Confronting the phony anti war left in Berkeley

San Francisco Chronicle:

Dozens of flag-waving military supporters squared off boisterously with peace activists Wednesday in the first major showdown over a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting station that until recently had been operating below the radar in downtown Berkeley.

Demonstrators led by conservative radio talk-show host Melanie Morgan shouted down members of Code Pink, a group created by Bay Area women, and other peace and social justice groups. The two sides stood on Shattuck Avenue near Addison Street just outside the recruiting station, which was closed Wednesday.

Shortly before noon, there was some pushing and shoving between at least two people, which prompted Berkeley police Sgt. Randy Files to bellow at the anti-war protesters to "move back," forcing them to gather across the street.

"I determined for everyone's safety to separate the two groups," Files said.

Several police officers stood watch, including Berkeley Police Chief Doug Hambleton at one point. There were no arrests, but one protester affiliated with the group The World Can't Wait was cited for burning an American flag, in violation of a city law banning possession of flaming substances in public. The World Can't Wait is opposed to President Bush's policies and wants him out of office.

Members of the two camps shouted at each other and at times yelled the same slogans, including "Support the troops."

"USA," one group chanted. "Out of Iraq," responded the others, who said they were angry that the recruiting station, which relocated from Alameda, is in proximity to Berkeley High School, UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College.

Some demonstrators squared off individually.

"None of us is pro-war! I'm pro-defense," Kevin Graves, 50, of Discovery Bay shouted at one protester. Graves, whose son Army Spc. Joseph Graves was killed in Baghdad in July 2006, continued, "My son died so you and I can stand here and disagree."

In an interview, Graves said, "I think they're misguided," referring to Code Pink.


They are not just misguided the are anti war phonies. If they were really against war they would oppose the terrorist side of the war even more since they deliberately target non combatants for mass murder. Instead they are only against our resistance to the terrorist. Our half of the war is the only one they are against.


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