IRAQ Vets, 'Nam Vets, Delaware Valley Vets Rally w/ 11 Grannies @ their TRIAL *

11 Members of the Philadelphia Granny Peace Brigade Rallied outside of the Court House Today.  They had demanded that Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Recruiters sign up the Grannies, rather than their Grandchildren. ( on June 28 )

Kelly Dougherty

Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War, ex OIF MP Kelly Dougherty relates battlefield drama she and other Iraq Vets had endured.
From left, other IVAW Vets include Sgt Mark LeChance, Cap't Chad Hetman, Mike Blake, IVAW Deployed Treasurer Steve Mortillo, Toby Hartzbarger, and 'Nam Vet bp, on far right

A few of the many courageous Grannies, about to enter the Court House

courageous Grannies

Delaware Valley Veteran For America, bp, introduces Gold Star Mom, Celeste Zappala, who lost her son, Sherwood, in April, '04

Gold Star Mom Celeste Zappala

Internationally acclaimed Poet, Author, and Granny, Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez

Iraq Vet ( IVAW ) and Delaware Valley Vet ( DVVFA ) Sgt of Arms Steve Mortillo speaks truth to power.

Sgt of Arms Steve Mortillo



Charges dismissed against anti-war grannies

By Joseph A. Gambardello
Michael Bryant / Inquirer
Singing "There's No Business Like War Business," Jenny Heinz (left), Sonia Sanchez (center) and Betty Brassell (right) serenade the Community Court crowd before they go to court to faced their charges.

A judge dismissed defiant-trespass charges against 11 anti-war grandmothers who had refused to leave a Center City military recruiting office in June after trying to enlist to replace troops serving in Iraq.

Municipal Court Judge Deborah Griffin said the charge did not apply because the women - including poet Sonia Sanchez and Lillian Willoughby, a 91-year-old wheelchair-bound South Jersey Quaker - were in a public place and did nothing except refuse a request to leave.

About 75 people rallied in support of the 11 Granny Peace Brigade members outside the Community Court at 1401 Arch St. before their appearance.

Defense lawyer Paul Messing argued that the women were engaged in constitutionally protected free speech when they tried to enlist, and he quoted from a Pennsylvania Superior Court decision that quoted Thomas Jefferson saying, "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing."

The women had faced up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $500 if they had been convicted.

Some of the women spent six days in jail after they blocked the Federal Building in Center City shortly after the war started in 2003.

Contact staff writer Joseph A. Gambardello at 215-854-2153 or