President Obama is speaking out on the campus of George Mason University in a few minutes and where there’s POTUS there’s protest.
The signs were pretty one-sided against health care, though one determined fellow was walking around with a huge “Public Option Now” banner that looked more suited to a renaissance faire in style than a protest.
Among the reasons for the imbalance was the limits on attendees. The invitations said “cameras are allowed, however no signs or banners are permitted,” so any opposition inside is going to have to pretty much seethe in silence. The folks outside were making up for that with their energy, doing a lot of shouting across a 6 foot tape-enforced DMZ at the folks waiting to go in. Once most had entered the approximately 150 or so folks on the other side of the tape pretty much settled down to chatting amongst themselves.
The ban on signs didn’t go over well with some – the woman below was yelling “there is no free speech in that building.”
More shots after the jump.
The folks waiting to get in, demonstrating that when all signs are outlawed only opposition will have signs.
I couldn’t entirely follow what this fellow was worked up over; when I walked up there was an extended argument going on between him and a pro-Obama fellow on the other side of the tape about exactly who the building security standing in the DMZ worked for; it was going on when I walked up and was still happening when I walked away a few minutes later. Whether he was a state employee or not seemed to matter a great deal to the guy on the protest side though I never figured out why; perhaps he was bothered that the man on duty seemed to like the other side better or it was the crux of some larger philosophical point.
Some folks were there less in opposition to something than support of a candidate. I’m guessing Fimian is against health care reform.
That was about the entirety of the opposition crowd, though about half a dozen stragglers were conversing off to the right now that all the attendees had entered.
There’s the protesters from the other side earlier, when they were more motivated and yelling to those waiting to go into the building.
I’m not sure if that’s in quotes because he doesn’t think Wright is a legitimate religious leader or because it’s mis-spelled.
I don’t know what this means but I presume it’s an issue with some compensation or retirement formula.