East Bay
East Bay
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: East Bay | Government & Elections
Massive Barack Obama Campaign Appearance in Oakland, 3/17/07: photos and video
by dave id
Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:13 AM
A month after declaring his entry into the 2008 presidential race, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, the fast-rising phenom of the Democratic Party, appeared in Oakland for a massive campaign rally on St. Patrick's Day. Well over 10,000 people packed into Frank Ogawa Plaza to hear him make his case for why he should be elected President of the United States. While the first democratic primary isn't until January 2008 and the general election isn't until November later that year, the diverse crowd cheered Barack Obama like a rock star. He spoke for about 30 minutes.
Perhaps it was the Obama campaign or the City of Oakland's organizing, perhaps it was set up for the benefit of the press over the thousands in attendance, or perhaps Frank Ogawa Plaza is simply ill-suited for a rally of this size, but 50-75% of the people there probably could not even see Obama when he spoke. The stage was set up in front of Oakland's City Hall building, which was aesthically right for the press who were conveniently located straight across from the stage, but for those not in the small ampitheater with the stage, the view was completely obstructed by the features of the park. Unfortunately the sound system was not optimized for this location and in a few places within the park the sound was unintelligible, although it was loud enough for everyone within a few blocks to hear. Another peculiar aspect of the organizing was that there were several rings of admission perimeters. Those who preregistered online, or those who received white tickets from volunteers outside of the park just before the event, were only admitted into the outer ring around the park. Another level of tickets, blue tickets, were offered to people at recent political events in the area, although an event volunteer said that a donation had not been required to receive them. Blue ticket holders could walk the entire center of the park and many found a place to view the stage in the ampitheater. A small number of gold tickets were handed out randomly in the white ticket area just before the speakers began. Gold tickets were for the very few who could sit in the bleachers behind Barack Obama.

While he was not yet a US Senator at the time, here's an interesting interview conducted with Obama from November 2002 in which he speaks about his opposition to the Iraq War resolution and its probable consequences:
§Two lines wrap around the block to the right
by dave id Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:13 AM
§Students for Barack Obama
by dave id Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:13 AM
§Mayor Ron Dellums had a very warm welcome for Obama
by dave id Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:13 AM
§"The right man. The right place. The right time."
by dave id Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:13 AM
Placards were handed out in the hundreds moments before the speakers began. A discarded blue ticket. Campaign button.
§Video - 1 of 2
by dave id Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:13 AM
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
video 7:16 minutes, 61mb. (QuickTime MOV version, 20mb)

Datestamp is incorrect. Barack Obama began speaking about 4:15-4:20pm.
§Video - 2 of 2
by dave id Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:13 AM
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
video 6:21 minutes, 53mb. (QuickTime MOV version, 18mb)

In the segue between previous video and this one, Obama explained why he is motivated to run for President. He said our country is in growing trouble, both domestically and internationally. He said we shouldn't have gone to Iraq and we need to bring the troops back as soon as possible.

Obama's conclusion to his 30 minute speech, after this video leaves off, went from some of the troubles he has seen first-hand related to the war in Iraq and our neglect of returning veterans to the massive cynicism he says has overtaken our country. This divides the country, he went on, in that the country as a whole stops trying to better itself which increases the likelihood that the well-off will ignore the needs of many. He offered hope to combat that cynicism and he called for a new audacity that would dare to believe in and work for a better future for the entire country. (One of his two books is called "The Audacity of Hope".)

He said we needed to end the war in Iraq -- that in wishing the best for the Iraqi people we have helped the them as much as possible and it was time for the Iraqis themselves to assume responsibility. He called for universal health care in his first term as President. (This was one of at least two digs at Hillary Clinton as she strangely claimed recently to want the same but before the end of her second term. Another veiled dig was in his claim that had he been in the US Senate in 2002, he would have voted against the Iraq War Resolution, yet she obviously voted for it.) He said that this country needed to get serious about alternative energy sources such as wind and solar for a variety of reasons.

While Democratic primaries and the actual election are far off, Barack Obama has captured the attention of a large number of people across the country and his message seemed to play very well with the thousands who came to hear him speak in Oakland in this early campaign appearance.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

The Democratic Party's con game is nauseating, and the fact that Ron Dellums, the wealthy former lobbyist for IBM (read IBM and the Holocaust for starters) is promoting the latest Democratic Party con artist, millionaire pro-Israel, pro-war, pro-torture, pro-death penalty, anti-gay marriage Senator Obama of Illinois demonstrates that both Dellums and Obama are part of the Democartic Party's standard purpose and practice to thwart all serious progressive movements as the Democratic Party is the GRAVEYARD of all serious struggle and its SOLE REASON TO EXIST is to make sure you never vote Red or Green. Once elected, the Democrats perpetrate the same heinous capitalist program as the Republicans as they are paid for by the same corporations. As every worker knows, NO MILLIONAIRE CAN REPRESENT THE WORKINGCLASS.

