A protester interrupted Sen. Kamala Harris’ speech on Saturday, snatching the microphone from the presidential candidate and beginning a rant before being escorted from the stage.
Harris was in San Francisco at the MoveOn “Big Ideas Forum” discussing her plan to close the gender pay-gap when a protester walked onto the stage. Harris appeared more confused than scared as the man took the microphone from her hand and began speaking to the crowd. According to Politico, the protester was blocked by moderator (and off-duty Dora Milaje warrior) Karine Jean-Pierre before being surrounded by security. Harris, meanwhile, walked off the stage.
The dainty way they initially tried to take the mic from the speech interrupter, and the length of time taken for this intruder to be escorted off the stage showed just how lax security was at this event. It’s scary to think of the possibilities.
As the protester was being removed from the stage—with assistance from Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, according to Politico—another host can be heard saying, “Thank you so much sir, for your big idea, but we want to make sure that we are able to get through this. It’s OK, folks, it’s OK. People have their own big ideas.”
You can watch the interruption below:
The protester later said to Politico:
“I live in Oakland and I’m one of Kamala Harris’ constituents. I came to the MoveOn Big Ideas Forum today because there’s one big idea that all of the 2020 presidential candidates are ignoring. Which is that is by raising and slaughtering billions of animals every year not only are we completely ... undermining our values as a nation of compassionate animal lovers but we are literally preparing to drive our society off a cliff. Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change.”
When Politico asked about the lack of respect for Harris’ time on stage the protester replied, “We’ve done everything we could to try to start this conversation through normal channels, we’ve reached out to all the campaigns, including Kamala’s, we’ve reached out to MoveOn and pretty much have been completely ignored.”
Politico reports that the man was removed from the building and released without being charged with any misdemeanors.
“It’s all good. It’s all good. Don’t worry,” Harris said to the audience after the man was taken off the premises. She then told the moderator, “You had a question I want to answer.” The event proceeded to go on as planned.
Emhoff later sent out a tweet assuring everyone that he and Harris “are good.”
The protester has been identified, along with the organization he represents, but they get no public shine over here. There are plenty of other, more productive ways of being heard, particularly ones that don’t involve the disrespect and silencing of black women.
Correction: Sept. 15, 2019, 7:20 p.m. ET: This story has been edited to remove unattributed text and add fuller sourcing.