Category Archives: Grass Roots Action

Students not Soldiers – Parent Teacher Conference Night Action 11-09-2017

Share

Volunteer activists and parents attending Parent Teacher Conference night met briefly in front of 12 NYC public high schools. Parents were at the school for a scheduled conference with their child’s teacher, and volunteers were distributing 2 flyers providing anti-military educational information. Parents accepted the flyers with much appreciation.

Questions to Ask – Points to Consider Before Enlisting offers questions to be asked military recruiters as well as responses to the information and ‘promises’ made to students. This helps families and youth better understand the recruiting jargon and to not accept misleading information. Leave our kids alone.
The Non-Military Options for Life After High School flyer gives families a helping hand to survey many college websites, resources for job skills training, technical and trade programs, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. Parents appreciated receiving this flyer.
It became obvious that parents do not want their children to enlist. Many expressed an anti-war message. This is an action where you realize how many want to end war and provide a non-military educational experiences for their children during their years in high school.

At John F Kennedy, Jr. High School a male volunteer had the opportunity to talk for several minutes with a group of five male teenagers. One of these young men was considering a military career, but decided to think about it more deeply after he told him, “Trump wants you.” He also asked them, “Do you want to fight their wars?” Rod gave them a role model.
A mother offered a sign of relief. I’ll look at the Options websites with my child. I wanted info about City College financial aid. We were confused, and I haven’t received any assistance from the guidance counselor.
A volunteer chatted with one teacher who was interested in our materials, took 4 copies and promised to distribute them to her students – it doesn’t get better than that.

Volunteers receive gratitude from parents for the information. All who volunteered, although they had little time for conversation with parents, made a difference. It is appreciated when someone cares about their child’s future, is willing to stand in front of the High School, and generously reaches out with educational information and advice they rarely receive.

Thanks to the volunteers for their commitment to this action – to provide families with non-military educational information and options. We will be back at the high schools March, 2018. Keep posted – perhaps you will join us at that time.

Students not Soldiers!

Barbara Harris
for the Granny Peace Brigade

PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCE NIGHT – at NYC PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS 2017

Share

PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCE NIGHT – at NYC PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS

Call for Volunteers – Thursday, November 9, 2017

Resist Military Recruitment * Reject Militarism

President Trump has been quite outspoken about ensuring a strong military “the most tremendous”. To realize his mission, $92 billion has been added to the military budget in support of Department of Defense war activities and for increased recruitment in all military branches. At the same time, an estimated $9.2 billion will be cut from the public school Education Budget.*

Military recruiters continue their relentless pursuit of high school students as potential soldiers. Endless war and the threat of new military involvement require a trained and ready young military force. A recruiter’s work is never done. High school students are their bread and butter and enlisting students is their goal. It’s our responsibility to counter the recruiter’s outreach.

Join us for the Parent Teacher Conference Night Action:

Thursday, November 9th, 5:00pm -6:30pm at high schools throughout the city.

Volunteers distribute 2 flyers to students and parents:

1. A resource guide highlighting non-military job training programs, college financial and scholarship opportunities, and community service programs for students to reach their goals.

2. Questions to ask recruiters, the truth and reality of military service, and facts underlying the military recruiter’s promises.

To volunteer for the Parent Teacher Conference Night leafleting action please contact us for more details. A brief training session can be arranged at your request.

Let’s end war one youth at a time. Your time will be well spent and may make a significant difference for a student and family.

Teach Peace,
Barbara Harris

Counter Recruitment – Granny Peace Brigade NYC

For additional information on counter-recruiting and materials that you can download, go to: www.grannypeacebrigade.org and select the Counter Recruitment page.

*President Trump’s budget proposal, released in March, seeks to cut education funding by $9.2 billion overall. It would take away some federal support, such as money for the Special Olympics and a reading initiative, while promoting school vouchers and boosting dollars for charter schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, said the plan is “an historic investment in America’s students.”

To others, it is anything but. Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Assn., called it a “wrecking ball”, California Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said “it fails,” and Obama administration Education Secretary John B. King Jr. called it “an assault on the American dream.”

Why Yemen? What have Yemenis done to the USA?

Share

While…

We have bombed them killing civilians and children. We helped Saudi Arabia kill over 10, 000 (still counting) with the sale of weapons and refueling of the bombers we sold them. And now FAMINE threatens this country, one of the poorest in the world! Millions!

The GPB  joined a week long action across from the UN from 10-16 April organized by the New York Catholic Worker Community with many other groups. Around 20 fasted in support of the Yemeni people calling for:

  1. Ending of all drone attacks and military special operations within Yemen;
  2. End to US weapon sales and military aid to Saudi Arabia;
  3. Compensation to those who suffered losses due to US air strikes.

And…
the UN to end a blockade and air strikes, a silencing of all weapons, and a negotiated settlement to the war in Yemen.
Fifty-five US Congress Members including NYC’s Nadler have signed a letter to POTUS expressing concern for our actions in Yemen. This is just a first step. We must ensure the blockade ends and that UN food aid reaches starving children.

What can we do when so few seem to care?
Let your Congress members know YOU care!

Marty Rajandran
for the Granny Peace Brigade

NYC Parent Teacher Conference Night – Spring 2017

Share

NYC Parent Teacher Conference Night provides an opportunity to bring non-military alternatives and educational opportunities to families.  On the evening of March 23, 2017, volunteers were at 11 high schools handing out 2 flyers to parents as they arrived to meet with their child’s teachers. Flyer information includes websites for colleges, training programs, community service, scholarships and financial aid as well as questions to ask recruiters in order to better understand the hype of enlistment promises and military service requirements.

With just a few words, “Consider non-military alternatives to the military for your child, check out the many websites, learn more about financial aid and the many opportunities available for your child” parents accept the information often with a thank you included.

Several parents stop to speak with volunteers for more information or to share their thoughts.
One parent commented that there had been some kind of assembly to inform parents about this, but that it was perfectly useless. She was so happy to have all the info in the palm of her hand.

One mother told a volunteer that her son was approached by recruiters as he got out of the subway at the 125th St station on his way home from school. The mom said the recruiters gave her son appealing stuff, for example, a water bottle. Her son seemed to be considering enlisting and she was concerned.

A mother who had been approached by recruiters when she was in dental assistant school never knew how the recruiters got her personal contact info. She said they were persistent. She didn’t want recruiters to be taking to her kid.

The reward of meeting a parent and hearing ‘Thank you for helping me understand and providing information’ is the reward volunteers receive. And thanks to all the volunteers for their time, effort and commitment to providing non-military alternatives to families – you have made a difference.

We hope you will join us in November when we will bring our message and information to parents at NYC high schools again.

Students not Soldiers,
Barbara Harris
Photos: Eva-Lee Baird

for the Granny Peace Brigade

Asking NYC to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Share

In January several retired teachers and a student at P.S. 41 testified at an NYC Teachers Retirement System pension board meeting. Our ask — divest the Teachers Retirement System from fossil fuels. Ten-year-old Ajani reminded the board that,  “The world looks up to America and we should be the lead example of renewable energy…. Ninety-seven percent of scientists believe in climate change. We need to act.”

On Valentine’s Day 350NYC along with other groups and activists, including Ajani called on NYC’s Comptroller Scott Stringer to divest the City’s five pension funds from fossil fuels.

We also asked Comptroller Stringer to cut ties with the banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Mr. Stringer has a lot of work to do. So do we.

See you in the streets.

Eva-Lee Baird
for the Granny Peace Brigade

Photos – Mark Dunlea & Marty Rajandran

 

The Women’s March – A Special Power

Share

A special power was generated in the throngs of people that “marched” in midtown New York, though the word “inched” would be more accurate.  The energy was colorful and mostly young – and their creative juices were in their signs and pussyhats.

I was with a friend and we were penned in at the SE corner of 47th Street and Second Avenue – only a block away from the Vets for Peace gathered at First Avenue. Given the crowd separating us, we could have been miles away – not just one block.

I had our Granny banner and we decided to open it and display it for all the other folks who were hemmed in. Folks took photos of it and we chatted about the hats they were wearing or their signs.  One woman of about my age saw the banner and said she had to hug me for it because it expressed what she was feeling – that only peace will make for a decent world for the future generations that were around us at that moment.

Once we started to move, we folded the banner away and inched along….it was a wonderful and unique event, and the weather was made for it!

— Nydia Leaf

And elsewhere in NYC other Grannies were on the march:

— Photos – Regina Silvers

 

 

Pre-Inauguration Rally January 19, 2017

Share

At a pre-inauguration rally in New York City, the Granny Peace Brigade joined thousands of New Yorkers to speak out against Trump’s agenda for America. Our message, ‘Trump, you’re not our president.’


We stand for peace, justice, tolerance and inclusion for all. Our voices were loud and clear. We’re here to stay; we’ll be listening and watching.

We act to make a safe and peaceful world for all children and grandchildren, ours and everyone’s.

Text – Barbara Harris
Video – Anthony Falco
Photos – Marty Rajandran
for the Granny Peace Brigade

United We Stand Rally – New York City

Share

Some Granny Peace Brigade sisters went to the UNITED WE STAND rally in NYC Thursday, while others were already on their way to Washington. (Click on the photos for larger images.)

We have to turn this country around, and from the size of the crowd in New York it looks like that might be possible.

Democracy is under attack!
What do we do?
Stand up, fight back!

See you in the streets,
– Eva-Lee Baird
for the Granny Peace Brigade

JROTC prelude

Share

We don’t know exactly how long our children have been learning military protocol as part of their high school curriculum, but JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp) has been in NYC schools for a long time. Established in 1916 as part of the National Defense Act, our research tells us that there has been a JROTC program in New York City schools since at least 1994 when what was to become one of the largest JROTC programs in the country opened at Francis Lewis High School in Queens. It didn’t take long before it was a hugely popular program.

Even though many aspects of the program are popular with children and their parents, members of GPB and other groups vehemently oppose the military in our schools in any of its many guises–whether it be a JROTC program or recruiters roaming the halls or being on the corner when children leave for the day.

We want our children to be students, not soldiers. And we don’t want our children encouraged to kill other people’s children. We believe that militarization should be kept out of high schools and that any positive attributes the program may have should be available to all children. Given our certainty regarding the detrimental effects of a military presence in schools, we have made it our business to be in the faces of our city council members to object to the 1.5 million dollars of taxpayer money allocated to funding JROTC in the schools. More recently, we have taken on the task of convincing Carmen Fariña that allowing children to march with dummy rifles is antithetical to a policy of 0 tolerance for guns in the school. The chancellor has been shrugging us off. “They’re only toys,” she said.

Please watch this powerful video produced by Chicago Veterans for Peace to fully understand our position. And please read and comment on the exchange of letters between the Granny Peace Brigade and Chancellor Fariña’s office.

– Joan Pleune
for the Granny Peace Brigade