Beginning in the late ’60s and early ’70s the Left familiarized America with boycotts as means of influencing organizations’ decisions. How ironic it is that Berkeley, the leftiest of American cities, is now feeling the brunt of a boycott from the right.
It all started in January when Berkeley’s City Council voted on a resolution from their municipal Peace and Justice Commission to send a letter to the local Marine Corps recruiting office “disinviting” them to Berkeley. In tandem with this, they also voted to reserve the parking space in front of the Marine Corps recruiting office for the exclusive use of Code Pink. They knew the loud activists in Code Pink would make life at the Marine Corps recruiting office unpleasant.
You can find a portion of the city’s rationale here, along with a pdf of the whole laundry list of complaints about America, war, the military, etc. In other words, you can read the aggressive words of the anti-aggression movement in this country, a movement that has its moral foundation in what some call the town of Beserkley.
What surprised the city fathers and mothers was the fact that while they may be the center of the universe, even they cannot get past the law of cause and effect. What goes around, comes around. This time it is coming to Berkeley in economic terms. Many Americans who don’t share the city’s moral superiority are…guess what? Boycotting Berkeley:
People who are angry at city leaders for their anti-military stance are taking it out on businesses – canceling hotel rooms, restaurant reservations and theater tickets.
They are writing letters to the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce outlining their plans to boycott the city.
And they are steering clear of downtown shops because of the weekly anti-war protests that in recent weeks have become increasingly volatile.
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Of course, they wouldn’t be enduring “increasingly volatile” anti-war protests if they hadn’t invited Code Pink to start their own little war against the military in the first place:
Two weeks after the Berkeley City Council refused to apologize to the Marine Corps for calling them “uninvited and unwelcome intruders,” Berkeley businesses said they are feeling the backlash from people who don’t want to spend their money in the city.
“We’re hearing of folks canceling reservations and canceling hotel rooms, and we know there is a direct correlation. How big, I don’t know. We’re in a tough economic period anyway,” said Ted Garrett, chief executive officer of the chamber.
Sure, Mr. Garrett, blame it on the economy. No doubt, this is ultimately due to Bushitler’s machinations. Everything other bad thing in the U.S. is the President’s fault. However, Bush didn’t generate the communications coming into Berkeley from the outside world:
Garrett said the chamber has received an estimated 300 e-mails, letters and faxes from people upset about the council’s action and its refusal to apologize.
Many were angered by the move that they viewed as anti-military and anti-American. An estimated 30,000 e-mails were sent to City Hall, condemning the council’s move.
Well, since communication is the act of the receiver, one can only hope that the message is getting through. However, given this businessman’s outlook, Berkeley appears to be tone-deaf:
Mo Hallaji, owner of Pollo’s at Shattuck Avenue and Addison Street, said his business has declined 10 percent to 15 percent this month because of the traffic jams and fighting associated with the protests.
“They are killing our business,” Hallaji said. “Everybody is against the war but that is not the right way to go about it if you want to accomplish something.”
No, Mr. Hallaji, not everyone is against the war and many of us honor our military. Thus, the moral superiority of the City Council and your ignorance of the national temperament have given Berkeley its economic woes.
Fortunately, there is a remedy for this, at least eventually. Berkeley citizens can decide in the next election if they want to retain these people. Better yet, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Garrett, could do one of California’s favorite pastimes: get enough signatures for a city-side referendum on their Council’s decision to send the Marines a “don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-behind” nasty gram.
In addition, another referendum to rid the town of its 24/7 Code Pink assault would probably be welcomed by business owners who have to put up with the pandemonium they generate.
Mr. Garrett sent a letter to the Council recently. He said merchants were bearing the brunt of the Council’s actions:
“(We) strongly encourage the City Council to offer a public apology to our community and the countless others who were offended by their actions – folks who roll up their sleeves every day and work hard to serve their country and their community…”
It sounds like the police aren’t happy, either. They’ve had to start arresting some of these people. I wonder what the police chief is saying to the mayor? Even more, I wonder what this whole fiasco has cost the city of Berkeley, not just in money but in good will?
Sometimes reality has a steep learning curve.
Hat tip: Don Surber