Winnipeg Raging Grannies

Winnipeg Raging Grannies for Social Justice is the first and only group of its kind in Manitoba. Like other “gaggles” of Raging Grannies across Canada and the United States, they aim to raise public consciousness, expose hidden wrongs and challenge authority by non-violent actions, especially satirical songs.

Raging Grannies demonstrate awareness of political issues and knowledge about strategies for taking positive action. Although they dress in costumes that conjure up meek grandmothers in long skirts and wild flowered hats, they reveal the power of elders who have a vital political voice. Raging Grannies use humor and a light touch in order to claim public space for older women.

For more than 20 years, Winnipeg Raging Grannies have written and performed alternate lyrics to well-known melodies on a variety of themes: poverty, homelessness and housing, environmental sustainability and climate change, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, corporate globalization, child care, healthcare, human rights, solidarity with sex trade workers, war and peace, support for publicly owned infrastructure (e.g., the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), refugee justice, workers’ rights, fair voting in elections, feminism and the empowerment of women and girls. Grannies research their topics and check facts before going public. While any granny may write a song, the gaggle works together to fine-tune the song so that it fits the need as truthfully and effectively as possible.

Winnipeg Raging Grannies are happiest when they join other communities and activist groups, such as the St. John’s High School Grandma Support Group, Meet Me at the Bell Tower, Communities Not Cuts and Manitoba Youth for Climate Action. Raging Grannies know that their presence validates the work of younger activists: “The Grannies are here!” Young women have often commented “We can’t wait to be Raging Grannies.”

Raging Grannies delight in learning, singing, silliness and laughter to make good trouble and to inspire future generations to keep working toward peace, justice and a bright, safe and sustainable future.

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Winnipeg Free Press