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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Small words deserve large attention

Brian Donovan (The Inquirer)

Little did I know when hanging out with friends on April 20th that later that evening I would be in a car heading to San Francisco to join a contingent of activists that were going to sing a song to the president of the United States.

The next morning at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, a campaign fundraiser for President Barack Obama was going to take place. Antiwar activist Naomi Pitcairn bought $76,000 of tickets for people to attend.

Before I knew it, I was in a hotel room full of about 20 people practicing the song about the treatment and overall lack of due process in handling accused Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.

 Some tickets sold for as much as $5,000 to $35,800 each. MC Hammer,, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Stevie Wonder, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee were all in attendance.

Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader of the Democrats, began the fundraiser by referring to Obama as a “great president and with great leadership.”  

After five minutes of vague and empty words, Pelosi introduced Obama, and about three minutes into the speech, Naomi Pitcairn jumped up and said “Mr. President we have a song we would like to sing for you.” Without much delay we started the song.

Not too long after the protest, John Stewart commented on it in his show that it was hypocritical for one of our protesters to shout “We love you Obama,” after the song, while the song and whole purpose of the action was to protest Obama and his policies regarding civil liberties.

The protester is entitled to his own opinion, but should not have associated the whole group of protesters with one person’s statement of love, as several of my fellow activists at the fundraiser expressed their disagreement with the statement. He may have been trying to ease tensions with the Secret Service as they were swarming us while we sang. But one isolated statement does not circumvent the entire message that was brought by the brave individuals that day.

The mainstream media can try to use the statement as a red herring, but the overall message was heard loud and clear. Free Bradley Manning: because exposing war crimes is not a crime!

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About the Contributor
Brian Donovan
Brian Donovan, Editor-in-chief
Editor-in-chief, spring 2012. Staff member, spring and fall 2011.

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Small words deserve large attention