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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July, 2005, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
US anti-war grannies face justice
Raging Grannies outside Tucson recruitment centre - courtesy of Indymedia
Tucson's Raging Grannies have been holding regular protests
Elderly members of a US anti-war group called the "raging grannies of Tucson" are due in court following a protest at an Arizona military recruitment centre.

They have been accused of trespassing after entering the centre earlier this month, saying they wanted to enlist.

The group, mostly women in their 60s and 70s, said they wanted to go to Iraq so their grandchildren could come home.

An army spokeswoman says the protesters were not serious about enlisting and were harassing recruiters.

Nine people - five elderly activists and four journalists - are due to appear in court on Monday.

The Raging Grannies, who are associated with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, have held protests outside the Tucson recruitment centre every week for three years.


On 13 July the group decided to enter the premises.

We would like to replace our young who are in the firing line
Pat Birnie
Raging Grannies of Tucson
"We went in saying we were here to enlist, but they didn't believe us," Pat Birnie, a spokeswoman for the group, told the BBC News website.

"We read a statement, sang songs, and then we left."

Ms Birnie, 75, said the protesters were well outside the centre when police arrived and said they were trespassing, a criminal offence.

She said the charge was an "overreaction", and that the grannies had been serious about joining the army.

"We would like to replace our young who are in the firing line," Ms Birnie said.

Nancy Hutchinson, an Army spokeswoman in Arizona, told AP news agency that those opposed to the Iraq war should contact their legislators rather than bother recruiters.

"They need to direct their frustrations at people who have the power to change things," she said.

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