Black Activists Clash With Liberal Crowd

Black Lives Matter protesters interrupt Bernie Sanders speech
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2015 2:02 PM CDT
Black Activists Clash With Liberal Crowd
Marissa Johnson, left, speaks alongside Mara Jacqueline Willaford as Bernie Sanders, stands nearby as the two women take over the microphone at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Liberals cussing out black protesters in Seattle? Apparently it happened: Bernie Sanders was starting a speech at Westlake Park yesterday when two female activists for Black Lives Matter snatched his microphone and demanded people's attention, the Seattle Times reports. "If you do not listen … your event will be shut down," one of them said. Organizers of the event—intended to celebrate Social Security's 80th birthday—relented, allowing protesters to commemorate today's one-year anniversary of the Michael Brown shooting. But some in the mostly white crowd called for the protesters' arrest while others booed or chanted against them. The Vermont senator tried taking the mic back at one point but couldn't do so, Politico reports.

"I was going to tell Bernie how racist this city is, filled with its progressives, but you did it for me," said protester Marissa Johnson, who accused people present of "white supremacist liberalism." She mentioned police issues in Seattle and called for 4 1/2 minutes of silence for Brown, during which some shouted profanities. As for Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate went on to give a speech about the need for financial equality to 15,000 supporters at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. He also released a statement saying he was “disappointed that two people disrupted a rally attended by thousands" and cited his belief in criminal-justice reform. Black Lives Matter activists had interrupted a public interview with Sanders in Phoenix just last month. (More Bernie Sanders 2016 stories.)

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