The sounds of “Palin – yes” and “Palin – no” echoed along Monte Vista Avenue on Friday as over 400 protestors crowded the entry way of California State University, Stanislaus making their opinions known about the university’s 50th Anniversary Fund-raising Gala keynote speaker former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“She brought in $200,000 for you students,” said Turlock resident Ingrid Balsha, who was in support of Palin’s arrival. “God dang it! Get a clue!”
Over 350 guests bought tickets to attend Friday night’s fundraising dinner event where Palin would speak to raise money for the university.
Before the dinner event, approximately 200 people on each side of the Palin issue swarmed the main entrance of the university. The differing opinions became obvious as each group claimed a side of the university’s entrance way as they battled words. Face-to-face screaming matches sparked between the two sides forcing police to push their fence barriers up to the street making it more difficult for the two parties to encounter each other.
Pro-Palin protestors sat in the street to make a statement prior to the fence barriers being pushed forward eliminating that opportunity.
We had to move the fences so people couldn’t stand in the streets, said University Police Sergeant Matt Dillon.
“They can protest and be out here but they can’t block the roadway,” Dillon said.
University police passed out a flyer stating that during the event people could use their First Amendment rights to express their opinions and the police dedicated parking lot two as a free speech area. They also stated that the reserved area will be closed until 11:30 p.m. on Friday and they asked for those protesting to obey the orders of police when given.
Some protestors were so passionate about the Palin issue that they drove from Modesto and Stockton to stand up for what they believe is right.
“Sarah Palin is racist and everything she stands for is immoral,” said Modesto resident Jennifer Macias. “I am against Sarah Palin and she shouldn’t be here to speak.”
Those against Palin speaking at the university sported signs that read “Have fun at your $500 crazy talk,” “How’s the bendy straw?” and “Palin: Bush in lipstick,” while carrying a Palin piñata and shouting “didn’t we make it clear, we don’t want you here.”
On the other side of the issue, pro-Palin protestors were promoting freedom of speech displaying American flags and colors of red, white and blue. Their signs read “freedom of speech,” “Sarah Palin is a patriot,” and “$200,000 yes she can.”
“It is a free country,” said John Diaz, a protestor supporting Palin’s arrival. “This is the highest pay-in the college has ever had. The students benefit and if someone wants to pay $500 to see her then that’s their right.”
Anti-Palin protestors gained their momentum at the Rotary International Park located a block from the university where they had a full evening of events scheduled including speakers and bands.
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