Hundreds of grandmothers and their supporters gathered at noon Feb. 14 for a Valentine’s Day demonstration in front of Oakland’s U.S. Army Recruiting Station, blocking the sidewalk and spilling out into the street. They planned to offer themselves for induction, to replace soldiers now serving in Iraq. Though their intentions were foiled when the recruiters failed to appear, the group marked the occasion with songs, choral readings, chants and a spirited picketline. Organizers said similar demonstrations took place at 13 other locations around the country.



Marilyn Bechtel
Marilyn Bechtel

Marilyn Bechtel writes for the People's World from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been a member of the paper's staff since 1986. She has also been active in the peace movement. Born in Iowa, Marilyn has also lived in Chicago and New York City, and originally made her living as a professional musician.