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Berkeley, CA Peace and Justice Commission on Becoming a Sanctuary for Conscientious Objectors
Status: Adopted on 9/10/07
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REAFFIRMING THE CITY OF BERKELEY AS A CITY OF SANCTUARY
WHEREAS, the Peace and Justice Commission advises the City Council on all matters relating to the City of Berkeley’s role in issues of peace and social justice (Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 369.070); and
WHEREAS, Berkeley has by Resolution and Proclamation designated May 15th of every year as Berkeley Conscientious Objectors and War Resisters Day to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate all Conscientious Objectors and War Resisters, civilian and military, past, present and future; and
WHEREAS, the United States has a history of launching illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression and the Bush Administration launched the most recent of those wars in Iraq and is threatening the possibility of war in Iran; and
WHEREAS, these wars have produced catastrophic loss of human life, both civilian and military, as well as physically maiming and deforming and psychologically destroying countless numbers of civilians and military personnel; and
WHEREAS, the people of the City of Berkeley have long voiced their stand for peace and against unnecessary wars; and support people following their consciences to do what is morally and ethically right to resist illegitimate authority; and
WHEREAS, thousands of military personnel are currently seeking Conscientious Objector status or otherwise attempting to separate themselves from engaging in unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, undeclared wars; and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley City Council has already declared and reaffirmed Berkeley as a City of Refuge (1971 Resolution No. 44,784–N.S. and 1985, relating to Central American refugees, Resolution No. 52,596–N.S. and in 1991, Resolution No. 55,705–N.S. in which “…the City of Berkeley hereby reaffirms itself a refuge for all persons who for moral, ethical, or religious reasons cannot participate in war;” and
WHEREAS, in 1991, the City and County of San Francisco passed a resolution “Declaring the City and County of San Francisco To Be A Sanctuary For All Persons Who For Moral, Ethical, Or Religious Reasons Cannot Participate In War”.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Berkeley reaffirms the City of Berkeley as a City of Sanctuary for United States military personnel seeking Conscientious Objector Status, and extends Berkeley as a City of Sanctuary for those otherwise seeking to avoid participating in the Occupation of Iraq or in combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan or other targets of United States wars for moral, ethical or religious reasons or out of respect for international laws, including the Nuremberg Principles even if these military personnel have been classified as AWOL or as deserters.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley declares the City of Berkeley a City of Sanctuary for Draft Registration Resisters and in the event of a new draft, a City of Sanctuary for Draft Resisters.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley reaffirms its policy that military service and conscription is a matter of Federal jurisdiction and that City employees will not be considered responsible for implementation or enforcement of military service and conscription policies.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley reaffirms its policy to decline to commit or expend any City financial, police, or other resources to assist the United states Armed Forces and the Selective Service Administration in the implementation and enforcement of the United States Armed Forces and Selective Service Law or to gather and disseminate information regarding the Military or Selective Service status of individuals living in Berkeley or their ethnic, racial or religious background that is not required by federal or state statute, regulation or court decision and that the City of Berkeley now declares that it extends this policy to also decline to commit any city financial, police or other resources to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other agency in the implementation and enforcement of the United States Armed Forces and Selective Service Law or to gather and disseminate information regarding Military or Selective Service status of individuals living in Berkeley or their ethnic, racial or religious background that is not required by federal or state statute regulation or court decision.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley instructs the City Manager to advise the City Boards, and Commissions and Departments of this Resolution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the implementation of the provisions of this Resolution by employees and agencies of the City of Berkeley remain consistent with federal and state statutes, ordinances, regulations or court decisions, and that the City of Berkeley is not, in adopting this Resolution, encouraging its employees and citizens and residents to violate any local, state or federal laws.