Protesters crash Nikki Haley rally

Surjaditya Sarkar | Mercury Staff

In Dallas, protesting Comets interrupt Haley’s speech, disrupt rally with criticism and condemnations

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley spoke at a Dallas rally; the event was disrupted five different times by pro-Palestine protestors who disguised themselves as Haley supporters on Feb. 18.

“Nikki Haley chose a side – she chose genocide”

– Protester

During her campaign for president, Haley made a stop at the South Side Ballroom, where she discussed her policy goals: lowering the unemployment rate, increasing border security and incentivizing Congress to draft budgets more quickly, possibly by imposing monetary punishments for delays. Haley also discussed the importance of term limits and proof of mental competence for elected leaders. However, during the 33-minute-long stump speech, protesters repeatedly interrupted to condemn Haley for her public stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One protester ripped up a campaign sign and said that blood of “13 thousand children from Gaza” was on Haley’s hands; they were then dragged out of the venue by security.

“And this is why you have to worry about Iran,” Haley said in response.

Before Haley came on stage, former Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price spoke on Haley’s character. Price said that Haley’s story represents the American Dream, as she comes from an immigrant family and has found both personal and professional success, juggling business endeavors with building a family. Price also said that Haley is level-headed, not “dramatic” like Trump, and will bring strong conservative principles to the White House while also having the ability to reach across the aisle to Democrats.

“No silver spoon for her, she knows what it’s like to raise a family,” Price said. “She knows what it’s like to build a business. She knows what it takes to deal with issues and to stand strong.”

Haley said she hopes to support veterans who face homelessness after discharge, as well as strengthen resources for PTSD treatment. She was interrupted by protestors four more times over the course of her 33-minute speech.

“Do you serve the American people or the Israeli government?” one protestor said.

After repeated interruptions, the topic of Haley’s speech shifted, with almost half of her speaking time used to respond to protestors or repeat her support for Israel’s military actions.

“Everybody says, well, why doesn’t America understand national security? Don’t blame Americans,” Haley said. “Because right now the President and Congress don’t tell people why Ukraine matters. They don’t tell people why Israel matters.”

Protests continued outside of the venue for the duration of Haley’s speech consisting of 15 Dallasites, including Mousa Najjar, a UTD student and member of Students for Justice in Palestine. They unraveled a banner calling for an end to American funding of Israel and chanted for a free Palestine, as well as demonstrating against Israeli airstrikes on civilians in the city of Rafah.

“We’re coming out, calling Nikki Haley out for her hypocrisy because she supports genocide,” Najjar said. “And we stand here for Rafah.”

Demonstrators gather outside of Nikki Haley’s rally in Dallas with banners calling for an end to U.S. funding of Israel. Protesters also disguised as Haley supporters entered the event and disrupted Haley’s speech with denunciations of her stance on Israel’s recent activity.
Surjaditya Sarkar | Mercury Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *