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February 02, 2008

Berkeley City Council Lectures Marines, Citizenry About Freedom of "Speech"


"We made really great statements by blocking the door," said one of the three blockaders, 64-year-old Mary Ann Thomas of Oakland. "It's time we became more articulate about what we're doing."


"I guess they've never heard of free speech"
- Councilwoman Dona Spring

What Code Pink actually had a license to do:

The council ... voted to allow members of Code Pink, the protest group that helped organize Friday's blockade, to park at a designated space in front of the recruiting office every Wednesday afternoon and operate a loudspeaker.

"It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure."

- James Madison

Posted by Cassandra at February 2, 2008 05:23 PM

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I just sent a thank you to Senator Jim DeMint from SC for his proposal to strip the earmarks to Berkeley from the appropriations bill and transfer those funds to the Marine Corps!! His website has his press release. It probably won't happen, but he gets kudos from moi!!

Posted by: UpNorthLurkin at February 2, 2008 10:20 PM

...and I'm always tempted to snap a dog leash on to those creeps with the nose ring like the ones they use on bulls....

Posted by: UpNorthLurkin at February 2, 2008 10:22 PM

Getting to know Marines as I have since I started MilVets at Columbia University, I suspect many Marines privately believe that any young man or woman who is deterred by the protests from joining the Corps isn't worthy to pin on the hallowed Eagle, Globe, and Anchor to begin with.

Posted by: Eric Chen at February 3, 2008 01:52 AM

This old army brat won't be buying any more Scharffenberger chocolate (made in Berkeley)until the Berkeley government ends their support for Code Pink.


Posted by: rich om at February 3, 2008 11:20 AM

People understand that a Roman kataphract would have loved having those people bunched up like that for a lance charge... right?

Personally, you don't need a horse to charge up into that crowd. You just need to brace your hands together, stick out an elbow, and then ram them with your body positioned perpendicular to the target. That way, the entire force of your body and the speed you got up will transmit itself through your skeleton system, to your elbow, impacting on the target.

Do that a couple of times, and you'll be able to get through. I promise.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 3, 2008 12:02 PM

The council's action apparently made Berkeley the first city in the nation to call for the ouster of a military recruiting station from its borders.

They would also be the first city in the nation given to a foreign ally as reward for services rendered and blood shed, if I was in charge.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 3, 2008 12:07 PM

Oh ya, I forgot. If you want the maximum forced transfered from you to the target, don't try to run through them or jump at them. You need to place your feet squarely on the concrete for the force to transmit effectively through your elbow to the target.

Kind of tricky if you were already at a dead run, but that's the price of admission, so to speak. Don't worry, the people chained together will zero your velocity.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 3, 2008 12:12 PM

"I guess they've never heard of free speech," Councilwoman Dona Spring said. "I've had a lot of nasty phone messages today, threatening me with things like saying, 'I'll take you out.' But they can go ahead. I don't feel scared."

People that are going to kill you don't tell you in advance that they will do it. And you know it, Dona.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 3, 2008 12:16 PM

What I love is the irony here.

These people keep maintaining that they are all about "freedom" and "speech".

But look at what they are doing.

They are physically preventing other citizens from entering a private premises to do something they want to do. That black man in the photo: DOES HE LOOK LIKE A "YOUTH WHO NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED" TO YOU?


These people are liars.

They don't want to "protect young people". They just oppose the war and will do anything - ANYTHING - to get their way, even if it involves physically preventing other Americans from exercising their free rights to go where they please, speak with who they want to, and make free decisions.

They are disgusting.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 3, 2008 12:33 PM

They are welcome to physically try to prevent me from going into a public building.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 3, 2008 12:55 PM

"These people are liars.
They are disgusting."
They are cowards to boot. Parade that standing up against the Man nonsense outside of Hugo's Che-Chavez, or Tehran, or any number of M.E./Asian countries, or maybe in the Sudan, or Moscow, or Beijing or even Canada, or Europe of late...