First as to Ron Dellums, he receives $107,000 pension plus benefits from having sat in Congress, plus $287,000 as mayor, not including benefits. He also has his wealth from having lobby for corporations, proving he is incapable of representing the workingclass and has no intention of doing so. See

In October 2004, Barack Obama called for missile strikes against Iran and Pakistan. He has never retracted his statements. See the 10/1/04 World Socialist Website at and the Chicago Tribune of 2/25/04 at,1,6128171.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Barack Obama wholly accepted the government's coverup with torture of the 9/11 Inside Job by promoting the lie that some poor tortured human being at Guantanamo who admitted to all kinds of crimes actually committed those crimes. He and his worthless Democratic Party have never bothered to cut off funds to Guantanamo and all other US torture prisons BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT THESE TORTURE PRISONS. See The 3/16/07 World Socialist Website at

His book Audacity of Hope tells us all that he us utterly reactionary, another Elmer Gantry. If you are unfamiliar with that character, go to the library and read Sinclair Lewis' classic, Elmer Gantry, and read all of the other Sinclair Lewis' books as well. They should be required reading in all high schools. The 2/14/07 World Socialist Website has an excellent review of this infamous tome by David Walsh at
He loves the military and wants a larger military. He praised the first Persian Gulf Massacre of 1990-91 and loves the anti-communism of Ronald Reagan. He is a supporter of the death penalty and torture, as is the ROTTEN DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

At page 208 of this 375 page book, we see what a con artist Barack Obama really is, much like Elmer Gantry:
"A priceless passage in The Audacity of Hope occurs on page 208 when Obama recounts the day he was “finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church and be baptized.... [K]neeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to his will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.”"

"Obama is probably not aware of the extent to which his account reminds one of the “conversion” of Elmer Gantry, womanizer and religious huckster, in Sinclair Lewis’s novel of the same name: “Oh, for the first time I know the peace of God! Nothing I have ever done has been right, because it didn’t lead to the way and the truth! Here I thought I was a good church-member, but all the time I hadn’t seen the real light. I’d never been willing to kneel down and confess myself a miserable sinner. But I’m kneeling now, and, oh, the blessedness of humility!” However, one must say that the fictional Gantry surpassed Obama in self-knowledge...he recognized that he was a fraud."

This fascist is another Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger movie star hustler, and so-called "progressive" Oakland and surrounding area is falling for this stinking con artist hook, line and sinker. All the ruling class had to do was change the color and party of the con artist, but not the politics, and Oakland & friends swallows this garbage whole. That is why all nationalism is reactionary; it is not the color of the skin, it is the content of the politics that counts.

Only the socialist Peace & Freedom Party and Green Party run peace candidates and are the only 2 pro national health care (single payer or socialized medicine), anti-death penalty, anti-torture, pro-gay marriage, pro secular Palestine, pro peace parties on the ballot.
While the earth is suffering from global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, Obama endorses so called 'clean coal' (labled as such from the coal companies). The use of coal for energy causes huge amounts of carbon dioxide emissions.

Obama's endorsements support Peabody Coal's massive expansion plans of strip mining American Indian lands at Black Mesa, Arizona for profit. Indigenous people live on the land above where the water and billions of tons of low-sulfer coal lies. As with their ancestors, many generations back, the Black Mesa peoples live on the land that is the base for their tradition, their spirituality, water and livelihood. Elder resisters of Big Mountain, Black Mesa have referred to the coal as the Mother Earth's liver.
to quote rev. sharpton.. "Sharpton told CBS 2's Marcia Kramer Monday. "Senator Obama and I agree that the war is wrong, but then I want to know why he went to Connecticut and helped [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman, the biggest supporter of the war." .
by Maya
Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 10:40 AM
I concur with the other commenters that Obama is just another populist poser for the people. He's another distraction to pull the wool over the anti-war, anti-Bush crowd and to make them think that should he get elected there might be real change. Don't fall for it people. Find out were his money comes from, who his promoters are. Bankers and neoliberal globalization policy wonks are all over him. Here's a good piece about him from Zmag. Here's a sample. Yikes!

"In an interview with Klein, Obama expressed reservations about a universal health insurance plan recently enacted in Massachusetts, stating his preference for “voluntary” solutions over “government mandates.” The former, he said, is “more consonant with” what he called “the American character”—a position contradicted by regular polling data showing that most Americans support Canadian-style single-payer health insurance.

