Raging grannies

Grannies with a cause


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CA Canada
Web http://raginggrannies.org/


About the project Edit

The Raging Grannies are activist organizations that started in Victoria, British Columbia, over the winter of 1986/87. There are now groups in many cities and towns in different 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. 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 what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The Raging Grannies are often accredited with an innovative brand of activism notable for its frivolity and imagination. They stress peaceful civil disobedience combined with creativity and humour. To this end they rely heavily on street theatre, usually consisting of witty, satirical songs, and various unpredictable costumes and props. At the core of their activism lies the knowledge that their prescribed ‘senior citizen‘ status grants them credibility that can be used to open up avenues of protest unavailable to other groups and individuals. The Raging Grannies play the system by attracting media attention to a variety of issues. Often appearing as a ragtag gang of self-satirized ‘cartoon grannies’, possibly donning gaudy pink shoes and large vintage hats, and carrying plastic missiles on mock military boats, they succeed in making themselves heard by making themselves seen.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

heir mission is to arouse awareness about such issues as Peace, Social Justice, Environmental Protection, Racism -- and in so doing to bring about necessary changes in both laws and attitudes.They want to challenge the complacent among us and force them to confront issues to which they’ve been indifferent – or of which perhaps they are unaware. Their hope is that their kind of social action will ensure a better and more just world for their grandchildren and the generations to come.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

There are many gaggles of Raging Grannies throughout Canada and the United States, stretching from coast to coast. There are gaggles in other countries, too, such as the United Kingdom, Israel, Greece, Japan, and Australia.

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