Reporter harassed by ‘Black Lives’ protesters at campus rally
A reporter was harassed at a “Movement for Black Lives” rally at Cleveland State University after an announcement to the crowd that “this is a peoples of African descent space. If you are not of African descent please go to the outside of the circle immediately.”
That according to a video circulating which shows reporter Brandon Blackwell, who is not of African descent, quickly retreat to the back of the gathering amidst cheers from activists surrounding him, seemingly in support of the banishment.
The video, recorded by Blackwell himself on Sunday, was posted on Cleveland.com, and captured the events that occurred on the steps of a Cleveland State University building while the university’s crest loomed above.
Reached for comment Tuesday by The College Fix, Blackwell stated via email: “I respectfully decline to comment. I’ll let the video speak for itself.”
Blackwell had continued to record after he moved to the back of the circle, to the disapproval of many in attendance. Shouts of “stop filming” can be heard echoing from those in attendance.
Members of the crowd took to blocking Blackwell’s camera with their hands, a traffic cone, and a T-shirt that reads “The Movement for Black Lives.”
Seen in the video is an aggravated crowd of primarily black activists. The group consists of all ages and genders and includes a small contingent of young children located close to the main speaker. Several in attendance are young adults, college aged, and wearing backpacks, presumably students at the university.
At points throughout the roughly 20 minute video, Blackwell is accused of being a federal agent and an agitator while he explains to them he is a reporter and identifies himself by name and occupation.
Activist: “That’s why you want to tell my story right? ‘Cause you know why I’m angry”
Blackwell: “I’m happy to talk to you, and hear your story, and tell your story.”
Activist: “I don’t want to talk to you.”
Toward the end of the video, Rosa Clemente, a speaker and a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, suggested the recording was not allowed due to the presence of children at the rally.
“Because the children become targets on YouTube, or whatever, by crazy supremacists and crazy people” explained Clemente on the video, to which Blackwell responds that he did not hear any sort of request to not tape children.
The video concludes with Blackwell repeatedly asking one activist to not touch his camera.
“I got 800 black people behind me, what the f**k are you gonna do?” replied the activist, while standing face to face with Blackwell.
According to Cleveland.com, “the three-day conference held at Cleveland State University kicked off a new campaign, Movement for Black Lives, which is fueled by national outrage over a series of deaths of minorities at the hands of police.”
“The focus of the conference was police use of force against black and brown people, race relations, economic justice and other related topics,” it added.
The event had many sponsors and endorsers including Black Lives Matter, Ferguson Action, and the Ohio Student Association, according to their official website.
Clemente did not respond to requests by The College Fix seeking comment Tuesday.