On Saturday, MoveOn.org hosted what they called a “Big Ideas Forum” in San Francisco, where several of the Democratic candidates for president appeared to answer questions and stump for votes.
Sen. Kamala Harris’s segment was briefly interrupted by an animal rights protester who rushed the stage and physically confronted Harris:
In footage of the incident at the Big Ideas Forum hosted by MoveOn, the male protester can be seen entering the stage just as Harris took a question about the gender pay gap in the United States before being stopped by Karine Jean-Pierre, MoveOn’s chief public affairs officer.
The protester, named Aidan Cook, said he wanted ask for Harris’s attention on “a much bigger idea” before he was removed from the stage by security. Harris continued speaking after his removal.
Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights organization based in California, said in a statement that the man was an activist who wanted to call on Harris “to support ordinary citizens rescuing animals rather than the factory farms that abuse animals.”
Watch as Jean-Pierre literally does not waste a moment of time before getting up and stepping between Cook and Harris in an attempt to grab the mic back:
Here’s a photo of Aidan Cook:
The guy who took Kamala Harris’ mic, Aidan Cook, 24 of Oakland, said he’s trying to bring more attention to the mass extinction of animals. He is not being charged with a crime, he told us, adding that the MoveOn security crew was “cool about it.” pic.twitter.com/PLxpX5jbEw
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) June 2, 2019
While some journalists and liberals – including Harris’s spokesman – absurdly boiled down Cook’s actions to “mansplaining” to a woman of color, this was a serious matter and it could have happened to any of the Democratic candidates, no matter their gender or color. And the outcome could have been a lot worse.
It should not have happened.
Harris, to her credit, calmly walked away from the protester as she’s probably been instructed to do in the past by her security staff. In spite of my issues with Harris (and there are MANY), I doubt very seriously if Cook scared her. She’s a former federal prosecutor who no doubt faced a number of threats in that role, and as she’s said in the past, she owns a gun for her personal safety. She’s probably taken self-defense classes, too.
In any event, thankfully no one was hurt but MoveOn should face some major heat from her campaign over what took place. It took too long for security to intervene. Just like the milkshake incident involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1) over the weekend, these incidents have no place in a civilized society.
Also, they aren’t just dangerous for political candidates – they’re dangerous for protesters, too. The Secret Service would not have been so forgiving with Cook.
In any event, hats off to Jean-Pierre for her quick actions. Some have suggested she put herself in danger in doing what she did, but it was clear from the video that Jean-Pierre knew how to handle herself – and the situation.
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–