As of February 2024, there is a new display at the Law Library! On the left side upon entry, visitors will be able to view this year’s new showcase of Victoria’s very own “Raging Grannies”. The display showcases the background, history, and accomplishments of the Raging Grannies nationwide, as well as includes artifacts from the University of Victoria’s Archival Collection.
Rooted in the desire to create a better world for future generations, the Raging Grannies simultaneously challenge and use the stereotype of old age. Composed of anthropologists, teachers, business women, artists, homemakers, and librarians, the Raging Grannies were initially initiated through the collective concern over the nuclear reactors and their potential environmental and health impacts. The group quickly expanded to protests against sexism and ageism, then to a broader array of social and political issues such as homelessness, climate change, and LGBTQ+ rights.
The Raging Grannies fearlessly tackle injustice through non-violent and peaceful protesting. Their mode of protests are uniquely creative and humorous. Their most iconic method is crashing political events by singing satirical lyrics set to classic tunes such as lullabies and nursery rhymes. They also show up dressed in wildly stereotypical “grandma” outfits, often donning colourful and flamboyant hats and shawls. For one of their first actions in 1987, they protested uranium mining at the BC legislature by bringing a laundry basket full of women’s underwear that contained “briefs”. This whimsical gesture not only symbolised women’s work but also to offer a lighthearted critique to the typically formal and often pompous nature of such hearings.
The Grannies are still going strong today and have currently expanded to over 60 groups (or “gaggles” as they call them) across Canada and the United States. For more information, feel free to visit https://linktr.ee/uviclibrg for a list of Raging Grannies websites and pages!
The Law Library would like to thank work study student Youbin Seo for creating this new display and writing this post!