Anti-War Demonstrators say they disrupted speeches with GOP inside help
UPDATE - Code Pink demonstrators say Republican Party delegates provided their demonstrators with credentials that allowed them to disrupt John McCain's speech. A spokeswoman explained the circumstances in an email.
They got in using tickets given to them from Republican delegates who did not wish to see McCain speak and disagreed with strongly with the tone/messages of the convention. The delegates reached out to CODEPINK earlier that day with the tickets.
Adam Kokesh was one of three demonstrators who disrupted Republican GOP candidate John McCain's acceptance speech Thursday night. The other two apparently were members of the primarily-female, anti-war group Code Pink, which also interrupted vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's speech Wedneday night.
Kokesh, a passionate Ron Paul supporter, is 26 and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He served in Fallujah in 2004, grew up in Santa Fe, and currently lives in Washington, D.C. He has a website.
At the beginning of McCain's speech, Kokesh held up a sign reading, "McCain Votes Against Vets" and yelled, "Ask him why he votes against vets!" I followed as Kokesh was escorted out of the Excel Center by security, handcuffed by local police, and then briefly questioned while security debated whether or not the Secret Service would get involved. They did not. He was then escorted off the premises and allowed to go free. I interviewed him just outside the security gates, where he was greeted happily by antiwar protesters.
He says he had no real problem getting into the convention hall.
Why were you here in the Twin Cities? And how did you get into the Excel Center?
I was here in Minneapolis for the IVAW convention and thought I’d stick around for this.
Well I’ve been a Ron Paul supporter since the beginning of this campaign. Since before this campaign started, actually, I’ve been a fan of Paul. So I’ve got a lot of friends in the Ron Paul crowd. And he’s got a lot of delegates in there. More than the Republican Party is willing to admit. And the fact that I got into there is proof of that. One of Paul’s alternate delegates got me a guest pass.
Code Pink has yet to say how its protestors managed to get inside for McCain's speech. As for Palin's speech - Code Pink says they got their credentials from a delegate, who lost further credentials, including those for a Republican youth group to watch McCain Thursday night.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT
Jodie Evans, co-founder, 310-913-4821
ST. PAUL — Two activists of the women’s peace group CODEPINK disrupted Sarah Palin’s speech tonight at the Republican National Convention when they approached the stage where Palin was speaking, adjusted their clothes to reveal pink slips that read “Palin is not a woman’s choice,” stood there at the side of the stage for about a minute and yelled “Women say no to war!” and “Women need a vice-president for peace!” They also removed banners that read “Women need a peace vice-president.”
Co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, who were given their tickets to the speech by a Republican delegate who was frustrated with the Republican party and Sarah Palin, caught the attention of Palin with their banners and shouting about 15 minutes into her speech. Palin stopped talking for a moment to turn to look at them. (Read a Washington Post description of the incident here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-tra...).
However, the women involved initially told reporters they simply had stood outside asking delegates if they had unused credentials.