Protesters confront Florida attorney general at Mr. Rogers documentary screening
Protesters confronted Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) on Saturday as she left a movie screening of the new documentary about Mr. Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
A video posted to Twitter shows Bondi being escorted out of the building by police officers as protesters chant slogans and demand Bondi support health care provisions from the Affordable Care Act.
“What would Mr. Rogers think about you and your legacy in Florida? Taking away health insurance from people with pre-existing conditions, Pam Bondi!” yelled Maria José Chapa, a labor organizer, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Shame on you!”
Pam Bondi attempted to attend a screening of the Mister Rogers documentary a day after announcing her plan to end protections for health care consumers with pre-existing conditions. Here, via @timintampa, is what happened. pic.twitter.com/zMLrSayS8M
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 23, 2018
Timothy Heberlein of left-leaning group Organize Florida, took the video and uploaded it to Twitter.
Heberlein told the Times that he and his friends likely would have confronted Bondi regardless of the movie she was seeing, but noted that the neighborly message of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” clashed with Bondi’s recent decision to join 19 other Republican-led states in a lawsuit to overturn key tenets of the Affordable Care Act.
In particular, the suit would end the act’s protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions from insurance company discrimination.
“I feel like even if we went to see ‘The Incredibles’ we would have said something,” Heberlein said.
In a phone call, Bondi characterized the protesters as being ready for a confrontation.
“We were in a movie about anti-bullying and practicing peace and love and tolerance and accepting of people for their differences,” Bondi said. “That’s what Mr. Rogers is all about. We all believe in free speech, but there’s a big difference there.”
Bondi’s marks the latest in a series of partisan clashes this week.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen was confronted in a Mexican restaurant by liberal activists this week, protesting the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families at the U.S.–Mexico border.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Saturday was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia over her support for President Trump’s desire to ban transgender people from the military.