GOP faithful put on spirited protest |

GOP faithful put on spirited protest

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Matt Joslin, 19, left, and Skyler Campbell, 18, protest the Democratic presidential forum at the Carson City Community Center on Wednesday. The Brigham Young University students, both originally from Reno and Carson City, respectively, came home to picket the event.

Supporters of former Sen. John Edwards were the first to post a sign Wednesday morning outside the Carson City Community Center, where eight Democratic presidential hopefuls participated in a forum.

The tall, double-sided banner was highly visible from William Street to passersby and conveyed a simple message: “Edwards ’08.”

Once members of the College Republicans of Nevada began to show up, however, one of them decided they wanted to post a sign too – on top of the Edwards sign.

An added touch was a sticker with the GOP elephant symbol used to hold down the smaller anti-Hillary sign because of the strong winds.

one of the protesters, about the presidential race.

“They’re Republicans protesting the Democrats,” Angila Golik, a teacher at Carson High School, explained to a group of history students.

She led them past the protesters, who were holding up signs and occasionally chanting, “Keep Nevada red” at vehicles traveling William Street.

“You don’t get to see this kind of thing every day,” she told them.

“No, you don’t,” one of the students said to another as he pointed at the signs, some of which were sexually explicit and aimed at New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, such as “Hillary Sucks – but Monica does it better.”

Not everyone welcomed the GOP spectacle.

An especially long chant brought about a scream from one of the forum ticketholders as he was entering the building, “Go to Iraq!”

And when one of the drivers traveling along William Street made an obscene hand gesture at the Republicans, one of the protesters joked, “He said we were No. 1, but he was doing it with the wrong finger.”

“I would love to see the Republicans come here for a debate, too,” said Mary Moline, who turned an old “Dean Heller for Congress” sign into a makeshift windbreaker and was one of several locals out to support the college students.

“Seeing these kids take the initiative is exciting,” Moline said.

“I’m hoping to see government that’s not Republican soon,” said Steve Heslop, a volunteer for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, handing out campaign buttons and literature outside the main entrance of the community center.

A large crowd gathered to see Clinton depart from the Community Center once she had completed her remarks. Many in the crowd were Carson High students.

“She seemed nice. She waved at me!” said Hannah Shaw, 15. “It’s the highlight of my day.”

“I’m very proud to know I might have actually seen a future president,” said Tyler Yeoman, a 16-year-old Carson High student. “I never thought I’d see it.”

While people in some countries “get shot” for not agreeing with their government, he said, “In America, the freedom we have is amazing.”

“I wanted these kids to live it, feel it,” Golik said after Clinton left.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.