Topless protesters put on quite a show under the watchful eye of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday at a Carson City, Nevada campaign event.
He did not have time to avert his eyes as they stormed the stage while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who introduced Sanders earlier, quickly walked way.
The presidential candidate was busy rallying his supporters ahead of the state’s primary this Saturday. He had just introduced his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, as the “next first lady of the United States” when an exceedingly modest woman in a long sleeve, turtle neck, black sweater and black stockings rushed on stage and tried to wrestle his microphone away from him. Sanders pulled it away but she just grabbed another.
“Bernie, I’m your biggest supporter, and I’m here to ask you to stop propping up the dairy industry and to stop propping up animal agriculture. I believe in you,” she shouted. That’s when Sanders got an unexpected eyeful from three more nearly naked protesters who sprang unto the stage to join her.
The delighted crowd roared as the women poured a red substance, purported to be fake blood, on themselves from cardboard milk containers and walked around shouting. Hapless security officials rushed in to grab the cartons while dodging the red liquid and escorted them off stage. The women’s bodies were scrawled with the words “dairy die” in red. Other activists were escorted away by security while carrying banners of cows.
The activists were members of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), an international animal rights network famous for staging disruptive non-violent protests to champion their cause of protecting animals. They were angry at Sanders for supporting federal subsidies for dairy farmers whose livelihoods were threatened by lowered milk prices.
Protester Priya Sawhney said in a statement “if Bernie truly cares about justice, he will stop propping up the dairy industry, which relies on the abuse of female cows.”
“I love Bernie, but we most hold abusive industries accountable, not shield and subsidize them,” she complained.
Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong told the media the three women were booked on suspicion of indecent exposure and were being held on $2,500 bond.
Sanders later joked about the incident quipping, “This is Nevada, there’s always a little excitement at no extra cost.”
He has always been a target of rowdy, strong-armed ladies. Perhaps they perceive him as too much of a gentleman to resist them or they think he is an old pushover. He rarely puts up a fight for the microphone. He doesn’t need to sully his hands as security always comes quickly to his aid.
During his first campaign for president in March 2016, two protesters screaming “free the nipple” were arrested for baring their chests outside one of his events in Los Angeles. According to authorities, officers asked the women to cover themselves and when they refused, they were arrested for indecent exposure.
That year a couple of Black Lives Matter activists also hijacked a Bernie campaign event in Seattle, roughly pushing him aside while they seized his platform.
The Sunday spectacle sparked concerns that if Sanders is elected to the presidency, our enemies will know they can take us down by sending boobs after Bernie.