Nov. 1 2012: Grannies, Vets and Unitarians Perform Our Pieces of Peace

For immediate release

Grannies for Peace, Vets for Peace and the Social Responsibilities Council of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany are combining forces to offer an inspiring evening of poetry, music, puppetry, art & stories –  with performers sharing what peace means in their lives, what moves them to work for peace.  Our Pieces of  Peace will be this Thursday, Nov 1, 2012 from 6-9 PM, at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany (FUUSA), 405 Washington Ave.(light refreshments at 6 PM).

Nancy Smith from Delmar explains why she organized this event soon after joining Grannies for Peace:  “I had barely wet my toes in social activism, before I was  struck by the acutely intelligent women around me (Women Against War and Grannies for Peace).  I wondered how they could retain the ability to be so buoyant and compassionate when faced with a relentless culture of war.  It occurred to me that their diplomatic travels, vigils, and endless endeavors to repair what ignorance continually breaks, must be draining.  So, when we began to create an artistic event for the peace community, I hoped that it would give us all a relaxed enjoyable evening together to recharge and revel in words  – my favorite pastime.”

Schenectady artist Mabel Leon and 3 other Grannies for Peace will present the 4 life-sized puppets Mabel crafted based on “The Guardians”, a painting by the artist Ann Altman who was inspired by the poetry of Diane Ackerman: “…I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature…and an architect of peace.”Mabel says, “I have always been deeply moved by both  the poetry and the visual image of four women guardians robed in brilliant colors holding a dove, a fish, a tree, and a child. These women are the messengers and guardians of life itself. I was motivated to try to represent these powerful images as large puppets who would speak this beautiful poem in unison. It is my hope to motivate women to see themselves as powerful and humble guardians of life and nature and messengers of peace.”

Dot Richards of Delmar who organized a Sextet for Peace explains that their 6 singers from Grannies for Peace and Women Against War will perform “Living Planet”, a song by Jay Mankita.  Dot says, “It is a gentle but eloquent reminder of the interconnectedness of all life on our planet, as well as a dramatic statement that ‘Peace will only come with Justice’.”

Albany poet and Vets for Peace activist Dan Wilcox describes his presentation: “One of the roles of art, of poetry in making political statements is to imagine alternative versions of the world, of events.  In my poem ‘Baghdad/Albany’, I imagine the invasion of Baghdad in 2003 as if it were occurring in Albany.  My point being, if you can visualize death and destruction as if it were happening to you, how could you then do it to someone else

Other presenters include:

  • Ann Brandon will read a letter from Yassin Muhiddin Aref and Mohammed Hossain.
  • Ed Bloch reading “Dakeshi Ridge” from his book, Courage, Courage, Courage.
  • Pat Beetle reading The Great Silent Grandmother’s Gathering by Sharon Mehdi.
  • Maureen Aumand with a threnody of poems from the anthology, Come Together: Imagine Peace.

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May 12, 2012: Grannies Mark Mother’s Day with Focus on Corporations That Profit from War


May 25, 2012

written by Kim Kennedy

Grannies For Peace Vigil

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Washington Park, Albany New York

12:00 to 1:00 PM

Is profiting from war patriotic?

This year the Grannies for Peace are calling out the war profiteers who are making a killing by selling and using weapons of war. We’re calling them “The Merchants of Death.”

We’ve chosen to highlight the five most profitable US defense corporations, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon. We’re also spotlighting Kellogg Brown and Root, formerly part of Halliburton. KBR is one of the companies that has benefited from billions of dollars in profitable single source/ no bid contracts for services previously provided by the US military itself…


Twenty-Five Grannies for Peace, dressed in black, carried a coffin through the Tulip Festival in a solemn, silent Peace Procession on Saturday, leaving the Moses Statue at noon. We marched with the aid of Mickie Lynn as drummer at the head of the procession. The “Merchants Of Death” banner followed with the coffin (displaying Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria). The signs naming the six “War Profiteers” were held by 6 of the Grannies For Peace in the march.

The procession ended in the southeast corner of Albany’s Washington Park (east of the Moses Statue) where the grannies held a silent vigil from 12:30 to 1 PM. The coffin was placed on the ground with three of the named corporations on either side as the Grannies For Peace formed a semi-circle around the props.

Maud Easter handed out 200 flyers as we marched and held our vigil. It seems there were a variety of reactions to our procession and vigil. Some people were curious; some seemed offended, some people showed support, and some called us names.

