6 women, some of them grandmothers, arrested during protest at Ore. military recruiting center

Friday, February 2nd 2007, 9:21 pm
By: News On 6

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Police arrested six women, most of them grandmothers, as they blocked access Friday to a military recruiting center to protest President Bush's decision to increase troops in Iraq.

The protesters _ ages 49 to 75 _ sat in front of the recruiting center and refused to let anyone in or out, and some used wheelchairs as props, said Cristy Murray, a spokeswoman for the Surge Protection Brigade.

``We decided to prevent them from coming up with those troops,'' she said, referring to Bush's decision to send 21,500 troops to Iraq. ``We want to stop the recruiting of our valuable young people in this country to a place they don't belong.''

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz said the women were charged with interfering with a police officer, and five also were charged with disorderly conduct. Operations were back to normal at the recruiting center by midday, he said.

Members of the loosely knit group also appeared a few weeks ago at the federal courthouse in Portland, handcuffed together to block access. Murray said the group has 20 or so members on its e-mail list, but that others show up from time to time.