Never mind that Obama voted to re-authorize the repressive PATRIOT Act. Or that he voted for the appointment of the war criminal Condaleeza Rice to (of all things) Secretary of State. Or that he opposed Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) move to censure the Bush administration after the president was found to have illegally wiretapped U.S. citizens. Or that he shamefully distanced himself from fellow Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin’s forthright criticism of U.S. torture practices at Guantanamo. Or that he refuses to foreswear the use of first-strike nuclear weapons against Iran."

It's also interesting that they used the Masonic City Hall in Frank Ogawa Plaza for the venue as masonry is probably the real power behind the presidential candidates.
by reposted
Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 11:49 AM
llinois Sen. Barack Obama, appearing before an adoring crowd in Oakland, one of the state's largest African American communities, delivered a rousing call Saturday evening for an end to the Iraq war, saying "we can't continue this occupation" because America has got "business right here at home.''

Obama used his forum in this loyal Democratic stronghold -- home to Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee -- to hammer home his long-standing opposition to the war in Iraq, taking the opportunity to draw a contrast from his two leading Democratic rivals, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

"I am proud of the fact that I opposed this war from the start, that I stood up in 2002 and said this is a bad idea, that this is going to cost us billions of dollars and thousands of lives,'' Obama told the audience, which wildly cheered his statements. Noting that he has sponsored a bill calling for drawing down troops beginning on May 1 of this year, the senator said that "we've got to send a signal to (the Iraqi government) that America's not going to be there forever."

by Jill Gochanour
Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 1:28 PM
Those fortunate enough to have heard him speak know Obama's audacity to hope. It is now up to the American people to learn and to teach others his great abilities to lead. Read his book or listen to him speak the words he wrote in THE AUDACITY TO HOPE. We, as Americans, can strive with Barack Obama to support him and to uphold his integrity as a leader. We can be proud to vote for him to become the next President of the United States of America.
by peeper
Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 2:55 PM
KISS concert in the 70s? anti-war demo? nope, Barak Obama in Oakland nearly two years before the election
by perplexed
Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 3:26 PM
anti-war integrity hope honesty yada yada yada .
that for a pol who speaks with forked tongue .
sure anti war as he was talking about opposing war in 2002 . let us forget about him actively helping lieberman in 2006 election . and promising aipac to bomb iran to kingdom come .
and all that $ 20-30 M and counting in election coffer is from poor honest average joes . close the eyes to all the big money groups pouring money for him . and pretend NEW HOPE !!!
another example of him speaking in many tongues . check this article by an experienced middle east journalist .
http://tonykaron DOTcom/
March 14th, 2007
Yes, Barack, But How Much Do You Hate the Palestinians?
I have long been appalled by the craven genuflecting before the altar of vicious nationalism that appears to have become a required ritual for would-be Democratic Party presidential candidates courting what they see as the “Jewish vote.” Not only are they required to outdo one another in the extent of support they pledge for Israel; given that the element they’re addressing (right-wing Zionists who don’t reflect even the Jewish-American mainstream) is steeped in the toxic racism common to ultra-nationalism of all stripes, what they’re really required to do is outdo one another’s pledges of hostility towards the Palestinians. Kind of like that scene in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” where the basis for joining the People’s Front for the Liberation of Judea is your answer to the question “How much do you hate the Romans?”.......
by perplexed
Sunday Mar 18th, 2007 4:14 PM
a good review of his book ( and the man ) ( and just to clarify hillary is another opportunist ambitious pol . nothing good there either ) Barack Obama: Lost in the Foothills of Hope By KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY nice summary .." Yet, does Obama's book provide any real answers? It there anything in it that will help stimulate measurable change? Or, is it all just talk, posturing, and positioning for personal political goals? Is it an orchestrated, consciously plotted pretext to inoculate a politician from the perceived liabilities of race, lineage and inexperience? The answers are no, no, yes, yes... " another african-american jornalist on junior senator from IL.. Senator in the Fog Barack Obama and the Winds of War By GLEN FORD Barack Obama is a windblown politician. The junior Illinois senator avoids anchoring himself to any principle, lest his political sails fail to catch the slightest breeze blowing from the left or the right. His political direction is always tentative, although his ultimate destination is never in doubt: he will be a formidable national presence--maybe even president....
by Paul Street (Excerpt and Link)
Wednesday Mar 21st, 2007 8:04 AM
In his "Empire and Inequality Report," the author compares the politics of Barack Obama, who styles himself a post-civil rights era "Joshua," to those of Martin Luther King, the most prominent member of what Obama calls the "Moses Generation." There is no resemblance whatsoever between them. Obama rates "bad on class," ObamaSmugWstars"bad on race" and "really bad on empire" - unfit to be mentioned in the same paragraph with King, the "democratic socialist" who advocated a "radical reconstruction of society."
The Empire and Inequality Report

by Paul Street

"The black revolution is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws - racism, poverty, militarism and materialism. It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced." - Martin Luther King, Jr., "A Testament of Hope" (1968)

"My Very Existence"
One of the most alarming things about Barack Obama's March 4th 2007 speech at the legendary Brown Chapel AME in Selma, Alabama was the Senator's recurrent self-reference. Sometimes it almost sounded as if Obama thought the essential purpose of the famous 1965 Selma Voting Rights March (1) - formally commemorated each year at the Brown church - was to put the Great Barockstar on the national stage.

In the fifth paragraph of his speech, Obama said "I'm not sure I'd be here today" if "it were not for" legendary civil rights activist and now congressman John Lewis.

In the sixteenth paragraph, Obama credited the people who marched in the face of state repression for the fact that "I got the kind of education I got, a law degree, a seat in the Illinois Senate and ultimately in the U.S Senate. It is because they marched," Obama added, "that we [meaning black Americans] elected councilmen, congressmen."

In the seventeenth paragraph, Obama said that "my very existence might not have been possible had it not been for some of the [civil rights veterans] here today." Thanks to the civil rights movement, Obama claimed, his white mother and Kenyan father "got together and Barack Obama, Jr. was born...I'm here because somebody marched. I'm here because you all sacrificed for me."

"So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama," Obama added. "Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Alabama"(2).
"The blue-pen drawing Obama doodled on his newspaper during fundraising calls was a portrait of himself."

Reading Obama's speech the other day, I was reminded of one of the strangest passages I've ever read in the pages of political journalism. It came at the end of a laudatory essay on Obama in Atlantic Monthly in the summer of 2004. In the next to last paragraph of this article, titled "The Natural (Why is Barack Obama Generating More Excitement than John Kerry?)," Ryan Lizza offered a disturbing observation:

"If there is a knock against Obama, it is that he is perhaps a little too enchanted with all the attention and acclaim. During the Democratic primary campaign he raised eyebrows by sweeping an opponent's wife into an embrace - a moment captured by a Chicago Tribune reporter. The opponent's staff was sufficiently piqued to complain. And I couldn't help noticing, when we sat down to talk in the dilapidated storefront that houses his Springfield campaign headquarters, that the blue-pen drawing he'd doodled on his newspaper during fundraising calls was a portrait of himself" (3).

"Not Really All That Black"
All of which raises an interesting question: what's so great about the existence of Barack Obama from the perspectives of racial inclusion and social justice? How well is Obama honoring his "claim on Selma" and the "sacrifices" made for him by the Civil Rights Movement? Where does Obama - introduced to the Brown Chapel crowd as "living proof that a person of color can become anything they wish" - stand in relation to that towering hero of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and the black revolution that King helped lead?

As was painfully evident from Obama's forced drawls and other attempts to sound and look more culturally "black" (3), Obama has never been an especially African-American public figure. The man does not say "y'all" in his normal discourse. He deletes such terminology when addressing the AIPAC Policy Forum or the Council on Foreign Relations - to reassure them of his deep commitment to the predominantly white ruling class's imperial ambitions and to the apartheid state of Israel (4) - or the Caucasian masses in Des Moines.

One of the dirty little secrets about Obama is that he owes no small part of his popularity with many whites to the fact that many Caucasians don't think of the biracial Senator as being "all that black" (5).

Bad on Class: "The Virtues of Capitalism"

Obama made positive reference in his Brown Chapel speech to "the principles of equality that were set forth" by the Civil Rights Movement and "have to be fought for each and every day." He criticized some blacks for thinking that "the height of ambition is to make as much money as you can" and embracing "materialism," thereby turning away from Jesus' "golden rule" (paragraphs 28 to 30). He called for "absolute equality in this country in terms of people being treated on the basis of their color or their gender" and bemoaned the stubborn persistence of racial health, education (achievement and school funding), empathy and hope "gaps" in the U.S. "We've got 46 million people uninsured in this country," Obama observed, "despite spending more money on health care than any other nation on earth. It makes no sense" (paragraph 33).

But he prefaced his critique of "materialism" by saying that "it's a good thing" to "drive the biggest car and have the biggest house and wear a Rolex watch and get your own private jet" and "get some of that Oprah money" (paragraph 29). Obama, it is worth noting, is a freshly minted millionaire (6) who recently purchased an opulent Georgian Revival Mansion below price at $1.65 million thanks to some help from the felony-indicted political fundraiser Tony Rezko (7).

