Tag Archives: holiday shopping

Don’t Buy War Toys/Gifting that promotes life, learning and peace!

Dear Holiday Shoppers – War Is Not A Game

The Granny Peace Brigade continued its annual “Don’t Buy War Toys” campaign in one of the best known shopping areas in the USA: Herald Square…the home of Macy’s among others. In the blustery cold wind, our songs were a bit muted, but even then we were joined by a Raging Grannie from Rochester, who just happened to be walking by, and could not resist a protest song!  As usual, many thumbs ups and thank-yous and just one or two who disagreed.As we wish our friends a Merry Christmas, Happy Channuka, Happy Kwanza, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy etc.,  consider giving gifts that promote life, learning, and peace!

– Marty Rajandran with Barbara H., Bev, Edith, Eva-Lee, Joan,  Nydia, Regina, Tibby
for the Granny Peace Brigade

More photos on Facebook



In the midst of NYC’s recent holiday shopping frenzy the Granny Peace Brigade and Raging Grannies got together at FAO Schwarz on Fifth Ave. Ever since 2009 we’ve hit the streets each December to remind holiday shoppers that “War Is Not A Game.” We also give people tips on how to select gifts for children in our “Smart Toys For Smart Kids” flyer.

(Click on photos for larger images.)



Earlier in December we’d been to Toys”R”Us in Times Square, and Target at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. We wound up our tour on December 19, assembling on the plaza outside FAO Schwarz. Some of us stayed outside singing and giving out flyers while others went inside to spread our message quietly.

What happened outside? It was deja vu all over again.


We belted out a number or two, passersby got interested, a security guard asked us to leave, we refused, saying our message was really important, and the security guard called the cops. When the police arrived, Alice, Nancy and Nydia explained our message to an officer, and the officer in turn explained to us that the very public-seeming plaza in front of the store was actually privately owned. If we refused to leave we could be arrested for trespassing. We didn’t want to go that far – this time. We did want as many people as possible to witness the interaction with the officer, in the hope they would think about the increasing privatization of public space. Under these circumstances a long conversation with that officer would be a good thing.


Grannies are virtuosos at delicately extending these conversations. If they are soft spoken so bystanders have to lean in to hear, that’s just fine. They get the timing right too, knowing when to call it quits and have the singers amble off to the public sidewalk for a bit more serenading.

– Eva-Lee Baird
for the Granny Peace Brigade

Meanwhile, what happened inside the store?




Yes, we were inside, and the reaction was very positive. People passing by stopped to talk with us, including a guy in camouflage who was in the National Guard and a group of teenagers who wanted to know more about the Grannies and why we were there.


All discussions were respectful. We also spoke to the manager who may have agreed with us but wasn’t committing to anything. She said the store was now owned by Toys’R’Us and they make all stock decisions and she gave us the name and email of the decision-maker. Security was clearly sent to keep an eye on us, subtly, and we were not thrown out of the store.

Happy new year and hope to see you soon.
– Fran Korotzer
Photos: Bud Korotzer

P.S. the Granny Peace Brigade  sends a huge thank you to Bud Korotzer for giving us so many wonderful photos.

2013_12_19budBud,  your support means so much to us.



As the winter solstice arrived, nine Grannies and one Buddy sang anti-war-toys lyrics to shoppers on Flatbush Avenue outside the Atlantic Center Mall  and gave peace cards stating “War is Not a Game.”









We then entered the mall and weaved in and out of the Target toy aisles, serenading shoppers with “Don’t buy war toys, Don’t buy war toys, Girls and Boys” (a la Frere Jacques).

Our signs proclaimed “No War – No War Toys” and we were greeted with smiles and approving nods from the shoppers.


The serenade resounded through the top floor and lasted about ten minutes until…


…store security called for help and eventually escorted us down the escalator.  The Flash Mob had had its fun and then melted away.

– Nydia Leaf
for the Granny Peace Brigade
Photos: Eva-Lee Baird