Chicago Sun-Times
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Activists disrupt start of Illinois GOP breakfast

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CLEARWATER, FL. - Three activists affiliated with MoveOn, the liberal advocacy group, briefly stole the stage Tuesday morning from Illinois Republicans who had just started their daily breakfast meeting.

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The group chanting in support for a minimum-wage increase took state GOP chief Pat Brady by surprise and seized the podium for about two minutes. They quickly were met with boos before Brady encouraged a few hundred delegates and their guests to stop.

Clearwater police entered the room and escorted the protesters off the stage. No arrests took place.

Barbara Pitzer, of Oregon, told the Sun-Times' Natasha Korecki she had a master's degree in special education but cannot get work in her field.

"It takes three of us, my adult son and adult daughter to put food on the table," she said afterwards.

Asked why she was there, Pitzer replied, "To ask for the 1 percent to do their fair share and pay taxes."

After the group left, former U.S. Sen. Norman Coleman (R-MN) spoke, and Brady cracked, "I didn't realize the minimum wage was $7.25. I only make $5 an hour."

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