Since the Marine Recruiting Center in downtown Berkeley was locked Friday morning when the World Can’t Wait protesters arrived around 7:30 a.m. aiming to shut it down and risk arrest, the group and its allies from Code Pink and ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism) went to Plan B.
They held a press conference, demonstrated and called out to passing motorists with chants such as, “murder, rape, torture war, that’s what they’re recruiting for.”
They chanted beyond the time that their 2 p.m. sound permit ran out, as noted in a press release sent out by the Berkeley police.
A dozen or so police watched most the day without intervening. Stephanie Tang of World Can’t Wait said she was in touch with police and it appeared that the protests could continue.
Around 4 p.m., Tang said police told her, “The Marines want your signs off their windows.”
Tang told the Planet that the signs had been there all day, outside the locked office and that she could not make the others take them down.
That’s when a large number of officers moved in, shoving protesters out of the way and removed the signs from the window, according to Tang. The protesters were held briefly in the center of Shattuck Avenue and then the police left, Tang said.
There were no arrests.
Nearby Roger Young of Lake Forest, Calif., retired from the army after 30 years, stood with a sign that read: “U.S. Marine Corps Defending Berkeley’s right to be a Laughing Stock since 1975.”
Police could not be reached for further comment.
Meanwhile in Mountain View, Grandmothers for Peace were at the Armed Services Recruiting Center at noon. “They call it a career center,” organizer Gayle Sredaozic told the Planet, noting that their action is in sympathy with protesters that have been speaking out against the recruiting center in Berkeley.