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Pro-War Crowd Poses For National Media Next To Berkeley High
Slightly over a hundreds pro-war activists came to Berkeley from all around the US to stand next to Berkeley High waving flags. A similar sized crowd of anti-war protesters were camped across the street in front of the Berkeley City Council building. While the protest was small it was front page news around the country as CNN accused Berkeley of treason (see http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/02/12/berkeley.marines/ ) for a City Council resolution opposing military recruitment near the Berkeley high school.
While many people around the US say they oppose the war Congress continues to fund and when push comes to shove even local lawmakers will tend to back down when confronted by any form of threat by the right.
In an item before the council tonight (Tuesday), councilmembers Laurie Capitelli and Betty Olds propose retracting “inflammatory” language telling the Marines they are unwelcome, underscoring support for the troops and restating council opposition to the war.
Berkeley's opposition to the war and the City Councils sympathy towards anti-war protesters hasnt extended to the Berkeley police. When given a conflict between anti-war and pro-war protesters, the police will always side with the right-wingers even when the pro-war types have weapons and the anti-war protesters are mainly high school students 1/2 block from their school.
About 1 p.m., a man supporting the Marines' presence in Berkeley ventured into the encampment of anti-war group Code Pink and drew a knife.
Police warned the students not to antagonize the other side, but two boys on skateboards got into a yelling and swearing match with the Marine supporters. Fists flew, and some witnesses claimed the pro-Marine side struck the two students with a flagpole. The boys, 13 and 15 years old, were arrested.
A large group of students and adults gathered outside the police station, demanding that the teens be released, prompting police to order them to clear the area. When they didn't respond immediately, officers in riot gear held their batons horizontally in front of them and pushed the crowd back.
Maya Nadjieli, a 19-year-old Berkeley City College student, said she was hit in the stomach with a baton and punched twice in the face.
See photos of the arrests at:
Some of the pro Iraq war protesters were crazy moonbat protest warrior types (see http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/02/12/18478631.php#18478639 ) but most appeared to be family members of who want to believe in the war since not believing would pose too great a threat to their identity (and make them too depressed about the fate of their loved ones). While they did manage to chant their was a strange sense of depression you can see on most of their faces, and one can almost see a hint that they know the war is a mistake and wrong but they just can't deal with admitting it yet.