New Ads Target City Council Over Marines Vote

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Correction Appended

An advertisement for a national campaign aimed at forcing Berkeley City Council to issue a formal apology to Marines and their families premiered on campus yesterday during a press conference.

Berkeley College Republicans hosted the event in order to release a commercial produced by pro-military group Move America Forward in response to the Berkeley City Council's refusal to apologize for their "anti-Marine" policies.

Last month, the council voted to send a letter to Marine recruiters calling them "uninvited and unwelcome intruders," and to reserve Code Pink, an anti-war group, a parking spot in front of the Marine Corps recruitment center in Downtown Berkeley. Since then, the council has rescinded the controversial phrase, but has not offered any apology.

The ad includes footage of council members and Mayor Tom Bates saying they have no reason to apologize for their stance, as well as footage of two former Marines encouraging viewers to sign the organization's online petition.

The petition already has more than 25,000 signatures, said Catherine Moy, executive director of Move America Forward, during the press conference.

According to Move America Forward officials, the 60-second ad will run heavily during news programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento as well as nationally on news channels like CNN and Fox News.

BCR President Ross Lingenfelder said the group wanted to be involved with the ad's release because they also want the council to apologize.

"We support the message and everything else (Move America Forward does) for the troops," he said.

Moy said she hopes the ad will force the council to publicly apologize for their "anti-Marine message" and that it will discourage other cities from taking similar stances.

"We're not going to let up until we get what we want," Moy said.

However, Berkeley Councilmember Max Anderson, who appears in the ad, says the commercial will not affect the council's stance.

"We're not going to be bullied or coerced to retract our opposition to the war (because the message) is consistent with our values of peace," he said.

Lingenfelder said he thinks the ad will inspire viewers to take a stand.

"(They will think) Berkeley is at it again and hopefully they will donate to Move America Forward," he said.

Deborah Johns, who is the mother of a Marine and appears in the commercial, said Move America Forward will keep calling legislators in an attempt to stop government funds from being given to Berkeley. According to Johns, if the council does not apologize, Move America Forward will start a boycott of local businesses.

"We are going to become the city of Berkeley's greatest nightmare," she said.

  • Click to view the Move America Forward Commercial
  • Correction, February 25, 2008: Friday's article "New Ads Target City Council Over Marines Vote," incorrectly stated that the ad mentioned in the article includes footage of Mayor Tom Bates saying the City Council has no reason to apologize for its stance on the Marine Corps recruitment center. In fact, the ad does not contain footage of Bates making that statement, although he has stated that opinion in the past.

    The Daily Californian regrets the errors.


    Contact Ashley Trott at [email protected]

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