Raging Grannies



by: Youbin Seo, Law Library Work Study Student

In February 2024, the Diana M. Priestly Law Library unveiled a new display that showcases the background, history, and accomplishments of the Raging Grannies nationwide and includes artifacts from the University of Victoria’s Special Collections & University Archives.

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, women in business, artists, homemakers, and librarians, the Raging Grannies were established 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 modes of protest 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 dress in wildly stereotypical grandma-style 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 symbolized women’s work but also offered 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, visit a list of Raging Grannies websites and pages.