Obama Returns For Bay Area Fundraising Support; Protesters Converge
OAKLAND (CBS SF) – More than 100 protesters marching in the streets near Oakland’s Fox Theater where President Barack Obama delivered a campaign speech Monday night continued marching through downtown.
Three protesters have been arrested throughout the day, including one suspected of assaulting a police officer with an air horn, and another suspected of battering an 11-year-old girl, according to police.
Mr. Obama concluded his speech shortly after 8:30 p.m. and was expected to spend the night in San Francisco before departing for Oregon and Washington in the morning.
After marching in the streets surrounding the Fox Theater at 1807 Telegraph Ave., protesters took off down Broadway at the conclusion of Obama’s speech, changing the focus of their march from the president to an anti-police march.
While marching around the theater, a woman was arrested on suspicion of battering an 11-year-old girl, police Sgt. Chris Bolton said.
That arrest, near the corner of 17th Street and Telegraph Avenue at around 7:15 p.m. came after a citizen reported that a woman protester was yelling at an 11-year-old girl and battered her.
Police took custody of that arrest after a citizen’s arrest, Bolton said.
Bolton did not know immediately whether the girl was injured but said if she was, “I don’t believe it was by any means life-threatening,” he said.
Protesters also burned a sign nearby welcoming the president to town along with a U.S. flag.
The sign, posted outside the Merrill Sign Co. at 612 18th Street, said, “Welcome to Oakland President Obama, 99 percent Obamaland.”
KCBS’ Chris Filippi on the Protests:
Protesters used signs and poles they were holding to tear the sign off the side of the building, and set it on fire in the street along with a U.S. flag.
The protesters had been blocking Broadway at 19th Street for several hours Monday before beginning to march shortly after 7 p.m.
“Who’s streets? Our streets!” the protesters chanted as they circled the closed streets around the Fox Theater.
Protesters gathered on Broadway near 19th Street where the president’s supporters had lined up to enter the theater. The demonstration blocked southbound traffic on Broadway until shortly before 6 p.m., when protesters moved to occupy the entire street.
That protest was one of several throughout the day during several campaign stops the president made in Oakland and Piedmont. A march for medical marijuana concluded at Frank Ogawa Plaza around 4 p.m. Monday.
During Monday’s demonstrations, one man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer by approaching an officer with an air horn and blowing it into the officer’s ear near 19th Street and Broadway around 3:30 p.m.
Another man was arrested for violating a restraining order prohibiting him from being in Frank Ogawa Plaza, according to police.
Police have monitoring the protest from patrol cars and on foot, but confrontations between police and protesters have been minimal.
The protesters are angry with Obama over a variety of issues including war, environmental issues and federal medical marijuana crackdowns.
Some protesters carried signs with slogans like “Down with the Empire” and “Stop the War, Stop the Drones.”
Frostpaw the Polar Bear, the mascot for the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, was among the demonstrators gathered on Broadway today. The bear carried a sign that said, “Mr. President Don’t Shill for Shell.”
The President was back in the Bay Area Monday afternoon as he prepared to attend several fundraising events in the East Bay Monday night.
Air Force One touched down at Oakland International Airport at 2:34 p.m.
The small crowd of dignitaries assembled to greet him on the tarmac included Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson.
As Obama exited the plane, he smiled and waved, then headed down the stairs and met Lee at the bottom with a hug. He shared a word with Quan, who held both of the president’s hands as they talked, then posed for a photo with them and others in front of Air Force One.
A crowd of several dozen people had been allowed on the tarmac for the president’s landing, and Obama shook hands with a number of them before being whisked away by his motorcade.
Quan said afterward that she and Lee had been asking Obama to come to town.
“The main thing is that this is the first time the president has come to the East Bay,” Quan said. “He made good on his promise.”
Obama headed from the airport to the Scottish Rite Center near Lake Merritt for a 3 p.m. appearance there. Afterwards, he stopped by the Piedmont home of Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan at 5:30 p.m. before addressing a crowd of supporters at the Fox Theater.
KCBS’ Doug Sovern on Obama Speech, Rally:
Obama had arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Sunday evening after a stop in Aurora, Colo., where he met with family members of those killed early Friday in a massacre during a midnight viewing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Obama flew out of SFO late Monday morning and headed to Reno, Nev., where made remarks at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention before returning to the Bay Area.
Mitt Romney, Obama’s presumed Republican rival in the presidential race, was in Bay Area over the weekend as well, making fundraising visits to Woodside and San Francisco.
Romney left the Bay Area and went to Southern California for campaign stops in Orange County Monday.
Obama will leave San Francisco for Portland, Ore., on Tuesday morning.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)