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Women denounce Sarah Palin in Carson and Costa Mesa

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

CARSON and COSTA MESA, October 4, 2008 Clouds grayed the sky, but did not hamper attendance at either of the two anti-Sarah Palin rallies. Hundreds of activists arrived at both events to denounce the vice-presidential hopeful for her misogyny, ignorance, pettiness, and anti-democratic tendencies. A diversity among attendees and willingness to communicate characterized the day, particularly in Costa Mesa.

Women denounce Sarah...
dontvote.jpg, image/jpeg, 170x254

CARSON and COSTA MESA, October 4, 2008

Clouds grayed the sky, but did not hamper attendance at either of the two anti-Sarah Palin rallies. Hundreds of activists arrived at both events to denounce the vice-presidential hopeful for her misogyny, ignorance, pettiness, and anti-democratic tendencies. A diversity among attendees and willingness to communicate characterized the day, particularly in Costa Mesa.

Activists have many reasons to fear and oppose Sarah Palin. Not least of which is that, unlike most recent presidents, should McCain be elected, he is certain to pass away during his first term. Which should put his selection under a bit more scrutiny than, say, that of the young and healthy Obama. Her anti-animal rights attitude anger animal-lovers, pro-drilling vexed the environmentalists, and her espousal of theocracy worried the believers in the separation of church and state. But her most irking quality is her opposition to any kind of basic rights of equality for women. Opposing public funding of the collection of biological data as evidence in rape cases while mayor of her hometown (known as "rape kits" and opposed by Palin because they also provide women with emergency contraception--the right to decide who the other parent of the rape survivor's child should be) and her opposition to abortion in any case are two of the most glaring examples. That's why activists of all stripes, but especially feminists, turned out in droves to speak their minds and interact with others other protesters as well as attendees of the rally and fundraiser. The results, like those gathered, were a little bit weird, often colorful, sometimes disguised, and always unpredictable.

In Carson, where Palin was the keynote for a Republican rally at the Home Depot Center, the first sign of action was a single-engine plane circling overhead trailing a long banner reading "Sarah Palin - Thanks But No Thanks! No On Prop 4." The next was the traffic. Car after car of Palin supporters--mostly luxury vehicles and SUVs, although there was the occasional driver of a car that under normal circumstances would be getting pulled over through class profiling who had been duped into supporting the Republican ticket-- streamed into the Center's parking lot.

Outside the gates, the Democrats were in full force. The Party had paid for various messages to be displayed on a digital billboard facing the center's gates. Party members were joined by members of the Steelworker's Union and SEIU, all loudly and strongly supporting Obama. There were a number of independent activists, many of them also supporting Obama, many of them young women of color. There was also a man angrily shouting at all the cars entering the parking lot about money ripped off during California's energy crisis. The cops selected him to harass and attempted to block his access to the street.

Just outside the Center, Republicans and Palin supporters lined up. (See Naui's footage of Palin supporters in Costa Mesa). A few from "our side" also got in line, but we heard no word as to whether they got inside and if so, what they did therein. Those lined up were overwhelmingly white, a sharp contrast to the cultural and ethnic diversity among the demonstrators. They shouted angrily at us, calling us baby killers (especially once they saw our "No on 4" stickers), communists, and terrorists. They made racist comments to a group of African-American women. "The welfare line is over there," and "Shouldn't you be home taking care of your children?" were some of the worst. But by far, the Iraq Veterans Against the War were mocked the worst. The Republicans degraded them viciously.

Some of us attempted to engage them directly, by encouraging them to do things such as read books, but mostly, we just tried to top each other with jokes about Palin's gaffs, beliefs, and policies. An "armed" Sarah Palin impersonator chased a woman in a polar bear costume, who collapsed climacticly (See Naui's interview with the Sarah Palin impersonator). A "wolf woman" carried a plush wolf as she chanted. A man dressed as Jesus held a sign reading "No War in My Name" and another reading "Jesus was a Community Organizer."

A woman carrying a cardboard cut-out of a giant vagina held a sign that read "We Don't Vote With Our Vaginas." She was standing at the front of the free speech cage and facing the invitees standing in line when a cop yanked her back, mumbling something about "obscenity," "community standards" and "illegal." "No it isn't!" The feminists refused to be intimidated. "It's free speech. It's art. It's a painting." The officer shrunk back. "It's not obscene, it's a vagina. We're not afraid of vaginas. He's afraid of vaginas."

