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Group wants feds to probe Berkeley Marines flap

Lawyers for the conservative group Move America Forward have written to U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello of San Francisco “asking the federal government to investigate whether the Berkeley City Council’s official anti-Marine position and encouragement of anti-war groups to ‘impede’ the work of Marine recruiters constitutes a breach of law,” according to MAF’s news release. “If the City Council violated the law, the letter asks the U.S. Attorney to prosecute the perpetrators.”

The release says the letter also voices concern that Berkeley Police were unresponsive and negligent to public safety during a protest MAF organized in Berkeley on Feb. 12, 2007. The letter’s original copy has already been mailed, but MAF leaders will hand-deliver another Monday morning at San Francisco’s federal courthouse and then hold a news conference right afterward.

“We have been fighting them all the way and this is simply the next step,” former KSFO conservative talk radio host and MAF cofounder Melanie Morgan said in the release, also reiterating her demand that Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates give a full, official apology to all troops, veterans, and their families, and rescind resolutions giving special treatment — a parking space and sound-permit rights — to CodePink, one of the groups protesting at Berkeley’s U.S. Marine Corps recruiting center in recent months. “Berkeley has got to realize that we’re not going away.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Progressive Democrat

    Why are you giving this group and its actions so much free publicity on your blog? Aren’t there many other groups in the Bay Area that do newsworthy things as well? This is old and tired.

  • Josh Richman

    I write about lots of groups and their activities, as you know. But I’m particularly fascinated by the symbiosis which has sprung up between CodePink and Move America Forward; each one depends on the other to object loudly to everything it does, thus giving each a sense (unfounded?) of relevance and importance. It’s as if they’ve given each other true reasons to be; sadly, none of it — neither CodePink’s recruiting-station blockade nor MAF’s counterprotests and appeals for intervention — move us an inch toward a reasoned, productive discussion about the war.