Protesters disrupt McCain speech

Antiwar demonstrators heckle John McCain and disrupt his big moment at the Republican Convention.

Published September 5, 2008 2:40AM (EDT)

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- If you're at home watching John McCain's speech at the Republican Convention and wondering why he made a few odd pauses and why the crowd broke into the occasional chant of "USA! USA!" it's because a few antiwar protesters got into the hall and started heckling him during his speech.

The first hecklers were off-camera, located conveniently above the press stands. Two men, carrying banners that read "You can't win an occupation," began shouting questions for McCain. They managed to divert the attention of the press and a substantial portion of the crowd; McCain, who couldn't see what was going on from his vantage point, seemed confused. It seems as though both men have been removed, though it's hard to be sure from where I'm sitting.

Later, a second protester, this one on the floor and not far from the podium, broke into the speech, leading to more chants from McCain's supporters and more disruption of the speech. This time, McCain was able to figure out what was going on. "Please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static," he quipped, earning himself a big round of applause. "Americans want us to stop yelling at each other."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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