Anti-Military Stance:
Berkeley Goes Berserk


The City of Berkeley, California, has taken an official anti-military stance that cannot be ignored.

Berkeley is the home of the University of California Berkeley campus, the oldest of the UC campuses and the flagship of California's public university system. UC Berkeley has seen its share of anti-war protestors, particularly during the Vietnam war era.



On September 18, 2001, The Daily Californian, an independent, student-run newspaper at UC Berkeley and one of the oldest college newspapers in the country, ran an article about Berkeley's anti-war and anti-military legacy. It quotes UC Berkeley history professor Reginald Zelnik as saying the university has "a tradition of protest and activism that takes many forms."

"Berkeley's tradition is not completely pacifist," Zelnik said. "It has a radical revolutionary tradition; it usually always ends with sharp divisions."

And now the Berkeley city fathers have made it official:

Berkeley is an Anti-Military Town

In an incomprehensibly naive and irrational move, the "Berserkeley" City Council has voted (on January 29, 2008) to send a letter to officially notify the US Marine Corps that it is an "uninvited and unwelcome intruder" in Berkeley and should immediately close its downtown recruiting office there.

Why? The official reason is that the US Military's ban on homosexuals violates the Berkeley City Code's prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The underlying reason is that a number of people in the community, the Mayor (who is a retired US Army Captain) included, think the war in Iraq is "illegal and immoral."

Sending such a letter to the Marine Corps would, in itself, be anti-military and foolish enough. But the city council has gone even further.

City Council Supports Code Pink

At the same time the City Council voted to notify the Marine Corps that its recruiting office was unwelcome because the military's ban on homosexuals violates the city code, it also voted to give preferential treatment to the anti-war group Code Pink. It gave Code Pink special parking privileges directly in front of the recruiting office to facilitate their anti-military protests, and granted them a free sound permit for six months.

The City Council even encouraged citizens to try to disrupt the recruiting efforts, which Michelle Malkin points out is a violation of federal law (see below).



Michelle Malkin's article on February 6 summed up the reaction to Berkeley's anti-military stance:

Berkeley Vs. America, Again

Wed Feb 6

The troop-bashers in Berkeley are at it once more. But this time, the rest of America lashed back. Message to the Left Coast: It's not the 1960s anymore.

On Jan. 29, the Berkeley city council passed several measures targeting the lone Marine recruitment office in town. The anti-war harridans at Code Pink have been picketing the center for months. Last fall, they defaced the building by slapping a sign that read "assasination" (sic) in the military office window.

Instead of rising to defend the recruiters' property rights, the city council and mayor voted to sabotage them further. They granted Code Pink special parking privileges directly in front of the Marines' workplace to facilitate their protests — and also offered them a free sound permit for six months.

In the home of the free speech movement, the peace and love mob abused the power of government to help drive the Marines out of the city. They proceeded with zoning changes to treat recruiting centers like porn shops. They encouraged residents to continue to impede the recruiters' work.

Never mind federal law making it a crime to willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States. If that weren't blood-boiling enough, the Berkeleyites put the troops under further siege by voting to send a letter to the U.S. Marine Corps calling them "uninvited and unwelcome intruders."

Video of the council meeting showed city officials trashing the Marines as "the president's own gangsters" and "trained killers" who are known for "death and destruction … and maiming." One of the council members complained that our men and women in uniform were responsible for "horrible karma." Mayor Tom Bates offered to "help" the Marines evacuate.

But, of course, they continue to argue shamelessly that they're not against the troops. Just against President Bush's policies.

Only one council member, Gordon Wozniak, opposed the Code Pink measure — pointing out that the council was bending the rules, intentionally setting up a confrontation between the group and the recruitment office, and "showing favoritism." He was outnumbered, 8-to-1.

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin and her minions gloated over the vote and turned up at the recruitment center to rub salt in the wound: "We are the defenders of democracy, the upholders of the Constitution. If it weren't for people like the people in Berkeley, standing up for what they believe, we'd be living under Hitler."

[Editor's Note: I suppose they're going to protect us against Al-Qaeda by whacking them with their pink protest signs?]

Her thugs defaced the recruitment center again — this time with a banner of bloody handprints stretched across the window as recruiters tried to do their jobs.

In another decade, Berkeley would have gotten away with this intolerant, illiberal, un-American power trip. But in the age of the Internet, talk radio and YouTube, word of the siege at Berkeley spread like lightning.

And citizens across the country weren't willing to look the other way.

The San Francisco-based Move America Forward, led by talk show host/conservative activist Melanie Morgan, launched an online petition protesting the city council measures.

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina moved to strip Berkeley of pork barrel spending worth $2 million.

[Editor's Note: As long as the city remains in violation of federal law with its anti-military stance, all federal funding for the City of Berkeley should be rescinded. Perhaps we should station US Marshals outside the recruiting office to enforce the federal law prohibiting interference with the recruitment and enlistment process?]

The American Legion mobilized as well. National Commander Marty Conatser lambasted the votes: "The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present. … What these recruiters do is essential to our national security. Without recruiters we have no military. And I don't think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are."

After feeling the heat, not just from veterans, military families and troop supporters outside of Berkeley but also from their own embarrassed citizens, the council is waving a partial white flag: Two council members will move to rescind the obnoxious letter and Code Pink privileges next week. It seems a little light bulb went off in Councilwoman Betty Olds' head: "I think we shouldn't be seen across the country as hating the Marines."

[Editor's note: Duh!]

Too late. The city's "horrible karma" is on full display. Sit back and watch Berkeley be Berkeley? No more.

Michelle Malkin is author of "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."
Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc.



A US Immigrant Puts It In Perspective

as well as anyone could:



Here's one businessman's reaction.

It's likely to be fairly effective, and hopefully will be repeated by many others.

To Berkeley City Council

Dear Mayor Bates,

In that you and your city have chosen to gravely insult the brave men and women, who have indeed bought you that right with their blood, I am informing you that my company will no longer do business with any of our current suppliers located in the Berkeley, California metro area.

In that my company is in international resort real estate development, and do business with and am associated with, developers and investors worldwide, I am informing all of my contacts, associates and patrons that we will no longer do any business of any sort with anyone living in the Berkeley area.

In that we/MDG Resorts are currently building a state of the art mega-yacht marina, all of the suppliers of Marina equipment, all owners of Yachts , all suppliers of Yacht materials & supplies, all yacht brokers and all tangential yacht business purveyors will likewise be informed that we will not do any business whatsoever with anyone from the Berkeley area.

Likewise all suppliers of building materials, both interior and exterior, currently associated with any of our several resort developments (Brisamar 300+ villas and 200+ condos: Porto Hussong, 500+ condos, 180 slip mega-yacht marina) both of which I might add have international recognition by virtue of glowing reports in Robb Report, Wall Street Journal, Yacht World, Forbes, will be notified.

I will likewise inform all of our investors, most of whom are very wealthy yacht owners, casino owners, high net worth international businessmen, of our decision to essentially boycott all products and providers located in, or associated with in any way whatsoever,Berkeley, Ca.

Trust me when I say that, having been in the real estate development business for over 35 years, our list of contacts and associates is long and very, very impressive. We, and I personally, are going to recommend that they ALL along with us boycott your city, its purveyors, suppliers, and businesses and CHARITIES of every kind.

You have every right to choose to take the obnoxious anti-military stance you have taken, and as stated, that right was bought for you with the blood of better men than you.

I too have every right to do all that I can to insure that your city suffers consequences arising from that obnoxious, sickening stance.

Cordially,

Brian G Dennard
Principal
Director
Meridian Development Group, LLC

Ed. Note: Dennard has since established an organization called Brigade America to publicize efforts to show support for American service members, and the boycott of businesses in Berkeley and every other American city showing a similar disrespect for our troops.



Wrong on So Many Levels

This action by the Berkeley City Council is wrong on so many levels, I don't know where to start!

Where were these city council members when brains were handed out? Or when, in civics class, we learned that federal law pre-empts state and local laws? (Given the level of intelligence displayed, I'll explain to them that means if their law is contradictory to federal law, which it is, the federal law wins. Period. End of story. No further discussion.)

And where do the "Commie Pinkos" at Code Pink think their right to stage such anti-military protests was won and defended? By the blood of those very Marines (and other service members) they find so deplorable!

Since when did the right of free speech pre-empt all other rights in this country? Since when did it become more important than the right of a property owner (or in this case, a lessee) to have unrestricted access for his invited guests, free from harassment by thugs, even those sanctioned by local government? Isn't that one of the things that local police departments are paid to protect us against?

The City of Berkeley, its elected officials carried away by free-speech mania, vocal anti-military protestors and what we hope is a temporary insanity, has given itself a well-deserved black eye.

All-Volunteer Force

These people, like many others in this country, seem to have forgotten there is no longer a draft in the US, as there was in the 1960's when Berkeley put itself on the map with anti-war protests.

Every single member of today's US military volunteered for the job. No one is compelled to serve. And God Bless each and every one of them. We're so proud of them.

Peace and Justice Commission Memo

Here's the memo from the "Peace and Justice Commission" to the Mayor and City Council. We are posting it here, rather than just posting a link, in case the City of Berkeley decides to take it down (which might be prudent). You'll notice it includes contact phone numbers at the end. Call them and let them know what YOU think about their anti-military stance.

Peace and Justice Commission

CONSENT CALENDAR
January 29, 2008

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Peace and Justice Commission
Submitted by: Steve Freedkin, Chairperson
Subject: Marine Recruiting Office in Berkeley

RECOMMENDATION

(1) Direct the City Attorney to investigate and report back to Council within 60 days on City options for enforcing Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, with respect to military recruiting offices in Berkeley;
(2) direct the City Manager to send letters to the Marine CorpsRecruiting Station at 64 Shattuck Avenue and to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, advising them that the Marine recruiting office is not welcome in our city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so asuninvited and unwelcome intruders; and
(3) encourage all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station, and applaud residents and organizations such as Code Pink, that may volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley.

FISCAL IMPACTS OF RECOMMENDATION

Staff time to research the City’s options for enforcing Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, with respect to military recruiting offices in Berkeley.

[Editor's Note: Is the City Council truly naive enough to believe this is the only fiscal impact of this recommendation? I implore the millions of military families and veterans' families in this country to prove to them that there is a far greater fiscal impact to the City of Berkeley because of this stance.]

CURRENT SITUATION AND ITS EFFECT

The United States has a history of launching illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression and the Bush Administration launched the most recent of those wars in Iraq and is threatening the possibility of war in Iran. These wars have produced catastrophic loss of human life, both civilian and military, as well as physically maiming and deforming and psychologically destroying countless numbers of civilians and militarypersonnel.

The United States Marine Corps is being used as one of the means of perpetrating and prolonging illegal, unconstitutional and unnecessary wars of the United States. [Where was he when Congress voted to support the President's decision to invade Iraq? That makes it both legal and constitutional. "Necessary" is a subjective judgment upon which there will never be agreement.]

Military recruiters are sales people known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults into contracting themselves into military service with false promises regarding jobs, job training, education and other benefits. Many enlisted persons never see the benefits they are promised and find out they are not eligible for the educational benefits due to loopholes, and they did not receive the training promised or it did not qualify them forjobs outside the military. [Can someone please explain to me how or why anyone would think the military has an obligation to train recruits for jobs outside the military? Also, this is an Officer Recruiting Station -- it says so right on the front window!]

The United States military discriminates by refusing to hire gays, lesbians, or bisexuals. By ordinance (BMC § 13.28.030; Ord. 5106-NS § 1 (part), 1978), the City of Berkeleyprohibits such discrimination; requires employers to post a notice that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited by law; and provides for a fine of up to $50per offense for failure to do so.

BACKGROUND

At the meeting of January 7, 2008, the Peace and Justice Commission approved the following motion: M/S/C (Meola/sorgen)

That the Council of the City of Berkeley approvethe following recommendation:

WHEREAS, the Peace & Justice Commission advises the City Council on all matters relating to the City of Berkeley’s role in issues of peace and social justice [Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 369.070]; and

WHEREAS, the United States has a history of launching illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression and the Bush Administration launched the most recent of those wars in Iraq and is threatening the possibility of war in Iran; and

WHEREAS, the United States armed forces, including the Marine Corps, explicitly refuse to hire openly non-heterosexual individuals, and will discharge an individual in their employ "who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts" [10 USC § 654(b)(2), "Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces"]; and

WHEREAS, Berkeley Municipal Code § 13.28, "Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation," provides that "It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment on the basis of such individual’s sexual orientation” [BMC § 13.28(A)(1)],and applies the same standard to employment agencies and job-training programs [BMC § 13.28(A)(3), § 13.28(A)(5)]; and

