9/10: “Grandmothers” to Stand Trial Monday, Accused of Trespass

WWGD: What Would Grandma Do? She’d pack for Iraq and send the kids back! Those words were printed on the blue T-shirts of the Grandmothers’ Peace Brigade when a dozen gray-haired women entered the Knollwood Mall Army Career Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, on Thursday morning, April 23, to enlist in the armed service.

Sergeant 1st Class Jeremy Karr (age 28, six feet tall, 180 pounds) declined to give
the dozen “older women” enlistment applications and immediately
summoned St. Louis Park Police. Three women refused to leave the army
recruitment office without being granted their right to apply for
enlistment; they were arrested and taken away in squad cars, cited for
trespass, then released from custody.

Sarah Martin, Sue Ann Martinson, and Lucia Wilkes Smith, all of Minneapolis, will plead their case before a Hennepin County jury in a trial that starts Monday. The three agree is it their right and obligation to take nonviolent action to stop the prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Our
army enlistment attempt actually took place on a national Zero
Recruitment Day, when peace activists across the country worked to
educate potential recruits and raise opposition to the wars,” said
Martin. “But, being older and wiser than most,” she added, “we thought
we’d just offer ourselves in place of the young people.”

“I was convinced by the slogan on one of the peace signs, ‘Put A Wrinkle in the Plan, Send Grandmas to Afghanistan,’” said Smith. “Can’t you just imagine the possibilities?”

Martinson
interjected, “Symbolic sayings may have a humorous twist. We are,
however, very serious about the death and destruction in the struggling
countries we now occupy by force. We’re also deeply concerned about
damage done to our own soldiers and their loved ones. We are losing so many fine young people who could be doing constructive things with their lives and living them to the fullest.”

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