• On February 1, Raging Granny Marge Johnson spoke at the Enbridge Commission Review Panel in Vancouver. She was accompanied by two other Raging Grannies who acted as observers. Below is a transcript of Marge’s address at the Enbridge Commission Review Panel.
The Raging Grannies are a group of women my age who are strong and firmly believe in social justice. We sing and participate in support of peace issues, women’s rights, gay rights, the environment and other issues that affect all our lives in this world. Wherever we are, we intend to join protests and sing songs voicing our opposition to the Enbridge Pipeline.
I come in peace, but I come alone because the two Grannies who are here as observers are not allowed to join me and sing during my presentation. We asked to sing today and were told we could not do so as a group. We are quite frankly frightened and distressed by the whole concept of what we see as an emerging police state. We are angry that the grannies are not allowed to sing and are not even allowed to be in the viewing room next door.
I would now like to share with you the story of The Flight of the Hummingbird, a book based on an Ecuadorian legend, illustrated by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.
The terrible fire raged and burned. All of the animals were afraid and fled from the forest. The birds were afraid as well and they all fled the raging fire. They huddled at the edge of the fire and watched as it devastated their forest, all except one, the Hummingbird. The hummingbird proceeded to go to a small stream, picked up a drop of water in its beak and flew to the fire and dropped the water. It flew back and forth between the fire and the stream… The little hummingbird persisted. She flew back and forth, each time dropping a tiny drop of water. Finally the large bear said, “Hummingbird, what in the world are you doing?”
The hummingbird said, “I am doing all that I can.”
I love this story. The message to me is very clear and, from your faces, I think you heard the story.
We fear the pipeline. We see it as being like a raging fire out of control that will destroy the farms, forests and homes in its path. We see ourselves as the hummingbird, doing whatever we can to stop this from happening.
Marge Johnson and her family came to Canada from the US in 1969 to protest the Vietnam War. Prior to moving to Regina, she was actively involved in the civil rights movement and anti-war activities. Upon moving to Vancouver, Marge joined the Raging Grannies because she believed they provided her a way to express her strong desire to work for peace through song and protest.