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Protesters hold signs near Obama vacation rental

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:49 p.m. HST, Dec 31, 2011



About 20 people gathered this morning outside the security entrance to President Barack Obama’s vacation compound in Kailua to condemn U.S. wars, occupations, and torture.

The gathering was organized by a local faction of World Can’t Wait, a national activist group against alleged crimes by the U.S. government.

Protestors held up signs for a variety of issues, from supporting Wikileaks to ending U.S. support for Israel. Some motorists honked in support, while a few showed their opposition with hand gestures or shouting out the window.

Police officers in aloha shirts with the Civil Affairs Division monitored the two-hour protest, which ended at noon. Protestors and police said there were no problems.

Liz Rees, a World Can’t Wait organizer, said the group wanted to focus on torture because Obama has not kept his campaign promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. She said the group never saw Obama during the protest, but they were able to share their message with members of the public.

“I think it’s important (to raise attention about the issues) wherever the president is, even though he’s on vacation,” she said. “These are serious issues.”

Robert Stiver, 68, of Pearl City, carried a handwritten sign that said, “Stop enabling zionist Israel’s genocidal oppression of the Palestinians.”

He said he has opposed U.S. support of Israel since taking Arabic language and culture courses as a young man in the Army.

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