Grandmothers say "TAKE ME, NOT MY GRANDCHILD"
The marine recruiters locked the front doors and refused to speak with our Grandmothers, refused to invite them inside to talk or to come outside to talk, refused to recruit our Grandmothers.
The Berkeley police, stepping up to protect the Marines from Grandmothers, stood in a line in front of the doorway, attempting to block our Grandmothers from knocking on the door and entering.
The action began around 10:00am this morning when 87 year old Nettie placed her wheelchair directly in the entrance and refused to move. Police sprang to the defense of the Marines and ordered Nettie to move. She refused.
Police told Nettie she was trespassing. She said we were trespassing in Iraq. Police told Nettie she was blocking the door. She said she wanted to block youth from being recruited. Police told Nettie to move. She said she'd move after the marines did.
Police tried everything, short of arrest, to get Nettie to move. Nettie refused. Nettie spoke strongly, from her heart, for a long time. Police tried unsuccessfully to convince Nettie to give up her post blocking the doorway.
Nettie finally told police that she was going to leave in about 10 minutes more anyway. Police backed off and watched the continued protest from several feet away.
By noon, 90+ year old Fran Rachel and 80+ year old Dolores Helman had arrived along with about a dozen other grandmothers and CodePINK supporters. Police had lined up once again in front of the doorway, blocking the entrance to the MRS.
The Grandmothers decided to march in a picket line in front of the MRS, singing and chanting. As soon as there was a slight opening - the 6'3" shifted sideways - Fran darted in and began to knock on the door. Dolores followed on her heels and the rest of the Grandmothers closed ranks around these two courageous Grandmothers wanting to speak with recruiters and willing to risk arrest.
Once again, police spoke for over 20 minutes with Fran and Dolores as the Grandmothers knocked on the door, called up, and beckoned to the Marines holed up inside.
The Marines refused to allow the Grandmothers to come inside or to come out to speak with our elders. The police constantly attempted to stand between the Grandmothers and the Marines front door.
Fran and Dolores kept up a steady dialogue with the officers and press, telling everyone why they were there and talking about the promises they made to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren to work their hardest to END WAR NOW!
It was quite moving. The police threatened to cite these women but never did.
The Grandmothers promised to return next Monday at 10:00am with more Grandmothers and supporters and to stay until the Marines welcome them inside, invite them to dialogue, and recruit Grandmothers instead of grandchildren!
So mark Monday the 12th on your calendars! And call us at if you are willing to stand with the courageous Grandmothers next Monday! They are asking everyone for your support - for 15 minutes, an hour or longer!
We will post photos and a u-tube as soon as possible.