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Monday, June 23, 2008

Protests and Counter Protests In Berkeley, California, Again

Bikers roared into the town Berkeley California again in waves of 60 at a time and Chairman of Move America Forward, Melanie Morgan was there with them to show support for U.S Troops.

Anti-war protesters show up at the Marine recruiting station on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, on a regular basis and people travel from across the country to counter protest and show the Marines of Berkeley their support for them and their missions.

Berkeley made major news when their city council passed a resolution calling the Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders", a resolution they rescinded after a massive uproar from their actions ensued.

That action cost the city of Berkeley in many ways, one of which was financially.

This past Saturday, Berkeley was in the news again as the troop supporters faced off with the anti-war protesters again.

Bikers roared into town in waves of 60 at a time, the reasoning stated by Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, a spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department, was, "They wanted to come in stages so they could negotiate parking and not clog traffic. Our experience is that the organizers have been very open about sharing their plans and their intent and have asked for feedback from the police."

The counter protesters show up, as Jim Hampton, 64, an Oakland resident who spent 26 years in the Marine Reserve, explains, "There are many people who are silent - we've decided not to be silent. People have a right to protest, but we don't want everyone to think that there is only one point of view."

In a peaceful but vocal face-off that stretched from mid-morning Saturday until early afternoon, dozens of bikers occupied one side of Shattuck while anti-war protesters filled the opposite sidewalk. While numerous bikers toted large American flags, their ideological opponents carried banners with slogans such as, "Mass murder and torture: not a career option."

One exchange that was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle between an anti-war protester and a member of the American Legion Riders, Jim Dunn, who served two decades as a Navy hospital corpsman.

The anti-war protester muttered at a group of bikers, "Why don't you go to war?"

Mr. Dunn replied, "I did 20 years so you can say what you're saying."

(Photo Courtesy of Zombietime)

Melanie Morgan, who is Chairman of Move America Forward and who helps organize these rallies, was there and gives a first hand account of how the day went.

The World Can't Wait freaks immediately violated their permits and surrounded our folks from EaglesUp, marching around, pushing and shoving. But the Berkeley cops were having none of it! They immediately forced the commie crowd out of our space, and kept them separated from us. There about 30 of them ..and several hundred of us. Yes, WE CAN! Yes, WE DID!

The support from these groups, organizations and people does not end in Berkeley though. As further support for the troops abroad, Move America Forward is sponsoring a historic undertaking with the goal of sending the largest single shipment of care packages to U.S. troops in American history.

(Courtesy of Move America Forward)-Click image to enlarge-

The grand finale for the push will take place on June 26th when a Jerry Lewis style 8-hour Internet Telethon ("From the Frontlines") will take place. This cutting edge production “From The Frontlines” will be broadcast live online by and hosted by Melanie Morgan & Michelle Malkin. Live and taped reports will be broadcast from our troops serving in Iraq & Afghanistan during the historic 8-hour event.
(Additional note)Some distinctive names involved with this effort, via an email to me from a member of Move America Forward, include, Nancy Reagan, The Office of General David Petraeus,Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Lt Col Oliver North (Ret.), Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Monica Crowley, Mike Gallagher, Melanie Morgan, Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry - National Review, Kathryn Lopez - NationalReviewOnline, Jed Babbin - Human Events, Joseph Farah - WorldNetDaily, Matt Lewis -, Ron Kessler - Newsmax ,Kyle-Anne Shiver - American Thinker, Comedian Jackie Mason, John Ondrasik - Five for Fighting, Medal of Honor Recipient Marcus Luttrell, NBC's America's Favorite Mom - Patti Patton-Bader (of Soldier's Angels), Cliff May - Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Larry Bailey, Chairman of Gathering of Eagles, Julie DeMaria, Operation Care & Comfort, Iraq War Veteran - Pete Hegseth, Vets For Freedom, Gold Star Mother, Debbie Lee, Gold Star Father, Mike Anderson, Gold Star Father, Mark Crowley, Gold Star/Blue Star Parents Joe & Jan Johnson, Bev Perlson, Band of Mothers, MilBlogger Matt Sanchez, Vietnam War Veteran & Author, Ron Winter, Brian Sussman - KSFO, San Francisco, Michael Graham - WTKK, Boston, Mark Williams - WROW, Albany, Roger Hedgecock - KOGO, San Diego, Martha Zoller - WDUN, Gainesville/Atlanta.

The Jelly Belly candy company has already donated 100,000 bags of gourmet jelly beans which is being used to launch a “Candy Diplomacy” program as gifts to Iraqi and Afghani children. Each bag is printed with the following message, in both English & Arabic, “A gift from the American people in hope that your country will one day enjoy the freedom and opportunities that we have in the United States.”

From America all the way to Iraq, Move America Forward and multiple other groups of veterans, supporters, friends and family, as well as high profile personalities, are showing the troops how much they support them and their mission.