Marjorie Taylor Greene kicks Gen Z activist, video appears to show

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) appeared to kick an unarmed protester during a confrontation outside the Capitol on Thursday afternoon.

Videos posted to Twitter by Greene and the activist group Gen Z Voters of Tomorrow show Greene leaving a press conference as he is questioned by activists about gun violence. As Greene approaches a crosswalk, she appears to kick one of the activists, who was walking in front of her.

“Excuse me,” Greene said, initially appearing to step on protester Marianna Pecora’s toe.

“Excuse me,” Greene said again, this time after appearing to intentionally back his foot and aim for Pecora’s leg.

“Oh my God,” Pecora, 18, says in the videos.

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“You can’t block members of Congress,” Greene’s director of communications, Nick Dyer, told Pecora, even as Greene engaged him in conversation.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Dyer expressed objections to the description of the video and described a version of events not supported by video evidence.

The confrontation began around 5 p.m. Eastern time when the conservative House Freedom Caucus group, of which Greene is a member, held a press conference to discuss a government funding bill being debated in the Senate. .

As lawmakers were leaving the event, Santiago Mayer, the 20-year-old founder of Voters of Tomorrow, approached Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), another caucus member, asking to take a photo and claiming to be a “huge fan,” observed a Washington Post reporter at the event.

But both members quickly recognized Mayer as an activist. Boebert pushed the mayor’s smartphone away and quickly walked out. Greene instead jousted with the activist group – and accused Mayer of abusing children.

Mayer told the Washington Post the charge was brought after he asked her if she had a plan to protect children from school shootings.

“You help kids get shot at school,” Mayer told Greene.

The lawmaker, who has criticized gun control regulations for banning guns in certain public places, responded by saying he should just “move to another country”.

“I asked him if his official position as a congressman was that I should just move to another country if I didn’t want kids getting shot,” Mayer said.

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He said Greene refused to answer that question. That’s when Pecora stepped in, and the videos appear to show the incident taking a physical turn. The congresswoman, Mayer said, also called the group of activists “cowards.”

Mayer, who is a Mexican immigrant, said he wasn’t sure if his slight accent tipped off Greene, who suggested he move to another country. After the incident, however, Greene targeted Mayer and his nationality. on Twittercalling him “a paid political activist, who happens to be blessed to have immigrated to our great country”.

“He should respect and be grateful for American freedoms, like our 2A, instead of trying to destroy them,” she said. “If he doesn’t like it, he can go back.”

Mayer is a grassroots organizer who founded Voters of Tomorrow at age 17 to encourage his American peers to vote and become more civically engaged. He said he, Pecora and other members of the Gen Z-led group were on Capitol Hill Thursday to “talk to members of Congress about Gen Z priorities.” They had just left a meeting with the House Rules Committee when they clashed with the Freedom Caucus.

Pecora, a college freshman, told the Post that the altercation with Greene was unlike any other interaction she’s had with sitting lawmakers, whom she spent the week meeting with to discuss Gen Z priorities. These lawmakers, she said, took her group of young activists seriously and treated them with respect.

“It’s honestly, like, really disheartening to think that a bunch of kids can stand with better composure than a congressman,” Pecora said. “We’ve been sitting in meetings all week with Democrats and Republicans. Nobody was anything but respectful. Everyone was incredibly attentive, took us seriously and had really productive conversations with us. Except for Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Mayer said he and Pecora have yet to discuss whether to press charges against Greene. Pecora, he said, was fine physically after being kicked, although he was shaken slightly.

“It’s a bit of chaos,” Mayer said. “She’s… just a little shocked that a congressman is trying to kick her.”

Greene has a history of heated confrontations around the Capitol.

In 2019, before she was elected to Congress, she harassed David Hogg, then a teenage gun control activist and survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, as he walked around the grounds. to meet legislators.

Greene followed Hogg for several blocks while repeating lies about the events at his high school, where 17 people were killed in the 2018 attack. As Hogg crossed a street, Greene turned to another person filming the encounter and called Hogg “a coward”.

In 2021, Greene accosted Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) in a Capitol hallway and accused her of supporting “terrorists.” Two Post reporters witnessed the interaction, which led Ocasio-Cortez to ask congressional leaders to review their security posture to protect elected officials.

“You don’t care about the American people,” Greene shouted. “Why do you support terrorists and antifa? »

Ocasio-Cortez didn’t stop to respond to Greene, only turning around once and throwing his hands up in the air in an exasperated motion.

House Democrats berated Greene for her behavior and voted in 2021 to remove her from committee assignments.

Greene has previously said black people “are held as slaves to the Democratic Party” and asserted that Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — the first two Muslim women elected to Congress — represent “ an Islamic party invading our government offices. She also repeatedly compared liberal lawmakers to Nazis, and continued to do so even after warnings from Republican leaders to stop.

Marianna Sotomayor contributed to this report.

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