October 21st, 2008
03:09 AM ET
13 years ago

Protesters try to disrupt Palin motorcade

(CNN) - Several protesters tried to block the motorcade of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Grand Junction, Colorado on Monday afternoon, but police dragged them out of the way in a dramatic encounter.

The incident - just feet from the car carrying Palin - was captured on video by CNN affiliate KKCO-TV.

Eight to 10 protesters broke away from a larger group of demonstrators and darted into the street in front of Palin's car just after the first police motorcycles in her motorcade had passed, said Acting Chief Troy Smith of the Grand Junction Police Department.

Wearing bandanas and with faces covered, they blocked the path and held up a large banner. Officers in the motorcade stopped their motorcycles, and grabbed protesters, dragging several out of the path of the oncoming motorcade.

At least two demonstrators were tackled and forced to the ground before being pulled away. One officer fell backwards into the path of an approaching vehicle but he was able to get out of the way in time.

Palin's vehicle passed without a problem as other protesters chanted on the sidewalk, about a block from a site where Palin had addressed a rally.

Smith said officers saved the protesters from injury because "the motorcade likely would not have stopped" for them. He said "we don't know what their intentions were" in trying to block Palin's motorcade.

Investigators in Grand Junction are reviewing videotapes to try to identify suspects in an "active criminal investigation," Smith said. The Secret Service is not involved in the investigation, he said.

The protesters were members of a group called "Red Pill," Smith said. A Web site that carried an announcement of the group's planned protest urged supporters to show Palin "that we as a community say no to war, no to corporate cronyism, and no to four more years of Bush-style leadership." It
encouraged people to bring "drums, noise makers, and your strength."

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. ran

    Vote for Obama/Biden that is a true protest to the McCain/? and Republicans hate/fear/racism policies.

    October 21, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  2. Pat from Philly

    I truly wish Americans would think of the consequences of their form of protesting before performing the action. This election is not worth losing one's life for the sake of protesting. It is scary to think of the risks supporters will take. The ugly side of campaigning has begun. I shudder to think what the follow-up to this campaign will bring. What Americans are hearing from the candidates are CAMPAIGN PROMISES which rarely translate into POST ELECTION REALITY. I fear we will have a disappointed, angry, short-changed America public in 2009. Give this some careful thought.

    October 21, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  3. Rasmansolo

    Actually a demonstration of this nature from an independent group, is just to show the rest of Americans that Sarah Parlin is not and will not be ready even in the next 5years to become a Vice President. I'm glad that the American people don't buy the nasty campaign that Mcain and Parlin has engage in trying to tanish Barack quite and humble character. America NEED A CHANGE AND SURE CHANGE IS ON THE PIPELINE.

    October 21, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  4. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    Cool heads need to prevail these last two weeks. In N.Carolina Monday night they found a dead bear cub (it was shot in the head) covered with Obama signs at a school.

    The negativity of this campaign, not just by the talking heads but by the candidates themselves is over the top. We all know that there are those people out there who don't or can't figure out the smoke and mirrors and take everything that is being said as the god"s truth even if it is totally false and someone might get hurt because of it.

    Cool heads need to prevail.

    October 21, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  5. Amy in Indiana

    The McCain/Palin ticket is exposing the ugly underside of the Republican party.

    Their divisive attitudes (us vs. them) and their extremist religious views are more suited for a third-world middle-eastern Holy War nation.

    We face very real problems in our country and we are supposed to be the leaders of the free world. We need to work together to solve the problems we face – now is the time to Unite as Americans.

    "We are one people – We are One Nation – And together we will begin the next great chapter in the American Story with three words that will ring from coast to coast – from sea to shining sea: Yes We Can!"

    Vote Obama!

    October 21, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  6. JImmy in California

    People please do not try to block so as to stop the motorcade of the nominees under the protection of the Secret Service as this constitutes a threat of iminate danger to the Protectee. In such a case as this, rather than allow the motorcade to stop and rendering the Protectee vulnerable, the Secret Service will act to protect the Protectee even if it means hitting the people (protesters) attempting to block or stop them.

    No one should do this in the case of McCain, Palin, Obama or Biden. This is not the way to protest. If you must protest do it so all can see. Do not place yourself in a position to be injured or even killed. Please. This process is getting out of hand and out of control. The election of a new leader in our country should be done with the ballot and not threats and confrontations.

    October 21, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  7. rich

    The republicans are pathetic. They went from control of power to a pathetic helpless injured wolf backed into a corner by the jakals. It is so amusing to watch them scramble to scare America more than they ever have. While people sit back and laugh at the pitiful and helpless. Republican lore is a fading light in the dark and now is the time for the democrats to decimate them. For good.

    October 21, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  8. Toby

    Definitely the wrong thing to do on just about any level and obviously the work of a few crackpots.
    That said, I wonder when the Republicans are going to say it was orchestrated by the DNC and done at the direct instigation of Obama.

    October 21, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  9. Ray Fisher

    This has been an ugly campaign during an ugly time for America. The economics alone cause civil discord but the empty abusive rhetoric of name-calling turns civil disobedience into mob rule. America is much better than to act as this yet without leadership we lose our sense of direction and morality. If these past 8 years have taught us anything it is that leadership is crucial to American society. Vote wisely on Nov. 4!!!

    October 21, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  10. Ronda

    I see Palin's politics as divisive. One who promotes difference & hatred. If she is the "future" of the republican party, I doubt they will ever win another election.

    However, just because she wants to drag us all into the mud, doesn't mean we have to go there. She can be ugly, we can be respectful.

    As one of those "fake" americans she likes to talk about, I do not agree with protests like this. We can disagree with respect. That is why we are winning this election.

    October 21, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  11. Ed, Miami

    It actually wasn't a dumb move at all. They brought attention to themselves and more importantly, their issues. More so than just screaming and waving banners from the sideline. Perhaps it wasn't the first amendment in it's finest hour, but effective nonetheless. They made it onto CNN's Political Ticker!

    October 21, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  12. TheOtherSide

    Palin was allowing and/ or people to incite, just got a dose of her medicine.

    October 21, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  13. rich

    Palin is a successionist traiter. She don't love this country. She dosnt even live here. She's worse than bush.

    October 21, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. Darrell

    Palin is a very experienced divider.She has done it through her term as mayor, and as Governor.She bowled people over that did not go her and her husbands way.McCain signed a socialist bill to bail out Wall Street,and with a discusting pick for VP and the worst ever campaign people are angry.This type of thing is bound to happen, but voting is the best protest there is available to every American

    October 21, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  15. tom

    even stupid protesting is good this year we must stop mccain and palin from getting whitehouse so they can continue the destruction that is the republican platform

    October 21, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  16. PamB

    Sarah Palin is her own worst enemy! Let her talk. Let her get out in front of those cameras. Even Republicans have turned as they watch this shrill, anti-woman pit bull ! She did not even realize that people were laughing AT her on SNL, not with her. She does more harm to herself.

    What will 2 more weeks of her mouth bring? Who knows, but let her go!

    October 21, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  17. joy

    Why isn't the newsmedia talking about the attacks Obama supporters are getting in North Carolina.

    October 21, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  18. tennisguypitt

    this is a dumb way to protest. VOTE ON NOVEMBER 4th!!! That is the best way to protest!!!

    October 21, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  19. Becky

    Awesome!! Their supporters want to kill bear cubs to represent Barack Obama and all we want is peace....We protested McKlan here in Melbourne last Friday with American flags and Obama signs...The old man is so out of touch that he must have thought we were there for him because he gave us a big thumbs up and a spoooky grin!!!

    What happened to the war hero? What America was he fighting for? The stripper dating, racist or bear cub murdering America? History is going to reflect very badly on this former American hero.

    October 21, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  20. Shane

    This was just a stupid thing to do, period. The Secret Service would have absolutely no way of knowing what these people's intentions were, and quite rightly would have run them down first and asked questions later. Peaceful protest is one thing, but threatening a political candidate (from any party) is over the line. All this "Red Pill" group succeeded in doing with this harebrained stunt was to make themselves look like a bunch of nutjobs.

    October 21, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  21. frustrated democrat

    These people should be spending their time convincing others who share their point of view to go vote.. these sorts of (stupid) stunts accomplish nothing

    October 21, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. Sue

    Don't stoop to the level of McCain and Palin. This is not the way to make a point-just a way to divide us further. As a democrat and a proud American, I condemn any attempt to injure a candidate of either party. Protest with your signs, your words, but do not hide and do things that can get someone hurt.

    October 21, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  23. bill

    protesters..dont block palens motorcade.. open it up straight back to alaska..if you want to get rid of mcbush palen..then do it american way . VOTE VOTE EARLY JUST VOTE the only way we will take our country back

    October 21, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  24. tech

    Johnboy, why should u put people in jail for expressing thier opinions and views. I see the hate in u. u should be in jail

    October 21, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  25. tech

    why are the dems not making a deal about Palin the terrorist! Isn't an activist trying to "liberate" a state from US an act of terrorism? Sarah and Todd should be investigated. I wonder if her white trash supporters know that she is a terrorist? By the way, I am white, conservative, Christian woman in my early 40s. Just not trashy

    October 21, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
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