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Clinton Delegates Drown Out CODEPINK Activist Who Unfurls ‘Boycott Israel’ Banner

An activist from the grassroots peace group CODEPINK unfurled a “Boycott Israel” banner during New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s speech and was subsequently ejected from the arena by Secret Service agents, who roughly removed her.

Ariel Gold, who is from New York, was sitting near the Pennsylvania delegation. She approached the stage and brought out the banner. While holding the banner, she chanted, “Free Palestine!”

According to Gold, it was “over a minute” before Hillary Clinton delegates surrounded her to block her banner. She was visible for “quite a long time,” and she imagines Cuomo saw the banner.

Gold unfurled this banner because Cuomo issued an executive order against the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement in order to blacklist people who engage in Palestinian solidarity activism.

Also, as Gold said, Clinton has vowed to challenge the BDS movement if she becomes president. She opposes the First Amendment right to boycott.

“I did this for the human rights of Palestinians,” Gold added. “We’ve heard a lot at this convention about making our country better for families and children in America, and I keep thinking, what about the families and children throughout the world, including families and children in Palestine?”

Screen shot 2016-07-28 at 9.51.20 PM

Still from Facebook LIVE video, showing Clinton delegates surrounding Gold. Video taken by Nic McCarthy.

There was a delayed reaction. In fact, many people snapped photos of the banner and people gave Gold “thumbs up” or a “victory sign to express” their gratitude for her protest.

Gold said no one tried to touch her until security came. Then, delegates moved in on her and shouted, “Hillary! Hillary!” to drown out her chant of “Free Palestine!”

Earlier in the day, Gold disrupted Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

At the convention, Democratic Party personnel have confiscated yellow signs, which read “I Support Palestinian Human Rights.” They rip the signs before throwing them in the trash so that nobody can grab them and hold them up ever again.

CODEPINK entered the convention halls to urge delegates to “support justice for Palestine.” They held banners that said “Free Palestine” or “Building Settlements Prohibits Peace.”

Rev. William Barber, known for leading “Moral Monday” protests, electrified delegates when he referred to Jesus Christ as a “brown-skinned Palestinian Jew.” The cheers might lead one to infer the Democratic National Committee is somewhat supportive of the dignity and rights of Palestinians.

The reality is during the drafting of the political party’s platform Clinton and DNC appointees to the committee did everything to thwart Sanders appointees as they sought to recognize the humanity of Palestinians. They even blocked language that would have suggested the Democratic Party cares about the urgent need to rebuild Gaza.

Protesters speak out during a speech by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. (Still from Yahoo! News Now).
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Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek is an associate editor at the Electronic Intifada and co-host of the weekly podcast Unauthorized Disclosure. Her work has appeared at Al Jazeera, The Nation, Salon, Truthout, FAIR, Vice, AlterNet, and more.