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article imageOp-Ed: Seriously PO’d Grannies

By Lew Waters     Dec 15, 2007 in Politics
Much to the elation of citizens of left-leaning Portland, Oregon, a jury of six acquitted five silver-haired activists; four women and a man aged 56 to 76 of misdemeanor criminal mischief charges, Thursday, December 13.
The group, calling themselves “Seriously Pissed Off Grannies,” was charged in connection with vandalism of a US Army Recruitment Office in Portland. Typically seen sitting in rocking chairs and holding their protest signs, the group decided to do something more radical earlier this year when they left red handprints on the front window of the Recruitment Office, along with the number 3,627, the body count of American Troops killed in Iraq at that time.
Local media excoriated Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Seth Steward for prosecuting the “grannies,” part of a larger group of about a dozen, known as the “Surge protection brigade.” Steward asked the jury to bring back a guilty verdict to "protect our troops,” saying:“think of some evils that could happen and why it is important for the line to be drawn here. On Sept. 11, some people drove planes into a building to prove a point. The defendants say their conduct is necessary to avoid imminent danger because people are dying in Iraq. That is the same thing suicide bombers say.”Half-an-hour later, the group was acquitted.
Apparently relying on their gray haired look and reliving what they consider the glory days of the 1960’s anti-Vietnam protests, this small group feels acts of vandalism on their part is okay, forgetting that they are interfering with someone else’s free choice, a much lauded privilege and right touted at abortion clinics across the land.
That they were acquitted so rapidly in Portland, Oregon should come as no surprise to any one. Portland, if you will recall from March of this year, is where protesters were chanting “Build a bonfire, Build a bonfire, Put the soldiers on the top. Put the fascists in the middle, and, we'll burn the f**king lot,” and “Bye bye GI, In Iraq you’re gonna die,” while burning a US Soldier in effigy. Also on the same day, another protester defecated on a burning American Flag in the street, in full view of others including children.
Martha Odom, one of the “grannies” said, “As a mother and grandmother, I have this sort of unbreakable pact to ensure my children are safe and healthy. This war is endangering them in so many ways.”
Shouldn’t that “pact” include supporting those who desire to enlist and help prevent another 19 radical Jihadists from highjacking more aircraft and flying them into our occupied buildings? After three decades of ever increasing terrorist attacks against American interests, twice on our own soil, the illusion of safety by ignoring the increasing threat is revealed as a “false illusion.”
The “grannies” said they didn't want to damage property or insult soldiers, but Army recruiter Sgt. Joemer Canlas, who mans the recruitment center in Portland, and a combat engineer who served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, said the incident affected him “on the inside,” adding, “{I’d} rather be back there than here, being disrespected.”
Mrs. Odom also claimed that the “grannies” considered using their own blood to leave red handprints on the windows, but decided to use water-soluble tempura paint instead.
Freedom of speech and to protest is a cornerstone of our society. Yet, courts have ruled in the past that restricting protests at abortion clinics “protects patients' rights to avoid unwanted speech.” Should not those that desire to volunteer to serve their country also share in that “right to avoid unwanted speech?”
An earlier interview exposed the aging “grannies” as having a long history in activism that include decades of demonstrations. One protester, DeEtte Beghtol cites as one reason for their continued activism as, “All the people that we are raping and pillaging around the world.”
Martha Odom ended the interview with, “When you get the grannies pissed, you better watch out.”
Perhaps Mrs. Odom hasn’t yet recognized that their tactics have “PO’d” another group of grandparents who she and her ilk denigrated and defamed 35 years ago and who aren’t going to allow it to happen this time.
More about War protests, Aging protesters, Portland oregon
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