WHEN: Tuesday, April 1, 12 noon
WHERE: Marine Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square, Berkeley
WHO: Sasha Shamszad, landlord; Marines Manpower Division representative; CODEPINK spokesperson
Sasha Shamszad, landlord for the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley,
has reached an amicable agreement with the Marines to redeploy from
Berkeley. Details of the agreement will be outlined at the press
"The situation was becoming untenable," says Mr. Shamszad. "The
presence of the Marines sparking daily protests have had a negative
impact on local businesses. The city has been forced to pay hundreds of
thousands of dollars in police overtime. And some groups have been
calling for a national boycott of our city. So I sat down with
representatives of the Marines and we worked out a solution."
"We just came out with a national productivity study by office, and the
Recruiting Center in Berkeley was in the bottom ten percentile," says
Michael Applegate, Director of the Marine Manpower Plans and Policy
Division. "It's a three-person office in a high-rent district bringing
in an average of only 1.4 recruits per month. This is just not a good
use of taxpayer money. So we were happy to work out an agreement with
Mr. Shamszad. For us, this has nothing to do with protests outside the
station, but is simply an issue of strategic redeployment."
The protest group CODEPINK was delighted to hear the news. "While we
still don't know the details, we are have happy to hear that the
Marines will be closing their doors and respecting the anti-war values
of the residents of Berkeley," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin.