Joan Wile, one of our “Women Who Count” in Introduction to Women’s Studies, was part of a group of 18 women ages 58 to 92 who were arrested in 2005 after trying to enlist in the military in protest of the Iraq War.
The women wanted to be sent to war in place of young people — in some cases their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their argument? We’ve lived long lives, they said. Put us in harm’s way rather than young people just starting out in the world.
After that action, the group Granny Peace Brigade was formed, and a call was put out for grandmothers across the country to join the movement.
One result of that was Grandmothers Against the War, a group based in California’s Bay Area.
Wile has written a book, Grandmothers Against the War: How We Got Off Our Fannies and Stood Up for Peace. And the group holds a teach-in each year to educate people about U.S. involvement in militarization around the globe.
This year’s event, held Nov. 9 in Manhattan, was called “Say `No’ to U.S. Militarization of Latin American and the Caribbean.” Read more about it here.
The Granny Peace Brigade has taken on other issues as well. They have joined forces with HealthCare NOW and other advocates for single payer health care.
They have also partnered with Code Pink to help with counter-recruitment efforts, including informing parents about how they can make sure their son or daughter opts-out of military recruiting efforts based in high schools. New York’s YaYa Network is working with the Granny Peace Brigade on that effort as well.
Read more about the Granny Peace Brigade on its blog.
You can read brief bios of more “Women Who Count,” as posted by Introduction to Women’s Studies students, here.