Obama Gets An Unwelcome Serenade at Fundraiser

By Kristina

Apr 21, 2011 3:19pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller and Jon Garcia report:  

Protestors interrupted President Obama’s breakfast fundraiser this morning in a San Francisco hotel, serenading him with a song that included lyrics that decry the imprisonment of Pfc Bradley Manning, held by the US government on suspicion of releasing classified government information.

“Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley;23 hours a day is night; The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain't right,” a woman in the event sang, according to several pool reporters who were there to cover the event on behalf of the national media. “I paid my dues, where’s our change? … we'll vote for you in 2012, yes that's true; Look at the Republicans – what else can we do?”

The woman, who shed her jacket to reveal a t-shirt with Manning’s picture on it, sang the lyrics as others at the table hummed along. 

There were no cameras allowed in the event and no press audio recordings were permitted to be released either.

Obama brushed off the interruption with a compliment.  “That was a nice song, much better voiced than I,” Obama said as the song ended. The woman who sang was escorted out by two WH aides, and the president continued on. “Where was I?… that didn’t break my flow,” he said.

The other guests at the table who hummed along remained for the rest of the speech. They told the reporters that they had some affiliation with the freshjuiceparty.com website, which advocates that people should sing that song in a public forum, videotape the event and then provide it to the website for compensation. How much singers get paid depends on where they sing and what they wear.

The event at the St. Regis hotel in downtown San Francisco was the third fundraiser President Obama held in the city.  A Democratic Party official said there were approximately 200 people at this fundraiser and that tickets could cost as much as $35,800, but the official declined to divulge how much the cheapest tickets were or the total amount of money they expected to raise. The money goes to the Obama Victory Fund – the joint fund created by Organizing for America and the Democratic National committee.

“Dear Mr. President we honor you today sir
Each of us brought you $5,000
It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign
I paid my dues, where's our change?
We'll vote for you in 2012, yes that's true
Look at the Republicans – what else can we do
Even though we don't know if we'll retain our liberties
In what you seem content to call a free society
Yes it's true that Terry Jones is legally free
To burn a people's holy book in shameful effigy
But at another location in this country
Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley
23 hours a day is night
The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain't right
We paid our dues, where's our change?”

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