. Schenectady. Photo by Priscilla Fairbank

Women Against War billboard launch in Schenectady on May 3, 2018 from 10am to 11:30 am. “3 Percent of US Military Spending Could End Starvation on Earth.”

WAW billboard on Central and Western Avenues in Schenectady and Watervliet, May, 2018. One of two billboards displayed in the Capital District during the month of May.

This article was written by Priscilla Fairbank, the organized and energetic coordinator of the billboard launch.  Photos by Priscilla and Mabel Leon.

Early in 2018, an email notice from World Beyond caught our attention.  On their website, World Beyond War describes itself as  “a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace.”  They had launched an anti-war billboard campaign and were encouraging organizations to raise the money to have billboards put up in their own communities.  There were over 20 designs, each on their familiar sky blue background.  WAW’s steering committee discussed and endorsed the idea.  Several years ago, we had raised money for a couple of “No War on Iran” billboards that featured lovely photos of Iranian children.  We felt those had made our message available to many who would not have heard it otherwise.

Although our original focus had been an April display to coincide with the IRS tax filing deadline when taxpayers are thinking more about where their tax dollars go, our calendar was busy with other WAW events so we settled on May.

WAW is eligible for a Public Service Announcement rate which allows us to pay for one billboard and get a second one at no extra charge.  After looking at the many designs, we settled on “3% of U.S.military funding could end starvation on earth”.  It seemed simple, direct, bold – something against which no one could disagree.  It also seemed clear enough that drivers could read and comprehend while driving by.
Maud’s fundraising outreach was met with immediate success.

We contacted Lamar Advertising, owner of most of the area billboards, and asked for a list of available locations during May.  At first the lists were somewhat confusing but, with a little study, provided us with a great deal of information: location including distance from cross street, number of weekly impressions, dimensions, direction faced, illuminated or not, current advertiser.  We narrowed the list based on this information.  Then several of us spent a couple of hours driving to view the sites.  Our final choices were one on Route 5 near the Schenectady border, and the second on Route 2 just west of Watervliet.

We set our launch date for May 3rd at the Route 5 site.  Maureen reached out to local press, providing a background press release and followup reminders.  WOOC radio at  the Sanctuary for Independent Media included a 15 minute interview with Priscilla about how the billboard project came about.

On Thursday, May 3rd, about 20 members of WAW, and supporters, gathered to hold signs on both sides of the highway, bringing attention to the billboard that commuters would see for the next month.  Photos were carried in The Daily Gazette and Times Union, letters to the editor about the billboard message appeared in the TU, written by Catherine Cavanaugh and Pete Looker, and Maud wrote a blog about the billboards on WAW’s Waging Peace.

Signs and billboard on South side of Central Avenue, May 3, 2018, photo by Mabel Leon

Every day many people drive by the two billboards.  Based on Lamar’s numbers, our two sites have 155,000 views per week.  We believe our effort raises the awareness and hopefully a conversation about U.S. military spending, its immense size, and the many other things that are not being funded because of it.  We hope this motivates people to contact their elected officials and urge them to vote for different choices.  We are planning to fund another set of two billboards in September, before the midterm elections.

Photos by Mabel Leon: Photos by Priscilla Fairbank:


Leaflet from the Grannies for Peace Vigil “Stop Bombing Yemen”, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the Tulip Fest

Why is the US involved in the deadly Saudi bombing of Yemeni civilians?

The US considers Saudi Arabia an ally. Saudi Arabia considers Iran an enemy. Iran is an ally of the Houthi rebels in Yemen.  So Saudi Arabia is basically fighting a proxy war with Iran in Yemen

US military support of the Saudi attacks and blockades is another in a long list of deadly wars we should not be fighting. Unauthorized, and unconstitutional, this is one war we may be able to convince Congress to stop supporting.  There have been over a million cases of Cholera and diphtheria is raging.

Yemen, an Arab republic in Western Asia that borders on Saudi Arabia, was already one of the world’s poorest countries before the Saudi attacks began three years ago. Although the U.S. provides humanitarian aid to Yemen we’re spending far more to destroy its infrastructure. Causing famine and disease.  According to Save the Children, nearly 400,000 Yemeni children will need to be treated for life threatening acute malnutrition in the next year. Aid organizations are being blocked from this work by the Saudi closure of air, land and sea routes, and by frequent, massive bombing strikes. Right now 130 children die every day in Yemen from extreme hunger and disease–one child every 18 minutes.

Ask your Senators to give this humanitarian crisis their full attention and find ways to end our involvement and move Saudi Arabia toward diplomatic resolution of the murderous war in Yemen.

See senate contact information on reverse side.  Thank you!


 In March 2018, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing about our military involvement in the Saudi led coalition that is bombing civilians, hospitals and clinics, schools, infrastructure, and hopes for the future in the impoverished country of Yemen. By late 2017 more than 13,500 lives had been lost.

Now Congress may finally be looking critically at U.S military involvement in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.  We provide refueling, weapons, and intelligence support to the ruthless war that Saudi Arabia is waging on the people of Yemen.

NOW IS THE TIME for us to tell our US Senators and Congress members:  END US PARTICIPATION IN THE SAUDI ARABIA-LED COALITION that has reduced Yemen to a wasteland of famine, disease, rubble, and despair.

ACT NOW while the revelations of the horror and hopelessness we cause are hanging in the air in the US Senate.

US Senator Charles Schumer Albany (518) 431-4070   Washington, 202-224-6542

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand      Albany (518) 431-0120    Washington, 202-224-4451