Plenty of Protesters Ready for the President

Tuesday, May 25, 2010  |  Updated 5:07 PM PDT
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Obama's Littlest Constituents

Damon LaRose

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Tea partiers, anti-war activists and a polar bear named "Frostpaw" will be among a diverse group of protesters who plan to gather Tuesday afternoon outside the Fairmont Hotel, where President Obama will attend a fundraiser.

The polar bear, which is the Center for Biological Diversity's mascot, will ask Obama to suspend drilling in the Arctic this summer. Other protesters will demand changes to immigration law, environmental review processes and foreign policy.

The rallies will begin at 3 p.m. outside one of two fundraisers for Sen. Barbara Boxer that Obama will attend before he heads to the East Bay on Wednesday to visit a solar cell manufacturing plant in Fremont. It is unlikely any of the groups will have direct access to Obama today, but they plan to make themselves heard on the streets outside the Fairmont.

Routes and roads to avoid the president's motorcade

A second group asking for environmental justice is ANSWER, or Act  Now to Stop War and End Racism, which will protest on Mason Street. The group wants the government to seize BP's assets in the wake of the oil spill off the Gulf Coast, spokesman Richard Becker said. ANSWER will also demand unconditional amnesty for immigrants.

The East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy will ask Obama to keep his campaign promises of immigration reform and to change or rescind executive orders and programs that force local law enforcement agencies to  work with federal immigration officials.

The alliance will hold a prayer vigil and display a community altar with photos of families who have been separated by immigration policies. Youths whose parents were deported will speak at the event at 4:30 p.m. on the steps of Grace Cathedral at 1100 California St., spokesman Eric  Quezada said.

Anti-war group The World Can't Wait will sign a statement and attempt to deliver it to Obama at 3:30 p.m. to protest what they call the  continuation of Bush policies in the Middle East under the new  administration. The group will have a 10-foot-tall "Obaminator" and will wear O-BOMB-A shirts.

Bay Area Patriots, the local branch of the Tea Party movement, will also protest, although most of their demands will directly conflict those of the other demonstrators.

They plan to carry signs that read, "Reset 2010! Debug the Political System!" in front of the Fairmont Hotel. On its website, the group advised protesters to focus on Obama's  "failure to secure the border" and to "keep distracting shirts and signs about his citizenship status home."

"Any references to Hitler, Nazis, etc. are not welcome," the  website stated.

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