Bernie Sanders Draws Crowd of 15,000 in Seattle Following Black Lives Matter Protest

The protest at an event celebrating the 80th anniversary of Social Security did not dampen turnout at the later rally.

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After Bernie Sanders's first event in Seattle was effectively shut down by Black Lives Matter protesters, his second attracted the Democratic presidential candidate's biggest crowd yet, according to reports. 

More than 15,000 people turned out for a rally at the Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmunson Pavilion in Seattle on Saturday night, the Vermont senator's biggest crowd to date, and the largest gathering of any candidate so far.

Earlier that day, Sanders's first stop of the day had abruptly ground to a halt. Sanders was supposed to headline a rally celebrating the 80th anniversary of Social Security. Right at the beginning of the speech, when Sanders congratulated the city on being one of the most progressive in the nation, two women walked on stage and took the microphone, the Seattle Times reported

Campaign organizers first tried to get the protesters to let Sanders speak first, saying they would then turn it over to them, but the protesters wouldn't accept that deal, staying on stage until organizers said they were shutting the event down. 

“I was going to tell Bernie how racist this city is, filled with its progressives, but you did it for me,” said protester Marissa Johnson, according to the Times. They also asked for four and a half minutes of silence to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, symbolizing the four and a half hours his body was lying at the scene. 

Sanders addressed the interruption at the second event. 

"No president will fight harder to end institutional racism and reform criminal justice system," he said according to the Associated Press