We sang a closing song to the tune of “Down By The River Side” replaced with “Profit War No More”

Here are the verses to “Profit War No More”

(Tune: “Down By The Riverside” Words by Mickie Lynn)

We’re gonna lay down our bombs and guns, down by the riverside, down by the riverside, down by the riverside. We’re gonna lay down our bombs and guns, down by the riverside and profit war no more.

We ain’t gonna profit war no more, we ain’t gonna profit war no more we ain’t gonna profit war no more (2 times).

We’re gonna lay down our bombs and guns …

We’re gonna give up our killer drones…

We’re gonna outlaw all cluster bombs…

We’re gonna bring our war dollars home…

We’re gonna join hands around the world…

We had a good turn out and would like to thank all of the Grannies and Non-Grannies For Peace who participated in this year’s Mothers Day/Tulip Festival activities and to everyone who helped make it possible.

At the prop making meeting several Grannies completed the signs and armbands for the vigil, all designed and stenciled by Kim Kennedy. Kim also organized the sequence of the march and the placement of props during the vigil.

For more photos, please see our blog: Profit war no more! (A Memorial weekend photo essay) pictures by Mabel Leon.


Sept. 9, 2009: Grannies for Peace Celebrates Grandparents’ Day

For Immediate Release

Grannies for Peace will celebrate Grandparents’ Day on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, by helping children express what peace means to them through a “Pinwheels for Peace Project”, at the Emmaus United Methodist Church at 715 Morris Street in Albany. 

Grannies and the church program director Rifat Nazir will explain the project to the media at 4:15 PM.  Grannies will begin crafts and singing activities with the children at 4:30 PM, which the media are invited to observe.  

“It is so important for children to grow up thinking about how they can contribute to peace in the world,” says Granny for Peace Dahlia Herring, coordinator of the event. “ It is our greatest hope that all children, including our grandchildren, will live in a world in which conflicts are negotiated through diplomacy, human needs are met through development, and armies are put to rest forever”, explains Herring.

“Many of the children in the Emmaus after-school program have come to the US as refugees from war, so we are especially happy to learn what they see as the seeds of a peaceful world,” Herring says.

Grannies for Peace is a project of Women Against War. Grannies for Peace began in 2006 when Grannies tried to enlist at a local recruiting station to take the place of young people headed for Iraq. Grannies for Peace continues work to counter military recruitment of our young and also to secure improved health care for our vets. See for more information.  

April 27, 2009: Granny Peacemakers Speak on March Arrests & Recent Court Victory

For Immediate Release

Joan Wile and Barbara Walker from Grandmothers Against the War in NYC will speak at a 6:30 PM Celebration of Granny Peacemakers on Monday, April 27, 2009 at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany (405 Washington Ave). They will be available for interview from 6-7 PM and after their 7 PM presentation.

Joan and Barbara will report on their protests, including the March 18, 2009 Times Square demonstration which Joan organized and for which Barbara and 6 other granny activists were arrested, jailed and then exonerated at an April 14th court appearance.  (See photo and account from the New York Times.)

Joan, author of Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace (May 2008, Citadel Press), and Barbara will share the strategies of granny peacemaker groups nationally and globally, who protest against the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They will speak also to classes at Siena College and the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany.

Joan and Barbara’s visit is organized by Grannies for Peace, a project of Women Against War, Schenectady grandmother Mabel Leon explains,  “Joan invited grandmothers in the Capital District to join them in a 2006 Valentines Day campaign across the nation against military recruitment. That is where our local Grannies for Peace got its start, holding a demonstration at the recruitment office at Colonie Center. We’ll tell them about our third annual Mother’s Day weekend Silent Vigil at the Tulip Festival on May 9th at 1 PM and invite them to plan something similar in Central Park!”

Albany grandmother, Dahlia Herring, says, “I love the courage and creativity of these NYC grannies. We are excited at the large number of community groups who are co-sponsoring this celebration of granny peace-making power.”

The April 27th event is co-sponsored by:Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Chatham Peace Initiative, Commission on Peace & Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Palestinian Rights Committee, Peace & Service Committee of Albany Friends Meeting, Pine Hills Neighbors for Peace, Saratoga Peace Alliance, Social Responsibilities Council of First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Tom Paine Chapter of Veterans for Peace, Troy Neighbors for Peace, Upper Hudson Peace Action.

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