Protestor Interrupts Blackburn During Moment of Silence for Pittsburgh Victims

October 29, 2018

During a Sunday campaign event for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), the Republican nominee for Senate, a protester interrupted a moment of silence for victims of the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

One woman yelled "Marsha Blackburn is a white supremacist" during the moment of silence, The Tennessean reports.

On Saturday an armed gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue, where he killed 11 people and injured several others. According to a federal law enforcement official, he made anti-semitic statements during the shooting and targeted Jews on social media.

"How despicable that you cannot even have a moment of silence," Blackburn responded when the crowd became quiet.

Several other protesters were at the event and were asked to leave but refused, according to Gillum Ferguson, press secretary for the Tennessee Republican Party. "They said 'you're going to have to call the cops,' and we called the cops," Ferguson said.

Another video shows a police officer forcibly removing one protester who resisted leaving.

Blackburn supporters countered the protesters with chants of "U-S-A" each time the event was disrupted. One protester took a knee in the middle of the aisle and shouted "black lives matter," while other protesters yelled "impeach Trump."

"We know they we're yelling 'impeach Trump' among other things," Blackburn said. "I have never in my life heard of people interrupting a moment of silence...I think that's despicable."

After the event, the Blackburn campaign released a statement that described the protesters as a "liberal angry mob" with Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen as their leader.

"This Sunday afternoon, the liberal angry mob made it clear they are active in Tennessee and will stop at nothing to disrupt civil political discourse," Blackburn wrote in a statement. "They resisted law enforcement, and they interrupted a moment of silence. Phil Bredesen is their leader, and their behavior is despicable."

The Bredesen campaign responded with its own statement.

"It a shame that people disrupted Congresswoman Blackburn’s event and it is a shame that Congresswoman Blackburn’s campaign staffers have been proudly screaming at 37 of Governor Bredesen’s events," said Alyssa Hansen, Bredesen's campaign spokeswoman. "This is not what this election is about and it is time to get back to bringing attention to fixing problems for the people of Tennessee."

The Tennessee Democratic Party said it had nothing to do with the protesters at Sunday's event.