Friday, August 26, 2005

It is official and the MEDIA picked it up! Grannies are free!

I've been busy trying to build peace so I haven't blogged a lot in the last day.... still catching up and trying to figure out how to get to D.C. Sept 24-26 wishing I could go to Crawford, talking about street theater,researching freeway blogging, talking to some Moms who are getting Opt Out Forms to high schools, planning how to protest Chicken George's visit to Phoenix (El Mirage, AZ -- west of Phoenix) but I finally looked at today's local paper and was quite pleased to see that a follow-up piece to the arrest of the Raging Grannies was done that informs the local public that charges against the Grannies and four members of the media were dropped. I was one of those four media folks so I think it is entirely appropriate for me to put the article here.

Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.26.2005
Section: Tucson Region
Raging Grannies charges dropped
By Joyesha Chesnick

Trespassing charges against five members of the Tucson Raging Grannies, who tried to enlist in the Army in July, have been dropped.

"They said they had insufficient information to continue to press charges," Raging Grannie Pat Birnie said of the decision to drop the charges earlier this month.

Birnie was one of eight women protesting at the military recruitment center at 2303 E. Speedway on July 13, as they have done on Wednesdays for three years. The group, ranging in age from 65 to 81, went into the center to enlist despite being decades older than the maximum age for recruits.

"We were naturally quite relieved because the charges were absurd in the beginning," said Birnie, who was one of three Grannies not charged. "But we were disappointed to lose our media audience as a result. Because we still have passion for the issue."

City Prosecutor Laura Brynwood said that the charges had been dropped against the five Raging Grannies and four members of the media because they would have been difficult to prove.

"Essentially, by the time the police arrived, 10 minutes after the initial call, they had already left and were back at their protest on the sidewalk," Brynwood said. "Proving they did not leave after they were requested to leave would be difficult."

Birnie said the Raging Grannies will continue to protest outside the recruitment center once a week "until there is no longer a need to be there."

But trying to enlist again is not in their immediate plans.

"We were feeling unwelcome, you might say, which is awfully unnecessary," Birnie said. "If they're afraid of old Grannies, then we're in trouble."

The Tucson Raging Grannies is a project of the local branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

No comments: