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General News    H2'ed 8/15/15

No Apologies: Meet the Guy Who Got Bernie Sanders' Interrupters on the Stage

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Message Yes Magazine

Reprinted from by Marcus Harrison Green


On Saturday, August 8, Mara Willaford and Marissa Johnson, two activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement, interrupted presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a Seattle rally before the democratic presidential candidate could address the crowd of hundreds who had gathered to see him. The last week has brought criticism, praise, and analyses of their actions, heaping an avalanche of media attention on the two.

What has been less reported is the role of a third figure in the planning and orchestration of the incident: Amir Islam. Islam assisted the two women in getting on stage so they could take the mic from Sanders and served as their security, fending off attendees and event organizers who attempted to remove them from the stage, where they expressed dissatisfaction at Sanders' lack of attention toward the Black Lives Matter movement.

This is Islam's first interview with the media since the incident (I've spoken with him before for another story). Describing himself as a proponent of Black liberation, Islam spoke about Saturday's action, the need for continued disruption to bring African American experiences into the spotlight, and why the movement for black rights is more than just Black Lives Matter.

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