‘Appalling:’ Protesters Interrupt Moment of Silence for Pittsburgh Synagogue Victims

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
October 29, 2018Politics

A group of protesters repeatedly yelled during a campaign rally for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Oct. 28, even shouting during a moment of silence meant to commemorate the 11 people who were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue the day prior.

Blackburn, who is vying for a Senate seat against former governor Phil Breseden, was being protested against even before she took to the stage. During her 11-minute speech, she touted the accomplishments of the Trump administration, including the record-low unemployment numbers.

She said she will help support the president’s agenda if she gets elected to the Senate.

While critics of Trump claim he’s racist and sexist, supporters note that he regularly touts low unemployment figures for blacks, Latinos, and women. He’s also recently embraced the support of singer Kanye West and met with a group of young black conservatives at the White House.

Moment of Silence Interrupted

Blackburn, who was appearing in Nashville with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), was interrupted multiple times as security removed people who wouldn’t stop shouting at her.

Blackburn at one point asked the crowd for a moment of silence in memory of the people killed at Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday, allegedly by a man who said he hated Jews.

But one woman refused to participate, yelling during the silence, “Marsha Blackburn is a white supremacist!”

Responding as the woman was ejected, Blackburn said, “How despicable that you cannot even have a moment of silence,” reported the Chatanooga Times Free-Press.

Protesters Removed

Video footage from the event showed the activists being removed by police officers after they kept shouting.

Gillum Ferguson, press secretary for the Tennessee Republican Party, told The Tennessean that some of the protesters were asked to leave but declined.

“They said you’re going to have to call the cops and we called the cops,” Ferguson said.

Blackburn said in a statement after the event that the group of protesters was a “liberal angry mob” led by Breseden. “I’m grateful to the law enforcement officers who were here today and kept everyone safe. The protestors at today’s event were absolutely appalling,” she said.


Breseden and the Tennessee Democratic Party said they weren’t linked to the protesters.

“It is time to turn down the partisan rhetoric and start acting as Americans and Tennesseans first and partisans second,” Breseden’s spokeswoman Alyssa Hansen said in a statement.

But Graham at the event said the protesters showed the problem voters face.

“This is not about an issue. This is about an attitude. This is about a mob versus the rule of law,” Graham charged. “The only way for it to stop is for [Democrats] to lose. For this to stop, they got to feel it at the ballot box.”

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