Berkeley Retreats on Marines

After day of protests, marathon city council meeting revokes earlier statement
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 8:49 AM CST
Scott Conover, left, of Tracy, Calif., argues with anti-war protester Kate Meyer, 16, at a rally outside Berkeley City Hall in Berkeley, Calif, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. The Berkeley City Council drew a...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Early this morning, the city council of Berkeley, Calif., rescinded a controversial declaration that Marine recruiters are not welcome in the city, CNN reports. The council, however, stands by its opposition to the Iraq war. The decision came after three hours of raucous citizen input and a day of clashes between pro- and anti-military protesters, with many obscenities exchanged and four arrests reported.

In a series of scuffles between demonstrators, one pro-Marine activist was arrested for brandishing a knife in the camp of anti-military group Code Pink. He said he acted in self-defense against anti-war protesters trying to wrap him in a pink flag. The anti-Marine resolution that was overturned drew a firestorm of protest nationally, and threats to cut federal funding for popular Berkeley programs.