Donald Trump stood down hecklers at today’ Faith and Freedom Conference, where he spoke to a number of issues relevant to conservative Christian voters. Several protesters in the audiences shouted and attempted to drown out Trump’s message before being hauled away by security at the venue. Members of the audience chanted “USA, USA, USA” as security officials dragged protesters out. Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin was one of them. She sought to hang on to a chair while security officers pried her fingers.
As the last disgruntled protesters were thrown out, Trump said “Alright, alright…Freedom of speech, please. Freedom of speech. Very rude, but what are you going to do?” Trump added, “Very sad, very very sad what’s happening. What’s happening in our country is so sad, we’re so divided. Such a shame. And, by the way, these are professional agitators.”
At other Trump events, his detractors have been far more forceful. In San Jose, California, for example, leftist and anarchists assaulted Trump supporters who were leaving a convention center after attending a Trump rally. A woman wearing a shirt emblazoned with Trump’s name was assaulted and spattered with eggs by raucous protesters, some of whom brandished Mexican flags. One young man, a Trump supporter, was chased down and tackled by one of the protesters, while another suffered a broken nose. About six protesters were arrested in the aftermath of the melee: all of them were under 21.
There have been reports that protesters have been recruited online at websites such as Craigslist and offered $15 per hour to join in rallying against Trump.
Medea Benjamin is a co-founder of Code Pink, along with a woman named “Star Hawk,” and a former Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate. She was once arrested and deported from Egypt for her political activities in that country. Co-founder Benjamin is also president of the Benjamin Fund, which, according to 2012 Form 990, had assets totaling approximately $12 million. In 2012, according to NGO Monitor, the Benjamin Fund donated $100,000 to CODEPINK, and provided funds to other organizations including: Global Exchange ($175,000), Jewish Voice for Peace ($2,500), National Lawyers Guild Foundation ($2,500), Christian Peacemakers ($2,000), and Mondoweiss ($2,700).
The National Lawyers Guild is among the leftist organizations whose members have been visible at rallies for presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. The NLG provides training to leftists in how to participate in political agitation.