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Dec-13-2007 00:35printcomments

War Protester Granny Verdict Expected Today

Is it free speech or the road to terrorism?

Salem-News.com
Members of the Surge Protection Brigade, also know as the "Seriously Pissed Off Grannies"
Photo courtesy: myleftwing.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - A verdict is expected on Thursday, December 13th in the trial of five grandparents charged with "unlawfully and intentionally causing substantial inconvenience to the United States."

The case will be sent to the jury by Judge Richard Baldwin at 9:00 AM in room 716 of the Multnomah County Courthouse. The case stems from a silent vigil held by the Surge Protection Brigade, also know as the "Seriously Pissed Off Grannies," on Good Friday, April 6th at the US Army and Marine recruiting center on NE Broadway.

Judge Baldwin will allow the jury to consider a "lesser of evils" defense after defendants testified that they felt compelled to take action to stop the imminent danger of death to Iraqi civilians and American soldiers. Between the time of the Good Friday vigil on April 6th and December 12 an additional 621 US Service members died in Iraq.

The jury will begin deliberations Thursday morning to decide if the grandparents who are defendants used tempera paint to send a symbolic message protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as claimed by Defense Attorney Lisa Ludwig, or if the powerful paint caused substantial inconvenience to the United States, and possibly worse as described by the District Attorney, Seth Steward.

Story continues below

Steward called upon the jury to render a guilty verdict to "protect our troops." He warned the jury of the danger of a not guilty verdict: "Think of some evils that could happen," he said, "and why it is important for the line to be drawn here. On September 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 dying in Iraq. That is the same thing suicide bombers say."

In his closing argument for defendant Clyde Chamberlain, Attorney Robert Callahan, told the jury that the District Attorney was trying to turn a simple bottle of red tempera paint into "a weapon of mass inconvenience."

The water soluble poster paint was used to place red handprints on the window of the Army/Marine Recruiting office at 1371 NE Broadway on April 6th 2007.

Chamberlain and the other defendants, Sara Graham, Ann Huntwork, Martha Odom and DeEtte Beghtol all testified that they were motivated by deep convictions and a sense that there was no other way to try to stop the war.

"It is not to inconvenience the recruiters" said Martha Odom, "it's a way to stand witness to folks who may not be thinking about this war, to people who know in their heart they're not doing anything about it, to let everyone know there are people deeply, profoundly opposed to the Iraq war who carry grief and rage and want it to stop."




Comments

Internal Comments are Closed on this story.



Jefferson December 20, 2007 8:23 am (Pacific time)

Hillary: Via Neal's quote-- "...and not just as arm candy." Whew! I now am starting to understand where you're coming from Neal? So you get checked recently for AMD?


Neal Feldman December 14, 2007 8:09 pm (Pacific time)

As I have said elsewhere I'm none too enthused about any of the democrat field... but if I'm luke warm on them i'm ice cold on the republican field. Even though the GOP *tends* to swing more my way on immigration issues re: illegals their hostility towards social security/medicare, free speech, civil rights, the war in Iraq (and other abuses of our military) etc mean it will be a cold day in the heart of the Sun when I will vote GoP... especially while they kowtow to the Religious Reich. As to Hillary like I say, she is as qualified as any of them, has had 8 yrs experience in the White House... and not just as arm candy. Plus she comes with a very experienced advisor in Bill. He might be a cad personally but he knows the business. Plus there would be the real chance that Sean Hannity would spontaneously combust on election night on national TV... I would pay good money to see that! Im not sure whether he is more smug or smarmy but he is way up there on both counts. Obama... I dunno... came pretty much out of nowhere... and has made some pretty rookie mistakes which goes to his inexperience and age. I could not care less about his race. Give it 12 more years as a senator and learning the ropes a bit more and he might make a decent candidate. (personally I would prefer Colin Powell if he ran as an Independent if you wanted the first black president.) Edwards has the charm and some good ideas, some not so great ideas, but he just gives me the vibe of a second stringer if you know what I mean... not yet ready for prime time. Same deal with Obama.. 8-12 more seasoning years and we will see. Biden is past his time IMHO... and he comes across as overpackaged... never really sure what he means or if he really means it. Richardson and the guy from Alaska are good for sound bites and to hold the other folks' feet to the fire. Kucinich gives me warm fuzzies fior his constant call for impeachment of Cheney and Bush and has a few other good ideas but much as I might support him I do not think he will avoid Amnesty for illegals and once you get past the glow from the impeachment thing there isn't much there. Did I miss anyone? Well, we still have a few months for me to decide. It will be decided before we get to vote in Oregon anyway... which is why I want there to be a single national primary/caucus day just like there is a single national election day... and same day for all parties with primaries. No more of this 'first amongst unequals' crap. I think the jockeying for dates we have seen this season shows how the current system is eventually doomed. Be done with it.. One Day - One Vote everyone equal. Ah well...


