Theodore's World: Code Pink's Full Week Plans For Protesting in Berkeley

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March 13, 2008

Code Pink's Full Week Plans For Protesting in Berkeley

Code Pink protests Berkeley Marines, Iraq war


Toting house plants, pink pajamas, drums and organic veggies, protesters in Berkeley began settling in Monday for an around-the-clock protest at the Marine Corps recruitment center this week to mark the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq.

"We wanted to step up the pressure," said Medea Benjamin, leader of the activist group Code Pink, which has been conducting regular protests at the center in downtown Berkeley since October. "Baghdad has a Green Zone. We wanted to create a really, really green zone with plants and bicycles and films about ecology."

A few dozen protesters are expected to camp out until Friday on the sidewalk in front of the Marines center at 64 Shattuck Square, and spend their days doing yoga, singing, waving at motorists and watching sustainability documentaries on a laptop computer.

But they're likely to run afoul of the Berkeley Police Department when they unroll their sleeping bags. Police intend to enforce state laws banning camping on the sidewalk, city spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross said.

"They understand that we have a responsibility to keep the sidewalks clear and safe for everyone," Clunies-Ross said. "So far everyone's been cool about it. If this changes, we'll adjust. But so far, so good."

Four protesters spent the night in front of the center Sunday night but weren't arrested because they didn't sleep, Lt. Andrew Greenwood said.

"We're going to continue to monitor the situation and keep the lines of communication open with the demonstrators," Greenwood said. "We're happy today was uneventful and we hope it stays that way."

The usual penalty for sleeping on a sidewalk is a citation requiring suspects to appear in court at a later date, Greenwood said. Police would bring in suspects only to be fingerprinted and booked into jail if there was a likelihood they would immediately commit the same crime again.

Anticipating a deluge of protests in Berkeley leading up to the war anniversary on March 19, the city is cracking down on laws that keep the sidewalks clear and requiring all protest groups to obtain permits. Several groups have requested permits for Civic Center Park and 64 Shattuck Square on March 19, and city staff is trying to work out a compromise with all the interested groups, City Manager Phil Kamlarz said.

The protests don't seem to be fazing the Marines, who conducted business as usual Monday even as Code Pink activists strung up banners proclaiming "Women Say Enough!" and arranged houseplants on the sidewalk.

"They don't bother us," said a Marine in the recruitment center who declined to give his name. "We're used to it. We don't get a lot of people coming to the office, anyway. We usually go out to meet people."

Code Pink has a full roster of activities planned for the week, including: yoga every morning at 8:30, organic potlucks every noon; nightly movies and popcorn; a bike ride around Berkeley on Tuesday; an open-mike musical jam on Wednesday; and a "send-off" to the Marines on Friday, when protesters will bring suitcases and pink berets for traveling.

"Since Berkeley is such a green city, we thought we'd turn the Marines recruiting center into a green zone," said Benjamin.

The center made international headlines last month when the City Council approved a proclamation that the Marines are "unwelcome intruders" in Berkeley. The city also granted a weekly parking permit to Code Pink outside the recruiting station to facilitate the group's regular protests.

Thousands of military supporters and peace activists from throughout the country descended on Berkeley for the City Council's reconsideration of the matter, creating the city's largest and most colorful protest in years.

The council revoked the declaration, but restated its opposition to the war. Since the vote, protests have become nearly constant at the center, which opened in January 2007 in a small downtown storefront.


Wild Thing's comment........

What I don't get is when they put that sign on the window isn't that defacing property? Shouldn't that person be arrested?

""Baghdad has a Green Zone. We wanted to create a really, really green zone with plants and bicycles and films about ecology."

OMG Can you believe this? LOL

"The council revoked the declaration"

Ms. Jones needs to check her facts. The council did NOT revoke their declaration, they only rescinded the portion about sending a letter to the Marine Corps.

The irony of all their foolish efforts is that Marine recruitment is. OOHRAH!

So up yours Code Pinko's!

Posted by Wild Thing at March 13, 2008 02:44 AM


Films about ecology? I'm sorry, but I've been out of high school for many years. I don't need to see a film on ecology! Plus, it's now being proven that the more we clean up, the more sun gets through and is heating up the earth. Wow! Guess what that means? We should leave it a bit dirty.
But anyway, these traitors to America can bite my big butt! My father and brother were both Marines and I will NOT allow anyone to dishonor my beloved Corps! We need R Lee Ermey to go up there to Berkeley and knock some shit into these brainless boobs who have no knowledge of what they are doing.
Semper Fi and OOO-Rah!!!!!

Posted by: Lynn at March 13, 2008 08:15 AM

Lynn I LOVE your comment! Thanks!

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 13, 2008 11:40 PM

GOD love these Berkeley MARINES for standing fast and really making daily life BEAUTIFUL for the hippies and love children that are popping thrills on the sidewalks! OOH RAH!!

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at March 14, 2008 12:29 AM

Darth aren't they great. I can just imaginei how much madder it mades code pinko's when they see the Marines fluff them off, hahahaha Love it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 14, 2008 03:39 AM