I told you on Sunday about the city of Berkeley’s move to treat military recruitment centers like porn shops.
Reader Bob USMC e-mails that Berzerkeley advanced two other anti-troop measures last night–voting to give Code Pink special treatment and send the Marine Corps a letter saying they are “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.
This must not go unanswered:
Members of the Berkeley City Council showed their opposition to a Marine Corps recruiting office in Downtown Berkeley last night.
Council members supported the two resolutions-one supporting anti-war protests and the other criticizing military recruitment practices-citing opposition to the war in Iraq, deceptive recruitment practices and the right to protest.
“By taking a stand against recruitment we are protecting the health and safety of our youth,” said PhoeBe sorgen, a member of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. “I see the protest as taking a proud and courageous stand.”
Code Pink, a national anti-war grassroots organization, will be granted a parking spot for their regular Wednesday afternoon protests and will not need to apply for a sound permit for the next six months, under one resolution.
The other resolution more directly criticizes the presence of the center in Berkeley. The city manager was directed to send a letter to the U.S. Marine Corps saying they are “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.
In addition, the city attorney has been directed to investigate whether the city’s anti-discrimination laws can be enforced at the center, based on the military’s consideration of sexual orientation in hiring.
Marine recruiters did not return calls for comment yesterday.
The other initiative is forging ahead:
Local activists have proposed an initiative for the November 2008 elections that would require military recruiting centers to acquire a special use permit.
“The Marines ought to have better sense than to come here,” [Councilwoman Betty] Olds said.
Move America Forward is spreading the word:
The City of Berkeley, California has passed two resolutions attacking the United States Marine Corps, calling the Marines, “uninvited and unwelcome intruders in the city.”
The Berkeley City Council voted to condemn the Marines on Tuesday night (January 29th) as part of a campaign by anti-war activists to shut down a U.S. Marine Recruiting Center located in the city of Berkeley.
The votes by the Berkeley City Council were immediately condemned by Move America Forward (website: www.MoveAmericaForward.org), the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization.
“It is disgraceful that in the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, anti-military activists would attempt to silence the same military men and women who serve this country and give their lives to protect the free speech rights of all Americans, including these ungrateful and despicable people on the Berkeley City Council,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.
The actions by the Berkeley City Council followed continuous protests by Code Pink and other anti-military organizations that vandalized and defaced the U.S. Marine Recruiting Center in September 2007.
One of the two resolutions passed by the Berkeley City Council last night granted a parking spot in front of the Marine Recruiting Center to be used by anti-military activists to harass Marine recruiters. The anti-military activists would not need to apply for a sound permit for the next six months – allowing them free reign to disrupt the day-to-day operations by the Marines.
Move America Forward organized a counter-protest in support of the Marines last October that attracted over 400 pro-troop supporters who stood in solidarity of the Marine Recruiting Center.
“We have hundreds of thousands of military men and women serving honorably overseas to protect our freedoms. Imagine how they feel when they go to turn on the news and see that they are being stabbed in the back by shameful people here at home, it’s disgraceful!” said Catherine Moy, Executive Director of Move America Forward.
Every member of the California delegation should be pressed to state where they stand on Berkeley’s troop-bashing actions–starting with Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Boxer and Feinstein.
Elsewhere in the Bay Area, here is the conclusion of the Transportation Department’s investigation of the incident at the Oakland Airport. Refresh your memory here. The issue for the troops and supporters who raised objections was never so much about what rules were or were not broken. It was about botched communication, mishandling of the incident and its aftermath, lack of compassion, and delayed accountability. The officials apologized. The incident is over. But as the Berkeley attacks show, anti-troop animus in the Ba Area lives on.