More from the tolerant left -- well . . . a left that is tolerant until somebody wants to do something of which they disapprove
BERKELEY, Calif. — While the City Council here has little — read, no — sway over foreign policy and distant wars, local parking is a different matter. And so it was that a parking space directly in front of the recruiting station here for the Marine Corps was awarded on Tuesday night to an antiwar group in the hope of running the Marines out of town.
Having failed in recent years to impeach President Bush and stop the war in Afghanistan, members of the City Council approved a resolution that encourages people to nonviolently “impede, passively or actively,” the work of the recruiters.
Of course, we know what they would think of people who tried to “impede, passively or actively” an abortion clinic.
In taking on the Marines, the council also directed the city attorney to investigate legal means of ousting the recruiting station, calling the Marines “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in this bastion of liberal politics, 1960s free speech and high-minded nonbinding resolutions.
Tom Bates, the city’s mayor and a former Army man himself, said the vote represented his constituents’ longstanding — and frequently vocal — distaste for current military activity.
“Berkeley has been opposed to the Iraq war since the beginning; it’s overwhelmingly unpopular in this community,” Mr. Bates said. “And people feel this is an opportunity to express their discontent.”
One of the nine council members, Gordon Wozniak, opposed the resolution and the parking spot.
“I believe in free speech, and I certainly respect the right of Code Pink to protest,” Mr. Wozniak said. “But I’m also concerned we treat all sides fairly, and I think the Marines recruiters are just doing their job. They’re not evil people.”
This is hardly the first attempt by Berkeley’s civic leaders, many of whom fondly remember the city’s antiwar heyday in the 1960s, to express their unhappiness with the whole concept of war. In 2006, the City Council and voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure calling for the impeachment of Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, citing “high crimes and misdemeanors” related to the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism.
Despite the vote on Tuesday, Mr. Bates said it was not clear if the city could actually force the Marines to move out of town.
“They still have a year and a half on their lease,” he said.
That said, the resolution also calls for the city attorney to look into possible violations of the Berkeley municipal code regarding sexual discrimination by the Marines, and asks the city manager to write the Marine commandant and tell him that Semper Fi fans are “not welcome in our city.”
Labels: Berkeley, Leftist Intolerance, Liberal Intolerance