On Thursday, protestors rushed the stage as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave a rally in New Hampshire, creating confusion and disturbance. A Republican congressional candidate in the state was holding the rally when the event occurred.
While DeSantis was giving his address, a mob of demonstrators broke through the barriers and stormed the stage. Protesters interrupted the governor’s remarks by waving placards and chanting. The demonstrators’ exact grievances remain unknown, however several of them were seen with posters reading “DeSantis equals hate” and “Stop the lies.”
As tensions rose, the governor’s security team tried to remove the demonstrators off the platform by physically pushing them back. A brawl broke out, and DeSantis was almost pushed down in the melee. His security guards soon assisted him to his feet and led him off the platform.
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However, DeSantis’s campaign has issued a statement strongly criticizing the demonstrators’ actions. Anyone trying to interrupt a peaceful political rally like this will not be tolerated, the statement stated. DeSantis said, “Governor DeSantis is committed to free speech and open dialogue, but that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate violence and intimidation.”
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have criticized the event and called for an inquiry into how the protestors were able to get past security and onto the platform. The governor’s security detail has also come under fire for allegedly failing to maintain order.
Protests and disturbances at political events have been all too common recently, with the New Hampshire episode being the latest in a long line. It’s possible that we’ll see more occurrences like this in the months and years to come as emotions continue to grow and political differences deepen. Politicians and security personnel will need to coordinate to keep these gatherings calm and secure.