CLEVELAND — As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, he was briefly interrupted by veteran protester Medea Benjamin. She began shouting and waving a banner that read “BUILD BRIDGES NOT WALLS,” a critique of Trump’s plan to build a wall on the United States’ southern border.
Benjamin was forcibly removed from the convention floor by police. As she was taken away, she denounced Trump as “racist,” “Islamophobic,” “anti-immigrant” and “anti-woman.”
“He’s a danger to our country and the world! He’s a danger to all of us! Say no to Donald Trump! He’s a danger to the world!” she exclaimed.
Trump, who had started his speech by declaring himself a “law and order” candidate, paused as Benjamin was pulled off the convention floor clutching a banner in her hands. Audience members attempted to drown out her shouts with chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” After Benjamin was taken out, Trump acknowledged her removal by praising the police officers who had carried her out.
“How great are our police, and how great is Cleveland?” he asked.
“You know, I’m very upset with Hillary Clinton’s foreign policies that have been very hawkish,” Benjamin said. “So it wasn’t anything done to support one party or the other.”
Benjamin and other members of Code Pink plan to travel to Philadelphia to protest next week’s Democratic convention. She said they get inside the conventions because the party activists and delegates in attendance “just give us their badges.”
“There are a lot of Republicans who don’t like Donald Trump. I mean, we’ve been out on the streets all these days, and we’ve just seen so many people who come up and say — you know, they agree with us that Donald Trump is not fit to be president,” Benjamin said. “There seemed like a lot of enthusiasm tonight, but from what I’ve seen, there’s a tremendous crisis in this party, and I think it’s going to be a very difficult electoral season for them.”
After protesting at so many major events, Benjamin has become fairly well known. She was “amazed” security didn’t notice her infiltrating the RNC.
“There was a congressman there who came up and said hello,” Benjamin said. “There were people who winked at me. I’m sure there were people who recognized me, but thankfully they didn’t say anything. I was indeed nervous the whole time that somebody was going to come and pull me out because I had been recognized.”