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USCalifornia Senate evacuated after vaccine protester throws red liquid onto lawmakers

07:31  14 september  2019
07:31  14 september  2019 Source:   latimes.com

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Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) inspects a jacket she was wearing just after it was splashed with a red liquid from a protester in the balcony of the Senate Hours away from wrapping up its work before adjourning for the year, the California Senate was forced Friday to abandon its historic chamber to

The red liquid hit several lawmakers and forced an evacuation of the chamber. An anti- vaccine activist threw a menstrual cup with a liquid that appeared to be blood onto the floor of the The liquid was tossed from the upstairs balcony and splashed several lawmakers , forcing an evacuation of the

Hours away from wrapping up its work before adjourning for the year, the California Senate was forced Friday to abandon its historic chamber to finish its work in a nearby committee room after a protester dropped an unknown red liquid on senators from the visitor gallery, prompting the room to be evacuated.

California Senate evacuated after vaccine protester throws red liquid onto lawmakers© Patrick McGreevy/Los Angeles Times State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) inspects a jacket she was wearing just after it was splashed with a red liquid from a protester in the balcony of the Senate chambers.

The protester was among dozens who were inside the state Capitol in opposition to a pair of bills signed Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom to impose new oversight of childhood vaccine exemptions. Authorities roped off the chamber with caution tape as the California Highway Patrol and Senate officers began an investigation.

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A protester was taken into custody at the California Statehouse in Sacramento on Friday evening after she allegedly threw a feminine hygiene device containing "what appeared to be blood" onto the floor of the state Senate from a public viewing area, splashing the liquid onto lawmakers working

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"A crime was committed today, but the Senate will not be deterred from conducting the people's business," Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said as she stood at the front of the committee hearing room when the proceedings resumed in the new location.

Senators were asked to sit in audience seats inside the large committee hearing room, with the public and media members moved to an upstairs balcony to view the final votes before adjournment. It was the first time the Senate has been forced to convene in a different room since a big-rig truck crashed into the statehouse in 2001, leaving portions of the 19th-century building damaged.

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A red liquid that was thrown by an anti- vaccine activist onto the floor of the California State Senate earlier this month has been determined to be human blood, according to chamber officials.

The red liquid that was thrown onto the California state senate floor by an anti-vax protester , just as lawmakers were set to roll back vaccine exemptions 13 after she tossed what reportedly looked like a menstrual cup with red liquid onto the floor. In a letter to staffers on Wednesday, the secretary of

Tensions have been high at the Capitol over the last few weeks as legislators weigh ed the contentious legislation. Protesters have packed the hallways and disrupted hearings and floor sessions in the Legislature. A group of opponents of the bill have stood and chanted outside Newsom's office.

State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who authored the legislation, was confronted last month by an anti-vaccine activist and shoved on the street near the Capitol.

Video provided by CBS Sacramento

The Senate allowed several protesters into the gallery on Friday, who held up signs including one that said "Medical Freedom." Other opponents of the bill sat silently in the balcony with fists raised in protest for more than an hour before the incident.

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The California Highway Patrol said it arrested a woman who “ threw a feminine hygiene device containing what appeared to be blood onto the Senate floor.” The agency said the liquid landed on several senators . “That’s for the dead babies,” the woman shouted as she threw the liquid from the

The California senator fighting for the strictest vaccination laws in the US. Protestors of California ’s vaccine bill SB276 have taken over the building. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) inspects a jacket she was wearing just after it was splashed with a red liquid from a protester in the balcony of the Senate

Shortly after 5 p.m., as the Senate was voting on a bill related to sexual harassment, a woman leaned over the balcony and dropped the liquid on unsuspecting senators standing below. Someone shouted, "This is for dead babies." Atkins called an immediate break for a caucus meeting, and senators headed to a conference room off the floor. Some left the Capitol and went back to their Sacramento homes to shower.

Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) apologized to lawmakers as she stood next to Atkins as the session resumed in the committee hearing room. She said a suspect is in CHP custody and should be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." Law enforcement officials did not immediately comment on the status of their investigation.

Pan, who authored the legislation and has become a target of the protests, said the liquid splashed on his back and desk. He said other senators were hit on the head with the liquid.

"Everyone is pretty disturbed and upset," he said. "It's like we've been saying, violent rhetoric turns to violent acts. This is a direct attack on the democratic process and this should be condemned by everyone. This needs to stop."

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An anti- vaccine activist temporarily shut down the California state Senate on Friday when red liquid was dumped on lawmakers from the California Senate goes into recess after anti- vaccine protester throws a red liquid from the gallery. Protester blurted something about the blood of

to be blood" onto the floor of the state Senate , splashing onto lawmakers and forcing them to finish their work in a Anti- vaccine protesters react to new California law targeting vaccine exemptions Woman Arrested Friday After Allegedly Throwing Red Liquid On State Senators , Claiming It Was

The new laws, Senate Bills 276 and 714, would create state oversight of medical exemptions for vaccines required to attend public and private schools, as well as day care centers.

California already has some of the nation's tightest childhood immunization laws, allowing doctors to excuse children, temporarily or permanently, from some or all vaccinations if there is a medical reason.

Opponents had hoped Newsom would loosen guidelines or veto the bills. His signature inspired outrage among anti-vaccine activists, who traveled to Sacramento from cities across the state to join the protests.

Legislative leaders had warned lawmakers and Capitol staff members to anticipate the potential for large crowds arriving Friday.

"This is an outrageous way of trying to protest or make a point," said state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), who was seated at his desk on the floor when liquid fell on unsuspecting legislators.

Some activists were frustrated by Friday's events, saying they shouldn't all be held responsible for the actions of one person.

"It's unfair to the respectable majority in the medical freedom movement to always have to claim those who resort to illegal actions; it would be the equivalent of us saying all Senators are child abusers or alcoholics because their colleagues were arrested for it," said Melissa Floyd of Immunity Education, which opposes vaccine mandate bills.

Nathan Click, a spokesman for Newsom, called the act "despicable."

"All of us in the governor's office strongly condemn this act and the disruption it has caused," Click said.

Times staff writer John Myers contributed to this report

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