An estimated 200 protesters for each side of supporting or opposing Sarah Palin speaking as the keynote speaker at the CSU Stanislaus 50th Anniversary Gala fundraiser came out on Friday and ended up on each side of the main entrance of the university.
Support and opposition to Sarah Palin is a term that must be used in a very general sense as each side had people expressing views on multiple subjects that may, or many not, be associated with the “famous” politician and her Republican political party.
The opposition to Palin speaking began at an organized protest stage in Rotary International Park, just south of Monte Vista Avenue across from the university.
Palin opposition had scheduled speakers, bands, signs prepared for protesters, and a planned march up to the CSUS campus.
At the time of the march, it was estimated that there were about 100 plus people.
Word got out at the opposition’s rally at the park that the “Tea Baggers” were in their parade route.
Support for Palin lined up along Monte Vista Avenue near a driveway closer to Crowell Road garnering cars honking in support or sometimes people yelling their disagreement. There were only just over 50 people as the opposition’s protesting march went by about a half a block away on the Crowell side of the campus.
Both protesting groups ended up on each side of the main entrance to the CSU Stanislaus campus at University Circle and Monte Vista Avenue. The entrance was blocked off by barricades set back off Monte Vista Avenue for attending traffic.
The Palin supporters continued to make ground as they advanced out to the median of grass at the entrance of the University Circle driveway. Palin opposition then came forward out to the middle ground as if it was a turf war.
Police officers and security had to push the crowd back by moving the inset barricades out toward Monte Vista Avenue. For the most part, the crowd control went smoothly. Only a couple people sat in the middle of the driveway entrance and some tried to give a little resistance to the pushing barricades.
After the middle ground was taken away it went to each side of protesting standing on a corner on each side of the University Circle entrance holding signs and shouting their views.
Some cars driving by were honking in support of one side of the protest or the other, some cars had people yelling out the windows, and some even had their own signs of support or opposition as they drove by.
The majority of the protest at the university campus ended around 6:45pm, but the opposition to Palin took their protest back to Rotary International Park for more planned activities.
As protesters opposing Palin’s visit to Turlock’s university campus, Sarah Palin referenced them in her speech.
Sarah Palin opened up joking about her reported demand for bendy straws as she held one up assuring her supposed demand was met.
Palin also poked fun at Attorney General Jerry Brown’s investigation into the CSUS Foundation and university by saying “Jerry Brown and friends, come on this is California! Do you not have anything else to do?”
Sarah Palin spoke inside regarding the controversy as she said “I’m just so happy that you stuck with this program and you stuck with this event, and didn’t cancel on me.”
“A special place in my heart is California, because this is Reagan country,” Palin said and afterward receiving a cheering applaud by the audience.
Civic education and what it is to be an American was Palin’s focus but not without still being an entertaining speaker.
Palin mentioned examples of people in different lands making stands for their freedoms while risking their lives, but then compared an Iranian woman who was shot and bleeding to death while making a stand to the local Turlock protestors as she said “What a contrast between her and the students, or the political operatives anyway (maybe not students necessarily) here, who’s spent their valuable precious time diving through dumpsters before this event in order to silence someone with whom they prejudicially thought that they’d disagree with; What a waste of resource.”
“Now a suggestion for those dumpster divers… Instead of trying to tell people to sit down and shut up, maybe you should tell some people like our President to finally stand up and speak out for those like Neda (referenced example), as she sought her freedom,” said Palin. “Students and political operatives who have been part of the controversy of this event tonight, goodness gracious, you have a chance to hold America’s leadership to the high ideals of which this country was founded. Please take that opportunity; it really is much more worthy and important than rummaging through garbage bins to reveal to the world perhaps someone’s demand for bendy straws.”
Sarah Palin referenced Glen Beck’s television show “Founders’ Friday” and showed everyone her reminder, or “the poor man’s teleprompter,” as she joked showing her notes written on the inside of her hand.
While Palin’s speech entertained her audience, she proclaimed common sense and “calling evil by its name.”
“We have to have the courage of our convictions in taking a stand against evil,” said Palin.
“There’s an old conservative joke, it says… An elite liberal is someone who is so broad minded that they can’t even take their own side in an argument,” joked Palin. “I think that could apply to some of the college professors that I have met.”
Joking aside, Palin said that it is no joke when American diplomats are apologizing to a communist dictatorship because of one of our sister states trying to enforce an American federal law, referring to Arizona.
Palin advocatd America’s greatness and that the country should not waver in what makes it great.
Palin explained that America can not allow some people to do some things that are evil by using the excuse of “it’s their culture” if it is just plain wrong.
“We must affirm our willingness to stand up for people across the globe who are yearning to be free, they look to us. We are that beacon of hope for what it means to be free, and truly that is nothing to apologize for.”
Sarah Palin encouraged educators at schools and universities to promote common sense, something that Palin said may not be “hip” on college campuses. She did say that she sees it at CSU Stanislaus though and that the university is on the right track.