Jill Biden’s Human Rights Campaign Keynote Address Disrupted by Protesters of Israel-Hamas War

First Lady Jill Biden’s keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Los Angeles Saturday night was interrupted by protesters of the Israel-Hamas war.

Just as Biden took to the stage at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel and began speaking, a handful of people stood up from their seats and started shouting, “Ceasefire Now.” One person also held up a sign that read, “Queer Jews Say Ceasefire Now.”

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Security officials quickly ushered them out of the ballroom as they continued to yell. Other guests in the room also started to counter-chant, “Four more years,” in reference to President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign.

While Biden paused her speech during the incident, she didn’t directly address the protesters and just resumed once they left the room.

Saturday’s HRC event honored those who continue to work for LGBTQ equality, and served as a major fundraiser for the organization. At the gala, Hacks actress Jean Smart received the National Equality Award, and American Fiction star Sterling K. Brown was honored with the Ally for Equality Award.

Earlier in the evening, a protest also blocked the driveway to the hotel’s front entrance. Demonstrators could be heard shouting as guests arrived.

Protesters of the Israel-Hamas war have continued to disrupt major Hollywood events throughout this year’s awards season. Most recently, pro-Palestine demonstrators stopped traffic en route to the 2024 Academy Awards.

Days after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, HRC president Kelley Robinson issued a statement on the ongoing conflict, writing in part, “I am outraged by the brutal terrorist attack by Hamas, killing 1,200 Israeli civilians. The toll on both Israeli and Palestinian civilian lives rises daily. And many in the United States who are Jewish and Muslim recognize that hate-motivated bias and violence will rise here. Antisemitism is wrong. Islamophobia is wrong. Full stop.”

The statement continued, “As we gather this week, many members of our community feel very broken right now. The world is heavy and frightening. And the future is uncertain. This violence is a reminder that the struggle for liberation against extremism, discrimination, and hate is a global struggle. It’s my struggle. It’s your struggle. It’s our struggle.”

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