Protestors gather outside recruiting office

March 19, 2008 7:13:49 PM PDT
Anti-war protestors were once again outside the Marine recruiting office in Berkeley, using this fifth anniversary of the war to once again make their case against the military.

The protestors arrived to the recruiting center in Shattuck Avenue at around 8:00 a.m. and they had a big rally at noon and by 4:00 p.m. it was all over.

When the United States Marine Corps put a recruiting office on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, it wanted to attract people. But not anti-war protestors, and especially not on the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

It's the fifth "terrorversary." For five years we have been terrorizing the people of Iraq," said anti-war protestor Zanne Joy.

"They're recruiting people to conduct war crimes," said organizer Stephanie Tang.

In short, it is deja-vu all over again outside the recruiting center that closed on Wednesday, because it has become such a lightening rod anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was present and accounted for.

"The war machine will lie to you, the war machine will eat you and spit you out," said anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan.

Predictably, the conservative also showed up. Today among them was Vietnam veteran Bud Eckert, on his one good leg.

"These people are terribly, terribly misguided," said Vietnam veteran Bud Eckert.

But for once, groups like 'Move America Forward' did not come out in force. Organizer Melanie Morgan says they stayed away, today, intentionally.

"It does not make sense for us to be associated with people who are intent on disrupting ordinary lives in the Bay Area," said Melanie Morgan from Move America Forward.

Meantime, back in Berkeley, despite the noise and the blocked traffic, a crowd of about 200 people remained mostly civil, and fairly obedient considering the day and the circumstances.

"We would have liked to see 10,000 people out here. That would have made sense," said Don Spark from Hayward.

Instead of 10,000 there are three our four Berkeley police who arrested the demonstrators. While some of them said they were off to San Francisco to protest, the number in Berkeley in terms of arrests ? there were zero.