Marines Refuse to Leave Berkeley Despute Council Resolution

While anti-war protesters chained themselves outside a U.S. Marines recruiting center in Berkeley, a spokesman said Corps does not plan to abandon the office even though the City Council has asked them to leave.

The Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday to tell the Marines that if its recruiters choose to stay in their rented downtown space (quote) "they do so as uninvited and unwelcome guests."

Gunnery Sgt. Pauline Franklin said Friday that while the Corps respects city officials' right to free speech, the Marines would not be leaving.

Conservative bloggers and Senator Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, lashed out at Berkeley following the resolution.

DeMint said he would draft legislation to strip the city of federal money, including funds destined for UC Berkeley, for school lunches in the Berkeley Unified School District and public safety.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-02-02-08 2046EST

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