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'Raging Grannies' Arrested For Trying To Enlist

excerpts from a report from News24.com of South Africa. July 28, 2005

Five greying anti-war activists from a group dubbed the "Raging Grannies" face possible jail time after demanding to be enlisted in the United States army to fight in Iraq, one of them said on Wednesday.

The women, aged between 57 and 92, were charged with criminal trespass after turning up at an Armed Forces Recruiting Centre in the western United States state of Arizona demanding they be allowed to join the fighting ranks.

"We're very serious about that, we really want to enlist," 74-year-old "Raging Granny" Betty Schroeder told AFP.

"We think it would be better if old people were killed at war than young ones," the retired nurse, whose husband and two brothers were killed in battle in other wars, explained.

Eight "grannies", including Schroeder, are accused of invading military territory by entering a military recruiting office in the city of Tucson on July 13 to sign up.

Military officials asked them to leave and called police who issued charges against five of the grannies after they had left the office. They are charged with trespassing, which could see them jailed for up to five months.

The five appeared in court in Tucson on Monday where they pleaded not guilty to the offence and the judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for August 19, according to Schroeder.

"Criminal trespass is a misdemeanour," she said. "I think we might be sentenced to five months in prison or a $500 fine," she told AFP by telephone from Tucson.

You have been reading excerpts from "'Better if old people die'" from News24.com of South Africa. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/9ffde. Thanks to news24.com. Real journalism is still alive in South Africa.

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