Editor's Note — Davis Patch Editor Justin Cox snapped these photos during a Town Hall with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on the UC Davis Quad Thursday night, May 3.
Quite honestly, if any other Republican presidential candidate were to have stopped by the UC Davis quad to give a campaign speech yesterday, there's little doubt in my mind that it would have been overshadowed by some form of protest.
We're talking about the same quad where non-violent students were pepper sprayed by campus police as the Occupy movement took hold last November, turning the location into a symbol and a gathering point.
To put it bluntly, the Occupy movement and the Republican Party don't exactly line up in agreement on many issues.
Ron Paul's stage was just a couple hundred feet from where Lt. Pike did his pepper spraying, and although there were protesters among the crowd, there was no attempt to disrupt the event or logjam Paul’s speech at all. Just a collection of people holding signs and exercising their freedom of speech.
With that said, his economic views are the total opposite of anything resembling socialism, but he's also against wars, bailouts, and the Fed. He's different, which is why his following -- as demonstrated yesterday -- is so dedicated. He has no chance of winning, and yet the masses show up and get excited.
The crowd at the event was very diverse, both in terms of age and ethnicity. The same cannot be said for Romney and Santorum events, for the most part. That’s just the truth.
You could even smell marijuana in certain spots. In others, people were playing hacki-sack.
It’s no secret that Paul -- a staunch Libertarian -- does not march in lockstep with the mainstream Republican candidates, as this Huffington Post article explains.
I’ll stop short of inserting my opinion – mostly because I don't have a particularly strong one -- and I’ll leave that part up to you.
- What do you think of Ron Paul?
- How would yesterday have looked if it were Romney or Santorum speaking?
- Also, did you know that Ron Paul would end federal student loans?
Note: Rather than duplicate coverage of this event, I decided instead to simply share what I observed as a 28-year-old in the crowd snapping photos with an iPhone. This is not an opinion piece, nor is it journalism.