A protester attempted to give an Alaskan senator a “gift” — a bloody caribou heart — during a wild campaign event, according to a report.
Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan was campaigning inside an airport hangar in Anchorage Saturday when the demonstrator, Kathleen Bonnar, walked up and asked “if I could give him a gift,” local station KTUU reported.
But the move was thwarted by Sullivan’s campaign manager Matt Shuckerow, who quickly rushed over, knocking Bonnar to the ground before she could reach the incumbent, video showed.
Another protester ran up to Sullivan, who was at a podium with his wife, screaming, “I would like to talk to you!” according to the video. Shuckerow grabbed that woman’s wrist and led her out of the event. Bonnar and other protesters were also removed.
The organ offering from Bonnar — who is an indigenous Iñupiaq — was symbolic of the damage oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has done to the caribou population, KTUU reported.
The idea was the heart would “act as medicine to heal Sullivan’s heartlessness regarding Alaska Native issues,” said protest organizer Rina Kowalski.
Shuckerow slammed the stunt.
“Throwing a caribou heart — a bloody caribou heart — at a United States senator and his Athabaskan wife, if that’s a gift, we don’t want to be invited to any of your birthdays or holidays,” Shuckerow said.
He said the debacle was a real security concern.
“By rushing the stage, reaching for a concealed item within a bag, physically assaulting people on the Senator’s staff, the campaign staff, attempting to restrain their movements, it created a very dangerous environment and a very serious security threat and that was what was responded to,” Shuckerow said.
Sullivan is seeking reelection in November against independent candidate Al Gross. He has been in office since 2015.