Anti-War Left Gives Tom Bates New Headache

So here’s poor Berkeley mayor Tom Bates, having stepped in a pile of something nasty when he glibly denounced the Marines in a City Council proclamation, trying to make nice with the city’s merchants yesterday. Facing a flood of angry threats to boycott the city, Berkeley’s Chamber of Commerce publicly called on the council to apologize for its pointless gesture, and tensions between local businesses and the mayor’s office shot to a level not seen since the days of “Galloping Gus” Newport. But as the San Jose Mercury News reports, Bates showed up at a Chamber luncheon, where he repeated his numerous mea culpas for dubbing the Marines “unwelcome intruders.” Citing the new Berkeley Bowl, Bates promised everyone that he’ll do everything he can to promote retail in the city. Which is why he can’t be too happy about the rowdy demos outside the Marines’ office that are scheduled for this afternoon.

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