Thursday, February 14, 2008

A significant victory

The Berkeley City Council's late-night vote yesterday to retract its effort to remove the Marine Corps Recruiting station from city limits is a clear victory for our petition effort and the efforts of all the pro-Marine supporters. The goal of our petition was to ensure that the City Council respected the Constitution; on the primary issue of attempting to interfere with the Marines' recruiting mission, it has abandoned its most apalling action. While we still have some work to do, that's excellent (and unexpected) news.

I'll have more to say when I get back to DC, including a report on my visit to the Marine Recruiting station yesterday, but all in all, I am very pleased, and deeply grateful for all the support that has been given to this effort.


Andy Clarkson said...

Congratulations Nick!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Nick. I'll bet you scared the hell out of those "peace-loving" wusses.


Mel McGuire said...

" has abandoned its most egregious action. While we still have some work to do, that's excellent news"

I agree; thank you.

From the Oakland Tribune today: (this is the first report I've seen with any depth. I knew that the council had agreed that the Marines had a right to stay and that they'd voted down an apology; however, I didn't understand what they'd done about the rest of their anti-recruiting program. According this story, they let the rest stand.

" Berkeley vote may hurt coffers:
Council changes stance on military but lack of apology leaves lawmakers unsatisfied
By Kristin Bender

The Berkeley City Council voted 7-2 to clarify one of its Jan. 29 motions with new language that recognizes "the recruiters' right to locate in our city and the right of others to protest or support their presence."


The council let stand four items it passed at its previous meeting, including one encouraging "all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station and applaud residents and organizations such as CodePink" that "impede, passively or actively" the work of military recruiters."

The council reaffirmed a separate item giving CodePink a free weekly parking space and sound permit to protest at the recruiting station.

"We are really proud of the Berkeley City Council for not buckling under intense pressure from the pro-war 'swift-boaters,'" said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink. "