Peace activist offer some grand motherly advice

Walker said she got involved after seeing a woman wearing some anti-war buttons.

"One day I got on a bus on Fifth Avenue and a woman with a button got on that said, 'Where's the outrage?'" Walker said. "And I said, 'Yes, where is the outrage?'"

The woman happened to be Wile.

The group garnered national attention after 18 grannies were arrested in 2005 protesting at a Times Square recruiting station. It quickly caught the eye of the international press.

Wile and Walker said they were handcuffed and escorted to the police station but were later acquitted of obstructing the entryway of the recruiting station after a six-day trial. News footage taken of the event clearly showed that the group was not obstructing entry to the building.

Wile's musical talents have lent itself to her anti-war endeavors.

She has an extensive background in recording studios and cabarets and has written seven musicals, five of which were produced off and "off-off" Broadway. She also wrote a song for Barack Obama presidential campaign.

Wile is author of "Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace," which was published in May 2008 by Citadel Press.

The group's efforts are now focusing on Obama's planned troop increase in Afghanistan as he withdraws troops from Iraq.

"I loved Obama, I gave my limited income to his campaign and still love him, but I am disappointed," Wile said. "Although we love him, we have to tell him how we feel."

Walker said military pressure might have influenced the president's decision for Afghanistan.

"I wonder how much of this had to do with pressure from the military," she said. "The have this budget and I think they want to continue it."

Easter said here locally, her group works with school districts like Bethlehem's to inform parents they can "opt out" of having a military recruiter talk with their son or daughter. For more information, residents can visit www.womenagainstwar.org. Wile's and Walker's visit was also co-sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, the Saratoga Peace Alliance, Upper Hudson Peace Action and several other local groups.

Wile ended her interview with some simple advice: "Listen to your granny."


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