BERKELEY, Calif. — Local officials in this liberal city say it's time for the U.S. Marines to move out.
The City Council has voted to tell the Marines their downtown recruiting station is not welcome and "if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome guests."
The measure passed this week by a vote of 8-1.
The council also voted to explore enforcing a city anti-discrimination law, focusing on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
In a separate item, the council voted, also 8-1, to give protest group Code Pink a parking space in front of the recruiting office once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week.
Mayor Bates issued a statement on his mayoral site. It was the usual pol doublespeak... the will of the Berkeley people... nonsense.
However what really caught my eye was the beginning excerpts:
I have heard from people all over the country regarding the action taken by the Berkeley City Council regarding the Marines recruiting center.
Let me be absolutely clear that this is not about the men and women who are serving our country in our armed forces. I am a retired U.S. Army Captain and I respect the choice of those who are serving our country.
However, this community strongly opposes the war in Iraq and the foreign policy of the current administration. I believed from the beginning that this was an unjust, illegal, and immoral war of choice.
Now let's add this to the kitty/fodder: his Fox quote:
"I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don't belong here, they shouldn't have come here, and they should leave," said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.
Aside from the obvious official hatred for a citizen who happens to be a Marine, and how it has become cityu policy to make them unwelcome.... Bates mayoral position starkly contrasts with his quotes. He "respects" the active military's choice. But he doesn't respect granting any Berkeley denizens the right to choose a military career within city limits?
What a crock of shit... Code Pink's stated "goal" is evident in their Mission Statement:
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities. We reject the Bush administration's fear-based politics that justify violence, and instead calls for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.
In short, Code Pink aims for no wars, and to them, that means no military is necessary.
Bates says it's "not about the men and women who are serving their country in the armed forces".... but on the other side of his forked tongue, also says he believes in the Code Pink cause of no needed military, no future wars.
Reconcile that one, Mayor... if you can.
In the meantime, there's unverified rumours of a letter by a mega developer who told Mayor Bates, in no uncertain terms, that they will be boycotting business with any suppliers, and anyone from Berkeley for that matter. More when it can be substantiated.