PHILADELPHIA - Police arrested ten elderly members of the anti-war group called the Granny Peace Brigade who refused to leave a military recruiting center Wednesday after they were told they were too old to enlist.
Several dozen protesters, some using wheelchairs, canes or walkers and many sporting flower-festooned hats, held signs and chanted outside the downtown Armed Forces Recruiting Center. Some drivers waved and honked their horns in support, and the grandmothers replied by cheering and clapping.
Granny Peace Brigade members and other anti-war demonstrators protest outside a military recruiting center Wednesday, June 28, 2006, in Philadelphia. Ten elderly members of the Granny Peace Brigade were arrested Wednesday after refusing to leave the recruiting center, which shut down several hours early because of the demonstration. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)
A few of the women went inside the recruiting facility to speak with military recruiters and to try to dissuade those who arrived to enlist.
"We're saying, 'I've lived my life. Let me go to Iraq instead of our grandchildren, so they have a chance to live their lives,'" said Jean Haskell, 74, a grandmother of five from Philadelphia.
The grandmothers were joined in front of the recruiting center by members of other anti-war organizations, whose members chanted, "We insist. Let the grannies enlist."
The center closed several hours early because of the demonstration, but some protesters remained inside. They were arrested about three hours later.
It was not immediately clear whether the women had attorneys, or what specific charges they faced.
In April, 18 Granny Peace Brigade protesters in New York were acquitted of disorderly conduct charges stemming from a demonstration outside a Times Square recruiting center.
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