Monday, December 30, 2013

Protesters Get Their Messages to Obama

Since Obama arrived for his Hawai`i vacation protesters are making their demands visible.

On his first day in Hawai`i four protesters were there with signs against drones and Guantanamo. On Friday about 25 people held signs opposing the Transpacific Trade Partnership at a protest organized by Move-On. And on Saturday morning more than a dozen World Can't Wait-Hawai`i supporters were there when Obama's motorcade passed by.

 As we walked to our designated corner we could already see numerous signs in front of the entrance to Obama's street and wondered who had beat us there. It turned out to be a one-person demonstration: Ann Wright with about four big signs waving us in.  Although our numbers were relatively small, we filled a lot of space and we know we were seen by Obama and the press. 

Our posters with photos of Guantanamo detainees lined the walls. Two big banners - one reading "Stop Torture" and the other a beautiful "Shut Down the Bases" banner (particularly fitting since Obama was returning from K-Bay when he saw us). Then there were numerous other signs protesting drones, Gitmo, support for Israel, and the TTP. 

While no press came to talk with us personally, their press van passed and they snapped pictures as they came by. News of our protest subsequently appeared in Reuters and in the local press.   Be sure to click on the photo line accompanying the reporting. 

Many passers-by honked their horns approvingly or gave us a thumbs up or shaka, and morning walkers thanked us for being out there. A relatively few gave us the middle finger and one particularly disgusting man slowed down and yelled "take care of the babies" at the almost all-woman group holding signs. (We weren't sure if he was an anti-abortion reactionary or just thought we should all be home taking care of our kids, but either was equally backward!). 

  Since Saturday, FrostPaw (a huge polar bear) has been seen standing in front of the Obama compound along with leafleters protesting the Keystone XL pipeline and climate change, and we're sure others have been out there was well. We understand that FrostPaw will be visiting Hawai`i for at least another week so if you're interested in joining him in protesting climate change contact us and we'll get you in touch.

 President Obama will be in Hawai`i for another week and holding a sign at the entrance to his compound at Kailuana Street and Kalaheo is easy. If Ann Wright can pull off a one-person demonstration, so can you! As Ann said, "We never get this close to the president when we're in D.C.! He can actually see us!"
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