Amanda Kondrat’yev was given a 15-day sentence for throwing a drink over the Florida congressman in June
A woman in the US has been given a 15-day jail sentence after she threw a drink over Republican Florida congressman Matt Gaetz in June.
‘Milkshaking’ – as its now known – became a popular form of political protest in May when a number of far-right figures were hit with drinks as they campaigned across the UK.
Amanda Kondrat’yev threw the drink at Gaetz – a vocal Trump supporter – as the congressman was leaving an event in the city of Pensacola. At the time of the action, Kondrat’yev was protesting with others, and holding a sign that said, ‘Gaetz – wipe the blood from your hands, A+ rating – NRA, save our kids, vote Gaetz out in 2020’. In a video, demonstrators can be heard shouting, ‘hey, hey, ho, ho, baby Gaetz has got to go’, before the politician walks past them and is hit with a red Slushie. Kondrat’yev – who was caught after trying to flee the scene – was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to assault in August.
Despite – obviously – being unharmed, the politician and lawyer decided to press charges, even turning up to the sentencing to push for a prison sentence of eight months to a year. “Only incarceration allows me to reinforce to my supporters and opponents alike that free speech is welcomed – but assault will not be tolerated,” Gaetz said.
The judge rejected a long sentence, but said “the fact that there was no bodily injury or harm does not make this crime count any less”. Kondrat’yev – who briefly ran as a Democrat candidate against Gaetz in 2016 before withdrawing – will also serve one year of supervised probation and pay a $500 (£387) fine.
After the sentencing, Kondrat’yev’s attorney, Eric Stevenson, referenced Gaetz’ 2008 arrest for drunk driving (the charges were later dropped), saying: “For him to talk about a violent crime… it’s not as violent as a potential DUI is to drivers on the road.”
In a tweet, Kondrat’yev wrote: “Thank you to everyone that helped me through this SlushieGate madness. 15 days in jail, 1 yr probation, $500 fine. Not ideal, but I will survive.” Her Twitter bio reads: “Matt Gaetz thinks cups are deadly weapons but guns are cool for school.”
Gaetz also tweeted his statement, which read: “Physical assault has no place in our political discourse, and if individuals choose to engage in such activities at our events they will be prosecuted.”
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, alt-right agitator Tommy Robinson, and UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin all had milkshakes thrown over them in May by members of the public who opposed their hateful views. The action became so powerful that the term ‘milkshaking’ was added to the dictionary, far-right supporters threatened to “knock the teeth out” of anyone even holding a milkshake, and police across the world were seemingly ‘forced’ to take action to curb this terrible form of violence (sigh).
Thank you to everyone that helped me through this SlushieGate madness. Special thanks to Eric Stevenson of @StevensonKlotz, and to all my friends and family that were with me in person or in spirit.— Amanda Kondrat'yev (@manderwall) November 19, 2019
15 days jail, 1 yr probation, $500 fine. Not ideal, but I will survive. pic.twitter.com/QAsGAMYzq0