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JVP activists disrupt crucial Biden fundraiser in Hollywood

JVP activists disrupt crucial Biden fundraiser in Hollywood
JVP activists disrupt crucial Biden fundraiser in Hollywood


On June 15, nearly 300 Jewish Voice for Peace organizers descended on the Peacock Theater in downtown Los Angeles as celebrities, Democratic mega donors and former President Barack Obama joined President Joe Biden at a lavish fundraiser that raised more than $30 million for his presidential campaign. . Activists staged a rally outside the fundraiser and blocked entrances in an effort to draw attention to a renewed call for an arms embargo on Israel following Israel's bloody Rafah invasion that alarmed and outraged the international community.

Fundraising, which the LA Times reported had a blue-chip ticket package costing $500,000, brought together some of the state's biggest political donors and aimed to widen the state's fundraising deficit for the president. According to the LA Times, the cheapest tickets cost $250 for a seat farthest from the stage. The most expensive option, at $500,000, includes four seats in the first three rows in front of the stage, a reception and photos with Biden and Obama, and an after-party, according to an invitation. To prevent disruption by activists, fences were erected around the theater the day before the fundraiser.

The presence of a 10-foot security fence, sky-high ticket prices and list of A-list attendees made it seem a little too much like keeping out the mob. There is a stark disparity between the Biden campaign and the working crowds. who are unhappy and angry with the Biden administration's insistent support for Israel in the ongoing genocide in Palestine, as well as his messages on the state of the country's economy. High-level fundraising like that of June 15, feel disconnected from economic realities of voters which Biden is trying to keep until November. This appears to be proving difficult, especially at a time of increasing insecurity for the average worker, who can barely afford to go to the grocery store not to mention a ticket to a glitzy fundraiser filled with Hollywood's elite.

This disparity has not escaped the attention of California's top GOP operatives. California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Milan Patterson was quoted in the LA Times: Nothing says struggling Americans, I understand what you're going through and I'm ready to help, like spending a night chatting with George Clooney, Julia Roberts and other Hollywood. celebrities.

Biden claimed that an invasion of Rafah was a red line and that if Israel crossed that red line, it would not provide weapons for that invasion, said JVP Los Angeles member Craig Willse. Not only has Israel crossed this line, but the massacres have only increased.

For JVP activists, the fundraiser was a crucial opportunity to confront potential campaign donors and remind them of the grave international crisis that the United States is funding in Palestine. Biden claimed that an invasion of Rafah was a red line and that if Israel crossed that red line, it would not provide weapons for that invasion, said JVP Los Angeles member Craig Willse. Not only has Israel crossed this line, but the massacres have only increased. He called attention to the massive military aid the United States has provided to Israel over the past 9 months and reiterated the JVP's call for an arms embargo against Israel. [This conflict] “This is a genocide made possible by American funding and weapons, and we want an immediate arms embargo, an end to arms sales to Israel and an immediate end to this genocide,” he said. .

JVP members remain committed to drawing as much attention as possible to the administration's continued financial support for Israeli violence in Palestine, and resolutely oppose any assertion that the administration's actions have the effect of combat anti-Semitism. President Biden oversaw the transfer of billions of dollars in military aid to the Israeli government…and he did it and others did so by asserting that support for Israel is synonymous with support for Jewish security, said Benjamin Kersten, UCLA graduate student and JVP LA leader. Many of us know, as Jews, that our security actually comes from solidarity, not state violence and militarism, and that we have a political and moral obligation to do so. [stand against] the actions Israel has taken against the Palestinians. We are making it clear, as Jews and allies, that we oppose this. …We are making it clear that we are not going to rest until [the genocide] stop.

At the June 15 fundraiser, VIP guests were ushered into the fenced area through guarded entrances, and only those who had purchased tickets were able to pass through security. As the protest began, guests were forced to walk through a group of demonstrators with signs to reach an entrance on Figueroa Street. As the chants continued, protesters attempted to engage with attendees and convince them to rethink their donations to the incumbent presidential candidate.

At another, larger entrance on the corner, at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Francisco Street, a group of nearly 30 JVP activists locked arms and blocked the entrance, completely preventing the participants to enter. Eventually, the fundraiser organizers were forced to lead attendees around the blockade and to another entrance at the back of the venue.

For 20 tense minutes, police officers in riot gear held a line of scrimmage against protesters and called an unlawful assembly, ordering demonstrators to disperse. Eventually, the officers closed the gate and retreated behind the security gate before chain-locking it. Then, protesters occupied the intersection and continued their rally for a few hours before dispersing before the fundraiser ended.

Some members of the Democratic Party posted approving messages on other campaign events in the past. I just came out of a packed Peacock theater with George Clooney and Hukia Roberts. [sic]Jimmy Kimmel, Dr. First Lady [sic] Jill Biden, President Obama and Biden and no protesters were interrupted, Democratic Party strategist Michael Trujillo tweeted at X. People in Los Angeles understand how important it is that we win. His comments sparked rapid backlash from other users, who pointed out the obvious overabundance of security outside the theater and the LAPD's efforts to contain disruptions outside the event.

Despite the Biden campaign raise more than $30 million for his election war chest, JVP considers the protest and disruptive action a success. It was a powerful demonstration of the power of our growing community and participants were forced to see and hear our collective demands for a US arms embargo against Israel as security rushed to find them another entrance, a JVP representative told TRNN. in a text. It was important that fundraiser attendees and organizers understood that we expect our elected leaders to be accountable for their words and will demand this until this genocide and violent occupation ends.

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