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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 August 2005, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK
US anti-war grans face no charges
Raging Grannies outside Tucson recruitment centre - courtesy of Indymedia
Tucson's Raging Grannies have protested weekly for three years
Charges have been dropped against five elderly anti-war protesters who tried to enlist at a US military recruitment centre, a city prosecutor has said.

The women aged between 65 and 81, who belonged to an anti-war group called the "raging grannies of Tucson", had been charged with trespassing.

They entered the Arizona centre in July asking to go to Iraq instead of their children and grandchildren.

Prosecutor Laura Brynwood said the charges would have been hard 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," she was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

"Proving they did not leave after they were requested to leave would be difficult."

Continued protest

A spokeswoman for the group, which has protested at the centre once a week for three years, said they welcomed the decision.

"We were naturally quite relieved because the charges were absurd in the beginning," said 75-year-old Patricia Birnie.

She added that the group would continue to protest at the centre "until there is no longer a need to be there".

The recruitment centre called the police after the women entered the site on 13 July.

At the time, the Raging Grannies, who are associated with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, said they "read a statement, sang songs, and then we left".

Army officials said the protesters had not been serious about enlisting and were harassing recruiters.

They said those opposed to the Iraq war should contact their legislators rather than bother recruiters.

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