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500 motorcyclists to back Marines

Article Created: 03/22/2008 02:37:37 AM PDT

BERKELEY ? About 500 motorcyclists are expected to converge on the U.S. Marine recruiting center today to support the Marines who have been the target of protests by many anti-war groups for several months.
A group called Eagles Up will gather in Emeryville this morning and buy food, water, gas and other supplies needed for the day. They will keep their receipts and on Monday event organizer Doug Lyvere will present the stack to the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, he said.
The idea is to penalize Berkeley financially for its recent anti-military vote. On Jan. 29, the council called the military recruiting center "uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
Amid heavy criticism and threats by Republican lawmakers to withdraw federal funding, council members later moderated their position saying they oppose the war in Iraq but support the troops. Still, they refused to apologize.
Lyvere said they want to send a message of support for U.S. Marines.
"We expect a massive crowd to send a message to the city of Berkeley, CodePink and any other anti-military group that Americans are sick and tired of their hateful, dangerous behavior," said Doug Lyvere, Eagles Up organizer. People will come from all over the state and beyond, organizers said.
The group is expected to be at the center from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Melanie Morgan, chairwoman of Move America Forward, and Catherine Moy, Move America Forward's executive director, will address the crowd about noon.

The Marine recruiting center at 64 Shattuck Square has been the site of anti-military protests from CodePink and the World Can't Wait: Drive Out the Bush Regime and other groups for about six months. The Council gave CodePink a free regular event permit, sound permit and reserved parking for their weekly protests. Mayor Tom Bates has offered to extend similar rights to other organizations doing recurring protests of the Marine office.
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