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Warren is left shaken after dozens of protesters storm her rally at historically black college

Dozens of protesters interrupted Elizabeth Warren’s campaign rally at Clark University in Atlanta, Georgia the night after the debate, causing supporters in attendance to counter with chants of their own.

The protesters, nearly all black men and women, were all wearing matching black shirts with white lettering that read: ‘Powerful Parent Network.’ About five minutes into her stump speech, the group began stomping their feet on the rhythmically on the gymnasium risers in the L.S. Epps Gymnasium at the historically black university.

They then began recited several chants, including: ‘We want to be heard.’

This prompted the hundreds of others attending the rally in support of Warren to chant back, ‘Let her speak.’

Elizabeth Warren was shaken up by protesters at her Atlanta rally, who interrupted her appeal to black voters at a historically black university by stomping on the bleachers and chanting: ‘We want to be heard’

Representative Ayanna Pressley, who introduced Warren before her speech and endorsed her earlier this month, had to come to the candidate's defense and was able to quiet the protesters after a more than five-minute interruption

Representative Ayanna Pressley, who introduced Warren before her speech and endorsed her earlier this month, had to come to the candidate’s defense and was able to quiet the protesters after a more than five-minute interruption

Warren gave up trying to speak over the shouting and appeared to want to wait it out.

When she was able to continue her speech after a few minutes of protest, the demonstrators persisted.

Finally, freshman Representative Ayanna Pressley, a black congresswoman for Massachusetts who has endorsed Warren and introduced the candidate a few minutes earlier, came back on stage to attempt to silence the protesters. 

‘I want to say something,’ Pressley said when she joined the candidate on stage. ‘No one is here to quiet you, least not this black woman, who know what it is when people have tried to put me in a corner and tell me to be silent.’

Warren stood over Pressley’s right shoulder as her congressional colleague came to her defense.

‘You are welcome here,’ she continued. ‘The senator is here to talk about the contributions fighters like you have made to history.’

The audience, including some protesters, applauded the black congresswoman.

‘So, I want to just say something, so in this moment there are many people who do not know this story because we have been rendered as a historical footnote in history. So I am going to appeal to you, to not dishonor this history. We are grateful for your activism and your voice, and you are welcome here, and we would love to convene after this about the issues that you are here to stoke our consciousness about.’

Pressley was visibly riled up and frustrated with the attempts to silence Warren during her speech.

‘When these women have been ignored this lone, this is their moment, and we are going to hear the story,’ Pressley asserted.

She was able to tame the crowd, and more than half of those wearing the matching t-shirts stepped off the risers and exited the gymnasium.

There were no more interruptions from the audience throughout the remainder of Warren’s time onstage. 

Warren made her stop at Clark Atlanta University as a victory lap to the fifth round of Democratic debate the night before at Tyler Perry Studios where viewers claimed she, and the other frontrunner candidates, gave a lackluster performance compared to the four preceding debates. 

At the rally, she made her case to a room full of majority black voters, outlining her plans for equality and addressing race issues in America.

Although Warren largely delivered her usual rally remarks, this time around she focused on issues specific to the black and African American community, and especially black women.

Before the rally commence, a project screen above the stage read spelled out ‘Value the work of black women,’ and organizers passed out campaign posters to audience members that said, ‘Women for Warren’ and ‘Black Voters for Warren.’

‘The fighters I want to talk about tonight are black women,’ Warren said toward the start of her speech, before she was interrupted by demonstrators.

Warren has been the No. 1 female candidate virtually since launching her campaign, and ahead of the debate in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio last month, she surged in some polls to the No. 1 spot among all candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.

Wednesday night she and nine other candidates took center stage at the Oprah Winfrey Soundstage.

Even though the debate was held in Atlanta, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., race failed to become a central issue of the debate, like many predicted it would.

Candidates instead used Thursday, the day after the debate, to make victory laps around the area where they could share their place to address race issues and inequality.

Five candidates, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senators Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and billionaire Tom Steyer all attended Reverand Al Sharpton’s National Action Network breakfast to appeal to members of his religious nonprofit.

Booker was one of two black candidates who qualified for the Atlanta debates, California Senator Kamala Harris was the second.

Instead of attending Sharpton’s breakfast, she was across town at the Black women’s Power Breakfast, which was co-hosted by Higher Height and The Collective PAC, both organizations that have endorsed her.


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