By WILLIAM WOLFE
OAKLAND, Calif.-Under the guise of providing “humanitarian aid and disaster relief” to the beleaguered masses, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps “Urban Warriors” sailed, hovercrafted, and humveed themselves into the San Francisco Bay Area March 15-21.
They planned to “penetrate, thrust, and swarm” into the “urban littorals” of Oakland’s Oak Knoll Hospital and the former Alameda Naval Air Station in war games designed to train U.S. soldiers in the art of eliminating local hostile elements in the event of possible future social unrest.
According to Urban Warrior strategists, over 70 percent of the world’s population will be congregated in cities close to large bodies of water by the year 2025-cities containing “all the ingredients for conflict.”
“Many areas will have scarce resources, including the most basic ones like food and shelter. As populations grow and resources shrink even further, the chances for conflict will naturally grow with it.”
The war exercise was originally slated to take place on the shores of San Francisco’s historic Presidio Army Base, but it was cancelled after objections by environmental groups and the National Park Service.
Later, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown took the Marine Corps’ bait when the promise of an infusion of approximately $4.5 million into the local economy was dangled in front of his eyes.
In spite of weeks of organized protests by local activists, a few city council members, and the birth of the Coalition Against Urban Warrior-as well as a takeover of the Oakland mayor’s City Hall office by a group of local high school students, which resulted in about 20 arrests-the exercises commenced as scheduled.
The Marines held a week-long military warfest in the Oakland area, which included some 14 waves of hovercraft landings, 40 aircraft overflights, and the detonation of 60 “flashbang” grenades and 24,000 rounds of extremely loud machine gun fire.
The public was invited to observe the daily events, which finally culminated in a gala event at Jack London Square on the Oakland waterfront, complete with Marine Marching Band, Precision Military Drill Team, U.S. Armed Forces recruitment booths, and a multi-billion-dollar, protester-dubbed “Weapons Petting Zoo”!
But no word yet has come of the military’s making good on its promise of a $4.5 million boost to downtown Oakland’s economy.