Why do the Portland Raging Grannies Need a Code of Conduct?

Revised 7/2017

Whenever the Portland Raging Grannies participate in an action, we want each Granny to be safe and, as much as possible, to feel safe and comfortable. Part of being and feeling safe and comfortable is knowing that we share a common mission with implications for how we behave. We act to raise awareness of issues and to stand in support of others. We need to be able to trust each other and know that no one is going to deliberately provoke or encourage others to anger or aggression or make us feel like fools. To know that as a group we will make wise choices about how to react to hostility and when to move away from potential conflict and awkward situations.

We want our Grannies to know that we will present ourselves in ways that reflect our desire to be taken seriously as informed and concerned citizens and to be respected as loving, caring, intelligent, strong women. We want to be viewed as peaceful protesters.We do not want to appear rude, crude or vulgar. We do not want to be seen as frivolous, silly, or ignorant. We are not there to offend; we are there to challenge and hopefully change attitudes.

Because we want to be true to our mission, we always want our message to be clear. That is why we appoint a spokesperson for each action and ask that when an individual granny is approached by the media or other inquiring persons, she refers them to that appointee. Our Raging Granny actions are not the forum for sharing our personal stories.

We also know that we are not always tuned into racial and cultural sensitivities and can inadvertently cause offense. Therefore, we must be open to correction, learning and growth in our attitudes and actions.

When we are together as a group, the behavior of each Granny reflects on all the members and our standing as an organization. Whenever each of us is in public dressed in Raging Granny attire (before, during and after an action) each one of us is responsible for that image and for each other’s safety.

We also recognize that the very act of standing in opposition or support of issues will be offensive to some and can put us in tense situations. Given the current climate of hostility we could, either as individuals or as a group, be swept into situations that will require making hard, on-the-spot decisions about how to react. Therefore, we encourage each Granny to participate in non-violence training and to learn other tools for peaceful response to conflict situations.

We are not opposed to civil disobedience and recognize that there are times when such actions are necessary. However, we believe that such action is best employed with forethought and preparation. (see the PRG policy statement on Civil Disobedience).

Therefore, as Portland Raging Grannies, we commit to the following Code of Conduct. When we fall short of meeting these standards we will help and support each other as we struggle to find “Our Voice” in this era of pain and hostility.

  • Because the Portland Raging Grannies support peace, we will only use non-violent means of protest. We will not support or encourage others in acts of violence toward people and property.
  • Because the Portland Raging Grannies support social justice, we will step forward in support and solidarity when we witness injustice and we will step back when those who have been denied a voice need to be heard;
  • Because the Portland Raging Grannies support human rights, we will respect the worth and dignity of others, even those with whom we disagree. We will be sensitive to the beliefs and feelings of others. We will not use sexist, racist, or profane language. We will not try to outshout our opponents.
  • Because the Portland Raging Grannies support environmental protection, we will respect the earth and not damage the places where we gather.