Battle Lines Drawn in Berkeley Over Marine Recruiters


Last month, radical anti-military group, Code Pink, gave a presentation to Berkeley City Council. The Council backed Code Pink against military recruiters, giving Code Pink a free parking space in front of the recruiting office and waiving their need for an amplified sound or noise-making permit known as a “Sound Permit,” which usually requires payment and approval by the Environmental Health Division.

Last year, the Code Pink anti-war activists ran a campaign to shut down the U.S. Marine Recruiting Center located in the city of Berkeley. At a meeting on January 29th 2008, the City Council passed two resolutions calling the United States Marine Corps, “uninvited and unwelcome intruders in the city.”

In response, the grassroots pro-troop organization, Move America Forward, condemned the City Council, calling the Council’s action “disgraceful”.

“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.

Code pink protectors
Code Pink, the protectors of Berkeley

Earlier in 2007, Code Pink and other anti-military organizations had vandalized and defaced the U.S. Marine Recruiting Center.

Move America Forward then planned a pro-troop demonstration in front of the Berkeley City Council Chambers on Tuesday, February 12th, at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley. Supporters and media were invited and by all accounts there will be large numbers of people supporting the Marines and wide media coverage.

In the meantime, two City Council members are recommending rescinding the anti-marine resolutions.

Now City Councillor Linda Maio is organizing her own group to counter the Marines’ supporters. In an email to her supporters, she said

“…we have received info that the marines and their supporters are gearing up to come to the Feb 12th council meeting to shame us and attack us, in large numbers. Now that Laurie and Betty have put on a recommendation to rescind what we did (on the agenda of Feb 12th) we expect they will jam the microphone with their diatribes. Press will be there in full force. The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. People need to get there early enough to get in and grab a seat. Pls help pass on the word. The fire dept will not allow more people in than room can hold. Therefore, I am urging people to come early and occupy a seat, and be prepared to speak too and represent our city’s values next Tuesday.”

Move America Forward is asking pro-troops organizations to attend and bring their American flags. Code Pink is asking their supporters to attend and to wear hot pink.

It should be an interesting meeting.

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.