The Marine Invasion of Berkeley, California
When you think of the proud history of the United States Marines, you think of the courage of its men and women for the last two hundred years. The Marines have fought to protect this country in places such as Tripoli, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, and the Persian Gulf. Indeed, throughout their history, the Marines have been involved in some of the most important battles in the world.
However to the Berkeley, California City Council and the anti-war group Code Pink, the opening of a Marine recruitment center in their town means a United States military invasion that must be at all cost stopped. Therefore, the battle lines have clearly been drawn. The few, the proud, the Marines have met the pink, the loud, and the extreme in the city of Berkeley, California.
The fact is that the United States Marine Corps recently invaded Berkeley with a new recruitment center. Apparently, the anti-war group called “Code Pink” and the Berkeley City Council were completely outraged by this apparent act of nation building by the United States of America in their city.
As a result of the Marine invasion, the anti-war group Code Pink counter attacked and defaced the Marine recruitment center while the Berkeley city council voted to help the anti-war group in its attempt to throw the “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” out. The Berkeley City Council voted 8-1 to encourage Code Pink to disrupt the Marine recruiting office on a weekly basis by giving them a designated parking space in front of the building every Wednesday for six months. The council also issued a free sound permit during those same hours and voted to explore enforcing a city anti-discrimination law, focusing on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, added, “I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don’t belong here, they shouldn’t have come here, and they should leave.” Indeed Berkeley, California has declared war on the United States of America for its presumptuous military invasion.
In the attempt to open a new front in the war against the Marines, Code Pink said it has begun to circulate a petition calling for a Berkeley ballot measure that would make it more difficult to open and operate military recruiting stations. The measure would be modeled after anti-pornography laws, organizers said, mandating that – like porn shops – new recruiting offices be subject to public hearings before they would be allowed to locate near homes or schools.
Indeed, there have been skirmishes leading up to this war between Berkeley, California and America. Last week the city of Berkeley unanimously passed a resolution to become a sanctuary for medical marijuana patients in the event that the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) raids the local establishments, keeping patients from their medicine.
According to the Berkeley College student newspaper, The Daily Californian: “The resolution, which was received with overwhelming support and applause from the audience, opposes attempts by the Drug Enforcement Administration to conduct raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Berkeley, and urges city, county and state departments to not cooperate in the event that a raid occurs. By claiming itself as a sanctuary, Berkeley has committed to ensuring that residents are provided access to medicinal marijuana if dispensaries in the city are shut down.” In effect, ignoring United States federal drug laws is now encouraged in the city of Berkeley.
However, the city of Berkeley does get significant United States aid called “earmarks” from the U.S. Congress. Here is a listing of 2.1 million dollars of “earmarks” granted to Berkeley California in the recently passed Omnibus Appropriations Bill:
$975,000 for the University of California at Berkeley, for the Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service, which may include establishing an endowment, and for cataloguing the papers of Congressman Robert Matsui.
$750,000 for the Berkeley/Albana ferry service.
$243,000 for the Chez Panisse Foundation, for a school lunch initiative to integrate lessons about wellness, sustainability, and nutrition into the academic curriculum.
$94,000 for a Berkeley public safety interoperability program.
$87,000 for the Berkeley Unified School District nutrition education program
Senator Jim Demint is introducing federal legislation to eliminate all Berkeley earmarked aid by transferring it to the Marine Corps. He is outraged by the Berkeley City Council counter attack to the United States Marines recruitment center invasion: “This is a slap in the face to all brave service men and women and their families,” DeMint said in a prepared statement. “The First Amendment gives the City of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money. If the city can’t show respect for the Marines that have fought, bled, and died for their freedom, Berkeley should not be receiving special taxpayer-funded handouts.”
The potential loss of earmark aid from the United States should catch the attention of the Berkeley City Council. It will be interesting to see if they persist in trying to use local law and Code Pink to throw the United States Marine Corps. recruitment office out of the city.
However, American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser probably best describes the current situation on the ground in Berkeley when he states: “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.”