A protester jumped on stage during an event in San Francisco on Saturday and grabbed the microphone right out of Sen. Kamala Harris’ hands. As if on cue, the male protester jumped onto a stage where three women were talking and wanted to make sure his idea was heard above and beyond anybody else’s right as the senator was answering a question about the gender pay gap.
The protester, identified as Aidan Cook, only said that he wanted to turn attention to a “much bigger idea” before he was dragged off the stage from MoveOn’s Big Ideas Forum. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, was one of several people who helped get the protester off the stage. An obviously freaked out Harris then returned to the stage and continued answering questions. “I’m good, I’m good, it’s all good,” she told the audience that was chanting her name.
Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights organization, said Cook was a member of the group and wanted to ask Harris “to support ordinary citizens rescuing animals rather than the factory farms that abuse animals.” Speaking to reporters after the incident, Cook said that “there’s one big idea that all of the 2020 presidential candidates are ignoring.”
When asked by a reporter whether he had considered how it would look for him to take away a microphone from a woman of color, Cook said he did. “I did,” he said. “I tried to show my profound respect for each of the people onstage.”
MoveOn apologized to Harris, expressing “regret that a protestor was able to gain access to the stage at our forum today.” Speaking to CNN after the incident, Sen. Cory Booker, said he found it hard to believe that something like that had taken place. “He crossed a line, this election’s going to go on and I’m really hoping that we see Secret Service and others begin to step in because that really could have been a horrifying moment. Kamala’s like a sister to me, I love her and that makes me very upset,” he said.