Black Lives Matter activists stole the spotlight away from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday in Seattle, prompting Sanders to leave without giving his speech.
Sanders was just about to address several thousand people who gathered shoulder to shoulder at Westlake Park when two women took over the microphone. Organizers couldn’t persuade the two to wait and greed to give them a few minutes.
The women spoke about Ferguson and the killing of Michael Brown. They also held a four minute moment of silence.
When the crowd asked the activists to allow Sanders to speak, one activist called the crowd "white supremacist liberals," according to event participants.
After waiting about 20 minutes while the women talked, Sanders was pushed away again when he tried to take the microphone back. Instead, he waved goodbye to the crowd and left the stage with a raised fist salute. He shook hands and posed for photos with supporters for about 15 minutes, and then left.
“I am disappointed that two people disrupted a rally attended by thousands at which I was invited to speak about fighting Social Security and Medicate,” Sanders said in a statement later Saturday. “I was especially disappointed because on criminal justice reform and the need to fight racism. There is no other candidate who will fight than me.”
Sanders did end up speaking to a crowd Saturday night at the University of Washington campus about his commitment to criminal justice reform as well as addressing income equality.
He addressed the protesters' concerns in his speech saying, "No president will fight harder than me to end institutional racism and reform the criminal justice system. Too many lives have been destroyed by war on drugs, by incarceration; we need to educate people. We need to put people to work."
Saturday afternoon's fireworks weren't the first time Black Lives Matters activists disrupted the Vermont senator’s event.
Last month in Phoenix, protesters affiliated with the movement took over the stage at a Phoenix event and disrupted an interview with Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
In his campaign, Sanders has chiefly focused on issues like the middle class, climate change and criminal justice reform. In addition to advocating a $15-an-hour minimum wage and raising taxes on the rich, Sanders also supports a massive government-led jobs program to fix roads and bridges, a single-payer health care system, an expansion of Social Security benefits and debt-free college.
Sanders will hold a campaign rally at the University of Washington this evening. He will be driving to Portland on Sunday and is scheduled to hold a Sunday night rally at Portland's Moda Center, which has a capacity of about 19,000 and is home of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. The event had originally been scheduled at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which can handle about 12,000.
Sanders heads to an event in Los Angeles on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.