Donald Trump tweets he's 'being helped by BLM protesters shouting at diners'
Donald Trump has shared a tweet claiming a controversial Black Lives Matter protest which turned into a confrontation will help him win a swing state.
Journalist Mark Hemingway wrote: ‘Pretty kind of these protesters to help out with the Republican swing state GOTV (get out the vote) operation.’
He attached a widely-shared clip of a Black Lives Matter protest filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, over the weekend. It saw protester Lorenzo Rulli screaming at a couple eating outside a restaurant.
The same clip showed a protester screaming ‘Fuck the white people that built the system.’ Moments later, another protester called Nique Craft, was then seen marching up to the couple before lifting their beer, drinking it, and allegedly smashing it on the ground.
Craft, who is non-binary and uses ‘they/them’ pronouns, accused the couple they’d confronted of shouting pro-police ‘Blue Lives Matter’ slogans in the moments leading up to the confrontation.
The couple involved have since claimed they support the Black Lives Matter movement, but not Saturday’s protest tactics. A third incident at the same protest saw a BLM activist striking a cyclist with a megaphone, with the ensuing tussle caught on camera.
Polls ahead of the November 3 presidential election give Democratic challenger Joe Biden a slight advantage over Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.
But Trump won the state by just 0.72% in 2016, and says he’s confident he can clinch it again.
The president has hit out at Biden for failing to criticize rioting and looting at some racial justice protests, despite Biden explicitly condemning such behavior last week.
Nick Anglin, director of activist group Black, Young and Educated (BYE) told WTAE he was disappointed by footage from Saturday’s protest. Anglin said: ‘I was standing right there when it happened, and I was completely disappointed. I just shook my head and just literally walked away because this wasn’t the time or place for any of this to happened.’
Anglin’s fellow activist Dr Kimberly Ellis, who founded Black Politics Matter, added: ‘There are a lot of violent words and actions against Black Lives Matter protesters, and then some people in turn, react in a way that is beneath them and beneath our movement. We want to prevent that.’
Dr Ellis also condemned Trump’s politicization of the protests, and said his use of the word ‘thugs’ was an inappropriate codeword designed to encourage violence against peaceful protesters.
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