Presidential protesters draw wrath of Obama supporters

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Emotions were running high for the President's visit to the hostess city. Several hundred people lined White Bluff Road for a chance to at least catch a glimpse of the president.

Others were hoping President Obama would see their signs but one sign caught a lot of attention: Here Comes Santa Claus.

The president's supporters shouted for Raimy Thompson to go back to the North Pole.

"I am actually a Savannah Tech student who has been shut out today," Thompson told WTOC.

However, the 45-year-old Savannah Tech student, now unemployed, felt the president should hear her story.

"I am upset as a Savannah Tech student that I don't have an opportunity to speak to my president," she said. "If there are no jobs, what is the point of going to school?"

There were more protesters, like Armstrong Atlantic State University student and mother of three, Kelly Kissinger-Griffin. She brought her 2-year-old son Aiden, to get her point across about education cuts.

"I'd rather them tax tobacco than cut education costs. It will cut 60 percent of state deficit. Education is worst way to go," Griffin said.

Some protesters had different ways of expressing themselves. Savannah's one-named Jeremiah wore a fencing head piece with a video screen and images attached, plus signs.

"What I am trying to do is stop murders," Jeremiah explained.

Jim Clements drove from Columbia, South Carolina with his pink pig costume and contingent of nuclear energy activists.

"We are really disappointed he gave a bailout to the nuclear industry," Clements said.

Everyone had a point to make. The Tea Party movement made its presence felt for President Obama's Chatham Steel visit.

"We are expressing our disappointment in the president for not listening to the country on healthcare. We are too far in debt and several other issues our politicians have neglected us and they need to start listening to the public," Don Hodges told WTOC.

As we know, protests are a part of American culture. "This is a perfect example of democracy. As long as it is peaceful and respectful of others, it is really good," Clements said.

Not everyone was completely respectful, as Thompson was muted by others, who held an "Evil" sign with an arrow pointing at her. At one point, Thompson tried ripping the small sign out of a woman's hands.

Thompson says she just wanted the president to listen.

"He has an intention of hearing people like this. I think he has to hear the real people," she said.

Some demonstrations may have gotten heated but Savannah-Chatham police say no major incidents were reported, outside of the incident of the woman who jumped the security line to run to the president. She was not believed to be a protester.

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