WHEREAS, these wars have produced catastrophic loss of human life, both civilian and military, as well as physically maiming and deforming and psychologically destroying countless numbers of civilians and military personnel; and

WHEREAS, the people of the City of Berkeley have long voiced their stand for peace and against unnecessary wars; and support people following their consciences to do what is morally and ethically right to resist illegitimate authority; and

WHEREAS, the United States Marine Corps is being used as one of the means of perpetrating and prolonging illegal, unconstitutional and unnecessary wars of the United States; and

WHEREAS, military recruiters are sales people known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults into contracting themselves into military service with false promises regarding jobs, job training, education and other benefits; and

WHEREAS, many enlisted persons never see the benefits they are promised and find out they are not eligible for the educational benefits due to loopholes and they did not receive the training promised or it did not qualify them for jobs outside the military; and

WHEREAS, the people of Berkeley should want the Marine Corps present near Berkeley High School, Berkeley City College, and University of California no more than they would want other violent influences downtown.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Peace & Justice Commission recommends that the Council of the City of Berkeley direct the City Attorney to investigate and report back to Council within 60 days on City options for enforcing Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, prohibiting discrimination on the basis ofsexual orientation, with respect to military recruiting offices in Berkeley.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley direct the City Manager to send letters to the Marine Corps Recruiting Station at 64 Shattuck Avenue and to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps,advising them that the Marine recruiting office is not welcome in our city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley encourage all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station, and applaud residents and organizations such as Code Pink, that may volunteer to impede, passivelyor actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley.

Ayes: Unanimous; Absent: Brody, Cohen, Litman, Seaton, Sherman.

CITY MANAGER

The City Manager takes no position on the recommendations of the Commission. However, it is unlikely that the City has the ability to enforce Chapter 13.28 against the United States military.
["Unlikely?" Boy, is THAT an understatement! Try "impossible."]

CONTACT PERSON

Steve Freedkin, Chairperson, Peace and Justice Commission, (510) 595-4626
Robert Meola, Peace and Justice Commission, (510) 644-1102
Manuel Hector Jr., Secretary, Peace and Justice Commission, (510) 981-5110


Contact City Officials

We urge you to show the city officials in Berkeley just how powerful free speech can be. Write them, e-mail them, and fax them (repeatedly) to let them know how YOU feel about their anti-military stance. It's time for us to stand up and be heard.

Here's the contact information for the Mayor and City Council:

Mayor's Office
2180 Milvia Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
PHONE: (510) 981-7100*
FAX: (510) 981-7199

E-mail: mayor@ci.berkeley.ca.us

City Council
2180 Milvia Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 981-6900
E-mail: clerk@ci.berkeley.ca.us

* We attempted to call the Mayor's Office at the number listed above, and were connected to a recording asking us to leave our name, telephone number, and the reason for our call. Perhaps this is why:

"Statement from Mayor Tom Bates
on the Berkeley Marine Recruiting Center

"I have heard from people all over the country regarding the action taken by the Berkeley City Council regarding the Marines recruiting center."
(from the City's web site)

Let's let him hear from a few more! Feel free to keep his fax machine busy!

And if you'd like to post your comments here, please do. We're happy to pass along your messages of support for the troops!



Back to top of Anti-Military Berkeley Goes Berserk.

Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Weak-Kneed Response to businessman Brian Dennard's letter.
Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is off-base in its response to Brian Dennard.
Support the Anti-Berkeley Campaign.
Grannys Gone Bad.
Leave Berkeley to Defend Themselves.
Letter to Code Pink from the Berkeley Marines Recruiting Officer.

Add your comments about Berkeley's anti-military-stance.

Anti-Military Activism in the US is becoming increasingly frequent and violent.
American troops warned to "watch their backs" on American soil!
What the Hell is Going on Here?
Sound off! What are your thoughts about American troops being attacked on American soil?

Post your thoughts about the 2008 Presidential Election.

Back to Military-Money-Matters.com home.

New! Comments

Join our conversation! Leave me a comment about this page in the box below. If your comment is about another page on this site, please leave your comment on that page, because I have no ability to move it to the correct page. Thanks!





Newest Articles








This site best viewed with the Firefox browser.Site best viewed with Firefox