Silent vigils, peace demonstrations, and billboards that tout the message, Say no to war, are just a few of the ways Women Against War are trying to get their message across in the Capital District.
The group’s founding in 2002 preceded the deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq in March 2003. It was started by group of women who, at the time, felt the need to speak out against the possibility of war.
`We represent 300 women, and we make our concerns known about the way foreign policy should be conducted,` said group president Maud Easter, a Delmar resident.
Ending violence as a way of dealing with conflict and empowering women to educate people about the impact of war are some of the core values of the group.
`Our deeper concern is to create a culture showing violence is not the way to solve our differences, either domestically or internationally,` said Judith Fetterley of Glenmont.
The membership has held several events in the area to highlight the impact of war with their latest message aimed at avoiding a second conflict, this time in Iran.
The organization has paid for a billboard on Fuller Road that shows an Iranian woman and child with the question and answer, `Iran Next? No War, No Way!`
Easter said the feedback from the $1,200 billboard, which will be up through the month of August, is mostly positive.
`Overall, people have said it’s a very clear message and thank you for raising this issue,` said Easter.
Women Against War is not the only area organization opposed to the Iraq invasion. There is also the Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, whose members regularly shows up on Monday evenings at the Delmar Four Corners with signs protesting the war. Another group called Grannies for Peace has also united with Women Against War.
`I would like to see war abolished for the sake of my grandchildren,` said Jane Streiff-Spelich of Delmar, a member of Grannies for Peace, who has 12 grandchildren ranging in age from 14 to 26 years old.
Women between the ages of 59 and 91 are a part of the now 65-member organization that has been actively involved in lobbying state politicians for an end to the war in Iraq.
In January of this year, the group met with staff from Democratic senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton’s office as part of a national campaign organized by the Granny Peace Brigade, which visited Washington, D.C., pleading for an end to the war.
Mickie Lynn another local member of Women Against War was outspoken in her criticism of Sen. Clinton’s view on the Iraq War.
`She is very much for war in every shape and form,` said Lynn, who along with the other members are watching the presidential candidates quite closely to see what candidate will really stand for peace.
`As an organization, we haven’t taken any position,` said Easter, who also expressed disappointment over Clinton’s position on the Iraq War.
`We were very disappointed she was not willing to rule out military force to deal with Iran,` said Easter.
Upcoming events for the groups include the weekly peace vigil in Delmar Mondays in September along with the next regular meeting of Women Against War to be held Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Albany Friends Meeting hall 727 Madison Avenue, Albany. You can also find them on the Web at www.womenagainstwar.org.