Move America Forward (MAF) is the largest pro-troop organization in the US, and eight members of the group from the Bay area, gathered in front of the United States Federal Building in San Francisco, to meet with the US Attorney's office
to lodge formal complaints and to demand a full investigation into allegations of anti-military groups, such as Code Pink, harassed, slapped, punched or otherwise harmed pro-troop supporters at gatherings such as the one on 2/12/08
, in the town of Berkeley.
MAF was there at the US Attorney's office to hand deliver a letter from their attorney making this official request.
That letter was exclusively given to me to publish on Saturday, March 29, 2008, for my personal blog, the letter can be found at: http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2008/03/breaking-letter-from-move-america.html
ABC, Fox News and KTVU were on hand to report this meeting between the US Attorney and the eight members of Move America Forward.
(Melanie Morgan, chairman of Move America Forward being interviewed by KTVU in front of the United States Federal Building in San Francisco- Photo courtesy of Melanie Morgan)
Each member of the MAF group related stories at the press conference about the lawlessness that ran rampant at the February event, citing specific accounts of CodePink, their supporters, as well as truant Berkeley High school students, who were allowed to violate their rights and the police that did nothing when these violations occurred, even when they were asked to step in and separate the two different groups according to the legal permits that were granted.
We hereby request an investigation into the timely lack of response by the City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Police Department during the events of February 12, 2008. In short, the City of Berkeley failed to protect its citizens engaged in the lawful exercise of their rights under both the First Amendment and federal civil rights laws.
Video of police refusing to keep the groups separated to the areas where their permits allowed them to be, after complaints had been brought to them, can be found at YouTube here
After the press conference with reporters, the group from MAF was then taken to the 11th floor of the Federal Building to meet with US Attorney Will Frentzen, where MAF hand delivered their letter and cited examples of the violations that occurred and Mr. Frentzen told them he would be in touch with the FBI and well as passing around the formal letter of complaint to the legal departments in the civil division.
(Photo L- to- R is Eamon Kelly, disabled Marine, Bryan Weldon, Lafayette Flag Brigade and Elizabeth Kelly, Blue Star Mom, Sherry Perussina, Blue Star Mom, members of MAF, relating stories of abuses and harassment they suffered or witnessed at events held in Berkeley- Photo courtesy of Melanie Morgan
It was not only violations to to the the members of the pro-troop organization, MAF, that the US Attorney was asked to investigate, as stated in the letter (link above), the Berkeley city council had passed a resolution on January 29, 2008
, calling the Marines in Berkeley unwanted and uninvited intruders, but another passage of that resolution, which was later rescinded stated in their recommendation (3), "encourage all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station, and applaud residents and organizations such as Code Pink, that may volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley."
Which led to the request for the US Attorney to also investigate whether the council's encouraging disruptive behavior patently calculated to drive the Marine Corps out of the City of Berkeley was unlawful and criminal by urging interference with the lawful operations of a federal agency operating within the City of Berkeley.
Further, Move America Forward requests that your office inquire into the legal propriety under applicable federal law of the efforts of the City of Berkeley to “encourage,” through legislative action, organizations actively committed to undermining the ongoing military operations of the United States both at home and abroad to impede the lawful activities of a federal agency operating within the city limits.
To that point, it was just two days later that members of the anti-military groups chained themselves to the door
of the Marine recruitment center and physically interfered with people that were trying to enter the Marine recruitment building. (Video of that can be seen at the link)
Ms. Morgan states, "We have been fighting them all the way and this is simply the next step,"
she then concludes with, "Berkeley has got to realize that we’re not going away."