On Saturday, hoardes of pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanting anti-Israel slogans descended upon a Democratic convention in Sacramento, California, forcing their way inside to disrupt proceedings and call for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
The group’s actions led to the cancellation of numerous events scheduled for that evening, drawing the ire of attendees and speakers alike who had gathered to take part in discussions and workshops as preparation for the 2024 election ramps up.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the crowd of demonstrators nearly 1,000 strong “barged” into the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center around 6 p.m. after rallying on the street outside the whole afternoon.
The mass influx of people caused the building to be placed on lockdown as security scrambled to calm the situation. As a result, those taking part in the convention were temporarily blocked from entering or exiting the venue.
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, and for the safety and security of our delegates and convention participants, we are canceling tonight’s caucus meetings, hospitality suites, and VoteFest taking place at the convention center,” California Democrats communications director Shery Yang said in a statement.
As the Sacramento Bee reports, once inside, demonstrators made a point of disrupting Democrat California Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, but not Rep. Barbara Lee, who ended her speech by calling for a ceasefire.
Amidst the chaos, Democrats for Israel California board member Naomi Goldman decried the demonstrators’ chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which has been seen by many as a call for the eradication of the Jewish state.
“I am eagerly anticipating meaningful comment from my party on hate speech and violence targeting the Jewish community,” she said, per the LA Times, “as well as a total denunciation of what delegates did to disrupt our assembly.”
In a statement, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus said that while they “fully support the right to protest loudly and vociferously … storming through security and shutting down a democratic process — particularly with chants calling for the destruction of Israel and appearing to justify the Hamas attack — is completely unacceptable.”
Demonstrators, many of whom called President Biden “Genocide Joe” over his support of Israel, were eventually escorted out of the building, and Sunday’s events went on as scheduled.