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War protester disrupts senator during speech

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A war protester shouted down U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens when the Republican spoke of the war in Iraq during his annual address to Alaska lawmakers.

"Stevens, you and Bush are murders," shouted the man, who later identified himself as Albert Petrarca of Juneau. "Bring the troops home now. Stop the funding. Stop the war," he shouted in the Alaska House chambers, interrupting Stevens.

"You've lied for four years, Stevens. Four years you have been lying. People of Alaska are tired of their children dying in Iraq. We are sick of it. Bring them home. Bring them home, Stevens."

His discourse was met with jeers. Petrarca was escorted out of the chambers without further incident.

Anchorage Republican state Sen. Con Bunde, an Army veteran, walked toward Petrarca, encouraging him to be quiet.

"The issue is there is a time and place, and show some respect for the process," Bunde said after Stevens' speech. Bunde said he had never seen such an outburst in 15 years of being a lawmaker.

The 83-year-old Republican senator seemed unpreterbed by the 30-second interruption.

On Iraq, Stevens said: "I remain convinced that it is in our national interest to support the Iraqi military and police forces as they defend Iraq against the terrorist-inspired insurgents."

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