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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Berkeley City Council Rescinds Anti-Marine Vote

Yesterday we brought you all day updates on the protest rally Move America Forward held in Berkeley, CA. on February 12, 2008.

It was a long day in Berkley California on February 12, 2008, with the pro-military Move America Forward organization, there to protest the Berkeley City Council resolution, which called the Marine recruiters,"uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
Starting at 5am, in the town of Berkley,media was out in full, flags flying high, veterans from every branch of the military were there to show support to their brother and sisters in arms, Move America Forward with bullhorns and patriotic songs and the group Code Pink, an anti-military group, holding a sign that read "JOIN the MARINES, Travel to exotic lands, Meet exciting and unusual people, AND KILL THEM"

Code Pink has been camped outside the Marine recruiting office on Shattuck Avenue for the last four months, singing peace songs and chanting slogans for an end to the Iraq war.

The original resolution set off a firestorm in the media and in the blogosphere and council member Gordon Wozniak, who opposed the council's actions two weeks ago on the recruiting station, said that he personally had 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.

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

Mr. Wozniak is right, when you do a google news search right now, there are 530 news articles listed as the number.

The battle lines were drawn, the city council wasn't meeting until 5 pm, so for twelve hours reports and photos were coming in, via media, via Move America Forward members and from every day citizens that were outraged at the city councils resolution as well as the group, Code Pinks, continued harassment and insults thrown at the Marines in Berkeley.

Some of those Berkeley local citizen, stood tall firmly with Move America Forward and against Code Pink, holding signs telling Code Pink that "they" weren't welcome.

According to police an American flag was set on fire outside the City Council chambers, damaging a pair of bicycles.

Four people were arrested before the meeting even began and from an email sent by Cat Moyer of Move America Forward "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."

Two of those arrested were boys ages 13 and 15, for scuffling with a Marine supporters and a third was Luisa Romero De Los Angeles, an 18-year-old Berkeley resident who they say slapped a police officer who told her to back away as she demanded they release the two boys who had been arrested earlier.

The fourth was a man wielding a knife.

The portion of the city council meeting that was scheduled with the controversial resolution didn't start until 9pm and for three hours they heard from more than 100 speakers, mostly from the citizens of Berkley and early into Wednesday morning,when it came time for the vote, 7-to-2 voted to rescind the previous letter to the Berkeley Marines, calling the marine recruiters unwelcome and instead stating its opposition to the war as well as acknowledging "we recognize the recruiter's right to locate in our city and the right of others to protest or support their presence."

Debbie Lee, a member of Move America Forward, whose son Marc Lee was the first Navy SEAL to die in the Iraq war, demanded an apology from the council. She told the council "My son gave up his life for you. I'm appalled at what you did."

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, some council members agree with Ms. Lee, that they owe the U.S. Troops as well as their own citizens an apology.

They also quote Gordon Wozniak "To err is human but to really screw up it takes the Berkeley City Council. We failed our city. We embarrassed our city."

The full council decided, however, not to issue a formal apology for their previous resolution, nor did they apologize to their own citizens.

Melanie Morgan, chairman of Move America Forward, has some after action reports on her site, and you can find more photos courtesy of Move America Forward and at Zombietime.

More from Michelle Malkin.