#BlackLivesMatter protesters take over Bernie Sanders rally
Saturday, Bernie Sanders came to Seattle to give two speeches, but thanks to protestors, the first one never happened.
Two Black Lives Matter protesters took over the stage during Sanders’ rally yesterday, shouting at him to let them be heard. Ironically, this happened right after the presidential hopeful had fired up the crowd by talking about how progressive the city is.
The rally became derailed after the women promised to shut down the entire event unless one of them was able to speak, crying, “Let her speak or we’ll shut it down!”
— Craig Newman (@craignewman) August 8, 2015
When the women were finally allowed to address the crowd, they welcomed Sanders to Seattle and spoke about racial issues in their community and then asked for a moment of silence after reminding everyone of today’s one-year anniversary of Michael Brown‘s death.
Organizers allowed the moment of silence, even though some in the crowd were upset by the interruption and booed, asking for the protesters to leave the stage. When the footage went viral, some activists on social media questioned if the actions of these two protesters truly speak on behalf of the larger Black Lives Matter movement.
Hours later, Sanders, who has consistently drawn bigger crowds than any other presidential contender, was met by his largest crowd yet: 15,000 supporters packed into an arena to hear him speak.
What’s most notable is that Symone Sanders, a volunteer organizer with the D.C.-based Coalition for Juvenile Justice, and a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement has been announced as the new national press secretary of Sanders’ campaign and was asked to introduce the 73-year-old senator at the event.
The self-described democratic socialist received loud boisterous applause as he finally got to deliver his speech.
Quite the reception for Sanders in Seattle. pic.twitter.com/dibVAOGd5x
— Dan Merica (@merica) August 9, 2015
As for the first rally protest, Symone Sanders said, “Do I think everyone in the movement agrees with the way the protesters commanded the stage today? No. Am I going to condemn the protesters for standing up and expressing themselves? No. Because their voices matter.”
“Some people haven’t heard [Sanders’ new message] yet, they haven’t heard it, they haven’t received it yet. But I think they will hear it,” she said. “But you have to understand that this is a very emotional weekend for people. Tomorrow is the anniversary when Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown… so people are feeling that.”