A City Council super-majority refused to hear a motion Tuesday that would have placed the city on record, asking their representatives in Congress to “cease the bombing of Afghanistan (and) seek a legal, nonmilitary resolution” to the conflict there. It also called for the council meeting to be “closed in memory of the innocent civilians in Afghanistan being harmed and made refugees due to the bombing.”
In reaction to the military action that began Sunday, Councilmember Dona Spring tried to place the resolution on the agenda as an “emergency item.” Such items require six votes to pass. Spring had only the five “progressive” votes on the council that included Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek, and councilmembers Margaret Breland, Linda Maio, Dona Spring and Kriss Worthington.
The resolution will be before the council next week, when a simple majority will be required to pass it.
California Peace Action, based in Berkeley and Los Angeles, issued a statement Monday condemning the United States’ air strikes on Afghanistan.
The group said its members are praying for the safety of members of the American military and for the people of Afghanistan.
They are calling on the president to cease military action and not to launch a ground war, which, they said, could lead to international involvement.
“The goal of the attacks of Sept. 11 was to provoke a U.S. military reaction that could polarize the Islamic world,” said the group’s executive director, Peter Ferenbach.
“U.S. military action carries with it the very real possibility of launching a civil war in Pakistan, a nuclear armed nation,” Ferenbach added.
While decrying the Sept. 11 attack as a “crime against humanity,” the group says that continued military strikes would risk the lives of American soldiers and Afghans. The group wants the United Nations Security Council to establish an international tribunal, and have the United States submit its evidence against terrorist suspects.
The Downtown Berkeley Association celebrated the success of the first annual Guinness and Oyster Festival at Beckett’s Irish Pub in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday. Volunteers, business and civic leaders, including Mayor Shirley Dean, came to celebrate in a post-production party, according to a DBA press statement.
DBA President Rauly Butler presented a $3,000 check to the Red Cross and a $3,000 check to Mayor Dean for the New York Fallen Firefighters Fund. The festival raised a total of $12,800 for the New York relief efforts.
On Sept. 22, over 12,000 people came to downtown Berkeley to enjoy the festival, according to the DBA. This first time event raised close to $30,000 which will be reinvested downtown.
—Daily Planet staff, Bay City News