Raging Grannies Organize Seattle Chapter 27 Years Ago This Month

February 19, 2023 at 2:58 p.m.
The Seattle Raging Grannies formed 27 years ago this month
The Seattle Raging Grannies formed 27 years ago this month

The first group to call themselves “Raging Grannies” sprouted in the winter of 1986-87 in Victoria, British Columbia. Several peace activists who had been doing street theater began dressing up in outrageous hats and singing satirical songs to protest against everything from racism, militarism, clear-cut logging, nuclear submarines, uranium power and corporate greed. They were sometimes arrested but never taken to court.

Raging Grannies groups quickly sprang up, including in Seattle. Seattle’s Raging Grannies debut performance was on February 12, 1996 in Olympia. “Cold weather and pouring rain did not dampen our spirit as we sang,” states the group’s website.

Since then, the Seattle Raging Grannies have performed at numerous rallies, meetings, schools, festivals, churches, community events, and demonstrations. What are they raging about? “We are enraged about the poor conditions that people are forced to endure in their lives, and about the condition of the earth that will be left to our precious grandchildren. We sing out to gain respect for all persons and encourage everyone to grow above their prejudices. We rage against ‘corporate greed’ and sing for ‘one world’ in which JUSTICE is evident everywhere and PEACE reigns.”

The Raging Grannies continue the tradition of wise women elders, and they say that each Raging Grannie has found empowerment through this shared experience.


The previous information is taken from the Seattle Raging Grannies’ website, www.raginggrannies.org/seattle. The following essay by Priscilla Long about the Raging Grannies is courtesy of www.HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history

In February 1996, the Seattle chapter of the Raging Grannies makes its debut by singing in the rain at a Washington State Labor Council rally. They are, according to M.L. Lyke of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "a rococo, loco, left-leaning chorus of 18 activist women, aged 49-80."
Get Off Your Fannies
The Raging Grannies are for the most part seasoned political activists who have spent decades working for peace, for preserving or restoring the environment, for decent working conditions, for women's rights, for a roof over every person's head and against ageism, sexism, racism, sweatshop labor, Trident submarines, the World Trade Organization's policies and practices, etc. As they sing (not necessarily in tune), "We're a gaggle of grannies/urging you off your fannies." Their goal is to save the world.

According to Raging Granny Ruth Liatos, "We believe passionately in issues. But when you use humor, when you make fun of yourself, people's eyes don't glaze over. You see them spark up, smile, and they start listening.”

Raging Grannies International shows 23 states with Raging Grannies organizations, 
 including six chapters in Washington (click here for locations)
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