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Diversity of anti-Clinton protesters makes for strange bedfellows

An unlikely coalition of anti-Hillary Clinton protesters took a stand on the sidewalk across from the Pierce Arrow Museum where she was speaking Friday.

Some Bernie Sanders supporters, as well as a couple of folks supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, clustered together on the same block as Donald Trump supporters.

“It’s a strange day in America when you have Tea Partiers and socialists protesting the same person,” said Sanders supporter Jon Bovi.

Some of Friday’s activists were the same people who protested former President Bill Clinton’s appearance Tuesday in Depew . But Friday’s protest drew slightly more people, including students. About 30 showed up, braving cold temperatures and bitter winds.

“Here are the emails!” exclaimed Josh Smith, a 22-year-old Amherst college student wearing black-and-white prison stripes and a blond wig.

He held up fake “emails” in each hand, in reference to the FBI investigation involving Clinton’s redirection of official emails to her private home computer server.

“This is Hillary,” he said. “She’s going to prison.”

Lying and prison were common themes among protesters, both in what they said and the signs they carried.

Amherst resident and Sanders supporter Dane Stocker held up a sign that read, “All lies matter.” Another protester held up a sign that read, “Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire.”

As with Tuesday’s protest, many of those gathered drew attention to controversies and criticisms involving Clinton’s emails and her inability as secretary of state to safeguard Americans in the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Most of the protesters were Trump supporters, organized by Cheektowaga resident Patrick Delaney, who also organized the protests against Bill Clinton on Tuesday. It was easier this time around, he said, because he had more time to get the word out on Facebook and reach out to other active political and veterans groups.

Delaney accused Hillary Clinton of hypocrisy for taking so much money from banking giants like Goldman Sachs and then proclaiming that she would take down Wall Street. He also lambasted her weak position regarding free-trade agreements.

Alicia McDevitt, a Sloan resident who worked in her youth on the political campaign of Democratic Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, resurrected her activist interest in politics by joining protesters against Clinton as a Trump supporter on Friday. She held up a sign listing many of Clinton’s past controversies.

“I think she’s so evil,” McDevitt said. “I want to show my grandchildren they don’t have to sit back and let these things happen.”

Wheatfield resident Matt Donner, a student at Erie Community College, held up a sign accusing Clinton of putting billions of dollars worth of guns in the hands of dictators. He said he was voting for Kasich, a Republican less dogged by scandal and controversy.

“I don’t appreciate Hillary coming to my hometown,” he said. “I think we need a track record of people doing and building things.”


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