The California Democratic Party shut down its convention on Saturday after thousands of demonstrators mobbed the venue, staging a sit-in in the lobby, heckling speakers, blocking roads and condemning “Genocide Joe” Biden, all in an effort to urge party leaders to support a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.
— Ariel Koren (@ariel_koko) November 19, 2023
The incident is the second prominent display of rage against the Democratic Party in just in the last week by people sympathetic to the Palestinian side. On Wednesday, protesters surrounded Democratic National Committee headquarters while members of Congress were inside for a campaign reception. Legislators were rushed into the basement as police pulled and shoved protesters away from the building.
Saturday’s action in Sacramento kicked off with a sit-in by 200 demonstrators at the Safe Credit Union Convention Center. As word spread and others flocked to the area, the crowd soared to some 2,500 who entered or surrounded the venue, according to CBS 13. When the protesters blocked streets, it caused a massive traffic jam. Sacramento police said there was no acts of vandalism and no arrests were made.
The California Democratic Convention has been completely taken over with demands for a ceasefire!
In the room, Dem delegates & voters chant over speeches from Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, who are anti-ceasefire.
Meanwhile, a huge sit-in in the lobby!
— BAY AREA STATE OF MIND (@YayAreaNews) November 19, 2023
Among those who were the focus of protesters’ wrath were Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, who are both running for Senate and who have both opposed calls for Israel to pursue a ceasefire.
In addition to the sit-in, videos circulating on social media also showed demonstrators disrupting speeches.
Here, Schiff was the target:
California Democrats just shut down Adam Schiff’s speech to demand a #CEASEFIRENOW.
If you haven’t already, call your representatives and demand their support for a CEASEFIRE NOW!!! pic.twitter.com/nKw0vKKdN8
— Gen-Z for Change (@genzforchange) November 18, 2023
Protesters calling for a ceasefire on Gaza have broken past security and are now on the floor of the general session at the California Democratic Convention in Sacramento. pic.twitter.com/B6ne1WSlDd
— Miguel Gutierrez Jr. (@mgutierrezjr) November 18, 2023
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, and for the safety and security of our delegates and convention participants, we are canceling tonight’s caucus meetings, hospitality suites, and VoteFest taking place at the convention center,” the California Democrats announced in a statement.
BREAKING: #CeasefireNOW protesters have now completely taken over the California Democratic Convention, and the stage sits abandoned.
The tide has turned.
Young people simply will not allow our politicians to keep supporting the mass murder of Palestinians. https://t.co/76yyeRc3WM pic.twitter.com/8Af12CorMe
— IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) November 18, 2023
Some convention delegates were sympathetic to the protest. “A lot of people who are Democrats have lost faith in the party,” Sameena Husman told CBS 13. “We need to stand up and say we’re not going to stand for this, and we have to have a cease-fire.”
California Democrats chairman Rusty Hicks vowed to hold accountable “any delegates who actively participated in or aided the furtherance of those activities or events in violation of our party’s code of conduct.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee must be shuddering at the ongoing trend of young protesters targeting party events. They can only hope that the current Israel-Gaza war subsides before next year’s Democratic national convention in Chicago — the same city in which the party’s 1968 convention was swarmed by tens of thousands of protestors agitating against the Vietnam War.
The Democratic Convention next year is going to be nuts. Chicago ’68? https://t.co/RPlOCNNhI1
— Tim Shorrock (@TimothyS) November 19, 2023
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