Every Friday for 14 years, a group of women called Grannies for Peace stood at the corner of Jay and Liberty streets, protesting war and calling for peace.
The group — now a co-ed coalition of people from various anti-war groups — recently packed up their signs and moved to the busy corner of Erie Boulevard and State Street.
“We used to be by the post office and we moved here because it’s more visible,” said Mable Leon, a leading member of Grannies for Peace, holding signs that read “Stop bombing Gaza” and “Civilian deaths break our hearts.”
Leon and others started protesting at Jay and Liberty streets after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The protesters, including members of Schenectady Neighbors for Peace and Women Against War, moved to the new spot three weeks ago, but their message hasn’t changed.
“Stop wars. Stop violence,” Leon said.
The Schenectady woman’s shirt said “Peace” in three languages: English, Arabic and Hebrew.
“That’s pretty relevant today,” she said, referring to the ongoing conflict in Gaza that, as of Friday, had resulted in the deaths of more than 1,600 Palestinians and 66 Israelis.
The protesters will be there this Friday, from noon to 1 p.m., and every Friday after.
“We were highlighting Iraq today, we were highlighting Gaza, to stop the bombing,” Leon said. “We have a general statement here, ‘No war,’ and we’re very opposed to drones that kill civilians.”
On Wednesday, Schenectady Neighbors for Peace will host a peace walk to mark the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The walk will start at 5 p.m. at the First Reformed Church at 8 N. Church St. and end at 8 p.m. at the Rose Garden in Central Park, with stops at the First United Methodist Church at 603 State St. at 5:30 p.m.; Jackson’s Garden at Union College at 6:05 p.m.; the Unitarian Universalist Society at 1221 Wendell Ave. at 6:40 p.m. and Congregation Gates of Heaven at 852 Ashmore Ave. at 7:30 p.m.
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