Wintry Thursday. Indoors at NYC’s Port Authority Bus Terminal are seven grannies with permits for “expressive use” of the space. We set up the Peace table, our anchor, for a phone-a-thon. We’re inviting voters to call their legislators with their views on what needs doing. Today’s urgent message: “Ban Cluster Bombs.” With the pain of recent civilian suffering in Gaza fresh in people’s minds, feels like a good day for conversation.
Barbara H. finds people want to know, “What is this about??” It’s an emotional issue. Children dying from unexploded bomblets! People are outraged. Why didn’t the U.S. sign along with the 94 nations who prohibited use of cluster bombs in Oslo in December 2008? Yes, of course we’ll call our representatives!
They can use our pink quarter-sheet handout with Congressional Switchboard number (202-224-3121) and name of the joint resolution for signing the Oslo Declaration and banning the use, sale and transfer of cluster bombs. It’s S.J.RES.37 & H.J.RES.91. Two soldiers, on duty, initially tell Phyllis they don’t know what a cluster bomb is. They listen to an explanation and take fliers to read. Edith senses since the election of Obama, people are readier to believe voters matter.
Important to let legislators know what we want for our people! Raging Granny Mercy sings “Obama We Don’t Need the War” during a moment of quiet as Albert, a French journalist making a film on U.S. activism, films. People who recognize us offer high fives. A big school group stops with questions: “Where are these weapons manufactured???”
Eva-Lee says afterward, “it feels good to be taking this baby-step in the public use of privately owned public space.
– Caroline Chinlund, for Bev, Barbara W, Nydia, Barbara H, Mercy, Eva-Lee, Edith, & Phyllis
photos: Eva-Lee Baird
Granny Peace Brigade