SACRAMENTO, California — Pro-Palestinian protesters partially succeeded in their attempts to shut down a California Democratic Party convention Saturday evening.
“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,” California Democratic Party spokeswoman Shery Yang told reporters Saturday in Sacramento.
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“More information for tomorrow’s general session will be shared this evening,” she added.
Earlier Saturday, protesters interrupted Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff (D-CA) during their pitches to California Democrats at the state party’s endorsing convention in their hotly contested Senate race.
“Ceasefire now!” the protesters shouted during Porter and Schiff’s closing statements for the convention’s candidate forum.
“I respect your opinions and I have heard you,” Porter replied, whose protest was more protracted than that of Schiff. “I’m going to ask you to allow me to please finish my remarks.”
Outside the convention hall, protesters, many of whom have been Democratic campaign staffers or volunteers in previous election cycles, organized a sit-in near one of the doors. They later breached the entry and caused the candidate forum to be cut short.
The protest then merged with a separate demonstration staged by members of Northern California’s Palestinian community down the street.
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The larger group then returned to the Safe Credit Union Convention Center, with some demonstrators finding their way in and opening doors for counterparts.
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” one protester chanted.