Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Anti-War Grannies

The great Clyde Haberman, chronicler of all things New York, wrote in the New York Times on Friday about the Anti-War Grannies who gathered last week in the same spot in Midtown Manhattan for the 330th consecutive Wednesday to express their disapproval of America's wars. As Haberman points out, of the 21 people who actually protested, 5 were men and a handful were young women in their 50's, but most were grandmothers, 65 and older, who for many years have been consistent and organized critics of America's folly overseas. One was 92, another 90, and all regretted the fact that this demonstration continued to be necessary. A few passersby greeted the Grannies with approval, while a couple of others chided the Grannies for their disloyalty. Still others regarded the whole thing as kind of "cute." But as the Grannies said, "This isn't about being cute." For them, it had to do with disrupting the routine of people on the street, getting them to think about something that most people just want to avoid. Interestingly, though, one of the protesters remembered A.J. Muste, the great pacifist who died in 1967, and who, as head of the Fellowship for Reconciliation for many years, introduced a whole generation of civil rights activists to the power of nonviolent resistance. When Muste was asked what possible difference a small nonviolent demonstration against war could make, he supposedly replied: "I don't do this to change the country. I do this so the country won't change me."

And so the Grannies continue to gather to denounce war, as much to uphold their own convictions as to protest something they despise. We can only admire them, and in a similar fashion, find our own way to remind ourselves of the values we hold most dear and how to actualize them.

No comments:

Post a Comment