City Council to discuss Guantanamo Bay, street sweeping at meeting

At its meeting tonight, Berkeley City Council will discuss supporting the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and honoring the memory and life of a Native American leader — two resolutions authored by the city’s Peace and Justice Commission.

The resolution supporting the closure of the Guantanamo prison declares that detainees freed from the prison would be welcome in Berkeley, once Congressional bans on their relocation have been lifted, in addition to denouncing the U.S. government’s continued detainment of prisoners already cleared of all charges.

The commission has also recommended the city honor Geronimo — legendary Apache tribe leader —  by sending a letter to President Barack Obama condemning the use of the leader’s name in the operation that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Among items on tonight’s consent calendar — which council members will either vote to move to the action calendar or approve as a group — include sending a letter to Obama urging him to release and grant clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment over 30 years ago for first-degree murder. The council will also discuss finalizing an order for new refuse collection trucks, allocating money to provide additional shelter for homeless at the Oakland Army Base and a plan to notify residents electronically of parking restrictions during monthly street sweeping in an effort to prevent avoidable tickets.

Prior to its 7 p.m. regular meeting, the council will discuss changes to its Watershed Management Plan at a 5:30 p.m. work session.

Sarah Mohamed is the lead city government reporter.