During the end of the Democratic debate on February 19, hecklers briefly stopped Joe Biden’s closing statement, but it was tough to hear what they were saying. The hecklers were yelling about children being kept in cages and they said: “Don’t look away!” (Note: If you want to vote about who won the debate, see Heavy’s article here.)
During Joe Biden’s closing statement, hecklers yelled: “Don’t Look Away!” and “No Kids in Cages!” They were loud enough that they were able to briefly stop Biden’s closing statement.
Here’s a video.
And here’s another video of that moment, while the camera was pointed at Biden.
The protest was led by the group RAICES Action, according to the group’s Twitter account. They wrote on Twitter, “BREAKING: We are interrupting
@JoeBiden at the #DemDebate chanting #DontLookAway and #NoKidsInCages. We need a Democratic candidate to adopt the #MigrantJusticePlatform and commit themselves to improve the lives of migrants and refugees!
According to Migrant Justice Platform’s website, which is referenced in a tweet about the heckling, they are working to help immigrants in detention across the country:
At the height of the detention crisis, more than 55,000 immigrants were jailed in prisons and camps across this country — kids in cages, families, trans women, pregnant mothers, and anyone else who has been caught by the immigration dragnet at our border. We have sent more than 60,000 asylum-seekers back to Mexico, where they’re forced into overcrowded tent encampments and often dangerous border towns with no resources and no access to lawyers while they wait for their day in court. Combined, both President Obama and President Trump have deported some 2 million people from the United States, separating families and ruining lives. Six children have died in border patrol custody. Hundreds more have died in the deserts along the southern border and somehow, we’re still shouting for #NoKidsInCages.
Protesters were also heard yelling, “You deported 3 million people!”
Some people commented on Twitter that they didn’t think the heckling was effective since it wasn’t easily understood.
But others thought it was effective since it caused people to talk about what happened and, subsequently, discover what was said.
One person said that they admired the hecklers for waiting the full two hours.
This isn’t the first time Biden was interrupted by hecklers during a Democratic debate. During his closing statement in the September 2019 debate, hecklers yelled, “We are DACA recipients. Our lives are at risk.”
Hecklers also yelled about deporting 3 million people during the July 2019 debate, after protesters demanded the firing of Pantaleo during the same debate.
The “3 million deportations” is apparently in response to reported deportations during President Barack Obama’s administration. Biden said in the July 2019 debate that comparing Obama to Trump is “absolutely bizarre.” It’s likely that the same “3 million deportations” chant during the February 2020 debate was also based on the same topic.
Heckling is becoming more commonplace during the Democratic debates, happening at some point during the majority of the debates. Often, the hecklers are successful enough to pause the debate and generate interest in learning more about what they were trying to say.
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