Black Lives Matter protesters heckled diners seated on patios at various restaurants in Northwest Washington, DC, on Monday evening, demanding that they raise their fists in support of the movement, according to videos posted on social media.
Videos shows a large group of protesters — mostly white — surrounding two diners at a table on a restaurant patio, chanting, “White silence is violence.”
One of the two diners had her fist raised, but the other diner did not. Protesters leaned towards and shouted at the woman who did not raise her fist and got within a foot of her face, ignoring D.C. guidelines to socially distance at least six feet.
1) In a scene that played out several times Monday, a Black Lives Matter protest that began in Columbia Heights confronted White diners outside D.C. restaurants, chanting “White silence is violence!” and demanding White diners show their solidarity. #DCProtests pic.twitter.com/fJbPM76vb0
— Fredrick Kunkle WaPo (@KunkleFredrick) August 25, 2020
A protester asked the woman, “Are you a Christian?”
Chuck Modiano, a journalist for Deadspin who had also been screaming at the woman, said to the woman sarcastically, “Good for you — you stood your ground,” according to Washington Post journalist Fredrick Kunkle.
Kunkle said Modiano — who identified himself as a “citizen journalist” — asked the woman, “What was in you, you couldn’t do this?”
According to Kunkle, the woman was Lauren B. Victor, an urban planner.
Victor told Kunkle, “I felt I was under attack,” and that even though she supported the movement, there was something wrong about being coerced to show support.
“In the moment, it didn’t feel right,” she added.
One white protester who screamed at Victor was seen with her mask slipping beneath her nose and not fully covering her mouth.
— RawsMedia™ (@rawsmedia) August 25, 2020
The incident harassing diners was only one of several on Monday, and followed a weekend where BLM protesters harassed diners in Northwest Washington, DC, which is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city.
Earlier in the day, protesters harassed diners at a Mexican Restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, allegedly demanding that they raise their fists. They heckled a young white couple who did not put their fists up.
The protests on Monday were in support of Jacob Blake, a young black man who scuffled with police, reached in his vehicle, and then was shot by a police officer in Wisconsin. He is reportedly in stable condition.