Code Pink, marines come face-to-face
Saturday, April 19, 2008 | 6:38 PM
Pamela Tom

BERKELEY (KGO) -- About two dozen bikers descended upon the Code Pink headquarters in Albany Saturday. The bikers are former marines and say Code Pink's protests in front of the Marine recruiting office in Berkeley goes too far.

The Marines Motorcycle Club roared into Albany for what turned out to be a rather quiet protest. The veterans obtained a two-hour permit to demonstrate in front of the Code Pink headquarters on Solano Avenue, but no one was home. Code Pink left a sign saying, "Sorry we missed you boys."

"Since they're in our house, the Marines Recruiting Center, we're coming to their house which is here in Albany," said George Newkirk, Marines Motorcycle Club.

"But they're not here today," said ABC7's Pamela Tom.

"Yeah, I look at that as the enemy always runs when the marines have landed," said Newkirk.

"That's pretty funny," said Zanne Joi of Code Pink.

ABC7 found Code Pink Saturday in Berkeley at the Earth Day Festival.

In January, the Berkeley City Council gave Code Pink a parking permit to aid the group's protests in front of the Marines recruiting office on Shattuck Avenue.

"We're saying no recruiting in our town. We're not saying anything about marines," said Joi.

"Most of these men are veteran marines from the Vietnam era. They want to make sure these young marines are protected from that same disrespect that they received and still have not gotten over," said Linda Beigh, a veteran's wife.

The former marines intended to visit Code Pink at the festival but could only find parking across from the Marine recruiting office. When Code Pink learned the veterans were there, four members quickly ran over to shout them down.

Both sides felt they won. Code Pink had their say and the biker marines made a stand. Several motorists honked or waved their support to the bikers.

An elderly man bought the bikers donuts -- a sweet moment in this bitter exchange of opinions.

Code Pink told ABC7 they would be willing to have a dialogue with the Marines Motorcycle Club and the bikers say that could be a next step, but only after the city of Berkeley apologizes to the marines and the Code Pink members stop bothering the recruiting office.