Bernie Sanders Interrupted by Topless Female Anti-Dairy Protesters at Campaign Event for Second Day in a Row

Anti-dairy protesters from the activist group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) interrupted a campaign event held by Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Richmond, California on Monday. Two of the protesters were topless women who had the phrase "Let Dairy Die" written across their chests. Security removed the topless protester from the event.

DxE held a similar protest Sunday at a Sanders rally in Carson City, Nevada, during which three women were arrested for indecent exposure after pouring fake blood from milk cartons on themselves.

These protests come as Sanders campaigns in the days before the Nevada caucuses, scheduled to occur Saturday, and the California presidential primary, expected to happen in March.

According to a press release from DxE, Sanders has a "decades-long legislative history of protecting the dairy industry."

"We're asking Bernie to stop propping up the cruel dairy industry. I have been to Vermont dairy farms and seen the animal abuse firsthand, piles of dead cows and baby cows chained in below-freezing weather," said protester and DxE investigator Christina Liu.

bernie sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event on February 17, 2020 in Richmond, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty

Formed in San Francisco in 2013, DxE adheres to a non-violent approach to its activism which includes liberating animals before they are slaughtered.

"We have a bold vision to change the world for animals in one human generation," reads the DxE website. "We reject the speciesism that enables the mass torture and killing of nonhuman animals and the blatant disregard for their home—our planet—as well as the unjust and oppressive institutions and ideologies that harm all animals."

"I voted for Bernie and genuinely want to help Bernie and help animals," Liu told Newsweek in a statement Tuesday. "When I looked into the eyes of a scared baby calf all alone at a freezing Vermont dairy farm, I saw someone who needed help. And Bernie has dedicated his life to fighting for those in need."

"But when it comes to the dairy industry," Liu continued, "not only does Bernie support indefensible handouts to millionaires and billionaires, but also the campaign has ignored our requests for dialogue, literally for years. And now, they've even taken to arresting peaceful activists at his events."

DxE said it plans to "continue our campaign urging Bernie to disavow dairy and animal agriculture subsidies, and to invest in superior plant-based alternatives."

"We also have protested many other presidential candidates in the past, including Donald Trump, Chris Christie, and Hillary Clinton, and intend to do so in the future," the statement continued.

As senator, Sanders introduced legislature in 2018 to provide emergency financial relief to dairy farmers both in Vermont and across the country.

"This is a crisis," Sanders said in a press release. "Hard-working farmers are losing their livelihoods, their homes and their way of life. And, as farms disappear, so do the businesses and jobs they support. And so does Vermont's iconic working landscape, as dairy farming still accounts for 80 percent of all farmland in our state."