President Barack Obama arrives in San Francisco this afternoon (5/25) for a fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel, where he'll be greeted by protesters from at least two realms of the progressive movement: immigrant rights activists unhappy with his administration's reluctance to take on immigration reform, and anti-war activists angry that Obama has continued President George W. Bush's pro-war and anti-civil liberties policies.
Both groups have been increasingly unhappy with a president whose candidacy they supported for the most part. In particular, the coalition of immigrant rights groups that will gather on the steps of Grace Cathedral starting at 3:30 pm say Obama hasn't done enough to counter rising nativist extremism or Arizona's SB1070, and that his administration has essentially nullified sanctuary city ordinances by extending the federal government's Secure Communities, which allows immigration officials direct access to information on arrestees in jails throughout the country (see our story in this week's Guardian for more).
“We are gathering to lament the intolerance and extremism that are setting back the national discussion on immigration. We need real solutions that uphold our values of fairness and compassion, and we pray for the President to take leadership to stop this heart-breaking separation of families,” Rev. Debbie Lee of Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Code Pink, World Can't Wait, and other groups will also gather near the hotel starting at 3:30 to protest what it calls ongoing war crimes by the administration, including the escalation of war in Afghanistan, predator drone assassinations in Pakistan, Obama's continued use of extraconstitutional war powers claimed by Bush, opposition to efforts to expose and redress imperial excesses by the Bush Administration, and denial of due process rights to those labeled enemy combatants.
World Can't Wait has even made a point of calling on Obama supporters to hold him accountable with the slogan, “Crimes are crimes not matter who does them.”
Attendees to Obama's Fairmont fundraiser are shelling out $17,500 each to Sen. Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, while an even higher roller affair will be held later that night at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty.
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