I for one am grateful that there are few if any of their ilk willing to parade this sort of nonsense around my (red)neck of the woods. Walkin' Boss might become mighty agitated if she had to post my bail and/or buy me a new walkin' stick.

Posted by: bthun at February 3, 2008 02:09 PM

The really funny part is this.

"You guys are just cannon fodder!" the chained protesters shouted at three teenage boys who walked past the office and said they wanted to go inside. "They want to train you to kill babies!"

If that is the case, why hasn't the Marine Corps offed the three chained protesters already? It is not as if the protesters can get away.

Obviously the double speak response would be "we are speaking truth to power, we are protected by the govmint and laws".

The same laws that the Marine Corps have killed to protect? My, don't we live in the world of 1984.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 3, 2008 05:41 PM

Anybody noticed what the protesters are wearing?

Prison jumpsuits? Heh.

Posted by: Got Irony at February 3, 2008 05:58 PM

The brown shirts wear pink

Posted by: bill Welling at February 3, 2008 07:23 PM

"I guess they've never heard of free speech"
- Councilwoman Dona Spring

It seems to me that they were trying to be a little too free with more than just speech...

Posted by: camojack at February 4, 2008 01:40 AM

It seems to me that they were trying to be a little too free with more than just speech...
Yes but other than the disturbance condoned by the local gub'ment on public property, which is placing a hardship on the rest of the folks in the area, particularly those attempting to do some of that capitalist pig sort of stuff which is apparently foreign to the protesters, that whole earning a living thing... The brass tacks in my humble opinion are found at the following location -
They are physically preventing other citizens from entering a private premises to do something they want to do.
This is where I have a huge problem, well, beyond my initial impulse to shake my head, point and laugh at the idiots. So my questions for a legal pro such as Spd are;

If a person wants to enter a gub'ment office or any other private property at a public/private boundary and a trio {gaggle || mob} of loons or goons are attempting to physically prevent that individual by stationing themselves athwart the entrance on public property and using force (wrestling with) or just passive resistance(chaining to and using their mass to physically block the doors), just where would the courts stand with regard to an outbreak of violence if the citizen minding and going about their own business attempts to enter and a scuffle ensues?

Could anyone wanting to enter that space which is blocked by said loons/goons solicit assistance from the gub'ment in the form of law enforcement, the national guard or whomever, to clear the path as I would expect in most areas of the nation, but Berkeley? What would be a reasonable amount of time in which the gub'ment should be expected to respond? What if the gub'ment refuses by dragging its collective feet, as is the case in Berkeley? Is the private citizen then justified to (re)act with sufficient force to gain entry if when attempting to enter, the loons/goons lay hands upon our seekers hide?

This seems to me to be the same sort of idiotic tactics used by labor unions who form picket lines to protest working conditions rather than finding another instance of gainful employment more suitable to their notions fair and just. And if anyone not associated with the cause dares to enter the picketed area to work, they are beaten, stoned, or threatened otherwise. Kind of hard to work a fair and just phrase into that scenario, but I gave it my best shot.

As obnoxious as the protesters are, the physical blockade is unacceptable and can not be tolerated for 15 minutes, much less for hours or longer, as it was in this instance.

Maddening when ones sees that the loons are indeed running the asylum.

Posted by: bthun at February 4, 2008 08:06 AM

The truly sad thing here is that the police sat right across the street and watched this going on and did .... nothing. One wonders what the law in Berkeley has to say about blocking access to a public place.

I can't believe it's legal. Nor, I believe, is engaging in scuffles on the sidewalk.

Or chaining yourself to the door of someone else's property (trespass, anyone?).

Posted by: Cassandra at February 4, 2008 08:22 AM

"I can't believe it's legal. Nor, I believe, is engaging in scuffles on the sidewalk.
Darn... and I was dusting off the good old rugby shirt and perusing Amazon for a Soccer Hooliganism for Dummies. =8-}

Posted by: bthun at February 4, 2008 08:33 AM

They're all concerned about freedom of speech,huh. Try standing on the public sidewalk outside of an abortion facility (where they really do "kill babies"), praying quietly or talking to the people going in to offer help. I'll bet the city council's concern for freedom of speech will disappear real fast.

