You’re Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell – Granny D. Passes at 100

That’s the title of Granny D’s book about her hell raising.  Granny D. has passed at the young age of 100.

Granny D spent her late years doing just that – raising a little hell. At the age of 90, in the year 2,000,  she walked across America – 3,000 miles from California to D.C., to deliver her message to congress, where she was arrested at the U.S. Capitol, along with others. Her  message was to request that elected officials stop the corruption of big money influencing elections in the United States.

Granny D’s statement when she appeared before the judge after that arrest:

In my 90 years, this is the first time I have been arrested. I risk my good name –for I do indeed care what my neighbors think about me. But, Your Honor, some of us do not have much power, except to put our bodies in the way of an injustice–to picket, to walk, or to just stand in the way. It will not change the world overnight, but it is all we can do.

So I am here today while others block the halls with their corruption. Twenty-five million dollars are changing hands this very evening at a fund raiser down the street. It is the corrupt sale of public policy, and everyone knows it. I would refer those officials and those lobbyists, Your Honor, to Mr. Bob Dylan’s advice when he wrote: "Come senators, congressmen, Please heed the call. Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall."

Your Honor, the song was a few years early, but the time has now come for change. The times are changing because they must. And they will sweep away the old politician –the self-serving, the self-absorbed, the corrupt. The time of that leader is rapidly fading. We have come through a brief time when we have allowed ourselves to be entertained by corrupt and hapless leaders because they offer so little else, and because, as citizens, we have been priced out of participation and can only try to get some enjoyment out of their follies. But the earth itself can no longer afford them. We owe this change to our children and our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. We need have no fear that a self-governing people can creatively and effectively address their needs as a nation and a world if the corrupt and greedy are out of their way, and ethical leadership is given the helm.

Your Honor, to the business at hand: the old woman who stands before you was arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence in America’s Capitol Building. I did not raise my voice to do so and I blocked no hall. But if it is a crime to read the Declaration of Independence in our great hall, then I am guilty.

Read Granny D’s statement in its entirety here.

Since that monumental year Granny D has been hell raising in a variety of ways, including running for U.S. Senate.  Granny D was truly an inspiring icon in our country.  Her energy, passion, love, and hell raising will be missed – but her spirit, and the spirit of her work, will live on forever.

Doris in front of capital building

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