Friday, July 10, 2009


Two Vigil Protests Held Weekly

As most of America focuses on the death of Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin's garbled resignation interview and Gov. Sanford's marital straying, New York's peace grandmothers still concentrate on the all-important issue of war and peace. As they have since we invaded Iraq, the women and their supporters feel it is urgent that the troops come home from both Iraq and Afghanistan. "There has never been nor can ever be anything to be accomplished by these immoral wars other than death and destruction," said Barbara Walker, one of the peace grandmothers.

They have recently stepped up the momentum of their anti-war actions so that, in addition to maintaining their five-and-a-half plus years Wednesday Grandmothers Against the War vigil at Rockefeller Center, the sister group Granny Peace Brigade now holds a Friday "Costs of War" tableau protest at the Times Square recruitment center (re-named, laughably, the U.S. Military Career Center). In this event, the grannies have a choreographed Q & A routine displaying on posters the answers to such chanted questions as: How much does it cost to keep one soldier deployed in Iraq? How many Iraqi civilians killed? How many soldier suicides? How many starving Iraqi children?

The location at Times Square is very significant for the grannies, inasmuch as 18 of them were arrested and jailed there when they tried to enlist in October 2005 in order to replace America's grandchildren so they could live long lives like the grannies have been privileged to enjoy. They were on trial for 6 days in Manhattan's criminal court and were acquitted after their defense by civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel and his associate, Earl Ward. The story traveled around the world overnight and was instrumental in jump-starting the anti-war movement, which had been largely quiescent before then.

The media is invited to either or both of these events any time. The Rockefeller Center vigil is held religiously every week no matter what the weather. The recruitment center action may be affected by the weather, so it is advisable to call me if it is raining.

PLACE: West side of 5th Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts.
DAY AND TIME: Wednesday afternoons, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

PLACE: Broadway and 43rd St.
DAY AND TIME: Fridays, noon to 1:30 p.m.

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