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Eugene Weekly : News : 4.29.10

Hopey-Changey Granola Stuff

Palin merits a little protest

by Camilla Mortensen

Trask Bedortha
Camilla Mortensen
Trask Bedortha
Camilla Mortensen
Camilla Mortensen

Sarah Palin and her local fans were faced with Slug Queens wrapped in toilet paper, Code Pink and the Coffee Partiers among other protesters waving signs to criticize the former Alaska governor and failed vice-presidential candidate on April 23 when she came to fundraise for the Republican Party at the Eugene Hilton. 

As many as 80 and as few as 30 sign-wavers on 6th Avenue came and went throughout the afternoon and evening. Five or six Palin supporters showed up, as well as one woman who held a sign that was debatably pro-Palin and definitely pro-Jesus. The majority of passing cars honked in support, but some of the drivers gave the protesters a one-fingered salute.

Palin’s $250 per person speech focused on the “lame-stream media” and made a few granola and Nike jokes. The most cited quote of the evening was, “I love my Nikes,” she said, “I eat granola. I eat a lot of organic food. I have to shoot and catch a lot of my organic food before I eat it.” Palin told the crowd she read an article about Lane County on the Internet that described its residents as Nike-wearing, granola-eating hippies. 

EW’s Internet searches have not turned up the article on Lane County in question. However, a Wikipedia entry on Eugene does mention Nike and hippies. It doesn’t mention granola. It also says that the Eugene is home to several biker gangs and has been site of a “mud people’s protest.” 

 Several of the Palin protesters held signs denouncing her encouragement of the aerial gunning of wolves and her lawsuit against the listing of polar bears as a threatened species. Churchill High School junior Kory Bowlin, who held a sign reading, “Sarah can’t even spell ‘endangered,’” said she and her friends attended the rally because, “We have to have something left to save by the time it’s our turn.” They also held a sign that said, “Piss on Palin.”

Other signs focused on Palin’s abstinence-only stance, despite her own daughter’s teenage pregnancy; accused Palin of being a quitter and proclaimed Eugene a “hate free zone.”

The media was not allowed to record or photograph the speech or the Q&A with screened questions fielded by outgoing Eugene City Councilor Jennifer Solomon. Palin did not take any questions from reporters before or after the event.

Word on the street is she hung out at 6th Street Grill later that night. Apparently she couldn’t find any organic granola to hunt and kill at the hotel.

Old Slug Queen Slimelda (aka Karen Myers in photo above) handed out strips of Palin printed toilet paper at the protest to help “Palin wipe away the truth that she’s a quitter.” 

Eugene’s reputation as a lefty, liberal city led to the event and the protest making nationwide news.