Thursday, February 07, 2008
Berkeley Back-Stepping On Ousting Marines
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates
A brief recap: Last week Berkeley, California Mayor and a majority of its city council voted to kick the U.S. Marine recruiting office - which the mayor and council, in a letter, referred to as "uninvited" and "intruders" - out of the city.
Now, it appears Mayor Tom Bates and others are backtracking with a kinder, gentler anti-Military approach. NBC11:
At their Tuesday council meeting, leaders will discuss scrapping a letter that might be perceived as targeting the center or the Marines.
The letter said that the recruiting center was not welcome on Shattuck Avenue and that the Marines were uninvited and unwelcome intruders.
"That letter will probably be pulled back and maybe more moderate language will be put in place which is appropriate I think," said Berkeley mayor Tom Bates.
Bates said the city didn't mean to offend anyone in the armed forces and the focus should have been on the war not the troops.
Councilmembers have said they would replace the "intruder item" with words expressing their support for the troops but not the war in Iraq.
Code Pink announced they would have what they called a "24-hour peace-in" leading up to Tuesday's city council meeting. They will be camping out but will have a lot of company. A group of pro-troop protesters will also be there.
"I was under the impression that we have the right of free speech," said Xanne Joi of Code Pink. "To me, I thought free speech meant you get to say what you want without recrimination."
As for Bates..."the city didn't mean to offend anyone in the armed forces..."
You called them INTRUDERS, asshat. Were you not familiar with that term or its definition last week?
Republicans are fighting back at Berkeley with a bill that would eliminate funding for UC Berkeley. FOX Reno:
A small band of GOP lawmakers is fighting back with legislation that could eliminate millions of dollars for UC Berkeley, public safety programs, a new ferry service, and the Alice Waters foundation, an organization that provides lunches to public schools.
Republican South Carolina Senator Jim Demint was among those angered. "Patriotic American taxpayers won't sit quietly while Berkeley insults our brave marines and tries to run them out of town, and the city doesn't deserve a single dime of special pet project handouts," said Senator Demint in a statement.
Senator Demint has joined forces with five other Republican senators and an Orange County representative to introduce companion bills called the Semper Fi Act of 2008.
One cut amounting to almost a quarter million dollars would impact the Chez Paniesse Foundation, which helps provide school meals to thousands of Berkeley public school students. Not surprisingly, Berkeley residents are shocked that the proposed legislation would go to such lengths.
"If you want to give a slap on the hand of a community because of their opinion and viewpoint, that in itself is questionable. But to attack our children to do that is absolutely unconscionable," said Berkeley School District spokesman Mark Coplan.
Labels: Berkeley Haters
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