Posted by: Jacqui Murray | August 20, 2009

How the Bay Area Lost its Military Heart

military_of_san_francisco_0064a_poster-p228251332573458170qzz0_400San Francisco’s reputation as a bastion of “tolerance” and “diversity” doesn’t extend to the U.S. military. What are the signs that the San Francisco metropolis (SF, Berkeley, et al) has taken a dangerous left turn in its historically close relationship with the military (think of the Presidio, Fort Mason, Fort Baker, and Fort Funston)

  • 2002: San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 to rename Army Street after Cesar Chavez
  • 2004: Voters passed an initiative demanding the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
  • 2005: Measure I, dubbed “College, Not Combat,” passed by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin , telling military recruiters to stay out of the city’s high schools
  • 2005: The Board of Supervisors’ refused to allow the WWII-era USS Iowa to dock at the Port of San Francisco as a floating museum because it was dubbed a “celebration of war.”
  • 2005: Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval appeared on “Hannity & Colmes” to defend the USS Iowa decision and claiming, with a straight face, that “the United States should not have a military.”
  • 2006: San Francisco Board of Education dropped JROTC from the schools
  • 2007: an anti-war textbook was approved for use in San Francisco public schools titled “Addicted to War: Why


    the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism”

  • 2007: At the 26th annual San Francisco Fleet Week, the Blue Angels flew over a thoroughly demilitarized Bay Area–and out of San Francisco International, a civilian airport. Each year, city supervisors attempt to pass a non-binding resolution banning the Blue Angels performance due to safety and noise concerns (and each year it fails).
  • 2009: the radical group Code Pink staged protests in front of a U.S. Marine Corps’ Berkeley “Officer Selection Office” in an attempt to force the office to close. The Berkeley City Council voted to give their official stamp of approval to the protest and even award Code Pink a complimentary dedicated personal parking space directly in front of the Marines’ office. The City Manager was then instructed by the municipal government to send a letter to the Marines, informing them that they are “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in Berkeley.

Brings to mind a Mark Twain quote–“In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.” But maybe I’m too harsh.

Then again, the eight years and counting Northern California water torture of anti-military decisions, abusing their power ‘just because they can’ and enacting actions that the populace might never have supported, has awakened a sleeping giant.

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