Obama encounters protests during vacation
The Obama family is spending a two week vacation in Kailua and most of the time the President is well received by the locals. However, not all local residents like the President and some have of them have found a way to air their grievances. On Saturday, Barack Obama encountered a group of protestors who occupied the small designated zone near the house rented by the presidential family.
Reuters reports that 27 people participated in the protest rally. It is expected that such rallies will take place every day during the President's stay in Hawaii.
Protesters' main demands concern the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact that is being negotiated between the US and several Asian and South American countries. Opponents of the trade pact believe that it will benefit neither of the countries signing it because the provisions included in the pact have been written by corporate lobbyists and therefore only the big corporations will benefit from them.
Although mainstream media likes to portray the protesters as "radicals", "anarchists" or "lunatics", most of their criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is perfectly valid. However, it is unlikely that Barack Obama has ever seen or read the text of the trade pact in its entirety, because so far, all media reports indicate that only the corporate lobbyists have the full text and are not willing to share it with the Congress or Senate.
Other protesters demanded that the US "stop the drone war", "stop the extrajudicial killings" and "ban GMO foods". A solitary protestor held a sign with the slogan "Close Guantanamo now!"
Obama's reaction to the protest rally remains unknown. "Other than a friendly 'shaka sign' from the president as he drove by in his motorcade, we have not received a formal response from the White House," Hasselle of the MoveOn Honolulu Council, one of the organizers of the action, told Reuters.