Oakland Unwelcomes President Obama During Campaign Fundraiser – Photos & Video
As President Obama made his way into Oakland, CA for a series of pricey campaign fundraisers on Monday, up to 1,000 bay area residents gathered near City Hall at Oscar Grant Plaza to send him multiple messages. Some advocated for the end of prohibition on marijuana while others advocated smashing the state completely.
The day’s events were kicked off with a giant chalk-drawn portrait of America’s “dear leader” Obama, by a group of chalk activists. At noon, hundreds of people gathered in the amphitheater in front of City Hall for a rally in support of legalizing cannabis. One Occupy Oakland regular, @DJ_JDot, sported an almost fully grown male marijuana plant, which stuck out from his backpack.
The pro-cannabis march left the plaza at 3pm sharp, and headed down Broadway past the long line of Obama supports who were waiting to get into the theater, after going through an enormous amount of barricades, and past dozens of police officers. The march circled the block and ended back at Oscar Grant Plaza. During the march, the organizer got into a short scuffle with a masked marcher after asking the masked man if he had any incendiary devices. After telling the organizer no, the marcher then turned to walk away only to be pushed from behind, which was matched with a couple swings. Later in the day, the organizer apologized.
After the permitted march ended, a group of Oakland radicals took back the streets and began a march that resulted in the removal and burning of a large banner that read, “Welcome to Oakland President Obama, 99% ObamaLand.”
The march looped around and re-converged back on the intersection of Broadway & 19th street, where Obama supporters were exiting the theater. Protesters began to chant, “Four more wars!” Obama fans responded with the staple chant, “Four more years!” A handful of Obama’s sheep strayed away from the flock and engaged in dialogue with the protesters. A man who wore a shirt that read, “I’m allergic to stupid people, achoo!” repeatedly yelled that the protesters were “mad at the wrong person,” and that Obama was “doing everything he has to to keep us safe from terrorists.” He also insisted that the protesters should be mad at the man who murdered 12 people in Colorado, not at Obama, as if that had anything to do with the fundraiser or the President’s presence in Oakland.
When the march neared the OPD, multiple lines of police in riot gear formed lines, showing their fear of the Oakland residents. Later in the march, an individual began to smash bottles on police cars, and threw at least one bottle towards a group of riot police. Oddly enough, the police hardly reacted, as if they had orders to stand down, at least while Obama was in town.
Watching hundreds of people waiting in line behind metal barricades was sickening. The security in downtown Oakland was overwhelming, especially for one resident who was brought to tears when she accidentally passed a police barricade as she was trying to get home. Other residents were forced to show their ID’s to police and prove their residency before being allowed to go home, some were even told to stop looking out their windows and to keep them closed.
A group of 3 snipers were spotted high above the Fox theater, which allowed for some great symbolic photographs as the team stood in front of a giant waving American flag & a Wells Fargo logo. A local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, was able to confirm via binoculars that SWAT teams were assembling on roof tops in the area. Though it was obviously never announced, it became clear where Obama’s motorcade would enter the area after a Secret Service agent pointed at @BellaEiko, @CourtneyOccupy & me and said, “They look suspicious.” Less then a minute later we were approached by an officer who told us that we were not allowed to be in the area, citing the anti-protest law that has not even come into effect. Others, who were not filming were allowed to stay near that “quarantined” area behind the theater.
Earlier in the day, a prominent Occupy Oakland activist, Melvin Kelly or @OccupyTheMob, was arrested on assault charges after he allegedly used an air horn too close to an overzealous officer. Back on May 23, another member of the Occupy Oakland Tactical Committee was arrested on similar charges when he used a bullhorn to shout, “Justice for Allan Blueford” after a town hall meeting hosted by the Oakland chief of police.
Below are Photos and Videos from the day’s events. If you appreciate PFB’s coverage and would like to support our efforts, please make a contribution here.
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