Reaction to U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee’s lone Congressional vote against the use of force against terror in the wake of the Sept. 11 tradedy was swift this week.
Lee has a history of supporting peace and said she based the decision to vote against the on her conscience, moral compass and God.
Mayor Shirley Dean said she respects Lee’s sincere conviction but added that she disagrees with it.
“It appears as if this country is taking its time to establish who did this and those people need to be brought to justice,” Dean said. “I don’t think we should be bombing the heck out of another country and I don’t think that’s on the table. But terrorism has got to be stopped.”
However, Councilmember Kriss Worthington said stopping terrorism should not come at the expense of civil liberties. He also said America needs to proceed cautiously and not get caught up in pro-war sentiment. Worthington agreed with Lee’s vote.
“It was a courageous display of leadership to raise concerns about how the U.S. responds,” Worthington said. “It’s very easy to jump into the hysteria, to be gung-ho for any war, anywhere.”
Dean said that she has been moved by the amount of patriotism and emotional outpouring throughout the city and believes that the people of Berkeley are most likely talking about the Sept. 11 tragedy more than other communities.
“Two things struck me today – The number of flags and the number of people who stood hugging,” she said. “The hugging really really struck me hard. People are hurting and they want justice. They do not want revenge. There is a difference