“We’re shutting this event down — now,” said an activist who suddenly leapt on stage. She approached the microphone where Sanders had just begun speaking, thanking attendees for welcoming him to “one of most progressive cities in the United States of America.” An event organizer attempted to stop the activist, and a heated exchange ensued as the crowd booed.
Eventually, activist Marissa Johnson was allowed to speak. “I was going to tell Bernie how racist this city is, even with all of these progressives, but you’ve already done that for me. Thank you,” she said as some in the crowd called for her arrest.
Johnson then asked for a four-and-half-minute moment of silence to honor Michael Brown Jr., the black teenager who was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, a year ago. As the crowd grew more agitated, Johnson added that Sanders says he cares about grassroots movements, but, “The biggest grassroots movement in this country right now is Black Lives Matter.”
Sanders stood by silently the entire time. Eventually, organizers decided to end the event and the Vermont senator did not return to the microphone.