OAKLAND — Over a dozen animal rights activists from the Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) animal liberation group rushed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as he spoke onstage at the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland on Monday afternoon, before being assaulted by his supporters and taken away by the Secret Service.
“We don’t get intimidated easily!” Sanders said in response to the incident.
According to Zach Groff, a member of DxE, the protesters were “demanding the candidate promise action to secure legal rights for nonhuman animals.”
They held up signs reading “Animal Liberation Now” and “Animal Rights is Social justice” as the crowd of over 10,000 of Sanders supporters watched.
The group, which was founded in the Bay Area in 2013, is known for its investigations into “humane” farms.
In a press release, the group stated:
Activists do not protest at Bernie Sanders rallies in opposition to Sanders himself, but rather to pull Sanders in their direction. Sanders’ opponent Hillary Clinton recently released a campaign platform on animal issues, although it stops far short of what activists would like to see. Activists expect Bernie Sanders, the progressive candidate, to support more radical action to provide animals not just with improved conditions but with legal rights to be free from harm.
During his talk on Monday afternoon, Sanders reiterated his belief that climate change is “a great environmental crisis facing our country and the world” and he praised the Native American people for their respect for the earth and its natural resources.
Later, Sanders was seen in attendance at Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, where the Golden State Warriors hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. Scalped tickets for that game were running in excess of tens of thousands of dollars.
Sanders will continue his campaign tour on Tuesday, speaking in Monterrey and Santa Cruz before returning to the Bay Area on Wednesday.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz