Protesters seizing moment to air out their concerns


POSTED: Sunday, December 27, 2009

On one corner, groups opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan carried signs urging an end to the conflicts on foreign soil.

Across the street, abortion foes protested the inclusion of funding for abortions in any health care reform bill.

“;Chaotic,”; was Kailuana Place resident Suzanne Sutherland's description of the scene at the end of her block, where groups set up in hopes of getting President Barack Obama's attention as he came and went from his vacation rental home.

“;There's children, there's people coming and going to the beach, there's the people on the sidewalk—with the cars—their lives are in danger,”; Sutherland said. “;The cars, they're in danger of turning and looking at something and having an accident.”;

The demonstrations were peaceful, though witnesses said one car that slowed down so someone could make an obscene gesture was involved in a fender bender.




Obama asks for daughters' privacy

        The White House is asking journalists covering President Barack Obama's vacation in Hawaii to respect the privacy of his 8- and 11-year-old daughters.

White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton and Michelle Obama's press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, issued a joint statement yesterday urging journalists not to photograph or film Sasha or Malia Obama when they are on excursions without their parents.


The White House made a similar request when journalists traveled with the Obamas for a summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard. Then, the White House invited journalists to cover the first daughters only when they went for snacks, souvenirs and bike rides with their parents.


The daughters regularly join their parents at public events.


Associated Press




Signs bore statements including “;Stop the wars,”; “;Peace, put it in action”; and “;I don't want to pay for baby killing.”; At least one demonstrator carried the Hawaii state flag upside down.

“;We think it's really important, not only with the national coverage but international coverage, that people see that there are people here in Hawaii—even while he's on vacation—who are saying 'stop the war' and we greatly oppose the war,”; said Liz Rees, 39, of Honolulu, an organizer with the group World Can't Wait.

Gary Boisclair, a local organizer with the Insurrecta Nex anti-abortion group founded by national activist Randall Terry, carried a sign reading, “;President Obama, baby killing is not health care.”;


“;Today we are hoping to wake up our president and the public to the fact that this health bill cannot be passed with monies—direct or indirect—for the killing of innocent children,”; said Boisclair, 41, of Honolulu.

The groups each numbered a few dozen strong by 10 a.m. but were gone by noon.

Obama passed through their ranks at 10:11 a.m. when his motorcade made its way to Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay for a round of golf at the base's Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course.

Aides said Obama played a round of golf with Chicago pal Eric Whitaker and Hawaii friends Greg Orme, Mike Ramos and Bobby Titcomb.

;[Preview]  Local Protestors Interrupt Obama's Vacation

Protestors lined the streets of the Kailuana Place where President Obama is staying to voice opinions on the war and the President's health care reform bill.

Watch ]


Reporters were not allowed onto the golf course to view the president's round.

After about six hours on the course, the motorcade left the base but stopped at Pyramid Rock Beach. Obama, wearing a white golf shirt, tan baseball cap and sunglasses, got out to check out the waves as surprised swimmers and sunbathers caught a glimpse of him as he took in the sights for a few minutes.


THE PRESIDENT'S motorcade returned to the vacation residence at 4:52 p.m.

Obama's day started with a 6:20 a.m. conference call with John Brennan, his Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, and Denis McDonough, national security chief of staff.

“;He received an update on the heightened air travel safety measures being taken to keep the American people safe and on the investigation,”; deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton said in a statement. “;The president will continue to actively monitor the situation.”;

A Nigerian passenger on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam allegedly set off an explosive device as the plane prepared to land in Detroit on Friday, according to authorities.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, also got in their usual morning workout at the Marine Corps base health club.