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Can Grandmothers End Wars?

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Here is the perfect Mother's Day gift for your mother, your mother in law, your grandmothers, and in fact for the men in their lives as well - who ought to be shamed into action.  Joan Wile has published  a book called "Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace."  As far as I know, this is her first book.  It is very much an account of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  If more people did the same, we would put an end to war.

Of course, the people in this book are extraordinary, but everyone is, and the actions that Wile recounts this group of grandmothers having taken are actions she describes as fun and exciting.  If more people understood that and acted on it, we would put an end to war.

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These grandmothers in New York City hold a weekly vigil against the occupation of Iraq.  And they mean it.  They are protesting the current proposal by the Democrats to "oppose" the occupation by throwing another $178 billion at it.  Quick! Quick! Can somebody "oppose" me like that?

The grannies don't just vigil.  They generate significant discussion of peace in the media through actions that have included attempting to get themselves recruited at the Times Square military recruiting office.  They sat down in front, were arrested, went to trial, put the war itself on trial, and were acquitted, generating more attention all the while.

They've traveled abroad, networking with peace activists, and spreading awareness of the depth of American opposition to our government's crimes.

They've bird-dogged John McCain and Hillary Clinton.  And Clinton recently gave peace activists the credit for her defeat.

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They've gone to Washington and lobbied for peace.  They've performed hilarious and biting song and dance routines.  They've inspired and collaborated with grannies around the country and others working for peace.  They've knitted stump-socks in rocking chairs in front of the Veterans Administration.  If more people took similar actions, we would put an end to war and have more fun at the same time.

In case you did ever doubt that a handful of people can make a difference, that one person can make a difference: READ THIS BOOK.  Then go forth and do likewise.  And order a copy now for every Mother's Day present you'll need.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)

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