How Did Code Pink Sneak Into McCain's SF Fundraiser?
Code Pink's Medea Benjamin was supposedly retired from trying to sneak into places -- for disruption purposes, of course. Like when she protested the Iraqi prime minister's visit to Congress. Or the 2004 RNC. Or ex-Defense Sec. Donald Rumseld, and so on.
But the Activist's Activist, the Zelig of protest couldn't resist trying to slip into Sen. John McCain's fundraiser the other night at the Ritz-Carlton here in her hometown. While we got bounced, Medea didn't. "I didn't wear any pink," she told us. "Somebody saw me in the(Ritz-Carlton) bar upstairs beforehand and they said, 'Medea -- what are you doing here? And why are you so dressed up?' I was like, 'Shhhhhhhh. Don't you see all the cops in here?'"
That's because it's reasonable to guess that one out of every three working San Francisco police officers has arrested Benjamin at one time or another during a demonstration in the city. Same goes for the cops in Washington, D.C. , too. She's become so well known that she's stopped trying to bust into places. "I'm worried that I'll blow it for the people I'm with who are trying to sneak in."
Once McCain started to speak, she said he mentioned the protesters outside in a you-gotta-love-San-Francisco kinda way. That was Benjamin and crew's cue. They stood up, called out McCain for his support of the war, said San Francisco doesn't support it and tossed off a couple of "Bring the troops home now's" and "No War in Iran's" before unfurling a three-by-two-foot banner that read "McCain=War Monger." Those who live in SF know the drill.
Benjamin said McCain good-naturedly listened, then asked if they at least made a contribution to the campaign. Benjamin replied, "Yeah, the truth."
Then they were carted off by the San Francisco police in attendance. No citations were issued as neither the hotel nor the campaign wished to press charges. Benjamin said the cops were very nice in escorting her outside.
And unretirement felt good. Said Benjamin: "It was good to see that I can still slip into these things."
No word from the McCain campaign on their version of the disruption.
March 28 2008 at 05:21 PM|