Berkeley Council Tells Marines To Leave
By Doug Oakley
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 U.S. 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 because of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. And it 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 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 opposed 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 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 after votes were cast.
A Marines representative did not respond to requests for comment.