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Kristina Lapinski and Melanie Nathan caught in the middle of violent Santorum rally

TACOMA, WA – February 13, 2012 – Gay U.S.A.’s Kristina Lapinski and Melanie Nathan attended a Rick Santorum rally tonight in Tacoma, Washington to see what Santorum, the U.S. Republican presidential candidate had to say about today’s the same-sex marriage bill signed into law today by Washington State’s Governor Christine Gregoire.

Santorum had barely opened his mouth to speak to a rally of about 500 supporters when a group of  about 10 young people stood up in the crowd yelling at Santorum, “This is what democracy looks like; this is what democracy looks like.”  They successfully drowned out Santorum who could not be heard over the screams of the protestors.

Melanie Nathan approached the group and joined them in their chant.  Kristina Lapinski pointed her cameras at the young chanters and at Nathan and shouted out to the chanters “the  Governor has signed marriage equality in Washington today, tell Santorum Gay marriage is okay!”  At that point the group started chanting “gay marriage is okay gay marriage is okay!”

Santorum tried to be heard over the loudspeaker system but his voice was drowned out by the chants “GAY MARRIAGE IS OKAY!”  The crowd of Santorum supporters remained  seated and seemed puzzled by the sudden protest.

About four police officers approached the group.  Nathan left the group to turn the GAY U.S.A. camera spotlight rig away from Santorum and to focus the light onto the crowd, as Lapinski filmed the mayhem.

Just then the police dragged one of the protestors out of the group. Santorum all the while continued talking from the elevated podium stage, high above and well away from the crowd.   He was nowhere near the fracas and was never close to any protestors.  The crowd was relatively calm as the protestors chanted, yet the police saw fit to grab two of them.

Nathan cast the spotlight down on the man being tazed so Lapinski could keep filming.  The Santorum campaign personnel kept trying to pull the spotlight out of Nathan’s hand. But she kept plugging it back in.

About four police dragged one unnamed young man to the ground and while the man’s hands were behind his back they started to drag him and tazed him. It did not seem necessary to taze him as he was not resisting.  He was well apprehended at the time of the tazing.  They put the cuffs on him and dragged him along the floor away from the venue, while the crowd of Santorum supporters were chanting U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A.

Just then, the Santorum supporters started to grab Lapinski and Nathan and their camera equipment and were yelling at them. They were  calling them names “you filth, you filth.”  One woman shouted “when you lay dying you will think about this and you will know you are going to hell.”  One man put his hand in his pocket as if to indicate he had a weapon. People in the crowd started to pull on both Lapinski and Nathan.

Two really burly men started to shove at Lapinski and Nathan, and they grabbed their gear and ran for the car.

Note Kristina Lapinski is the young lesbian filmmaker featured last November questioning Gingrich and Santorum who she took by surprise at a closed Tea Party debate in New Hampshire. That video went viral and was reported in various venues including Huffington Gay Voices and can be seen here on Gay U.S.A. the Movie.

Below is a portion of the video footage shot by Kristina Lapinski at the event.

Protestor Tazed at Santorum Rally from www.gayusathemovie.com on Vimeo.

Posted by Melanie Nathan & Kristina Lapinski
melanie@gayusathemovie
kristina@gayusathemovie
Tweet @melanienathan1

 

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