Lacking Funds, Code Pink to Close East Bay Office

Photo: Code Pink, the controversial activist group, closes the doors of its Albany office (pictured above) this week.
Chris Chung/Photo
Code Pink, the controversial activist group, closes the doors of its Albany office (pictured above) this week.

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Code Pink Closes East Bay Chapter's Office

Protest group Code Pink is being forced to close the office of their East Bay chapter due to economic troubles.



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Lacking Funds, Code Pink to Close East Bay Office
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Financial strain and an expired lease have caused the East Bay chapter of Code Pink, which has staged protests outside the Marine Corps recruiting center in Downtown Berkeley for over a year, to close its Albany office this week.

The local group became known nationally after it was sanctioned by a city resolution in January 2008 that labeled the Marine recruiters "unwelcome intruders." Nearly a year later, it is left without its longtime center of operations.

The group, which does not receive any funding from its national affiliate, Code Pink Women for Peace, relies on donations and has not yet found a source of funding.

"We've been really struggling this year," said Brenda Hillman, a Code Pink volunteer from Kensington. "It's hard when you put direct energy into activism, you don't have energy to put into fundraising."

The group was funded in large part by $50 monthly pledges from six members until last November, when three stopped donating. Members said other cuts would have to be made in addition to closing the office, which the group rented for $350 per month.

"Sadly, there aren't bundles of money ... There's no guilt, we're all fervent activists, we come to action as we are able," Hillman said.

At a vigil outside the recruiting center Wednesday, members said they will continue their activism.

"We won't be visible on Solano Avenue, but we'll be busy everywhere else," said Zanne Joi, local coordinator for the East Bay chapter, which is one of more than 200 chapters nationwide.

Marine Sgt. Matt Deboard, marketing and public affairs director at the San Francisco Recruiting Station, said the continued protests will have no effect on recruitment efforts.

"Really, there is no reaction, (Code Pink) is free to protest and move out and move in," he said.

Some business owners near the center were dismayed by the group's continued presence.

"I can't tolerate the effect on business," said Shasin Saki, owner of Z & S Beauty Studio, which is next door to the recruiting center.

Materials remaining from the group's move-out sale this week will be moved from the office at 1248 Solano Ave. to members' homes, where meetings will be held until plans for a new site are finalized after the Nov. 5 election.

Members said financial woes will not deter their protests because they are fueled more by their enthusiasm than by their war chest.

"A lot of work (has been) done with relatively few women," Hillman said. "We have gotten a large amount of visibility with relatively small numbers."

Tags: CODE PINK


Contact Zach Williams at zwilliams@dailycal.org.



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