Protesters on Friday night demanded Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi explain how her policies fit with Mr. Rogers’ values as she left a movie screening of a new documentary about the kids show host.
Timothy Heberlein, an activist with Organize Florida, captured a video that shows several people shouting at Bondi as she leaves the screening of Won’t You Be My Neighbor with a police escort.
“What would Mr. Rogers think about you and your legacy in Florida?” asked Maria José Chapa, a labor organizer, reported the Tampa Bay Times. “Taking away health insurance from people with pre-existing conditions, Pam Bondi!” Shame on you!”
Pam Bondi attempted to attend a screening of the Mister Rogers documentary a day after announcing her plan to end protections for health care consumers with pre-existing conditions. Here, via @timintampa, is what happened. pic.twitter.com/zMLrSayS8M
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 23, 2018
“Would Mr. Rogers take children away from their parents?” yells another protester. “Would Mr. Rogers take away health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions?”
Bondi didn’t answer their questions, but later told the Tampa Bay Times that the protest didn’t fit with Mr. Rogers’ values, adding that the movie was about “anti-bullying and practicing peace and love.”
Heberlein told the Tampa Bay Times that they hadn’t planned on confronting Bondi, but knew they should say something once they saw her in the ticket line.
Chapa told The Times that someone tried to engage with Bondi before the movie and ask her about her decision to join a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The lawsuit argues that since Congress made the individual mandate (or penalty for not having health insurance) $0 last fall, the entire law is now unconstitutional. About 1.7 million people in Florida enrolled in Obamacare in 2018.
“[Another protester] approached her first and she was trying to engage with her and ask her difficult questions, and she felt uncomfortable answering the questions,” said Chapa. “And I guess she felt threatened because she called the police.”
After the movie was over, Chapa said she tried to talk to Bondi about health care and immigration, but she wouldn’t talk to her.
Also on Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was told to leave a restaurant in Virginia within minutes of entering. On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen left a Mexican restaurant after being confronted over her immigration policies by activists with the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America.