Berkeley’s Police Review Commission will hold a hearing at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, March 13, in the North Berkeley Senior Center at 1901 Hearst Ave. on Berkeley Police officers’ treatment of antiwar protestors outside the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office on Shattuck Avenue.
Organizers from World Can’t Wait, CodePink and Copwatch collected petition signatures to force the hearing, claiming their members have been “violently attacked by Berkeley Police Department riot squads.” From their news release:
In the city of “free speech,” protesters have been harassed, punched, threatened, and struck with clubs while nonviolently opposing the war and committing acts of nonviolent civil resistance (“civil disobedience”). These protests continue as the March 19 fifth anniversary of the Iraq war approaches, with nationwide protest actions planned for that week and March 19 itself.
“The use of violence by Berkeley riot police against anti-war demonstrations of an obviously nonviolent character, three times in a row, is completely unjustified, very likely politically charged, and should be denounced by the Berkeley City Council,” stated World Can’t Wait organizer Giovanni Jackson. “Our means of protest range from chanting to signs and banners, street theater to marches and nonviolent civil resistance actions. We are demanding an end to a criminal, illegitimate war of aggression, and we will not be silenced.”
I think this is one of the incidents to which they’re referring (broken into two parts, and beware of explicit language):
Antiwar protestors are now in the midst of a week-long sleep-in outside the recruiting office.