Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A large, well attended Bernie Sanders rally was shut down entirely by a handful of Black Lives Matter protesters.
This time it happened in Seattle when Sander’s portion of the first of two events in the area was closed down before it had even begun. A long slate of speakers at Westlake Park led up to the big event, where the self-described socialist was to be the keynote speaker in front of one of his now familiar, big crowds. But alas, it was not to be. (Washington Post)
Shortly after he took stage, a small group of protesters from a Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter took the microphone and demanded that the crowd hold Sanders “accountable” for not doing enough, in their view, to address police brutality and other issues on the group’s agenda.
After sharing a few local grievances with the crowd, including school disparities and gentrification in Seattle, the protesters 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.
Event organizers allowed the period of silence, as some in the large crowd booed and shouted for the protesters to leave the stage. Afterward, Marissa Janae Johnson, who identified herself as a leader of the Black Lives Matter chapter 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.
We’ll get to why this is significant in a moment, but the important thing to note here is that after the events described above, there was a “frantic conversation” between Sanders and his staff and then he fled the stage. He greeted some people in the crowd (who were clearly angry that the protesters had shut down his event) and then he left.
Sanders’ next event went much better, scoring perhaps his largest crowd of the campaign yet at roughly 15,000, but he made it obvious that the message had been received loud and clear. (CNN)
Though he did not directly address the earlier disturbance, Sanders cast himself as a lifelong fighter for civil rights.
“No President,” he said, “will fight harder to end the stain of racism in this country and reform our criminal justice system. Period.”…
Sanders was introduced by a series of speakers, nearly all of whom mentioned Black Lives Matters.
“Sen. Sanders knows, as do I, that Black Lives Matter,” state Rep. Luis Moscoso said. “Racial inequality is as serious as economic inequality. No one should be dehumanized by their race.”…
Sanders’ campaign also announced Saturday that Symone D. Sanders, an African-American woman, has been hired as its national press secretary.
This is truly remarkable. At this point, Bernie Sanders has essentially surrendered his campaign to a group of protesters. He has now twice been driven from his own stage. At the first event, the candidate apparently was part of a scheduled event where all the proper permits were obtained and the rules were followed. But as soon as he arrived at the podium he allowed someone with no scheduled access to the facilities to physically take the microphone away from him, change the agenda to include a moment of silence and then berate him. In response he fled the scene.
The Black Lives Matter arm of the SJW is successfully performing like a small pack of wolves who have found the weak bison in the herd. They have learned that Sanders has a weak team and no stomach for a confrontation and can be bullied into silence as they advance their agenda. Sanders had a huge crowd at the first event who were obviously there to see and hear him and were disgruntled when he was denied the chance to speak. Yet he let them down and ran away from a confrontation with a few agitators. This is a leader? This is what inspires a nation to follow you into the future?
The agenda at the second, larger event speaks volumes also. Sanders came with his own program of topics, wishing to speak about the the anniversary of Social Security, the minimum wage, family leave and programs to “improve the lot of the working class.” Yet he had to highlight his new National Press Secretary and make absolutely sure everyone knew she was black. Then, each and every speaker – including the Senator – had to mouth the catch phrase “black lives matter” over and over just to make sure that his own event wasn’t shut down by malcontents.
Bernie Sanders has demonstrated that he can’t even lead one of his own rallies, say nothing of the nation. He is currently little more than a hostage to a small group of activists who, spotting a target who can easily be bullied, are following him from event to event and dictating his behavior. If you try that at a Chris Christie rally you are told to sit down and shut up. When Sanders comes to town you can kick him around like a tin can. And now that the precedent has been set, it will be all the harder for Bernie to regain control of his message. It’s a sad spectacle to behold.