Two Code Pink Members Arrested For Trespassing

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Two Code Pink members who entered the Marine Recruiting Center at 64 Shattuck Square Friday and asked its officers to leave were arrested by Berkeley police for trespassing on private property. 

The group, which has been rallying to shut down the recruiting station since September, celebrated the last day of their 24-hour five-day green zone—actually covered in pink—with a press conference around noon. 

The anti-war group World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime! joined about 40 protesters, including members of CopWatch, who recently questioned crowd control measures by the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) at the recruiting station. 

Code Pink spokesperson Zanne Joi told the Planet Friday that the group had organized a “Kiss the Marines Goodbye” event and decorated the station with “goodbye” in 60 different languages. 

“Then we had a move-in crew ready who went inside the station to help the marines move around 3 p.m.,” she said. 

Sporting pink and black, Pamela Bennett of San Francisco, and Mari Blome, of El Cerrito went inside the station and sat down blocking the front door. 

“The marines just got greener and greener with envy when they saw our green zone,” Joi said. “We gave the officers a letter asking them to move. They didn’t know what we were talking about.” Then, she said, the police came and shut the door and arrested the protesters. 

BPD spokesperson Sgt. Mary Kusmiss told the Planet that the police officers had warned Bennett and Blome to leave the center several times. 

“They refused,” she said. “They were cited for a misdemeanor—trespassing on private property. They signed the field citations, then refused to leave again. Then they were arrested and booked into the BPD jail for trespassing on private property after being warned.” 

Joi told the Planet that she expected the two women to be cited and released.