Obama campaign HQs "occupied" by Manning protesters

While most of us were otherwise occupied this week, the Obama campaign headquarters in both Oakland and Portland had some unexpected, uninvited and unwelcome guests. Protesters who support accused traitor Bradley Manning, coordinating with known “Occupy” groups, camped out in the campaign offices to clearly explain … something.

A protest at the Barack Obama campaign headquarters in downtown Oakland ended peacefully late Thursday, with a handful of arrests but no reports of violence.

At least 60 protesters rallied at the building at 17th Street and Telegraph Avenue around 5:30 p.m., when police were summoned to guard all entrances. But seven protesters found their way inside the building, linked arms and refused to leave, police said.

Officers unsuccessfully negotiated with the group for several hours to leave the building, but they remained there until 9:12 p.m., when one of them voluntarily decided to leave. The remaining six were arrested for trespassing, police said.

The portion of the story where six out of seven are arrested gets a bit more interesting when you find out which one managed to avoid getting the cuffs slapped on. It was their titular leader, Scott Olson, of Iraq Vets Against the War.

A hostage negotiator actually had to be called out in Oakland to talk with seven Occupiers, who refused to leave. Police lost patience and moved in to make the arrests in Oakland around 9 pm last night. Scott Olsen was the only one of the seven not arrested, as they were given a last opportunity to leave and he left.

Well, I’m sure he probably had an important engagement elsewhere.

So what were these “demands” which the groups – including Code Pink – wanted the President to hear? Let’s go to the video.

Our demands are as follows: first, President Obama apologize for the comment he made at the fundraiser in April 2011 regarding PFC Manning’s guilt. Commander in Chief Obama stated, ‘he broke the law’ a sentiment that was later echoed by General Dempsey… this constitutes unlawful command influence, illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice…

Second, that President Obama ensure that soldiers are free from illegal pretrial punishment…

We ask that President Obama pardon him on the remaining charges and seek to ensure that international human rights of other service men and women will be respected.

That’s the condensed version and it goes downhill from there rather rapidly. I don’t expect much to come of this, particularly since it’s the Army who is calling the shots on this, not the President, and they’re unlikely to be swayed by such tactics if they are even aware of it. (The idea that Obama would risk the firestorm sure to erupt if he pardoned an accused traitor is beyond even my imagining.)

The only question this might raise is how Obama’s team will respond to continued attacks from his own left flank even as he faces a tougher than expected challenge from America’s Comeback Team. Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right. It makes for an interesting balancing act.