As Illinois GOP delegates were sitting down to eggs and bacon Tuesday morning, a small group of activists crashed the breakfast meeting and took the stage to chant for a minimum-wage increase, noting "you can't make a living off $7.25."
State party officials organizing the four-day delegation trip were taken by surprise as the protesters -- affiliated with activists groups MoveOn.org and 99uniting.org -- reportedly got into the room by telling staff they were hotel guests.
A number of delegates booed before state party chair Pat Brady intervened and police escorted the protesters out of the room. There were no arrests.
Protester Tamiko Edwards, of Peoria, said the group was stopping at a number of hotels housing delegates. Rene Cripe, of Oregon, called the group a loose coalition of individuals who are driven to work to better the lives of "everyday people." A child-care provider and grandmother, Cripe said she became involved when she saw rising poverty levels at her grandchildrens' school.
As the delegation breakfast resumed, Brady -- an attorney by day -- joked that he didn't know the minimum wage was as high as it was. "I only make $5 an hour," he said.