by the Raging Grannies
If you haven’t heard of the Raging Grannies you haven’t spent much time at demonstrations in White Plaza. Members of the Grannies, some of whom are Stanford graduates, joined current students during a recent Occupy demonstration, during SlutWalk, and have protested on campus for environmental causes and against the use of torture, amongst other causes. Gail Sredanovic tells us why they do it in a Q & A session.
Q: When did you graduate from Stanford?
A: I got my Master’s in French at Stanford in 1965. Some of our other Grannies spent their undergraduate years at Stanford, and another was a graduate student in psychology.
Q: Tell us how the Grannies came to be! Is everyone a grandmother? How many are there in the group local to Stanford?
A: The name and the style were the brainchild of a group of women in Victoria, British Columbia. They first appeared in 1987 and are still going strong. Here in our local group, the Raging Grannies Action League, we have about 30 members who participate at various times. Some have been with us since we started in 2000 while others cycle in and out as health and other responsibilities permit. At a given “gig” we may have as few as three or as many as twenty. Some of us have grandchildren and some don’t, but it is more about goals and attitude than biology. We just want to save the world and use sassy humor to do it.
Q: Are men allowed to join the Grannies, and is there a minimum age?
A: We like to say that we have a men’s auxiliary. That is, we love to have our men friends join us so long as they don’t try to take over.
Q: What is a current issue on Stanford campus the Grannies are concerned about?
A: We want justice for campus workers, especially those who work under difficult conditions for outside contractors. We have taken our concerns to on-campus rallies and even (undercover) to parent orientation. We show up when we can to support the Muslim students at their events. One of our Grannies, a lifelong environmentalist, is an advocate for the removal of Searsville Dam.
Q: Where can we find the Grannies?
A: Raging Grannies definitely get around, you might say “everywhere.” We go where we are invited and sometimes where we are not. You are most likely to see us at Bay Area rallies for peace, human rights and the environment. We show up when invited at festivals and conferences and uninvited to educate visiting politicians and to oppose the Tea Party.