VIDEO Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down Bernie Sanders Speech
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, is confronted on the Westlake Park stage by Mara Jacqueline Willaford CQ over "Black Lives Matter" issues. She and another activist took over the rally at this point leading to the Senator leaving the stage, making his way through the crowd which thanked him for coming, and getting in a car and being driven away. Saturday August 8 2015,

VIDEO Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down Bernie Sanders Speech

A Seattle speech by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was preempted in a chaotic confrontation Saturday afternoon with Black Lives Matter protesters, who took the stage and refused to let him speak.


After speeches by Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and state Sen. Pramila Jayapal at the Westlake Park rally for Social Security, a handful of protesters walked onto the stage and grabbed the microphone.

“If you do not listen to us, your event will be shut down,” one of the protesters told organizers, who relented and said they could speak before Sanders.

“If you do not listen to us, your event will be shut down,” one of the protesters told organizers, who relented and said they could speak before Sanders.

Some in the mostly white audience booed and hissed as they urged protesters to let the senator talk. A few yelled for police to make arrests. One activist on stage replied the Seattle crowd was proving they were “white supremacist liberals.”

After denouncing the crowd, the activists demanded 4 ½ minutes of silence in memory of Michael Brown, the black man shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri a year ago. While rally organizers stood and raised their hands in support, some in the crowd yelled profanities.

After the few minutes of silence, the protesters said they wanted to hold Sanders accountable for failing to address their concerns when he was similarly interrupted at a town hall for liberal activists in Phoenix last month.

The Westlake protesters refused to let Sanders take the microphone, prompting rally organizer Robby Stern to say the event was over, and that the demonstrators were determined to stop it.

This video contains language that some viewers may find offensive.

As Sanders left the stage and greeted supporters who had been waiting at Westlake for hours, he asked that they attend his 7 p.m. campaign rally at Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington.

The Westlake rally ended around 3 p.m. with Sanders departing in a white Jeep. His campaign aides at the scene refused to offer any immediate comment.

The rally had been organized by labor groups and other supporters of Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs that Sanders has fought to expand.

An avowed democratic socialist, the independent senator had been expecting a warm welcome in Seattle. A few thousand had gathered at Westlake for the 1 p.m. event.

Sanders faces steep obstacles to winning the Democratic nomination compared to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has led in polls and fundraising. But Sanders’ fiery, anti-corporate rhetoric, has attracted progressive Democrats dissatisfied with Clinton.

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