Lawmakers who today trekked over to the 2012 International AIDS Conference to talk health care were all but silenced by outspoken protesters.
Washington Blade political reporter Chris Johnson had a front-row seat for the protracted shouting match that the “U.S. Congress and The Global AIDS Epidemic” panel quickly devolved into.
The trouble started shortly after Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) slid behind the dais.
That’s when the approximately 20 unrelenting activists sprang into action, interjecting their demands that language barring payments to agencies that aid sex workers — the “prostitution pledge” — be stripped from the George W. Bush-approved President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief at every turn.posters Taunts wait his turn
“It seemed to me the protestors were running the show. The last 10 minutes … they wouldn’t allow any talking at all,” Johnson told HOH.
“This conference does endorse freedom of expression," an AIDS conference spokesman explained to HOH, estimating that the blow-up "wasn’t a huge distraction."
Tell that to the shell-shocked politicians who will undoubtedly kiss the feet of the next Capitol Police officer they see.