Parents with their cancer-stricken children were “heartbroken” because an event they planned – with permits – in Lafayette Square was shut down because the president was leaving the White House by a different door to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus to talk about jobs for black women and police brutality.
The parents are trying to bring attention to their cause to get more funding for children’s cancer.
That’s a speech he could have skipped and keeping the park closed was ridiculous overkill. The same thing goes on when he comes to New York City. We dread it. He shuts down everything for miles, even routes he might later take or has no intention of taking.
The candlelight vigil they were to hold included speakers and music. It came about in part because they couldn’t persuade the White House to light up the mansion – the peoples’ house – in gold as a symbol of support for the cause as it has done for others. This was to be their second candlelight vigil.
Public information officers for the Secret Service and the Park Police were not able to comment immediately.
Will these children be invited to the White House like Ahmed the clock kid? Highly unlikely.
The group Truth 365 is a grass-roots child-cancer advocacy program whose mission is, according to their website, to shine a light on the state of childhood cancer research funding by uniting the childhood cancer community, members of Congress, top pediatric oncologists and several of the country’s most influential celebrities.
They had a permit to hold “A Night of Golden Lights” Saturday, in which participants would light electric candles. They also call it a curefest.
They waited for hours with their sick children until some had to return to they hotels with their children. Some began crying, parents became enraged. There were more than 700 people and they weren’t even allowed access to personal items they left in the park such as chairs and blankets.
President Obama had left the White House from an entrance near the square to address the Congressional Black Caucus annual gala. He could have skipped that. It was mostly a propaganda speech to reform the police.
Parents saw the closure as excessive, maybe because of past laxity. Others saw it as a snub of their cause. They petitioned hard. It could very well be. He’s been accused of snubbing before.
They had already set up a stage for speakers and an acoustic musical performance, and welcoming music had started to play, when authorities ejected them.
“Police were telling a lot of people in our group to leave because it was so close to the road there was a traffic issue. It got really frustrating. No one was giving us answers about when we would get in. So finally, about 10:30, we gave up,” Anthony Stoddard said. “It was heartbreaking.” Mr. Stoddard launched the initiative after losing his five-year old son to cancer