Published on Friday, September 3, 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle
S.F. Woman Hauled Away for Interrupting President
by Carla Marinucci
NEW YORK -- It was more than a shock to end up on the floor of Madison Square Garden, five rows from the president, with a protester on top of me -- and security guards struggling to contain her.
But that happened Thursday night at the front of the California delegation section when -- in the middle of Bush's speech -- June Brashares, 40, of San Francisco, an activist with Code Pink, stood up on her chair and unfurled a banner that read, "Bush lies, people die.''
Just minutes before, the blue-suited Brashares had been in the crunch of delegates and press in the aisle when former Gov. Pete Wilson graciously offered his seat with a prime sight line to President Bush. Brashares was wearing an alternate delegate pass, and I stepped aside to let her sit down.
It was 50 feet from the president and three rows behind Gerald Parsky, the chairman of the California delegation and chairman of the UC Board of Regents.
Brashares looked grateful and said her feet were killing her. During the speech, she started to stand up on her seat numerous times, holding onto cardboard signs of support for the president. She waved a tiny American flag.
Just more than 40 minutes into Bush's speech of longer than an hour, Brashares jumped on the chair, yelling "Bush lies," and holding up her homemade banner.
Within seconds, she was overcome by half a dozen burly security men who wrestled her into the crowd as the crowd, sensing a disturbance, yelled "four more years" to drown her out. She sent me sprawling into KCBS radio reporter Doug Sovern. They hustled her out in a matter of moments.
The president paused, briefly looked confused by the cheering during a serious moment of his speech, then continued.
Later, another Code Pink activist, Jodie Evans, 49, of Los Angeles, stood up in a seat under the Fox News skybox and pulled off her dress, exposing her pink lingerie with a hand-written message: "Fire Bush - Women say bring the troops home now."
The crowd around her began the "four more years" chant and security dragged her out.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, told The Chronicle later that she was elated with Brashares' success in getting a national platform, even for a few seconds.
"This is the third day in a row that Code Pink has penetrated the convention,'' she said. "My question to President Bush is, if he can't secure his own convention, how can they bring security to their own nation?''
Chronicle reporter Zachary Coile contributed to this report.
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