OAKLAND, Calif. – In a rousing demonstration of affection and support for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), 3,500 people gathered at Oakland’s City Hall Oct. 21. The rally was in support of Lee’s lone vote against granting unlimited power to President Bush to plunge the nation into war.

In introducing Lee, Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Keith Carson declared, ‘Look around you. We are Black and white, old and young, Latino, Asian, Native American. These are her constituents, this is California, this is America.’

Following a huge ovation from the crowd, Lee said, ‘As we bring the perpetrators to justice, let’s be sure that no more innocent lives are lost. Thank you for being great patriots and great Americans who insist that democracy and civil liberties must prevail, even in times of crisis. Let us not become the evil that we deplore, and thanks for being the most progressive district in the U.S.’

Actor Danny Glover said, ‘In supporting Barbara Lee, we support ourselves. One voice for humankind – that’s the voice we must present.’ Glover quoted from an April 1967 speech by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘We must speak with all humility of our vision, but we must speak.’

He also gave a dramatic reading of the Langston Hughes poem ‘Let America Be America Again.’

Noted African-American author Alice Walker also praised Lee, pointing out what it cost her to take that stand and to urge that the government not rush to judgment. ‘You are the vision in our ancestor’s eyes.’

Kelly Campbell, an Oakland resident, who lost one of her family members in the attack on the Pentagon, expressed her concern that ‘the lives of those who died on September 11 not be used to perpetrate more crimes against humanity. Revenge only brings more revenge.’

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