“Wow, those protesters sure got that guy worked up…he broke through the police lines and attacked them! Hmm, kinda looks like Doug doesn’t he?”
OK, normally I take Berkeley’s ruling leftists in stride. Their political antics, even if well intentioned, tend to be amusing at worst. I wish they spent less time pontificating about the world and more time running the city, but as cities go Berkeley is reasonably well run. And I like living here, it’s a much more open minded city than the national media would let on. It’s a college town, which has many manifest advantages. And not everyone in Berkeley is a leftist nut, most in fact are mainstream liberals who are no nuttier than their conservative counterparts. And there’s plenty of conservatives in Berkeley too, and even a few right wing nuts to even out the mix. Then there’s me, caught somewhere horribly in the middle.
Anyhow, this time it’s gone too far. Last week the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution stating that the Marine Corps Recruiting Center “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.” Let me see if I understand this correctly…the city council is exercising our Constitutionally protected freedom of speech…by attacking the very people sworn to defend that right with their lives? This is insane. The city should be passing resolutions to get the Marines out of Iraq, not out of Berkeley. It get’s worse, the city gave Code Pink, the anti-war group who is protesting the Marine Corps Recruiting Center a free parking space right in front of the center so they can park a big protest truck in front of it. Yes, you read that right.
Emboldened by this show of support from our civic “leaders,” Code Pink defaced the recruiting center and chained themselves to the doors. The Marines are taking this all in stride, and have no plans to leave. And why should they, this is fabulous publicity for the Marine Corps and fodder for every right wing blogger and pundit in the country. That’s half of what makes me so mad about this stupidity. I’m against the war, and I think it’s a crime that Bush is using the USMC as a goddamn occupation force. These morons in Code Pink are focusing on the Marines when they should be focusing on the criminal politicians who betrayed America and the Marines with their colonial war for Iraq’s oil.
Code Pink should go protest at a gas station, they should be working with the Marines, not attacking them. This is as loathsome as some of the anti-liberal rhetoric and T-shirts the right wing extremists flaunt. Great, why don’t we all turn on each other while Bush and his cronies rob us blind and send our brave soldiers to die in their war protecting American’s corporate business interests? For all practical purposes, Code Pink is quite literally doing Bush and company’s work for them, they couldn’t ask for a better distraction from the real issues destroying America.
I’m liberal, antiwar, hate Bush’s policies…and these Code Pink people and my liberal mayor and city council are the one’s making my blood boil now. Snarl. So anyhow, this situation kind of annoys me. It’s annoyed a lot of people, Berkeley is getting flak from the whole country, in fact there are attempts underway to cut Berkeley’s funding from Federal spending. Great. This is collective punishment and BS, but it’s something that could have been avoided if the city council and Mayor had kept neutral in this situation. Cities shouldn’t take sides in protests, their job is the run the city, not pander to extremists. I’m going to be doing everything in my power to get Mayor Tom Bates out of office as soon as possible.
So if you turn on the news some night soon and see a crazed, middle aged, wild haired guy screaming “Semper Fi” flinging himself at a stunned group of Code Pink protesters…that’s me. (My brother has promised to bail me out.) As far as I am concerned Code Pink are the unwelcome intruders, I want them out of Berkeley before they wreck both my city and the antiwar movement.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and if anything its use here supports the aims of the organization that created it. Credit: MoveAmericaForward.org I don’t agree with all of their rhetoric, Code Pink’s actions aren’t treasonous for God sake, they’re just stupid and counterproductive. Dear God, we all should be supporting the troops. Plus, the picture makes me laugh.)