Posted by: Terentia at February 4, 2008 10:10 AM

The analogy of people chaining themselves to the doors of an abortion clinic occurred to me as well. Far more children have died of abortion than anything that's happened in Iraq recently.

One other thing; seems to me that chaining shut the door of a public building is a violation of fire codes. I'd suggest that the next time this happens, someone should call the Fire Chief. IIRC Fire departments tend to not have a sense of humor about these things.

Posted by: RonF at February 4, 2008 10:40 AM

I've long considered the Berkeley City Council as something out of Alice in Wonderland.

And by now, everybody should realize that when they cry, "Free Speech", they really mean "But Only For Us!"

Evidently, one of the prerequisites for being elected to the BCC is that you have to be a moron.

Moronocracy - yes, that just about covers it.

Posted by: ZZMike at February 4, 2008 05:24 PM

There's gotta be a YouTube of that up there somewhere, bthun.

Scottish Protest hooligans doesn't quite have the same ring to it though.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 4, 2008 05:29 PM

Aye, an in reference to all the naughty bits scheduled for to be smote, I thought we mih haev a wee bit o silence for the passin'. Then we shall lift our voyces unto high for the Albannach priests in each and every one of us. May those pink brigands ner fin themselv a loukin ah a drooken Scotsman er thay swoon... evan thay naughty bitsless be too much far em.

Posted by: Father Jimmy at February 4, 2008 08:41 PM

Personally, I think the law should give both of us the same rights. If they allow people to chain themselves up in order to block my way, then they should allow me to attempt to gain access past the blockage, by walking through the obstacles.

And plenty of force can be applied, especially to a jampacked situation such as what I see, just by walking.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 5, 2008 01:00 PM

People should obviously try to avoid scuffles or fights with the protesters. That wouldn't be civilized in my opinion.

Rather, you should just calmly walk up there, and try to push one of them out of the way. Except that natural push will have the force of your entire body weight, plus whatever acceleration your muscles could produce. The protesters can stay for however long they wish... or can under those circumstances.

They can come chase you too, if they want to break their little groupie. Personally, I don't think it is really fair that those trying to get in can only use their bodies while the groupies in orange jumpsuits can use chains as weapons. That's not fair, you know. Course, that's not the point. The point is how long can they stay there while taking maximum force shots at their solar plexus and collar bone and shoulders. Something is going to break eventually.

Police better take those people out before that happens.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 5, 2008 01:12 PM

I still find it amusing that the protesters are speaking truth to power, when the city council and the police are on their side. Amazing how speaking truth to power translates as "telling stuff to people that support you".

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 5, 2008 02:46 PM

I may not agree of what you say, but I respect your right to say it, be it verbal or visual... however, you went overboard, out of line when you physically prevented the Marines recruiters into the building.You go by a destructive compulsion, and all of the sudden you forgot that they have as much right as you? You know exactly what you were doing! And for you to think that America will listen and believe to what you claim is right and proper, THINK AGAIN, your actions speak louder than words. Your actions are contradictory to your your claim.
Unfortunately, war is here to stay, now and in the future.People before us, centuries ago saw them, and our children will see them. It's sad, and sickening, but, there will always be evil against the good, and they don't work alone, they also create havoc somewhere else before they hit their target.If you don't know what the message is: USA is a target, that means YOU!
We have to choices here: RECRUITING OR DRAFTING!
Either one will do their best to shield you from harm. And, lastly, do not insult America by telling us that what you said in your resolution
"UNWELCOME INTRUDERS," is or was misunderstood.
The rest of America most definitely understands, obviously you put these words together not knowing
what they mean? THINK BEFORE YOU LEAP!

Posted by: Teresita Robinson at February 14, 2008 04:05 PM