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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Showdown Started Early In Berkeley: All Day updates--Council rescinds anti-Marine Vote--BUMPED

[Update]2/13/08- Berkeley City Council rescinds vote that called the Marine recruiters "unwelcome"

Photos courtesy of Move America Forward unless otherwise specified.

(Melanie Morgan in Berkeley bright and early this morning-Photo courtesy of Move America Forward)

The wording of the resolution (PDF file) that was passed by the council in a 6 to 3 vote is:

From: Peace and Justice Commission


1. Direct the City Attorney to investigate and report back to Council within 60 days on City options for enforcing Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, with respect to military recruiting offices in Berkeley;

2. Direct the City Manager to send letters to the Marine Corps Recruiting Station at 64 Shattuck Avenue and to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, advising them that the Marine recruiting office is not welcome in our city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders;

3. Encourage all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station, and applaud residents and organizations such as Code Pink, that may volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley.

This is what today's rally in Berkley is all about.

(Deborah Parrish (left) and Forrest Schmidt engage in a discussion at Berkeley's Civic Center Plaza, early Tuesday. Chronicle photo by Paul Chinn)

We have reported on this, we have published an Exclusive interview with Melanie Morgan, we have had our own Veterans speak out about this and today Move America Forward and patriots from across the world, stand up for our Marines, in Berkeley and the battle lines are drawn and the showdown began early this morning.

(All previous Berkeley pieces on one page here to catch up on the story from beginning to present)

A pre-dawn confrontation broke out this morning in Berkeley between peaceniks and pro military groups, more than 12 hours before the City Council considers to rescind its statement telling the U.S. Marines they're unwelcome in this leftie town.

Police were forced to form a line between the two groups to keep them apart shortly after 6 a.m. at the park across Martin Luther King Jr. Way from old City Hall, where the City Council meets.

An hour and a half later, the shouting continued, but there had been no arrests, a police dispatcher said.

The Berkeley City Council tonight is scheduled to revisit the council's Jan. 29 approval of a resolution calling the U.S. Marines' recruiting office on Shattuck Avenue "uninvited and unwelcome intruders." The vote was 6-3 in favor.

The 6-3 vote on that item caused a nationwide backlash against the city, prompting Republicans in Washington and Sacramento to introduce legislation to take away money for things like school lunches and police communications equipment.

Just about every City Council meeting in Berkeley includes protesters who show support or disdain for whatever is on the agenda.

But tonight, the city is likely to host the mother of all meetings in its recent history. Councilman Gordon Wozniak, who opposed the council's actions two weeks ago on the recruiting station, said he received 26,000 e-mails on the subject in the past 10 days (24,000 supporting the Marines, 2,000 against), and he is just one of nine council members.

"On a hot issue, we sometimes get a couple hundred e-mails," Wozniak said. "I've never seen anything like this. I'm getting one every five minutes. It's huge."

(Emphasis mine)

24,000 emails from Marine supporters and only 2,00 supporting the anti-military city council!!!!!

That should tell those Code Pinkos a little bit about how they are NOT going to get away with insulting and disparaging our troops.

This showdown was reported by the New York Times last night who said:

On Tuesday night, the nine members of the Berkeley City Council are expected to do something they, or the Marines, for that matter, very rarely do: retreat in the face of fierce opposition.

Councilwoman Betty Olds, who is 87, who voted for the parking spot but not the language about the Marines, said she had never seen such a response. Not that the Council did not deserve it, she added.

“I live in the hills,” Ms. Olds said. “And they don’t like this one bit.”

No, they don't, the group there protesting the city council doesn't and millions across America don't and they are standing up and speaking out.

Let us not forget the Mayor of Berkeley, Tom Bates, stands WITH Code Pink as this picture of him sporting his pink little hat joins the Code Pinkos in protesting the Marine recruiting center in Berkeley.

The silent majority is no longer silent and this town of Berkeley is discovering what it is like to awaken a sleeping giant.

From Fox News:

That decision sparked a nationwide outrage, calls to withhold government funding for the city, and an apology and clarification from Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.

On Tuesday, the council will hear from Laurie Capitelli and Betty Olds, two council members who are sponsoring a revised resolution that will ask the city not to send a letter to the Marine Corps saying it's unwelcome in Berkeley.

The resolution would reiterate the city's opposition to the Iraq war, while clarifying Berkeley's support of the nation's military servicemembers.