"Obama's book refers to the United States' rapacious, savagely unequal and fundamentally ‘materialist' capitalist economy as the nation's ‘greatest asset.'"

More importantly, Obama's power-worshipping campaign book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006) - the book to which Obama refers reporters asking him for policy specifics behind his often vague statements - refers to the United States' rapacious, savagely unequal and fundamentally "materialist" capitalist economy as the nation's "greatest asset." Audacity absurdly praises the "American system of social organization" and "business culture" on the grounds that U.S. capitalism "has encouraged constant innovation, individual initiative and efficient allocation of resources" (8). It commends "the need to raise money from economic elites to finance elections" for "prevent[ing] Democrats...from straying too far from the center" and for marginalizing "those within the Democratic Party who tend toward zealotry" and "radical ideas" (like peace and justice). It praises fellow centrist Senator and presidential rival Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for embracing "the virtues of capitalism" (9) and applauds her "recognizably progressive" husband Bill Clinton for showing that "markets and fiscal discipline" and "personal responsibility [are] needed to combat poverty" (10) - an interesting reflection on the militantly corporate-neoliberal Clinton administration's efforts to increase poverty by eliminating poor families' entitlement to public cash assistance and privileging deficit reduction over social spending (11).

Obama's badly mis-titled book audaciously lectures poor people on their "duty" to feel "empathy" for wealthy oppressors (12) - including Bush and Cheney, who are "pretty much like everyone else"(13) - and on their need to understood how well off and "free" they are compared to their more truly miserable counterparts in Africa and Latin America (14). It deletes less favorable contrasts with Western Europe and Japan, the most relevant comparisons, where dominant norms and institutional arrangements produce significantly slighter levels of poverty and inequality than what is found in the hierarchical U.S (15).

It also advances a model of health care reform that mocks his claim to support "universal" insurance. "Like the [corporatist] Democratic Leadership Council [members] he flocks with," BAR's Glen Ford notes, "Obama advocates retaining the for-profit nature of American health care, and mandating that poor people pay for it, somehow. His plan is only ‘universal' in the sense that mandatory auto insurance is universal" (16)

Bad on Race: "Even the Most Fair-Minded of Whites"

Obama's Audacity is as audaciously bad on race as it is on class. It ignores mountains of research and experience on the persistence of racial discrimination and the powerful living legacy of past racism (17) when it claims that "what ails working- and middle-class blacks and Latinos is not fundamentally different from what ails their white .counterparts" (18). It justifies Obama's rejection of race-specific measures to overcome persistent white supremacist policies and the living legacy of centuries of open racism by claiming that "white guilt has largely exhausted itself in America" as "even the most fair-minded of whites, those who would genuinely like to see racial inequality ended and poverty relieved, tend to push back against suggestions of racial victimization - or race-based claims based on the history of racial discrimination in this country" (19).

Wow. I'm white and along with numerous other left Caucasians (e.g. Joe Feagin, Tim Wise, Michael Albert and many more), not to mention a large number of black Americans, I support not simply the "race-based" claims of affirmative actions but the demand for reparations to address the living and powerful legacy of slavery and Jim Crow (20).

"Obama embraces neoconservatives' incorrect notion that family public cash assistance created intergenerational black inner-city poverty."

The Audacity of Hope is peppered with favorable references to Obama's many good friends in the black super-bourgeoisie, including one wealthy "black friend" (probably Aerial Capital Management chairman John Rogers) who lent him an airplane "one of the first times I needed a corporate jet" (21). It makes Bill Cosby-esque references (repeated in his Brown Chapel speech) to the black poor's alleged cultural responsibility for its own hyper-segregated poverty (22). It also embraces neoconservatives' incorrect (23) notion that family public cash assistance created intergenerational black inner-city poverty (24).


by Ana Gazawi
Tuesday Jan 20th, 2009 9:54 AM
A Palestinian farmer was killed by Israeli gunfire in Jabalia; marking second death in two days of Israeli ceasefire Two Palestinian children were killed by explosives left behind by Israeli forces in Gaza. Killed by weapons bought and paid for with US tax dollars.

None will be attending Inaugural events or celebrating a new era of hope and change this evening. The children will not have the opportunity to put away their 'childish things' and to live out their dreams as responsible productive citizens, only to lbe buried broken and twisted, wrapped in white sheets, under the rubble of their homeland.

Celebrate? I think not.

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


donate now

$ 97.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network