To all who are within the sound of my voice. Listen up. My name is Vinie Burrows, native New Yorker, an actor by profession, unemployed, a long time member of the Granny Peace Brigade, that coalition which includes the 18 grandmothers arrested in 2005 for protesting the illegal Iraq war.
I am a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and I am here with my colleagues who represent various organizations: women’s, peace, social, labor – including among others Code Pink, Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, Women’s International Democratic Federation, ETC.
We stand in front of the New York Times which represents the Fourth Estate an institution which wields such power over the hearts and minds of society with its ability to bring information to masses of people – and with the authority of print.
We assert that the NY Times has used its tremendous power to bring disinformation to the people. To be precise, we accuse the NY Times of printing on January 5, 2012 a front page article about Iran and its nuclear intentions allegedly quoting the (IAEA) International Atomic Energy Agency that “Iran’s nuclear program has a military objective.”. Bowing to the avalanche of objections that this misstatement raised, the NY Times later retracted the statement.
However the retraction was not printed on the front page but was hidden in the bowels of the paper. We all remember the misinformation which aroused public opinions before our military invation of Iraq. We are seeing with alarm a similar situation vis-vis Iran. The front page of a recent New York Times Sunday Magazine section had an bold inflammatory image implying Iran’s nuclear proclivities.
For the past six years, the Granny Peace Brigade has borne witness to the terrible cost of our immoral senseless invasion of IRAQ and the carnage of Afganistan. Even as the administration wineds down involvement in these two shameful wars, the NY Times and other media are ramping up their rhetoric to plunge us into yet another bloody conflict. We demand that the NY Times reclaims it’s position as the “true paper of record” by returning to its journalistic integrity.
We have asked Mr. Arthur Brisbane, the public editor of the New York Times and responsible for retractions to join us. He is not here. From this location we shall march to Duffy Square to join the world communitiy in demanding demand- no war, no sanction, no intervention, no assassination against Iran.
From there, we will carry our message to the US and Israel Missions to the United Nations. Let us all join together to build a peaceful and just world.
I thank you and the Granny Peace Brigade thanks all of you who came out in such numbers to support this initiative.
– Vinie Burrows
for the Granny Peace Brigade
Photos: Bud Korotzer