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Protesters Interrupt Paul Ryan Speech: ‘Corporations Are Not People!’

Common Dreams staff

Ryan (R-WI) waves after his speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington September 14, 2012. (Photo: Reuters/Gary Cameron)

As GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan gave a speech at the Value Voters Summit on Friday, two protesters consecutively interrupted the representative, yelling 'Corporations are not people!'

Both of the protesters were dragged out of the building by security.

"Corporations are not people!” the first protester yelled at the beginning of Ryan's speech.

The crowd began chanting "U.S.A., U.S.A." in response to the attempted interruption.

Moments later another protester broke out also yelling “Corporations are not people! Corporations are not people!” before being thrown out of the gathering.

“Thank you so much,” Ryan repeated in denial. “I appreciate your support. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.”

The Values Voter Summit is a yearly event organized by conservative groups, which "regularly push false and demeaning smears about gays and lesbians, Muslim-Americans and others," according to People for the American Way. "These groups also push extreme anti-woman policies, including defending Rep. Todd Akin after his "legitimate rape" comments."

Last week, a coalition of human rights groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), People for the American Way Foundation (PFAWF), the Human Rights Campaign, among others, urged Ryan and other elected officials not to speak at the yearly summit.

The Family Research Council and the American Family Association both co-sponsor the yearly summit and have been known for their extreme far-right positions.

“The Family Research Council and the American Family Association are not mainstream groups,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “The FRC frequently and falsely links homosexuality to pedophilia. The AFA has claimed that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust. Both have defended laws at home and abroad that criminalize homosexuality. These are not innocent differences of opinion; they are full-scale efforts to smear and denigrate LGBT Americans."

“What’s more, these groups back extreme anti-woman policies, and were among the first to jump to the defense of Rep. Todd Akin’s outrageous 'legitimate rape' comments," continued Keegan.

“By speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Paul Ryan sends a clear message: a Romney-Ryan administration has decided to embrace the entrenched bigotry advocated by the farthest of the far right.”

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