Several protesters at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) ganged up on an MSNBC reporter, scolding him for saying the protest was like a “street festival.”
MSNBC’s Vaughn Hillyard was reporting from the protest area — renamed the Capitol Hill Ongoing Protest (CHOP) — and he adopted the language used by Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who had likened the protest to a “block party” and said that her city could be on the verge of the “summer of love.” (RELATED: ‘Things Changed In The Blink Of An Eye’: Shelby Talcott Reports From Seattle’s CHOP)
The protesters were clearly unimpressed with his assessment and immediately interrupted his live shot to correct him.
Hillyard began the segment by asking the protesters to jump in and talk about what changes they might like to see as a result of their protests.
“I want to see the police be held accountable. I want to see them answer a lot of questions that we have that the people that were here for the last two weeks it wasn’t this peaceful. And now that there’s a lack of police presence, that’s saying something that it is so peaceful,” one woman said. “So maybe it is best that we defund the police. Because all I see is people coming together and being that support and source of help for one another without the help of their government. Honestly being ignored by them right now.”
Hillyard turned back to Joshua Johnson, who was in the studio, and explained, “It has been peaceful since Monday, after more than a week of clashes between the demonstrators and the police. Now you seen essentially almost like a street festival-type atmosphere with a very —”
“It is not a street festival,” one protester shot back, stepping into the shot and saying again, “It is not a street festival. It is not a street festival.”
“With an intentional purpose,” Hillyard attempted to clarify.
“Do not say that. Shame on you for saying that,” the protester continued. “Learn right now, it is not a street festival.”
Another protester said that, after clashes with the police and being hit with tear gas, many of the protesters were suffering from PTSD. “It is not a street party,” she said.
Johnson stepped in then to smooth things over, saying, “I hear him in terms of saying — would you let him know we have to move on, just let him know, that we hear him 100% when he says this is not a festival because we saw what happened in Seattle. We do have to keep going and I want to just let him know we’re talk about this future of defunding the police but let him know we hear him loud and clear. This is not a festival. This is a social movement but Vaughn, thank you for giving him room to speak his mind.”