Thursday, January 31, 2008

City of Berkeley to Marines: Screw You

This story was first published in the Contra Costa times (free registration) so I link here, with no registration required.

Berkeley council tells Marines to leave
Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.

That's the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 8-1 Tuesday night to tell the Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station "is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders."

In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines, and officially encouraged the women's peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.

In a separate council item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

Councilman Gordon Wozniak voted no on both items.

The Marines have been in Berkeley for a little more than a year, having moved from Alameda in December of 2006. For about the past four months, Code Pink has been protesting in front of the station.

I hope, hope, that none of my leftie readers condones this kind of behavior. It would be nice if no lefties anywhere condoned this. I can't decide if I'm more sad or sickened.

In response, I'm going to do something positive. I've already written to the officer-in-charge of that recruiting office, telling him/her that I'd like to bring cookies and hot chocolate to his/her Marines on Monday, February 18th (no school that day). I have no intention of engaging in anything negative at all with Code Pink or their ilk; rather, I want to show nothing but kindness, goodness, and support for the Marines.

Who's with me?


Dr Pezz said...

This just doesn't sound kosher.

Ellen K said...

Maybe if you got there early enough your car could "break down" before the Code Pink groupies and harpies arrive. Just a thought.

Ryan said...

FYI, Move America Forward has a response up here:
Let's not let this pass quietly.

Quincy said...

Darren -

What do you expect? These people wholeheartedly believe in freedom to choose...only what they approve of. I've got more on that here.

rightwingprof said...

Well, I'd gladly join you, but Berzerkley is a ways from here.

Anonymous said...

Will someone explain to me what the problem is if a city council chooses not to have Marines recruiting in said city?

Darren said...

You know the answer to this, you're just baiting. Don't be an ass.

Erica said...

This doesn't even sound like something the city council has the power to do... they still have to abide by their own commercial zoning and business regulations, regardless.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Darren, that was a sincere question. I'm honestly undecided on what I think about this, but I haven't seen anyone explain why the city council doesn't have the right to do that if they choose, something I was hoping someone here would do.

Darren said...

Because cities can't decide that they don't want agents of the federal government in their jurisdictions. That's not the way government works.

But hey, here's a fun thought. Let's just ignore the fact that it's the federal government for a moment. Let's have the city of Topeka, KS, grant Fred Phelps and his clan a permit to park in front of Planned Parenthood once a week and harass them, because Topeka doesn't like abortions. Does that sound like something a city council should be doing?

DADvocate said...

Will someone explain to me what the problem is if a city council chooses not to have Marines recruiting in said city?

If you can't figure this out on your own, I doubt anyone else can help you. I'll try one little example.

Marines voluntarily fight and possibly die to protect our freedom. These bozos want to enjoy that freedom while dissing the very people who ensure it. At the very least they are arrogant, selfish ingrates.

Quincy said...

After reading the SF Chronicle this morning and seeing the downright atrocious coverage of this issue there, I decided to take a whack at analyzing it from a libertarian perspective. Hopefully it adds another dimension to the debate.

Neko said...

Come on now, it appears that Anonymous was being sincere. We should address his/her question with logic, not with personal attacks. (What are we, Lefties?)

Anonymous, if you haven't done so already, I would suggest reading Quincy's article. I think you may find your answer there.

John said...

Because cities can't decide that they don't want agents of the federal government in their jurisdictions. That's not the way government works.

Marines are not federal agents.
BTW, that very much makes you sound like a Democrat.

Darren said...

The Marine Corps is part of the federal government. And I don't see how this makes me sound like a Democrat at all.

Try again.

john said...

Yes, the Marine Corps is part of the federal government. However, they are not considered to be federal agents.

I was simply saying it's rare to see a Republican arguing for the federal government over a city.

Darren said...

I don't believe cities (or states) should be able to obstruct the functions of the federal government, no. President Eisenhower showed that in Little Rock, didn't he?

BerkeleyMarineSanctuary said...

Your comment about delivering hot chocolate made me smile -- I have brownies in my car right now which I have been unable to deliver because of the World Can't Wait's action at 64 Shattuck Square.

This situation leaves me angry and nauseated. I'm an American living as an ex-patriot in Berkeley for the last 14 years. I currently have kids in the public schools and at Cal.

The arrogance and short-sightedness of the Berkeley City Council isn't surprising, but even they are surprised at what they've stepped in here.

I want to hear from others who support the right of the USMC to recruit in Berkeley, and hope to start a group called Berkeley Marine Sanctuary to show that not everyone thinks the Marines are "unwelcome" here.

you (or anyone!) can contact me at