Californians Gather to Protest Facebook Creator's Support of Gov. Christie
The Facebook founder's first political fundraiser draws picketers and police.
Dozens of protestors crowded the sidewalk outside of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Palo Alto home Wednesday evening to oppose a campaign fundraiser for outspoken NJ Gov. Chris Christie.
The event, which marks Zuckerberg’s first foray into the world of political fundraising, drew picketers angered largely over Christie’s efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood and other women’s health programs in New Jersey.
Signs depicting a reversed thumbs-down version of Facebook’s iconic “like” symbol and the words: “zuck + chris – hands off planned parenthood” were distributed by CREDO, a California-based mobile phone and network provider that makes donations to politically progressive causes and organizes activism.
Becky Bond, CREDO’s political director, said that her organization has worked strenuously in the past to advocate for stopping the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and holds Christie responsible for closing six women’s health centers in his state. Many at the rally believed Zuckerberg’s decision to host the fundraiser for Christie tacitly implicates him in political efforts to disenfranchise women.
“We saw this as a great opportunity to come out,” Bond said. “Clearly, Mark Zuckerberg is a very smart man, but this is a decision we think he should really rethink. We’re here to show him that when he funds Chris Christie, he’s funding the Republican war on women. We want to send him a really strong message: if he doesn’t want to be associated with the war on women, then he shouldn’t be associated with Chris Christie.”
The event was not the first time Zuckerberg and Christie have crossed paths. Reportedly, Zukerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan met the governor after donating $100 million dollars to improve struggling schools in Newark, New Jersey in 2011.
Stanford Professor and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was among those in attendance Wednesday. She and many of Zuckerberg’s guests, reportedly paying up to $3,800 dollars each (the maximum under New Jersey law), had to wade through protestors who encouraged them to “fund Planned Parenthood, not Chris Christie.”
None of the individuals on their way in to the event would respond to requests for comment.