Grandmothers take on the School of the Americas/WHINSEC

Next week, a courageous group of Grandmothers will join together to make a stand at the annual protest at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the School of the Americas, in Columbus, Georgia. The group, which calls itself 1000 Grandmothers, was started by Cathy Webster, a northern California Grandma. The mission statement on their website explains why they are taking this action,

“Imagine the courage of ONE THOUSAND GRANDMOTHERS standing together at the gates of the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. Imagine the gentle wisdom of one thousand CAREGIVERS taking action to stop the teaching of counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. Imagine the power of one thousand CHANGE-MAKERS saying NO to the perpetuation of crimes against humanity, especially against indigenous communities and children”

Nancy Jakubiak, another grandmother who will be participating in the protest explains further,

“We can make a very powerful statement as older women,” she said. “Maybe if people see grandmothers they’ll realize there’s something to this. We’re not wild-eyed radicals, we’re just your neighbors and friends.”

For more information about the SOA protest, check out their website at SOA Watch. And be sure to take a look at the wonderful lyrics to Holly Near’s, “A Thousand Grandmothers” on the 1000 Grandmothers website.

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