Protesters Heckle Rep. Lauren Boebert with “Beetlejuice” Chants During University Visit

 Protesters Heckle Rep. Lauren Boebert with “Beetlejuice” Chants During University Visit

Lauren Boebert/Twitter

When Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) visited George Washington University alongside Representatives James Comer (R-KY), Byron Donalds (R-FL), and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), the event was marked by a distinctive and confrontational welcome from campus protesters.

The Daily Beast reported that during her visit—coinciding with a student encampment advocating for the university to divest from corporations linked to Israel—protesters chanted “Beetlejuice” at Boebert. This chant referenced an incident from 2023 where Boebert was ejected from a Denver theater during a performance of “Beetlejuice: The Musical” for vaping and inappropriate behavior.

“It’s time that Mayor [Muriel] Bowser gets aggressive in keeping safety here on this campus and the surrounding perimeter,” Boebert said, adding that the protesters were being “very disrespectful.” At one point, Boebert unsuccessfully tried to remove a Palestinian flag that had been draped over a statue of George Washington, saying, “This is America, and that s— needs to come down.”

Boebert’s interaction with the protesters escalated when she attempted, unsuccessfully, to remove a flag from the protest site. This led to criticism on social media, where one user commented that Boebert “has no right to touch that person’s flag,” highlighting that her visit to the university was as close as she would get to a university environment, given her educational background.

Boebert, who did not complete high school but later earned her GED in 2020 before her congressional run, used a bullhorn to address the crowd, which included signs like “gays for Gaza” and “queer and trans folks for a liberated Palestine.” Adding to the political tension, Rep. Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, declared during the visit that his committee would hold hearings on pro-Palestine protests on college campuses, pinpointing George Washington University’s protest as a significant concern.

Boebert supported Comer’s stance with a controversial statement threatening to cut federal funding to the university if the faculty, some of whom she claimed were participating in the protests, did not address the issue. She remarked, “If they don’t want to do something to address this? Well, then kiss your federal funding goodbye.”

The situation at George Washington University is part of a broader national and global movement, with nearly 100 university campuses around the world hosting similar Palestinian solidarity protests, as reported by Al Jazeera. These protests have led to the arrests of around 1,300 students, faculty, and others in a nationwide crackdown on the largely nonviolent movement, which demands divestment from companies supporting Israeli policies and a cessation of U.S. military funding to Israel.

This ongoing conflict and the associated protests are influenced by the broader geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, particularly the recent actions in Gaza initiated by Israel following an attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians. The conflict has seen the taking of hostages by Hamas, with ongoing efforts to secure their release continuing as the situation develops.

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