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A campaign event in Coral Gables that was supposed to star Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Barbara Lee didn’t go as planned on Wednesday after protesters converged on the locale to let “Communista” Lee and company know how they felt about the congresswoman praising Fidel Castro.
The Miami Herald’s Jimena Tavel documented the “uncivil” encounter (h/t Twitchy). “[Rep. Nancy Pelosi] and [Rep. Barbara Lee] were scheduled to campaign for [Donna Shalala] and [Debbie Mucarsel-Powell] here today. About 25 protesters are standing outside, holding signs supporting Republicans and accusing Democrats of being communists,” wrote Tavel.
“The crowd has grown,” she posted later. “They’re striking the door to the building where the event will take place. They’re also screaming ‘commie’ and calling the Democrats ‘witches.'”
One of the protesters, she wrote, is veteran who took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion. He told her he’s insulted that Democrats would invite Rep. Lee, who said we should all “stop, pause and mourn” Castro when he died. “I’m angry,” veteran Frank de Varona told Tavel.
“Nelson Diaz, the chairman of the Republican Party, said protesters belong to several groups but are all united against Democrats,” Tavel reports.
“There’s nothing worse in this country than [Rep. Lee],” said Nelson Diaz, chairman of the Republican Party. The protesters, he told Tavel, are from different groups but united to tell Democrats that “socialism kills.”
Secret Service and police locked the doors of the building to keep the “angry” protesters out. The event was eventually canceled. While it’s been Democrat politicians who have been urging protesters to be less “civil,” the cancelation left some Democrats complaining about the protesters’ actions derailing the event.
“It’s unfortunate that a group of peaceful citizens can’t engage with the candidates they support, while the protesters get to do whatever they want,” said former Miami Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson.
While Lee was the cause of some of the commotion, she reportedly failed to show up.