- The Washington Times - Friday, June 3, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders‘ campaign event on Thursday was disrupted by Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights group, prompting Secret Service agents to intervene for the second time this week.

Zach Groff, a spokesman for the group, told CNN that Direct Action Everywhere was responsible for interrupting a Monday evening rally for Mr. Sanders in Oakland and a Thursday morning event in Modesto.

“Our activists have been particularly concerned with Bernie Sanders since he is the most progressive candidate in the race and has been publicly dismissive toward animal advocates,” Mr. Groff said.

In Oakland, at least four people attempted to rush the stage during the Vermont senator’s address; in Modesto, two activists unfurled a banner reading “Animal Liberation is Social Justice” from a platform while others in the crowd brandished smaller signs that read “Until Every Animal is Free.”

Secret Service agents scrambled to surround the senator during both incidents while security personnel apprehended the protesters.

“As I was saying, what the American people are tired of is large, multination corporations and Wall Street and the corporate media exercising unbelievable power over the political and economic life of this country,” Mr. Sanders told the crowd in Modesto after his address was briefly interrupted.

“By the way, what things like that are about is the understanding that that is what the media will focus on. That’s why guys do it. I understand that. The media will not talk about why the middle class continues to decline,” he added.

Jane Sanders hailed her husband’s security detail earlier in the week during an interview Tuesday on CNN.

“The Secret Service are fantastic. I mean, they are just unbelievable in terms of being aware and protecting him,” she said. “So I’m very thankful for that. I think I heard it from breaking news and I called up — I didn’t see it — so I called up the campaign. I said, ‘What’s going on?’ They said, ‘Everything’s fine.’ So there was only maybe 60 seconds of concern.”

Direct Action Everywhere said in a press release that its activists “do not protest at Bernie Sanders rallies in opposition to Sanders himself, but rather to pull Sanders in their direction,” Fusion reported.

In March, members of the group similarly interrupted a Sanders rally in Wisconsin by unfurling an “Animal Liberation Now” banner.


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