May 14 in Borough Hall Park, Brooklyn and May 21 at City Hall Park, Manhattan
It was noon and people in the street were taking our flyers and many were seeking-out their NYC City Council member’s name (if uncertain) and phone number. Many made calls while others, requested the appropriate phone number saying they would make the call later.
The messages to City Council members varied but the essence of all was, “Get JROTC out of our high schools” or “I don’t want my city tax dollars used for military training and recruiting in our city high schools.” This seemed to us Grannies and Code Pinkers a no-brainer. People who stopped at our table were mostly supportive of our efforts. Our small crowds at the table got the attention of some people in the military. We discussed, with them, the purpose of our action. Our positions differed but there was discussion. In Brooklyn a 22 year military retiree was serious in hoping to convince us that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were really necessary interventions. His son was on his way to Iraq and he was a proud father. Another 22 year veteran, at City Hall Park, assured us that high school age is much too young to be able to make the decision of going into the military.
State Senator Bill Perkins stopped by and acknowledged his support of what we were doing. In addition, he agreed with our ideas regarding the closing of the Time Square Recruiting Center and said, “It’s beating guns into plowshares” and said that he’s with us all the way.
Weather permitted, spring has sprung, and you can hear the rhythm of people fed up with a city budget that’s cutting education funds while continuing to support military service as a job option for our young people. We are keeping at phone-a-thoning.
What can you do? Call your City Council member. Tell them that you don’t want tax dollars going for military training in high schools. You don’t know the name or number of your City Council member? Find out here. Please make the call with your message!
– Caroline Chinlund with Eva-Lee, Phyllis, Barbara H, Edith, Joan P, & Barbara W
for the Granny Peace Brigade
– Photos: Eva-Lee baird