The grannies have lent their wit to many political causes over the years; supporting the Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), supporting peace activities such as Hiroshima Day and the YMCA Peace Medallion awards ceremony, protesting the war in Iraq, protesting the use of lawn pesticides and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs,) and protesting cuts to health care.
The Raging Grannies have Granny Unconventions to share tactics and song writing skills as well as friendship and fun.
Among the members of the Fredericton Raging Grannies are professors, teachers, poets, artists and editors. A number of the grannies are involved with the Voice of Women for Peace and the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton.
The way they dress makes a statement to society about who they are as mature women. They dress in long dresses, shawls, and they complete their outfit with fancy hats which are often times big and floppy and decorated with political pins and other doodads. They are not afraid to make fun of themselves and at the same time of society’s perception of older women.
The first Raging Grannies group started in 1987 in Victoria, B.C., but groups have since spread across North America. They have even made an impression on the RCMP whose Public Complaint Commission in 2000 identified the Raging Grannies as a potential military threat. Although this never materialized into a crackdown on the Raging Grannies’ activities, the Raging Grannies have nevertheless made their mark on the social activist landscape.
The Fredericton Raging Grannies group has certainly made a splash on the Fredericton social activist scene and hopefully will continue to do so well into the future.
Najat Abdou-McFarland is a member of the NB Media Co-op.