Stop the press! A release from the Raging Grannies, who are in trial today:
NEWS RELEASE. Grandparents on Trial:Jail’s too good for ‘em. [Joke]
Jury Hears Case of Army Recruiting Center Protesters
On Tuesday, December 11, a Multnomah County Judge and Jury will hear the case against five grandparents arrested in April for a protest at the Army Recruiting Center on NE Broadway in Portland. Members of the Surge Protection Brigade, also known as the Seriously Pissed Off Grannies, were arrested on Good Friday, April 6, 2007. A jury of six was selected on Monday, December 10, from a pool of 65 potential jurors. The trial will resume on Tuesday, December 11, in Courtroom 718 at 9:15 AM in the Multnomah County Courthouse, 1021 SW 4th, and is expected to last through Thursday, December 13.
The District Attorney has charged the defendants with criminal mischief and unlawfully applying graffiti, misdemeanor offenses not typically used for peaceful protests. To mark Good Friday and connect the death of Jesus with the more than 3500 deaths of US soldiers in Iraq, the Grannies and Grandpa spread fake, water-soluble blood on the sidewalk and put red handprints on the windows of the recruiting center on NE Broadway.
The defendants, all from the Portland area, are: Ann Huntwork, 75, mother of six and grandmother of four; Sara Graham, 67, mother of three, with three grandchildren; Martha Odom, 65, mother of two and grandmother of three; DeEtte Beghtol Waleed, 65, grandmother of nine with four great-grandchildren; and Clyde Chamberlain, 56, retired father of two, grandfather of three with the fourth due in January.
“We remember the crucifixion of Christ as an unjust death. The deaths of US soldiers and of Iraqis are also tragedies. Our goal is to stop the recruiters from sending our young people to kill and be killed. We are standing up for thousands of returning soldiers who have been abandoned by the system,” said Ann Huntwork, one of the defendants.
DeEtte Waleed, another defendant and a great grandmother, added, “Recruiters are lying to our grandchildren. They are not telling our young people about the horrible situations they are going into. The recruiters are luring our youth into situations where they will be ordered to torture and kill Iraqi civilians. We are trying to protect our grandchildren and the children of the world from being abused.”
The group has tried a variety of nonviolent tactics to stop the killing in Iraq. They teach nonviolence to many community groups. They have lobbied elected representatives. They have gathered thousands of signatures on petitions. They have personally visited recruiters to discuss what recruiters tell potential recruits. Grannies and Grandpas have been arrested multiple times for blocking the recruiting center doors with their rocking chairs.