Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupt Jill Biden's 'Women for Biden-Harris' tour


TUCSON, Ariz.  — First lady Jill Biden spoke for only 14 minutes on the second leg of her “Women for Biden-Harris” tour — but that didn’t stop pro-Palestinian protesters from interrupting her remarks four separate times.

“It’s a genocide, Jill!” yelled one of the four demonstrators in Tucson on Saturday morning as he was being forcibly escorted out of the venue by security.

The main focus of the first lady’s remarks was supposed to be on women’s issues, including abortion rights, which could be on the ballot in Arizona come November.

“Extremist Republicans led by Donald Trump are passing laws that prevent women from getting the health care they need, including IVF,” said Biden.

But within 13 seconds of beginning her remarks, the first protester piped up.

Less than two minutes later, the second followed. And within 30 seconds of the second disruption, the first lady offered an explanation for keeping her appearance there so short.

“I’m sorry to have to come and go so quickly,” said Biden.

“Wind storms in Nevada are impacting my travel,” she added just after the demonstrator was hauled out of the theater.

And just as she was beginning to gather steam in her speech, the third protester shouted out.

Pro-Palestinian protesters outside of the Fox Theater, moments after first lady Jill Biden delivered remarks in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday. (Alex Tabet / NBC News)

Pro-Palestinian protesters outside of the Fox Theater, moments after first lady Jill Biden delivered remarks in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday. (Alex Tabet / NBC News)

Kaliana Venet, 34, is an activist with the Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance, one of the organizations behind the Biden disruptions in Tucson. She wasn’t impressed by the first lady’s remarks concerning women.

“When you’re talking about women’s issues, when you’re talking about women in office, and women in Gaza are having C-sections without anesthesia, watching their children pulled out of the rubble, starving to death … it’s absolutely shameful,” said Venet.

The first lady’s plan to hold the second leg of her tour in Tucson may have been bold from the start. Home to the University of Arizona, the college town is home to lots of young voters like Venet. And polling shows young voters are particularly discontented with the way her husband, President Joe Biden, has handled the war.

“She should have seen it coming,” said Venet.

The unemployed activist voted for Biden in 2020, a decision she now says she’s “very ashamed of.”

The president has been dogged by pro-Palestinian protesters at his public events for months, with his team now taking steps to shield him from the public shaming over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war. Biden has had to switch to smaller events, the locations of which are kept hushed until the last possible moment to evade protesters.

The White House has announced the upcoming states where the first lady’s Women for Biden-Harris tour will be going, but it hasn’t yet publicly disclosed specific locations.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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