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Anti-Free Speech Warriors Shut Down Guest Socialist: Bernie Sanders Leaves Seattle Stage After Event Disrupted by #BlackLivesMatter

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John Wagner reports: A planned speech in Seattle by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders celebrating the anniversary of Social Security and Medicare was scuttled Saturday after protesters from Black Lives Matter took the stage and demanded that the crowd hold Sanders “accountable” for apparently not doing enough, in their view, to address police brutality and other issues on the group’s agenda.

“Marrisa Johnson, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement in Seattle, asked the crowd to ‘join us now in holding Bernie Sanders accountable for his actions.’  …After several minutes of frantic conversations, Sanders left the stage…”

Sanders, who has emerged as the leading alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination, was the final speaker scheduled on a long program. Shortly after the senator from Vermont started speaking, protesters took the microphone, shared a series of local grievances with the crowd, including school disparities and gentrification in Seattle, and then asked for a period of silence to commemorate  the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown being shot and killed during a confrontation with a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Marissa Johnson, left, speaks as Mara Jacqueline Willaford holds her fist overhead and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stands nearby as the two women take over the microphone at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle. The women, co-founders of the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter, took over the microphone and refused to relinquish it. Sanders eventually left the stage without speaking and instead waded into the crowd to greet supporters. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Marissa Johnson, left, speaks as Mara Jacqueline Willaford holds her fist overhead and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stands nearby as the two women take over the microphone at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle. The women, co-founders of the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter, took over the microphone and refused to relinquish it. Sanders eventually left the stage without speaking and instead waded into the crowd to greet supporters. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Organizers allowed the period of silence, as some in the large crowd shouted for the protesters to leave the stage. Afterward, Marrisa Johnson, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement in Seattle, asked the crowd to “join us now in holding Bernie Sanders accountable for his actions.” She motioned for Sanders to join her at the microphone.

sanders-seattle

“As Sanders left the event in Seattle on Saturday, he told reporters that he found the situation ‘unfortunate.'”

After several minutes of frantic conversations, Sanders left the stage and greeted people in the large crowd who had turned out to see him. Many chanted his name.

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The tense scene, which was streamed live by a Seattle television, was reminiscent of one July 18 in Phoenix, when a larger group of Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted a Democratic presidential forum at the liberal Netroots Nation gathering that featured both Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.

At the Netroots event, both O’Malley and Sanders were able to continue speaking, though neither filled their allotted times.

At Saturday’s event, Johnson noted that O’Malley had since released a plan on criminal justice, which calls for several policing reforms, including widespread use of body cameras.

Though Sanders has not formally released a similar plan, he has been…(read more)

The Washington Post

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One Comment on “Anti-Free Speech Warriors Shut Down Guest Socialist: Bernie Sanders Leaves Seattle Stage After Event Disrupted by #BlackLivesMatter”

  1. […] [Anti-Free Speech Warriors Shut Down Guest Socialist: Bernie Sanders Leaves Seattle Stage After Event…] […]


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