An anti-vaccine activist threw a menstrual cup with a liquid that appeared to be blood onto the floor of the California state Senate while yelling, “That’s for the dead babies.” The liquid was tossed from the upstairs balcony and splashed several lawmakers, forcing an evacuation of the legislature and a quick recess. Rebecca Dalelio, 43, was arrested and booked on six charges, including vandalism and battery. She was one of dozens of protesters to descend on the state Capitol over the past few weeks to protest bills that would seek to limit medical exemptions for vaccinations.
“These anti-vaxxers are engaging in criminal behavior. They’ve now repeatedly assaulted senators and are engaging in harassing and intimidating behavior every single day,” state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, wrote on Twitter. “They’re a cancer on the body politic and are attacking democracy.” Sen. Richard Pan, who was the author of the legislation and has been attacked by activists in the past, said the liquid hit him on his back and on his desk. Other senators were hit on the head, he said. “Everyone is pretty disturbed and upset,” Pan 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.” Some members of the state legislature went home to shower after the incident.
In a video posted on Twitter a woman can be heard yelling “that´s for the dead babies” (at 43:15) while others can be heard gasping. The video then shows a woman with her hands up as a law enforcement official stands next to her and said, “Those babies blood is on your hands … my blood is on the floor of the Senate.” State Sen. Steve Glazer tweeted a picture of a menstrual cup containing red liquid but then deleted it. “The nurse took it from my head,” Glazer said. “They’re suggesting I take a shower, so I’m going to go do that.”
The state Senate reconvened a few hours after the incident but did so in a committee room because the chamber remained a crime scene. State lawmakers then worked past midnight to finish all business on the final session before adjourning for the year.
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary, and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus