Thursday, February 07, 2008

Backpedaling in Berkeley?


...And I credit this latest bit of semi-backpedaling double speak to the Right-o-sphere. It was pretty cool to see MSM headlines that read: "Conservative Blogosphere in an Uproar":

"Under the weight of a national uproar, two Berkeley City Council members want to rescind an official statement that the U.S. Marines and their recruiting station are "uninvited and unwelcome intruders."

Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli, however, did not move to rescind three other items the council passed last week: giving the protest group Code Pink a free weekly parking space and sound permit; calling on residents to impede the work of any military recruiting station in the city; and asking the city attorney to investigate whether the Marines violate city laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The item will come before the City Council Feb. 12.

"I would prefer they recruit somewhere else, but they have a constitutional and legal right to be here," Capitelli said today. "If they decide to be here, then there are actions (protesters) can take, and the Marines will have to decide whether that's an acceptable price to pay to be in Berkeley. That's their decision to make, but not the City Council's decision."

The council approved the resolution asking the Marines to abandon their office on Shattuck Avenue by a 6-3 vote last week. Capitelli supported the resolution, while Olds opposed it along with Gordon Wozniak and Kriss Worthington.

The council's action has generated opposition from across the country, and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., threatened last week to try to strip the city of federal funds.

Councilwoman Linda Maio said she will introduce an item of her own next week regarding the Marines. Maio said she welcomes "any member of the military" to be in Berkeley but she does not support the recruiting station.

"That's an important distinction to make," Maio said.

Mayor Tom Bates said last week he would ask the council to modify the resolution because the version passed last week "did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy." (source)

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