If the City Council gives its OK, the UC Berkeley College Republicans may have a parking space of their own on Shattuck Avenue on Wednesday afternoons, directly across the street from the Code Pink anti-war, anti-recruitment demonstrations in front of the Marine Recruiting Center
“We are against them [Code Pink]—they are against the recruiters,” Kimberly Wagner, activism chair for the Berkeley College Republicans told the Planet Wednesday.
“The permits given to Code Pink are not permits you can apply for,” she said, noting she had asked the mayor to help obtain permits, but he had refused.
(The mayor did not return a Planet phone call before deadline.)
She said she then went to Councilmember Kriss Worthington for help.
On Jan. 29, the City Council voted to waive sound permit fees for Code Pink and allow them a parking space for six months to demonstrate Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m. in front of 64 Shattuck Square.
Worthington, who opposes the war, told the Planet he has no choice but to support the request, as it is a question of equity.
But Zanne Joi of Code Pink told the Planet that, while she supports the College Republicans’ right to protest, Code Pink was accorded the parking space because the group is in sync with the city’s consistent pro-peace positions and because, without the parking space, the numerous Code Pink demonstrators would block the sidewalk.
“The council determined we should have a parking space because this is a city of peace,” Joi said, “It’s not a city of war.”
Moreover, she said, there are generally only two or three College Republicans who regularly come out to counter-demonstrate against Code Pink—not enough people to warrant the need for additional space for a demonstration.
Wagner, a freshman from Fullerton studying political science, told the Planet Wednesday that the Young Republicans were going ahead with their request for a parking space. In an April 25 e-mail to Worthington, she had written that they wanted to circulate a petition asking the council “to remove Code Pink from within a one mile radius of the recruitment center, with the goal of alleviating the disturbances to the surrounding businesses.”
The petition idea came about, she said, when they realized that by the time they had the permit it would be summer break: “Most of us would not be here.” But Wagner told the Planet that at this point “the petition is on hold.”