Thousands Rally in Calif. Behind Lee
Oct. 22, 2001
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ More than 3,000 people rallied behind U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to oppose a resolution granting President Bush authority to use force against terrorists.
The crowd in downtown Oakland erupted in cheers Sunday when actor Danny Glover walked Lee to the podium about two hours into the rally. Glover called Lee a hero. Alice Walker, the writer, called her inspiring.
Lee thanked the crowd profusely for their support, following songs, poetry and speeches in her honor.
The Democrat's decision has won both admiration and derision from California's 9th district which includes the historically dovish cities of Oakland and Berkeley. It also prompted more than 50,000 letters and e-mails from around the nation of similarly divided reaction.
She has explained her recent dissent as an appeal for restraint.
``We must be careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target,'' Lee told her colleagues last month. She later voted to spend $40 billion on anti-terror and disaster relief.
Last week, former state Assemblywoman Audie Bock announced she would run against Lee in the March Democratic primary, and already had geared up a patriotic-themed campaign called it's ``OK to love America.''