Obama fundraising appearance in Potomac jams streets, draws Keystone protesters

On the 19th of May, Obama appeared at a fundraiser in ultra-wealthy Potomac, MD. Activists opposing the Keystone XL and favoring clean energy were there to greet his motorcade. Meanwhile, traffic backed up for miles as Secret Service forced Montgomery County police to shut down both MacArthur Blvd and Falls Road for that motorcade.

Video on Archive

Large parts of the neighborhood, including the entire street bearing the house in question were shut down to all traffic. Residents MAY have been permitted in by some routes, they were allowed OUT. This did little good if stopped traffic prevented them from approaching the turn-ins, however. Meanwhile protesters were prohibited from getting within sight and sound of the home in which the fundraiser was held. Courts have held in the past that this is a First Amendment violation. Until the motorcade passed, protesters were resticted to Falls Road, two turns on the streets away from the house. After the motorcade passed, they were permitted on streets leading to Pleasant Hill Dr, but that street itself-all of it-remained yellow taped off as though a murder had taken place.

All this security was not sucessful in preventing Obama from seeing the protesters, as the motorcade had to enter the neighborhood. Several activists, including one in a polar bear suit were at the right entrance at the right time that the motorcade had to go right by them. The protest was thus seen by Obama unless he averted his eyes.

The fundraiser was said by one person in the protest to be for MD’s governor O’Malley. One person in the neighborhood said nobody wanted the findraiser there due to the extreme disruption and traffic shutdowns it would bring. She said Obama thinks he’s king and lives like it, and so did several previous presidents.

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