"RAGE – How to ignite in others the rage we feel about social injustice, violence, and the rape of our planet"
Arriving by car, by plane, or train, or bus from as far away as Tucson, Arizona and Vancouver, British Columbia, they came – 118 Raging Grannies in all! The Montreal Raging Grannies were ready to welcome them from all across Canada and the United States to “La Belle Province” for our Raging Grannies UnConvention June 25-28, 2014.
We shared, learned and watched
The Opening Banquet included a Mohawk welcome to their territory, and Keynote Speaker Hélène Laverdière, Member of Parliament, who inspired us with her passion and years of dedication for peace, equality and justice.
Workshops were offered on topics such as: Making the Spoken Word Powerful, Lessons from the Moral Monday Movement, Blockades 101, Getting the Message Across with Signs and Banners, Raging for Ourselves, Videos and Web Promotion, Transforming Conflict into Productive Dialogue, The Resilience of Aboriginal Women, Civil Disobedience, and Sharing Good News for Change. Granny Gaggles performed a “Show & Tell” of songs and actions they have done about issues that bring them to “rage”, demonstrating creative ways to protest outrageously, and to have fun doing so!
A special highlight was the public premiere of “Granny Power”, the long-anticipated documentary by Magnus Isaacson on the Raging Grannies movement in Canada and the USA.
We marched and raged
Another highlight was when we marched along Montreal streets to share our “Rage” with the public. On the steps of the Anglican Cathedral in the heart of downtown, we sang about our concerns and handed out “report cards” for passers-by to “score” the Canadian and American governments on their actions on important issues.
Many Grannies participated in a research project by May Chazan, an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at Trent University, on how older women are changing the world. May Chazan noted “Specifically, I’m looking at why and how older women from a number of different organizations and networks are mobilizing, linking up, and working for social change – among these are the Raging Grannies. This will ultimately contribute to better understanding older women’s roles in this century’s major social and environmental justice struggles.”
Each UnConvention includes a memorial to honour those Raging Grans who have died in the previous 2 years.
What participants said
- The Friday walk & Rage was the best one I’ve ever attended. It’s remarkable how well we sounded with over 100 Grannies, and the dancers were spectacular.
- All the women – what a great way to feel our solidarity and know others are doing the same, the struggles are the same in both countries and it is a wonderful way to melt the border and join hands with our sisters.
- The power of older women and the wonderful energy especially at the Rage.
- The energy, the solidarity, the love, the spirit, the creativity, —-and on & on
- All the wonderful women from all over the continent. The warmth, the passion, the quirky individuals, wicked wit, and gentleness, all combining to create a sense of what we have together. I am re-inspired.
- The singing together lifted my soul. What an amazing experience to be with such creative, imaginative women with passion that I will never forget.
- Long after I (will) remember how wonderful it was to get together with Grannies from North America and hear their personal poetry