Port: What Black Lives Matters protesters did to Amy Klobuchar was indefensible

You can think Black Lives Matters is right while also thinking their tactics are wrong.

Amy Klobuchar event interrupted by protesters
Dozens of demonstrators raising awareness about a man they believe is serving a life sentence for murder took the stage on Sunday, March 1, 2020, preventing Amy Klobuchar from rallying with supporters in St. Louis Park, Minn. Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

MINOT, N.D. — There is a growing belief in American politics that the ends justify the means.

That some causes are so just, so pure of intent, that it does not matter what its supporters get up to in pursuit of it.

The latest example of this, from the world of protest activism, came over the weekend as a contingent of Black Lives Matter protesters effectively shut down a campaign event for Democratic senator and 2020 contender Amy Klobuchar.

Klobuchar handled the situation with grace. When demonstrators took over the stage and shouted the candidate off of it she attempted to broker a meeting with them.

Per reports, the protesters initially agreed, but then decided that wasn't good enough. They wanted Klobuchar on stage so they could hurl rhetorical tomatoes at her in front of the assembled audience and news media.


Klobuchar, understandably uninterested in subjecting herself to some sort of Maoist struggle session , declined.

Good for her.

Rushing a peaceful political assembly and shouting down its speakers is wrong. It doesn't matter what the cause is.

Censorship by the mob is every bit as abhorrent as censorship by the government.

At this point, you may be thinking about invoking the purity of the cause taken up by these demonstrators as a way of defending their actions. You may believe the BLM activists have it right about Klobuchar. You may think her handling, as a county prosecutor, of the Myon Burrell case was inappropriate; a Minnesota-based example of the systemic unfairness in the criminal justice system to people of color.

You can think Black Lives Matters is right while also thinking their tactics are wrong.

Here's the thing: Everyone involved in a political cause believes in the justness of that cause. If we allow that as a defense of censorious behavior, where does it end?

Are you ok with gun rights activists mobbing Michael Bloomberg events?


Should Cuban-American groups, upset by the recent praise for the Castro regime from Sen. Bernie Sanders , be condoned to flummox the candidate by charging the stage at his next rally?

Again, these mob tactics are becoming more prevalent in American politics, particularly on the left, if only because our news media, particularly at the national level, are more likely to be sympathetic to leftist causes.

(Can you imagine the apoplexy on the New York Times editorial page if the NRA sponsored an occupation of a Bloomberg rally?)

The more these tactics are tolerated, the more frequent they'll become, and that won't be a good thing for any American.

I hope Black Lives Matter keeps the heat on Klobuchar. I hope they continue to be outspoken in their criticism of all the political figures they disagree with.

I also hope they choose a different tactic.

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Rob Port, founder of, a North Dakota political blog, is a Forum Communications commentator. Listen to his Plain Talk Podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RobPort.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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