A protester grabbed a microphone from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as the 2020 White House hopeful spoke onstage at MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” on Saturday.
The incident occurred after Harris had finished detailing her pay equity proposal and was preparing to take questions from MoveOn chief public affairs officer Karine Jean-Pierre and former Obama White House aide Stephanie Valencia. A man in a dark t-shirt and jeans with a hair-bun strolled onto the stage and swipe the microphone from the surprised California Democrat.
Members of the audience shouted ”Hey!” while the protest was hauled away by security guards.
“Thank you so much, sir, for your big idea, but we want to make sure that we are able to get through this,” one of the moderators, attempting to move the Q & A period along, said. It’s Okay, folks. It’s Okay. People have their own big ideas.”
The protester, whose name is reportedly Aidan Cook, told The Hill that he sought to press Harris on “a much bigger idea” before he was booted from the stage.
Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), an animal rights organization based in California, said in a statement that the man was an activist who wanted to call on Harris “to support ordinary citizens rescuing animals rather than the factory farms that abuse animals.” Wayne Hsiung, the founder of the group, said that “families of ordinary Americans are being endangered, and whistleblowers who expose criminal violations are being targeted.”
“The typical voter — especially in the Democratic Party — doesn’t approve, so we’re asking for the party to end its support for corporate Big Ag,” he added.
Harris has yet to issue a statement on the incident.