By Nicolas Grizzle, Special to the NNPA from The Community Voice –
A protest outside a Rohnert Park supermarket drew police involvement last week thanks to a controversial sign featuring President Obama with a Hitler-style moustache.
"Obama has done so much for us," said Rita Stedman, a German woman who was upset by the sight of the poster. "This is a nice town, Rohnert Park, why here?"
Activists for the LaRouche Political Action Committee set up tables and signs outside Raley's and refused to budge, despite multiple requests to vacate by the market's staff and shoppers.
Police were on scene, but told Store Director Brian King they had a legal right to be there.
The shopping center is owned by Codding Enterprises, and King said police were looking into the legality of the gathering.
"This is killing our business right now," said another employee.
The protestors were not involved with, or cleared by Raley's management. "It's not Raley's at all," the employee said.
The reason for the attention-grabbing poster is Obama's health care bill, said Nicole James, who was one of the two women gathering signatures for the LaRouche Political Action Committee. "Hitler's health care bill... is an exact replica of Obama's health care bill," she said.
James, 28, is an African-American woman from Los Angeles. Her partner, Myhoa Steger, is 34 and has worked full time gathering signatures for the committee for the past eight years.
Steger said she was surprised at the opposition to the images, saying the response was not as negative in other cities she had been. "This is a really strange town, it's messed up."
James said about 15 people had signed up to receive more information in the four hours they were in front of the store.
Shopper Mary Jane Guerra was offended by the image on the poster. She said the two women started singing the National Anthem when she asked them to leave. "This is just not right," she said.
"Some people have an emotional response instead of thinking things through," said James.
Nicole James, left, and Myhoa Steger drew the ire of several Raley's customers in Rohnert Park with their image of President Obama with a Hitler mustache on Tuesday. They are activists for the ultra-right LaRouche Policital Action Committee.
|< Prev||Next >|