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Code Pink activist arrested over ‘bloody handprints’ protest at Nancy Pelosi’s home

A woman with her hands raised in the air and red paint on the surrounding sidewalk
A group of Code Pink activists, including Cynthia Papermaster, center, protest in front of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi’s home calling for a cease-fire in the Israeli-Hamas war and demanding Pelosi not to support Israel, in San Francisco on Feb.11. | Source: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu/Getty Images

The activist cited in February for smearing red handprints on Nancy Pelosi’s garage in protest of her support for Israel’s war in Gaza has been arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism. 

Cynthia Papermaster, 77, was booked Thursday evening and is being held in San Francisco County Jail. A Berkeley resident and longtime member of the leftist feminist organization Code Pink, she faces two charges of vandalism of more than $400 and is being held on a $50,000 bond. She is expected to be arraigned Friday.

Papermaster says she and the roughly 600 loosely affiliated members of her Code Pink chapter have focused on Pelosi and her home in order to get the U.S. to pressure Israel to stop its war in Gaza.

“We want to see a permanent and immediate cease-fire,” she said in a recent interview with The Standard. “We can't control what the Israelis do, but we can control what our own government does, or at least that's the aspiration.” 

Following the Feb. 11 incident, Pelosi intimated that Papermaster and her organization, Code Pink, should be investigated by the FBI for potential “foreign influence.” 

Pelosi’s accusation appears in part to be a reference to a recent New York Times article linking some of the group’s funding to a socialist socialite with connections to the People’s Republic of China. The group and a media watchdog organization have since attacked the story’s finding, calling it a modern-day version of McCarthyism. 

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