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Rusty Hicks, a former union leader who is now chairman of the California Democratic Party (CDP), said an investigation is underway into the disruption that led officials to nix some events the night before for security reasons, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
POLITICO reported that Hicks told members, “Any delegates who actively participated in or aided the furtherance of those activities or events in violation of our party’s code of conduct will be held accountable.”
— Jeremy B. White (@JeremyBWhite) November 18, 2023
Hundreds of demonstrators pressed their way into the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center and disrupted events as they called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces are fighting Hamas after terrorist attacks in Israel last month.
Hicks said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed” by the chaos, noting two security guards sustained injuries and acknowledging Jewish attendees “were openly intimidated and harassed,” per POLITICO.
He emphasized, “Every delegate, volunteer, staff person and attendee has the right to be safe and to feel safe in the peaceful expression of their own voice and viewpoint.”
Violations of the CDP’s code of conduct, which explicitly prohibits harassment, “may result in sanctions including but not limited to private censure, public censure, being prohibited from attending Party events, and removal from a CDP office and/or delegate status.”
Members of the Jewish community explained their objections to the behavior of the demonstrators at the convention at a time when there has been a spike in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States.
“Anti-Israel protesters stormed the Sacramento Convention Center and shut down the grassroots California Democratic Party Convention. In doing so, they chanted, among other things, ‘from the river to the sea,’ which is a call for the eradication of the State of Israel. They also chanted ‘resistance is justified when people are occupied,’ an apparent reference to Hamas’s October 7 attack — the largest mass murder, rape, and kidnapping of Jews since the Holocaust,” said the California Legislative Jewish Caucus in a statement.
“A number of Jewish delegates — who were already very anxious attending the convention, given the spike in antisemitism since the October 7 massacre by Hamas — now believe it is unsafe to participate at all. We must never allow the Democratic Party to be unsafe for anyone,” the group added. “We fully support the right to protest loudly and vociferously. But 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.”