Protest over Accused WikiLeaker Disrupts Obama Fund-raiser. Video and Transcripts

April 22nd, 2011 - by admin

James Oliphant / The Los Angeles Times – 2011-04-22 03:22:11,0,1485542.story

SAN FRANCISCO (April 21, 2011) — A high-end fund-raiser for President Obama in San Francisco was disrupted Thursday by a protest over Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified information to the site WikiLeaks.

A table of 10 attending the $5,000-a-ticket fund-raiser broke into a song in the middle of the president’s remarks, held at a downtown hotel, criticizing the administration’s treatment of Manning.

According to a White House pool report, Obama was speaking to about 200 supporters when a woman stood up at one of the tables of 10 attendees and declared that the group had written a song.

Obama tried to convince the woman to wait, the report said, but the table then broke into a song that referenced Manning, the cost of the fundraiser, and Florida Rev. Terry Jones, who recently burned a copy of the Koran and sparked an outcry in Afghanistan.

“Each of us brought you $5,000. It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign. I paid my dues, where’s our change,” they sang. The group passed around signs that read “Free Bradley Manning.”

The pool reporter, Carol E. Lee of the Wall Street Journal, reported that Obama took the song “in stride” although she also noted that he looked “displeased,” as did House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was also present. The woman was soon escorted from the ballroom by aides.

“That was a nice song,” Obama said. “Now where was I?”

Pentagon officials recently announced that Manning, who is charged with 34 counts, including aiding the enemy, would be transferred from the Marine brig at Quantico, Va., where he was kept in conditions akin to solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and heavily chained when he was moved, to a medium-security facility in Leavenworth, Kan., where he likely will enjoy more freedom in his daily activities.

Human rights groups have been pressuring the Obama administration on Manning’s treatment. Obama is scheduled to proceed to Reno on Thursday for a town-hall event and then to Los Angeles for more fund-raisers.
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

Lyrics of the Obama Event Protest Song
FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest at Obama Fundraiser

San Francisco, CA. (April 21, 2011) Today a Fresh Juice Party political action staged an :interrupt/interaction/performance art happening” during a Presidential fund-raising dinner to call attention to incarcerated whistleblower Pvt. Manning. The polite protest took place on the same day Manning was transfered to Leavenworth where he will remain in solitary confinement, 23 hours a day while awaiting trial for leaking — among other things — video evidence of US war crimes in Iraq.

Song Lyrics:

Dear Mr. President, we honor you today, sir
All of us have given you our tax dollars

It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign
I paid my dues, where’s my change?

We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes, that’s true
Look at the Republicans — what else can we do?
Even though we don’t know if we’ll retain our liberties
In what you seem content to call a “free society.”

Yes, it’s true that Terry Jones is legally free
To burn a people’s holy book in shameful effigy
But at another location in this country
Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley

23 hours a day is night
The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain’t right

Nobel Peace Prize/ Whistle blowers
Guantanamo/ Quantico
Juan Mendez/ Due Process
Crimson Tide/ Laurence Tribe
8th Amendment/ Cruel and Unusual
5th Amendment/ Punishment before a trial
Terry Jones/ Burnin’ that Quran
Promise of transparency/ Dennis Kucinich

We paid our dues, where’s our change?
We paid our dues, where’s our change?

President Obama Discusses the Manning Case with Guests after the Protest
Transcription by Vibanti2

Pres Obama: We’re a nation of laws, we don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate.

Pres speaking about Price: No no, he’s doing fine,he’s doing fine, he’s being heard — he’s asking a question.

Back to Price: He [Manning] broke the law. Well —

Price: He was telling the truth.

Pres Obama: Well, what he did was he dumped. Well, what he did was he dumped. No, it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s release wasn’t classified in the same way. So… anyway. Alright.

President Obama: so […] people can have philosophical views about, eh, sort of… […] no,no, but look: I can’t do diplomacy on an open source. That’s not how [the] world works. And if you’re a — if you’re in the military, and — I have to abide by certain classified information, and if I release stuff that I’m not authorized to release, I’m breaking the law.

vbanti2 1 hour ago
Perhaps he did break the law. But does that justify his being tortured? Does that justify his being denied due process? And how can you claim that Ellsberg’s whistle blowing was fundamentally different? What legal distinction are you making? Why not produce a short video address to America’s citizens, explaining this? Wouldn’t that be a good way to address our reasonable concerns that Manning’s whole case has been bungled?