Free Event: Barack Obama Speech, Berlin

July 24, 2008

in Cheap Activities, Entertainment, Europe, Free Stuff, Germany, Information, Online Media, Travel, USA

Senator Barack Obama wraps up his multi-country tour public appearances with Senators Reed and Hagel today in Berlin, where he will be giving an evening speech open to the public following meetings with German government officials.

I’ve been leafletting for three days, getting out the word to Germans and Americans alike. If you’re in the city today, here are the details:

Thursday, July 24
Siegesäule (Victory Column), entrance via the Brandenburg Gate ONLY
Entry begins at 4 p.m., speech begins at 7 p.m.
No bags or banners allowed. Expect security checks (and delays) similar to airport security at the entrance.
Large screens with live feed have been set up along Strasse des 17. Juni should crowds prevent listeners from getting close to the stage.

I’ll be there registering Americans abroad to vote. If you’ve never registered or have not yet requested your absentee ballot, do stop by today and we’ll get you set up for November. (If you’re an American abroad somewhere other than Berlin, please go to the website Vote from Abroad to get your registration in order.)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 GD 07.24.08 at 7:31 pm

“Senator Barack Obama wraps up his multi-country tour with Senators Reed and Hagel today in Berlin”.

Actually, Obama heads to France tomorrow and then the UK the following day.

2 Amaba 07.25.08 at 2:27 am

For some reason, everyone neglects to mention that Obama spoke at a Free Concert.

Maybe all those thousands of young Germans turned up for the two bands that were playing instead of coming to hear a speach in english.

Nah, Obama’s charisma is so powerful it transcends language.

More Kool Aid anyone?

3 poetloverrebelspy 07.26.08 at 9:28 am

Interesting perspective, Amaba. It’s clear, however, that you weren’t in Berlin for the event.

The entertainment was provided as a thoughtful distraction while people — young, old, German, American, lots and lots of other nationalities as well — waited, either to go through security checkpoints or, when it was no longer possible to enter the area closest to the stage, simply for the speech to begin. The bands weren’t publicized in advance and I’m pretty sure not even 1% of the people there could even tell you the names of the groups playing. The people who began lining up at noon in order to be close to the stage — your most likely “music fans” — didn’t leave after the performers did either.

There were certainly a large number of Obama supporters in attendance, but many others turned out for curiosity’s sake, simply to hear the senator they’d heard so much about in the press speak in person. It says a great deal that the interest in world politics here can match the interest in, for example, the recent European soccer championships. Would that Americans were so engaged!

4 poetloverrebelspy 07.26.08 at 5:27 pm

This is an incredibly awesome link that shows what it was like in the area near the stage:

Obama Berlin Speech Panorama

5 snaps2721 07.26.08 at 10:02 pm

who were the bands?

6 poetloverrebelspy 07.27.08 at 11:17 pm

The conspiracy theorists tell me it was Patrice and Raemonn playing. You can see in the video link on this page exactly how (un)excited the crowd is at the musical performance.

7 Kevin K. 07.28.08 at 5:44 pm

poetloverrebelspy, the theorists are also claiming that people were lured to Obama’s speech with FREE beer and food, but I can’t find any credible evidence regarding that claim (aside from the fact that there were vendors there). Was there free food and beer offered? I’m guessing the answer is “no,” but wanted confirmation from someone who was there.

8 poetloverrebelspy 07.28.08 at 8:11 pm

Yes, I saw that as well.

The idea of anything ever being FREE in Germany is absurd. Food and drinks were on sale at regular German street/fair prices. Even the media had to pay for their food from vendors!

Next we’ll hear they lured people to the event with the FREE portapotties. Or maybe it was the FREE security checks performed . . . :)

9 poetloverrebelspy 07.29.08 at 2:39 pm

Kevin K. debunks the conspiracy theorists in his post Barack Obama lured people to his Berlin speech with FREE beer and food … NOT!

10 Jason Dragon 08.08.08 at 12:51 pm

Europe seems to love Obama. I guess all the press is very positive about him there. It is funny to watch how the people in europe are mislead to think that the democrat is so much better, and then all of europe is in dismay when they lose. I don’t know if it will happen or not this time, but people in europe must know that there are some very serious concers about obama, and from what I see here in the US, I don’t think he can win. He may be popular with the under 30 crowd, but only 20% of them vote, while the over 65 crowd votes over 85% of the time, and I doubt many of them will vote for obama.

11 Debo Hobo 08.22.08 at 6:30 pm

I think it is fantastic that you are doing registrations abroad. Good works are what count in the long run:)

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