Raging Grannies are Mad about Muzzling Event

Posted by on Apr 14, 2013 in Actions

Raging Grannies are Mad about Muzzling Event

We raged in front of the Library and Archives building, Thursday, April 18

We watched in horror while Stephen Harper placed gags on scientists, librarians and backbench MPs.  But the Grannies couldn’t be muzzled (Harper tried).  Instead, they sang about this outrage before chasing Stephen Harper away.  Check out the words to Song 1, Song 2See photos by the Ottawa Citizen here.

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The Press Release following the event

Raging Grannies held a rally for muzzled scientists, librarians, and MPs.

OTTAWA :  4 pm, 18 April, 2013, Library and Archives Canada


Twenty Raging Grannies from Ottawa and Montreal gathered at Library and Archives Canada.  After they watched “Harper” place gags on a scientist, librarian and MP, the Raging Grannies scolded him in song before chasing him away, brandishing their umbrellas.  Their message is “Stop Muzzling.”

There are many well-documented examples of scientists being muzzled.  Andreas Muenchow, an American scientist involved in a proposed collaboration in the Arctic between America’s University of Delaware and the Canadian department of fisheries and oceans refused to sign a contract that required him to get permission to divulge his findings.  A complaint under investigation by the Canada’s Information Commissioner states: “the federal government is preventing the media and the Canadian public from speaking to government scientists for news stories – especially when the scientists’ research or point of view runs counter to current Government policies on matters such as environmental protection, oil sands development, and climate change.”


Federal librarians and archivists are facing a new code of conduct in which they need to clear what they will say in high risk activity such as speaking in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time.  According to the code, they owe loyalty to the government and should report anyone heard violating it.


When MP Mark Warawa was struck from the list of backbenchers who were scheduled to deliver a member’s statement in the House because the topic had not been approved, he complained that his freedom of speech was being violated.  Back benchers are beginning to speak out about being muzzled.


All this muzzling was too much for the Raging Grannies.  Today those from Ottawa and Montreal came together because they are mad about muzzling.  In a short action, a Stephen Harper look-alike gagged a scientist, librarian, and MP, causing the Grannies to break into song.  (Shown below).  According to Granny Jo Wood  “Muzzling is being used to shutting down dissent.  The press is uninformed; citizens are uninformed.  We have to rise up against it.”


Today’s action focuses on the muzzling of public servants and MPs.  This is only one of many ways the Harper government works to stop us from hearing about science or initiatives that disagree with their plans.  An attempt is made to silence anyone who speaks truth to power.  These words from the song of the Raging Grannies says it plainly:


We’re demanding free expression.
This is unbearable oppression.
Harper, you need to learn your lesson
Just let them speak out loud!

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