MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Shouting “we are the 99 percent,” unified protesters believed to be allied with the Occupy Charleston movement interrupted Rep. Michele Bachmann today in the first minutes of her speech here on foreign policy.
Speaking in the hangar bay of the USS Yorktown, a World War II-era aircraft carrier, Bachmann was talking about cutting military budgets when about 30 protesters stood up and began chanting.
“Mic check,” they shouted, the protesters echoing a primary speaker. This model of call and repeated response is popular among the Occupy Movement protesters, creating what they call a human microphone.
“We have a message for Miss Bachmann,” they shouted before being drowned out by her supporters.
Bachmann stopped talking and within seconds was escorted from the podium by police. She waited in an area behind a curtain. Bachmann supporters began shouting “USA, USA.”
Several Charleston police officers were on hand, but the protesters quickly left the hangar, walking out on to the deck of the ship and then down a gang plank, shouting “we are the 99 percent.”
There were no arrests.
Bachmann retook the stage soon after the protesters left. “Don’t you love the First Amendment,” she asked the remaining crowd, before continuing with her speech.
The remainder of Bachmann’s speech was about the United States’ remaining a powerful foil to Iran and China and a vital ally to Israel. She said she opposed any efforts in the U.N. to establish a Palestinian state.
At a press availability after the event, the Minnesota congresswoman criticized the protesters for disrespecting veterans attending the event on the eve of Veterans Day.