The action had pretty much finished by three o'clock, so we piled in for the carpool to Costa Mesa, where Palin was to attend a fundraiser. The Los Angeles branch of ANSWER had set up a large antiwar banner at the corner in front of the Performing Arts Center. Code Pink also had a large banner and a strong pink presence. And, like in Carson, there was a large number of Obamistas. Here, however, there was only one scene of action--the aforementioned corner-- and there a higher degree of originality on signs. There was also more ideological variety. Christians pushed their versions of Jesus, a noisy Ron Paul contingent arrived, and the socialists had their newspapers and conferences (See Naui's interview with a PSL supporter). I even heard an anarchist gently debating a peer.

The Ron Paul people, who consisted of about four twentysomething men (three white and one of color) and a middle-aged man, arrived at about four and began shouting into their megaphones (they had two between the five of them). Obviously attempting to get a rise out of the crowd, they made sexist comments and shouted negative things about Obama. One woman stepped in: "You know, they're having a Ron Paul rally down the street," she intoned kindly. "We know," said their 'leader,' "We just came from there." "Well you don't need to come down here and fuck up our rally." Seeing that problems could potentially arise, individuals stepped up to engage these angry young men, at least to get them off the megaphones.

One man asked two of the young men there who they were supporting in the presidential race. "Ron Paul," said one. "Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin," said the other, "They're both good." "Well, I don't know about Baldwin," replied the other. "When I heard that Ron Paul endorsed him, I went to go see him speak. But everybody that was brown that was there got profiled by their security. They gave me a hard time because I didn't want to say if I was voting for Obama. Seriously, every brown person got a little taste of racism in America that day." The irony was that this young man didn't realize that Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin are both part of a broad movement that includes everything from White separatists to "Christian Patriots," from 9-11 truthers to minutemen and rich white people who simply don't want to pay their taxes. (See Naui's video footage of the Ron Paul people.)

Just as the crowd began to disperse, about fifteen Minutemen and women showed up, staking out a corner across the street. They had their American flags and signs, but one activist questioned their objective: "Are they here to protest us or Sarah Palin?" It was not really clear. At one point they passed the megaphone to their token "legal" immigrant member, who shouted across the street in heavily-accented English. One man, demonstrating his own capacity for ignorance, began shouting at her to "Speak English!" embarrassing many on "our" side. La raza refused to be intimidated, and while the numbers in front of the Performing Arts Center had diminished, latina activists lead the rest of us in chants of "¡Aquí estamos y no nos vamos!" and "¡Sí se puede!" When it came time to leave, the Minutemen, who are usually armed showed no sign of dispersing. We stuck together, braving their taunts and insults and ultimately passing through unharmed.

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Aerial messaging

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Aerial messaging...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_027.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

Who paid for his? Planned Parenthood? Good job!

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Union members and Democrats

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Union members and De...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_029.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

Across the street from the Home Depot Center gates.

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by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_031.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

In front of the gates

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Obama Sign?

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Obama Sign?...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_034.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

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Republicans arrive

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Republicans arrive...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_035.jpg, image/jpeg, 2736x3648

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More Republicans

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

More Republicans...
limo.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x399

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Womyn activist

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Womyn activist...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_036.jpg, image/jpeg, 2736x3648

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Marine Mom

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Marine Mom...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_038.jpg, image/jpeg, 2736x3648

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Police harassment

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Police harassment...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_041.jpg, image/jpeg, 2736x3648

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Digital billboard

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Digital billboard...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_045.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

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Rape Kits should be free

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Rape Kits should be ...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_050.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

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Palin hunts polar bear

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Palin hunts polar be...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_053.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

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In front of the Home Depot Center

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

In front of the Home...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_063.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

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Angrey Republicans

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Angrey Republicans...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_065.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

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Palin interview

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Palin interview...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_070.jpg, image/jpeg, 3648x2736

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Woman who Runs With Wolves

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Woman who Runs With ...
sarah_palin_in_carson_and_costa_mesa_4oct2008_073.jpg, image/jpeg, 2736x3648

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Palin supporter!

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Palin supporter!...
palinsupporter.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x399

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Palin is an animal killer

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Palin is an animal k...
animalkiller.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x900

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Jesus: "No war in my name!"

by Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Jesus: "No war ...
jesus.jpg, image/jpeg, 500x400

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 13 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
IVAW Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 2:04 AM
Obamistas Rockero Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 2:19 AM
reply Jammer CC Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 10:24 AM
We are not "chicks" We are WOMEN Lady Madonna Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 1:43 PM
Check out these articles La Malinche Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008 at 4:47 PM
Mavericks Make Bad Leaders FYI Thursday, Oct. 09, 2008 at 1:41 AM
She rocks Damail Friday, Oct. 31, 2008 at 1:53 AM

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