NEWS MEDIA UPDATE · ARIZONA · Newsgathering · July 26, 2005
Journalists charged with trespass at Army recruiting center
July 26, 2005 · Police cited journalists from four media organizations for criminal trespassing while they covered a protest that involved a group of older women who attempted to enlist in the Army at a recruiting center in Tucson July 13. Five of the self-dubbed “Raging Grannies,” who are associated with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, also were cited.
Three of the four journalists and all five activists pleaded not guilty to the class 3 misdemeanor charges Monday in Tucson City Court. A pre-trial hearing is set for Aug. 19. If found guilty, they could face a $500 fine, 30 days in jail, and/or one year probation.
Annalyn Censky of the Green Valley News, Walt Stanton of Arizona Indymedia Center, and Susan Thorpe of Pan Left Productions, a video producer, were reporting on the women’s attempt to enlist in the Army in lieu of family members who are serving in Iraq. The group has protested weekly outside of the Army’s Tucson recruitment office for the past three years.
Lawyer Ali Farhang, who is representing Censky, is surprised the charges weren’t dropped. “Once they have a city attorney assigned [to the case] we are hoping they will agree it’s ridiculous and drop the charges.”
Jamie Lopez with KOLD-TV in Tucson also was cited for trespassing July 13, but was not arraigned Monday, according to a station representative.
(Media Counsel: Ali Farhang, Fennemore Craig PC, Tucson, Ariz.; Charnesky & Dieglio, Tucson, Ariz.) — JM