Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Difference between here and California

Contra Costa Times has the details…

Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.

That’s the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 6-3 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”

In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy. And it officially encouraged the women’s peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.

In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

Memo to the city of Berkeley: When terror comes knocking on your door, don’t come crying to the rest of the country that has shed blood to defend it. What a disgrace!


Prescott resident Dennis Duvall may be headed to jail.

Yavapai County Justice Court Judge Arthur Markham found Duvall guilty this past week of criminal damage in a March 19 incident in which Duvall tried to write, "Stop the Killing" on the window of the Army recruiting center at Prescott Gateway Mall.

Before Duvall could complete the inscription, Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Gump stopped him and took him to mall security. Mall security called Prescott Police.

Duvall said his act was a "totally symbolic act of civil disobedience" that paled in comparison to "the deliberate, methodical and systematic damage" the U.S. caused in the war in Iraq.

Judge Markham got it right.
"Criminal damage," he said, "includes defacing the property of another without the owner's permission. You do not have the right to paint on a window."
The judge offered Duvall the option of performing two days of community service or paying a $200 fine before Sept. 1. He made it clear Duvall would go to jail if he failed to make the choice.
Duvall refused community service and said he won't pay a fine. That leaves jail."I don't think I should be punished for protesting the war," he said. "I guess I'll worry about jail in September."
Mr. Duvall is missing an essential point. Americans enjoy a great deal of freedom, and they should. The Constitution recognizes God-given rights we all possess.
Duvall could write letters to the newspaper, hand out fliers, get on a soapbox and state his views and make his protest of the war public in many ways that didn't interfere with the rights of others.
When he interfered with Sgt. Gump's work, he crossed the line, and that's why the law is calling him to account.
If Duvall believes enough in his point to go to jail, so be it, but jail it should be if he doesn't choose the two options Judge Markham offered.


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