A crowd of 200 people chanted “coward” and booed as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at a Rhode Island event on Thursday, The Boston Herald reports.
Ryan was speaking at Year Up, a nonprofit training organization, as protestors gathered across the street to express their dissatisfaction with the Speaker of the House.
“We want him to hear loud and clear that his values are Wall Street values, they’re not Rhode Island values,” Georgia Hollister Isman, state director of Rhode Island Working Families, told the Boston Herald. “We’re also here in solidarity with our friends in Wisconsin who’ve been trying for months to get a town hall meeting with him.”
“No matter where he goes, wherever he takes his radically dangerous Ryan-Trump agenda, the resistance will be there to meet him,” state Rep. Aaron Regunberg told the crowd through a megaphone.
Ryan’s spokesperson, Zack Roday on Friday told the Herald it was “unfortunate protesters chose to demonstrate at Year Up.”
Year Up is a career training program that offers low-income adults a six-month internship with participating corporate partners. Many protestors insisted they weren’t targeting the organization, though Year Up’s board president, Paul Salem, works with a private equity firm that donated more than $700,000 to Republicans last year.
Protests have erupted across the country as organizers mobilize against President Donald Trump. While some Republican leaders have dismissed the protests as “a very paid, ‘astroturf’ type movement,” there is no evidence to support those claims. Last Wednesday, a woman at a town hall with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) drew loud applause when she prefaced her question to the senator by saying, “I am not a paid protestor.”
“I don’t care if anybody here is paid or not,” Cotton replied. “You’re all Arkansans and I’m glad to hear from you.”
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