Revolution#134, June 29, 2008
The Battle of Berkeley Continues
On June 21, about 100 pro-war/pro-military bikers protested in Berkeley in support of the Marine recruiting station in downtown Berkeley. They were met by about 60 demonstrators chanting “Murder, Rape, Torture, War—That’s What They’re Recruiting For” and carrying pictures of Iraqi civilians maimed at the hands of U.S. troops. Another sign said that torture is not a career choice. By taking these reactionaries head on the protesters made it clear that there is no “honor” in fighting an illegal immoral war and that they would not allow fascist thugs gunning motor-cycle engines and shouting “USA Number One” to become the new norm—in Berkeley or anywhere else!
The Berkeley Marine recruiting station has been a target of anti-war resistance by protesters, including from World Can’t Wait and Code Pink, who say that the recruiters are unwelcome in Berkeley. In February, hundreds of high school students courageously went in the face of the pro-Iraq War bikers and goons. These actions sparked actions nationwide against military recruiters. This summer, activists with World Can’t Wait are mounting a political campaign to drive military recruiters out of Berkeley and other communities.
Recently Ron Kovic, a Vietnam veteran whose combat injuries left him paraplegic, and author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July, sent an open letter in support of “the courageous struggle to stop military recruitment in Berkeley.” The statement says in part:
“Who knows better the deep immorality and deception of military recruiters than those of us who decades ago entered those same recruiting offices with our fathers believing in our hearts that we were being told the truth, only to discover we had been deceived and terribly betrayed.
“Many of us paid for that deceit with our lives, years of suffering and bodies and minds that were never to be the same again. If only someone had warned us, if only someone would have had the courage to speak out against the madness that we were being led into, if only someone could have protected us from the recruiters whose only wish was to make their quota, send us to boot camp, and hide from us the dark secret of the nightmare which awaited us all.”
Read the full statement at:
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