PEACE GRANNIES TO COMMEMORATE FIVE YEARS OF
ROCKEFELLER CENTER VIGIL WITH APPEAL TO OBAMA
TO END WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
Grandmothers Against the War, which began a Wednesday vigil at Rockefeller Center on Jan. 14, 2004, on the west side of Fifth Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts., will commemorate its fifth anniversary this coming Wednesday, Jan. 14, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., with a special vigil dedicated to President-Elect Obama and the grannies' request to him to bring the troops home from Iraq AND Afghanistan as soon as possible upon taking office.
"With the Gaza crisis currently taking precedence over all other international issues, we grandmothers are concerned that the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts are being ignored. We are urgently concerned about Gaza, of course, but do not want the public to lose sight of our vigil's focus of five years, Iraq, where people are still being killed and maimed, and the escalating crisis in Afghanistan," said Marie Runyon, one of the oldest grannies at 93.
"We hope to remind the President-Elect that he was supported by us principally because of his promise to bring the troops home quickly," said grandmother Nydia Leaf. As such the grannies will hold a 10-foot banner with a message to the President-Elect; well-known people will read the names of New York State G.I.s and Iraqi and Afghanistani civilian deaths during 2007, and the Raging Grannies will sing their unique songs of protest. All this will be accompanied by a color guard carried by a group of Veterans for Peace who have been standing with the grannies during the five years.
The Rockefeller Center vigil began with two women and gradually through the years expanded to its present-day average attendance of 25-40 people. Special occasions -- the vigil held for the 3,000th G.I. death announcement, and the one immediately following the arrest and jailing of 18 grandmothers (a related group known as the Granny Peace Brigade) who tried to enlist in the military -- have drawn as many as 100 people.
The fifth year vigil will be held despite any bad weather. The vigilers have never missed a single scheduled vigil no matter what the weather and will certainly be there this Wednesday. Please join us, journalists and camera people.
DATE: Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009
TIME: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
PLACE: west side of 5th Av. between 49 and 50 Sts.