On Saturday, Bernie Sanders was scheduled to make two speeches in Seattle, however he was abruptly interrupted by protesters from a local Black Lives Matter Chapter which interrupted his speech.
In an attempt to draw attention to the year anniversary of the shootings of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., the protesters stormed the stage, claiming both Sanders and the city were racist.
After several moments of confusion and confrontation, an event organizer took the microphone and said the protesters would be allowed to speak before Sanders. Some in the crowd booed. One protester, who identified herself as Marissa Johnson, began by saying, “I was going to tell Bernie how racist this city is — with all of its progressives — but you’ve already done that for me. Thank you.”
Despite the protests, Sanders stressed unity amongst all people.
“When we stand together, when black and white stand together, when gay and straight stand together, when women and men stand together,” Sanders told the cheering crowd, which paid $200 to $1,000 to get in, “when we stand together, there is nothing, nothing, that we cannot accomplish.”
Sanders’ disappointment is not far-fetched.
In a written statement addressing the Westlake protest, Sanders said he was “disappointed that two people disrupted a rally attended by thousands … I was especially disappointed because on criminal-justice reform and the need to fight racism there is no other candidate for president who will fight harder than me.”
However, despite this, the activists who stormed Sander's stage have felt that their plight has gone unheard and white progressives like Sanders have been failing to support their movement.
In their protest at Sanders' rally they demanded four and a half minutes of silence to symbolize the four and a half hours that Brown’s body lay on the ground.
Others expressed their confusion as to why these protesters have targeted Sanders.
“Why would they pick Bernie Sanders to do this to? He has stuck up for civil rights,” said Diane Jerich-Domin, of Port Ludlow, Jefferson County, who added that she had attended Black Lives Matter protests after Ferguson.
Perhaps this protest on Bernie Sanders and white progressives will cause further action on racial discrimination or perhaps this will cause Sanders to raise awareness on his personal action in civil rights especially for the 2016 election.