Jefferson December 14, 2007 1:47 pm (Pacific time)

Glad the gals got off, they sure reflect how absurd things get when someone spends our tax money to prosecute these losers. Say Neal, regarding "fear-mongering and dishonesty" on a scale of zero to minus 10 how would you rate the demo pres. candidates, aka, "SNOW WHITE SOCIALIST AND THE SEVEN MENTAL DWARVES?" And what is Hillary's position on illegals anyway? Does it depend on what her focus group comes up with (subject to daily change)? How about Obama's Chicago church, is it as racist as some call it? Maybe Chicago paradise Henry knows?


Neal Feldman December 14, 2007 11:42 am (Pacific time)

Jury Nullification took all of 30 minutes. The quote from the jury: "Many of the jurors said after the trial they thought the case was a waste of court time and public resources." Ah well...


Neal Feldman December 14, 2007 11:30 am (Pacific time)

what does Kerry losing in FLA have to do with anything? Are you elevating the tactics of fear-mongering and dishonesty that were used by Shrub to win in 2004 to 'virtues' or something? I think it is pretty clear by the 2006 results that folks cleared the cobwebs away and saw Shrub and Co for what they are... and all political experts say the backlash aint finished yet as 2008 will be horrific for the republicans... the only real question is will the republicans be knocked back into political obscurity for a single decade or for many decades? It is not good these days to be a GOPher. Ah well...


Jefferson December 14, 2007 9:36 am (Pacific time)

"just me" you are so right, especially your observation on our all-volunteer military. By the way, approximately 2/3's of those who served in Vietnam were volunteers. Though John Kerry was certainly not one of those, maybe that's why he only spent around 4 months there before in the fullness of time he lost Florida to Bush by nearly 400,000 votes (had to work that one in for my buddy Neal!).


just me December 13, 2007 9:26 pm (Pacific time)

Damaging or defacing property is against the Law. Called Criminal Mischief. Convict these grannies and lock them up and throw away the key. We have a volunteer Military. It's everyones own choice to sign up or not. And other Grannies, get a life. Go home and write some Christmas Cards for our troops.


Neal Feldman December 13, 2007 10:59 am (Pacific time)

One has the free speech right to speak out and act out... one does nt have the right to damage or deface public property or property that is not one's own without permission. One does have the right to inconvenience the govt... who do these tyrants think they are to claim otherwise? But if laws are broken by civil disobedience then those breaking the law pay the penalty. They should not whine that the law does not apply to them. That is anarchy. Ah well...


Vic December 13, 2007 10:15 am (Pacific time)

In this country, peacemakers are scorned and ridiculed, while kill em all, shoot em up types are hailed as heroes. Seth Steward sounds like a real patriotic terror-fighting guy...I wonder why he is not in the military fighting "terror" instead of living in Ptld pulling in a six figure salary.


Vic December 13, 2007 8:15 am (Pacific time)

In this country, peacemakers are scorned and ridiculed while

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