You're Only Supposed to Go to a City with the City Council's Invitation? Who Knew?

The Contra Costa Times reports:

[T]he Berkeley City Council ... voted 8-1 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station "is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders."

In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. And it officially encouraged the women's peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.

In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m....

"I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don't belong here, they shouldn't have come here, and they should leave," said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates after votes were cast....

Oddly enough, in pretty much every city I've lived, I've been "uninvited" by the city council or any other organization representing the city. Nor would I have felt I was doing something rude or otherwise bad if the city council has announced that I was "unwelcome."

On the other hand, being labeled as "intruder" would have troubled me, because it seems to assert some sort of property rights on the city council's part. If a host declares me an intruder in his house, or a business on its property, I would have to leave. But here the Marines, I take it, are on private property that the commercial landlord has voluntarily rented to them. A little arrogant for the city council to decide who's an intruder as to all the private property in the city, no? (The same would go as to government-owned parcels of property or easements that are by law open to the whole public, such as roads or sidewalks.) Especially when it's quite likely that many Berkeleyans, even if only a minority, take a different view, and are entitled to themselves invite the Marines onto the property if they so choose?

Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.

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  3. You're Only Supposed to Go to a City with the City Council's Invitation? Who Knew?