In what has become something of a tradition at Democratic primary events, protesters interrupted Joe Biden as the former vice president was about to deliver his closing remarks at the Las Vegas Democratic debate on Wednesday night.
The protesters began shouting from the back of the room just after Biden was invited to speak. It was difficult to make out precisely what they were chanting while watching the debate on television, but early on, one protester could be heard saying “You deported 3 million people!,” a frequent criticism of the Obama administration’s immigration policies.
Toward the end of the demonstration, which lasted around a minute, other members of the audience began cheering; it was not entirely clear if the cheering was in support of the protest or to drown it out. Biden began his closing remarks after the protesters were escorted out of the auditorium.
Moments later, the activist wing of Immigrants-rights organization RAICES claimed credit for the demonstration. “We are interrupting @JoeBiden at the #DemDebate chanting #DontLookAway and #NoKidsInCages. We need a Democratic candidate to adopt the #MigrantJusticePlatform and commit themselves to improve the lives of migrants and refugees!,” the organization said on Twitter.
For his part, Biden looked around silently as he waited for the demonstration to stop.
It was actually the fourth time protesters have interrupted a Democratic primary event, and the second time it’s happened to Biden. Protestors interrupted him during the third round of Democratic debates in September 2018, just as the former Delaware senator was preparing to answer a question about how he has responded to professional setbacks and resilience.
In that instance, the chanting was audible but not clearly identifiable due to the location of the protesters and fact they weren’t chanting in unison, but activist Jess Davidson, who attended the debate, said they were shouting, “We are DACA recipients. Our lives are at risk.”
Protesters also interrupted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s opening remarks during the Democratic debate in July. And in October, trans rights protesters interrupted Pete Buttigieg during a CNN town hall.
– MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 20, 2020
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