Today’s Code Red rally appears to be one of the most raucous Tea Party gatherings on Capitol Hill yet. In addition to protesters shouting with rage at federal lawmakers, Sam Stein reports on some more disturbing incidents:
A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-M.D.) had been spit on by a protestor. Rep. John Lewis (D-G.A.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a ‘ni — er.’ And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a “faggot,” as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president’s speech, shrugged off the incident.
But Clyburn was downright incredulous, saying he had not witnessed such treatment since he was leading civil rights protests in South Carolina in the 1960s.
“I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus,” [said Clyburn.]
Clyburn added, “I think a lot of those people today demonstrated that this is not about health care…it is about trying to extend a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful.” TPM, Mother Jones, and The Hill have reports of similar behavior by the Tea Party protesters.
On Twitter, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) wrote that he was “grateful for the thousands of patriots who are storming the Capitol today protesting government healthcare and defending freedom.”