In a joint press statement, Capitelli and Olds said: “We failed to make it clear that while we continue to oppose what we consider an unethical and illegal war in Iraq, at the same time we respect and honor all the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the military … We have erred by not adequately differentiating between the war and the warriors.”

Now dear readers, go back to the beginning of this post and reread the short three paragraphs of the resolution itself.

Did they or did they not make themselves perfectly clear?

Is there any room for misunderstanding the words in that resolution?

The New Hampshire Union Leader is even talking about Berkeley and calling them a "laughing stock"!!!!!

[Update #1] Pictures from Move America Forward are already in.

CNN is reporting that even progressive activists are admitting Berkeley "overreached" and owe are Marines and apology!!!!

Kriss Worthington, a progressive Berkeley activist and council member for 11 years, believes the council overreached.

"The inflammatory language in the City Council item is really outrageous -- not just to right-wing people, but to mainstream liberal people and even to some peace activists who have said they're insulted that the city would have such language," Worthington said.

He said Berkeley owes an apology to the military and to the peace movement "for having such embarrassing language allegedly trying to promote peace."

"When you make a colossal blunder, you can't just sort of ignore the mistake and go about your way. You have to do something to fix it," Worthington said.

He is correct, this is not a right or left issue, this is a right or WRONG issue.

[Back now and below are more photos from the Berkeley showdown]

Look at this next one. These folks are awesome, aren't they?

Looks like the town members are standing with Move America Forward as they hold signs that say NO MORE PINK IN OUR TOWN!!!!!!

Hot Air shows us how Dingy Harry Reid used a sneaky procedural motion to block the DeMint legislation to strip funding from Berkeley.

Harry Reid is trying to keep Democrats from having to choose between hippies and the Marines. He used a sneaky maneuver to block a vote on the Semper Fi Act Monday. That’s the bill that would strip Berkeley of this year’s earmarks.

Instead of adjourning at the end of a day as usual, the Senate “recessed” twice, a move that, under Senate rules, slows the process of adding new bills to the calendar. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not adjourn until last Friday, effectively pushing back floor consideration on the GOP bill until Tuesday — the same day that the city council is likely to tone down its call for Marine Corps recruiters to leave town.

“The only reason to recess is to block something, and the thing that got blocked by Reid’s stall tactic was the Semper Fi Act,” said spokesman Wesley Denton, referring to the bill introduced by his boss, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

“Democrats have chosen not to defend the Marine Corps, but to pander to anti-war protesters and Berkeley officials that are actively trying to impede military recruitment.”

Oh, here are the type of signs Code Pink are holding up:


Real sweathearts huh?

Malkin brings a statement from Catherine Moy of Move America Forward, who explains that Code Pinks members physically attacks our patriots that are standing up for the Marines:

Berkeley Police Watch “Peace” Freaks attack Patriots

Berkeley erupted in violence Tuesday morning when the Communist, terrorist-supporting anti-war group crossed into Martin Luther King Park and assaulted pro-troop individuals. Riot police stood by, but did not stop the assaults. Police agencies did not respond to calls for help.

Move America Forward, the nation’s largest pro-troop organization, received permits from the City of Berkeley to hold a daylong demonstration in MLK park against the City Council who passed three outrageous resolutions calling U.S. Marines “unwanted intruders.”

“It is mayhem on here,” MAF communications director Danny Gonzalez said from the park early Tuesday morning.

Code Pink was permitted for across the street. The two sides were to stay separated, according to rules laid down by the city. But the city has a history of giving Code Pink special preference. The City Council gave free parking permits and a free noise permit to the radical group, which has helped fund terrorist families in Iraq with a $600,000 gift. MAF Exeutive Director Catherine Moy attempted to get help from the Berkeley police as the mayhem unfolded, but an officer hung up on Moy. Moy asked the California Highway Patrol to help in the emergency, but the CHP refused. “I have never in my life experienced such inaction in the face of an emergency, “Moy said. “I will ask the Federal Government to investigate, as well as the State Attorney General. It is one thing to give free parking places to the City Council’s special interest anti-war groups, it is another to take sides and endanger the lives of others.”

Move America Forward and other pro-troop organizations will stand in support of the Marines all day Tuesday until they can enter the City Council chambers to address the City Council.

More to come as the pictures keep coming in.... keep refreshing.


One of our own, Dean, was out on the Front Lines in the War On Berzerkeley on 2/12/08. Here are the pictures he sent to us.