Tuesday, March 17, 2009


CONTACT: Joan Wile, 917-441-0651
Their Theme: Pack up Iraq, and Afghanistan Not Againistan

The indefatigable GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE is again in the forefront of the peace movement. They will hold the FIRST public anti-war protest of the Obama Administration on Wednesday, March 18, 12 o'clock p.m. at the Times Square recruiting center, 44th St. and Broadway. Their mission is to urge President Obama to re-think his policies toward Iraq and Afghanistan. Supporters of the President, they nevertheless feel he is making a mistake by proposing to leave 50,000 troops in Iraq after the official withdrawal and his order to deploy 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. "He has requested that we let him know when we think he's on the wrong track, and we are taking him at his word," said 94-year-old former NYS Assemblywoman Marie Runyon, the oldest of the peace grannies.

To express their concerns, the grannies plan to symbolically wrap up the wars by wrapping police CRIME SCENE tape around the recruitment station. Prior to doing so, they will hold a press conference, beginning at noon, to which many actors and local officials have been invited. Among those who have agreed to speak are mayoral candidate Rev. Billy; actress Kim Weston-Moran, a star of the new off-Broadway hit, The Lonely Soldier Monologues (Women at War in Iraq); civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel; Broadway and off-Broadway legendary actress Vinie Burrows, and chaplain and Vietnam vet Hugh Bruce, a leader of the local Veterans for Peace chapter.

The GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE has chosen the Times Square location because of its historical importance to them. Eighteen of them were arrested there on Oct. 17, 2005, when they tried to enlist to replace America's grandchildren in harm's way and later were on trial for six days in criminal court at the end of which they were acquitted of all charges. Since then, they have acted as missionaries of peace, traveling in the United States and abroad speaking, performing, protesting and writing of their desire to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The grandmothers will be joined by other granny peace groups -- Grandmothers Against the War, who have held a weekly vigil at Rockefeller Center for over five years, and the Raging Grannies, who will sing a couple of their original anti-war songs. Members of Veterans for Peace will serve as a color guard for the event.

GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE jailbird Eva-Lee Baird explained, "The merchants of war are putting tremendous pressure on President Obama to lead the country down a path of destruction. We the people must pressure him to choose the path of peace."

DATE: Wed., March 18, RAIN OR SHINE
TIME: 12 o'clock noon
PLACE: Times Square recruiting center, 44th St. and Broadway

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