As part of their promise to “go big,” protesters with the 99 Percent movement have been interrupting campaign-related events all over Iowa in the week leading up to the nation’s first major presidential candidate selection contest, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul was not given an exception.
During a rally with veterans last night, candidate Paul saw his speech interrupted by a group of about 20 occupiers, who began shouting as Paul was mid-sentence. After a few seconds, the crowd responded with a boisterous chant of the candidate’s name, over and over again.
“Why do you hate gays?” one of the protesters shouted. “Why do you hate the 99 percent?” Another reportedly asked why he wants to repeal Roe v. Wade and “control a woman’s reproductive decisions.”
“Freedom of speech, ain’t it wonderful?” Paul responded.
As the candidate’s supporters pushed them out of the hall, one woman kept audibly insisting that she’s a veteran, as is much of her family. Others with the group tried to explain that they supported Paul as well.
Paul has been by far the most friendly toward the 99 Percent movement out of all the Republican presidential candidates, calling it a “healthy” expression and a “legitimate effort,” although he’s also said that he’s not quite sure what they are protesting.
He’s further said that if the occupiers favor going after “crony capitalism,” he’s all for it.
This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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