Protesters from the grass-roots movement disrupted a town hall event featuring former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in Las Vegas late Wednesday, expanding their targets after having focused in recent weeks on the Democratic presidential contenders.
The disruption happened after Bush responded to a question about racial justice, saying “we have serious problems and these problems have gotten worse in the last few years. Communities, people no longer trust the basic institutions in our society that they need to trust to create, to make things work.”
Advocates in the audience then started chanting “Black Lives Matter” as Bush left the auditorium, according to The Las Vegas Sun.
The Bush campaign said the former governor had met privately with Black Lives Matter advocates ahead of the event.
On Sunday, after Black Lives Matter activists interrupted a Bernie Sanders rally for a second time, organizers for the movement distanced themselves from accusations that they are partisan or endorse Hillary Clinton:
At this time, #BlackLivesMatter does not endorse any presidential candidate. Moreover, we are not affiliated with a political party. Our work is not funded or driven by any political party nor is it influenced by local or national candidates.
As stated in our mission, #BlackLivesMatter is an ideological and political intervention; we are not controlled by the same political machine we are attempting to hold accountable. In the year leading up to the elections, we are committed to holding all candidates for Office accountable to the needs and dreams of Black people. We embrace a diversity of tactics. We are a decentralized network aiming to build the leadership and power of black people. We do not endorse any political party and we are not supported by any political party. Our political aims we’ve stated clearly.
Historically, all political parties have participated in the systematic disenfranchisement of Black people. Anti-black racism, especially that sanctioned by the state, has resulted in the loss of healthy and thriving Black life and well-being. Given that, we will continue to hold politicians and political parties accountable for their policies and platforms. We will also continue to demand the intentional dismantling of structural racism.
Thanks for the news tip and your efforts to cover this important protest, Desiree! We recently commissioned Desiree to write about an effort to aid immigrants in detention in Colorado, and I’m excited that we’ll be able to share her report with our readers soon.