Appleton, WI – In a bold move to hold elected officials accountable, two community members in Appleton infiltrated a private fundraiser for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, November 17, demanding answers about her stance on Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people. The incident unfolded as the activists confronted Baldwin on her consistent votes and rhetoric for financial support of Israel amid continued human rights violations.
The community members, undeterred by the exclusive nature of the event, seized the opportunity to question the senator about the ongoing genocide in the Middle East. Their concerns centered around the apartheid state that the Zionist Israeli government operates, as well as the genocide against the Palestinian people.
However, their attempts to engage Senator Baldwin were met with resistance, as security forcibly removed them from the premises. Shockingly, one activist, Lawrence University student and leader with Appleton Students for a Democratic Society Audari Tamayo, faced a physical attack from both a state representative and their partner. Tamayo’s assault was caught on camera as he attempted to read a prepared statement to Senator Baldwin.
A group of people were gathered outside the venue, wielding signs and chanting slogans in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Their demonstration aimed to draw attention to the senator’s financial backing of Israel and the impact of such policies on innocent lives.
Law enforcement intervened, asking the protesters to disperse, but not before their message resonated with onlookers and event attendees. The incident sheds light on the challenges activists face when trying to hold elected officials accountable for their policy positions.
The confrontation at Senator Baldwin’s fundraiser was not the first such instance of its kind. In recent weeks, activists across the state have sought to address Baldwin’s support for genocide and occupation wherever she crops up on the campaign trail. The response, or lack thereof, from Baldwin and other elected officials who’ve been confronted in the same way underscores the growing importance of grassroots activism in challenging political decisions that may have far-reaching consequences. As discussions around foreign policy and human rights intensify, community members are increasingly leveraging opportunities to directly address those in power, demanding transparency and accountability.