By Joshua Sills
WILL SEBERGER/Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Women's International League for Peace, or "Raging Grannies" as they call themselves, sang Saturday at the Tucson Peace Center's 21st Annual Peace Fair and Music Festival at Reid Park. Their performance was one of many musical acts at the festival this weekend.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday February 24, 2003
Tucsonans speak out against war through muscial performances and political information booths
Laurel Steinbring is familiar with violence ÷ she was in the College of Nursing building when Robert S. Flores Jr. shot and killed three professors and himself Oct. 28, 2002.
"I've seen killing. There is a whole lot of pain. I understand to the deepest core what it is like," Steinbring said. "That is why I'm for peace."
Steinbring was among 1,500 Tucsonans who showed up at Reid Park on Saturday for the Tucson Peace Center's 21st Annual Peace Fair and Music Festival.
Attendees, many of whom were UA students, faculty or alumni, gathered at the park to speak out against war and give or obtain information about how to make a difference.
"I'm here to learn more about the reasons and cause for war. I'm basically trying to figure out what I can do," said UA graduate Krista Nunn.
Various organizations, including the Green Party, the Young Socialists, the Communist Party and Amnesty International, set up booths throughout the park to make information about their causes accessible to attendees.
"I guess I'm here to gather info from all the different booths, each with different points of view," said Josh Fox, a creative writing senior.
The idea of peace, according to some students, is not voiced as loudly or as often as it could be.
"I came to support an idea that's underrepresented," said architecture senior Andy Powell.
"I don't think college students care about (the peace effort). It doesn't affect us yet," said Aurora Fabry-Wood, a biology senior. "Sept. 11 affected us a lot, and we cared. The war won't matter to us until it effects us directly."
As people waited to speak seriously with organization members, they were entertained by several live acts.
Elias Walsh, a SALT Center employee, performed with the Jugglers for Justice in a juggling display.
"It's really important for peace to be visible to the community," Walsh said. "That's what we are trying to do."
The Women's International League for Peace, or self-proclaimed "Raging Grannies," sang anti-war songs to the tunes of some familiar favorites. They included "If We Cannot Find Osama, Bomb Iraq" to the tune of "If You are Happy and You Know It," "Raging Grannies Theme Song" to the tune of "Camptown Races," and "Raging Grannies in Washington" to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
"It's a nice day: it's sunny and a lot of people are coming out and spending most of the day," said Joe Bemick, event organizer and Tucson Peace Center secretary.
Bemick has been in charge of organizing the event for five years and believes that this year had one of the best turnouts.
Others, however, were not impressed with the number of people present.
"Why is nobody here? I can't believe it. It boggles my mind. Either no one cares or there are a lot of people who want war. I thought there was going to be lots more people out here," Steinbring said.