Anti-Abortion Protester Caused Disturbance During Inaugural

The Los Angeles-based pastor was arrested during the Obama inauguration Monday.

By Anamika Roy, Capital News Service

A vocal anti-abortion protester who climbed a tree at the Presidential Inaugural on Monday was arrested by Capitol Police after his screaming disturbed ticketholders.

A man identified by Capitol Police as Rives Grogan was a ticketed guest, who was detained after causing the disturbance, said Capitol Police spokesman Shennell S. Antrobus.

He has been a pastor at New Beginnings Christian Church in Los Angeles, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has twice disrupted Supreme Court proceedings, according to an NBC Washington story.

The protester accused President Obama, whom he called "the anti-Christ," of killing babies and causing bloodshed. He asked attendees to "Stop Obama." The protester held a placard that read "Defund Planned Parenthood" on one side and "Pray to End Abortion" on the other. Throughout the ceremony, he repeatedly yelled "What about the babies?"

Annoyed ticketholders who couldn't hear the program yelled back: "I didn't come here to listen to you!" among other things.

"It (was) my understanding that the individual was yelling and screaming while in the tree. He was a nuisance to attendees," Antrobus wrote in an email response to questions. "He was arrested when it was appropriate to do so to ensure his safety , as well as the others attending the event."

Capitol Police surrounded the tree to keep the public away, blocking views for attendees and forcing them into a small area. Many left the grounds in frustration.

Police put ladders around the tree to get the protester down, but he only climbed higher to a point where the ladder could not reach him.

After the ceremony ended, the SWAT team convinced the man to climb down, and he was arrested.

Attendees were eager to see the man who ruined their inauguration experience get justice and crowded around the tree after the ceremony. Capitol Police had to barricade the area to ensure that the protester was safely removed from the scene.

Tell Us: Did you see the anti-abortion protester who climbed the tree during the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony Monday?

TheEdge January 23, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Yeah the guys was irritating, but isn't this America? Aren't we founded on the principle of free speech, even speech that people don't want to hear? And while reasonable time, manner, and place restrictions on speech are allowed, I can't think of a more reasonable public forum to speak than an inauguration. The cops overreached. The people having to listen to him could have moved away. Well, at least until the cops came and blocked them from leaving.
Cornelia January 23, 2013 at 01:41 PM
The war on women is being waged by MEN who think they have any right to decide what a woman can do with her own body. Creepy man from Los Angeles and creepy man from Bowie. Hands Off!
Matt January 23, 2013 at 03:55 PM
He does not have the right to disturb the peace of others or disrupt a public event. He also does not have the right to climb that tree. The only thing the police did wrong was not pull out a chain saw.
Frank McCants January 23, 2013 at 08:18 PM
With abortion, you are undoubtedly killing a living organism with a heartbeat, an organism that actually already holds legal rights well before birth. This is not my opinion, but a fact. My opinion is that the fed should not make any law regarding abortion. This issue is far too contentious will be better off if left up to the states. This way Texas and Connecticut can have it their own way...
Yeppers January 24, 2013 at 03:41 PM
My husband and I had tickets in the red section and the man was pretty far away from us but insanely disruptive. People could not simply move away from him because there was no place else to move out of his earshot. I wish the police would have acted sooner. He was a nuisance, plain and simple. While I have mixed feelings about abortion considering the circumstances, I believe it's a private matter. I would have been okay with the police tranquilizing the man to get him out of the tree. His act was unnecessarily intrusive to everyone who had to listen to him instead of the event that they came to hear.


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