The impetus for starting the Montreal group came from a group of women in Victoria, B.C. Incensed by the Canadian Government’s acquiescence in allowing American warships with nuclear capability to pass through Canadian water, the women joined the Greenpeace demonstration on board the Rainbow Warrior. The group attracted media attention by dressing in “granny”style clothes and wearing eye catching hats.
The Montreal Raging Grannies raise their voices in what is loosely described as song at a variety of venues where their opinions need to be heard. They participate at government hearings, in educational programs in schools and colleges, in presentations to community groups and at countless marches and demonstrations. In recognition of their outstanding contribution as peacemakers, the group was awarded the 2001 YMCA Canada Peace Medal.
Considered by some to be a “Social Movement” the Raging Grannies have expanded to more than 34 Canadian cities, more than 100 “gaggles” across borders and even oceans. Ralph Nader considers the Raging Grannies to be among the best of all Canadian imports.
The Montreal Grannies supported the formation of a Francophone granny group appropriately named. “Les Mémés déchainées.” Women interested in starting sister groups are urged to contact Granny Elizabeth firstname.lastname@example.org
The Montreal Raging Grannies rage where and when the issues get hot, and whether they are welcomed or not.
They’re off their rockers and into the spotlight. The Raging Grannies are the subject of a new exhibit that opens Friday (April 7) at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) – showing how humour can be an effective way to promote human rights and environmental activism.
The new exhibit focuses on the original “gaggle” of Raging Grannies from Victoria, British Columbia, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Starting with 11 founding members who were looking for new ways to attract attention to issues, this unique activist movement has grown to encompass more than 100 chapters across North America and around the world.
Using songs, costumes, props and outrageous acts of peaceful resistance, the Grannies promote a sustainable world for their grandchildren. Satirizing stereotypes about older women, the group also challenges perceptions about age, activism and the role of grandmothers in society.