They interrupted Attorney General
. They disrupted
. They stormed
And now those wishing to call attention to the deaths of unarmed African American men at the hands of police have interrupted a 100-year-old World War II veteran. On Jan. 3, centenarian Dario Raschio showed up at a town hall meeting hosted by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to receive awards for heroism, as OregonLive reported.
But when about 100 protesters showed up shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe” — slogans taken up by demonstrators after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner — the town hall had to be called off. Raschio tried to intervene, with little success.
“These people who are here for a cause, whatever it might be — show respect to Senator Wyden,” said Raschio, who flew observational planes in five campaigns in the Pacific.
Some members of the crowd applauded Raschio, who was able to receive his award. Wyden thought the derailed town meeting a teachable moment.
“I think that the symbolism of having a veteran 100 years old, who fought so gallantly so that those who disagree with government policies and want to exercise their First Amendment rights could be heard, that’s what made today so poignant,” he told OregonLive.
Fox News was unhappy.
“He crashed his plane into the Pacific, but they crashed his moment — how brave,” Greg Gutfled of Fox News said. “Yep, they’re the real heroes — not Raschio, who risked his life so these twerps could marginalize his.”
Twitter was unhappy.
Here is the exceedingly awkward video.
Wyden said the event would be rescheduled.
“It’s important to be able to throw open the doors of government to everybody,” he said. “That’s why town hall meetings are so important.”