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January 21, 2013

Anti-abortion heckler tries to disrupt inauguration, climbs tree to avoid police

A man shouting anti-abortion slogans from his perch in a tree on the National Mall did his best to disrupt Monday's inauguration ceremony.

The white-haired man in a brown coat had scaled the evergreen tree on the southwest side of the Capitol building to avoid police. He yelled "Obama is a baby killer" and waved a two-sided poster with the words "Pray to end abortion" and "Defund Planned Parenthood" printed on it. His voice could be heard starting with the invocation and throughout most of the vows and speeches.

Police roped off the area under the tree and propped a ladder against the trunk, but the man just climbed higher.

Unsurprisingly, his actions earned the ire of those in the crowd nearby. After the ceremony, they booed and shouted for him to be quiet. "Bad boy," one child admonished him. "Take your hands off my uterus!" a woman shouted.

About 20 minutes after the ceremony ended, the man finally decended the ladder, preaching the whole way down. Police handcuffed him to boistrous cheers. "Hey, hey, hey, goodbye," the crowd sang, as they headed for the exits.


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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