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Hillary Clinton Speech Interrupted By Black Student Activists

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 30/10/2015 Julia Craven
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WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton was drowned out by student activists while introducing her criminal justice reform platform in Atlanta on Friday.

According to a transcript of Clinton's remarks released by her campaign, the candidate was interrupted at one point by audience members saying, "Black lives matter."

“And yes, they do," Clinton responded. "Yes, they do.  Yes, they do, and I'm going to talk a lot about that in a minute.”

The protests appear to be organized in part by historically black colleges in the Atlanta University Center Consortium, which represents Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University and the Interdenominational Theological Center. The movement calls itself the AUC Shut It Down coalition. An affiliated Twitter account posted a statement Friday afternoon saying, "We charge the administration, law enforcement, and collective student bodies of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) for the multiple offenses committed against black and brown lives."

The account subsequently posted a number of videos with people on the scene. In one video, a man says, "We're not going to allow for Hillary to come here and have a cookie-cutter black conversation and to exploit ... black production for her vote."

Another woman expressed a problem with having "Hillary come in ... to get votes but no one has reached out to the student population [and] asked what their opinions were, what they have issues with."

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was in attendance, and tried to intervene. 

Neither the Shut It Down group nor the Clinton campaign immediately returned requests for comment.

Earlier this month, Clinton sat down with several prominent leaders who advocate for policing and criminal justice reform. She met with DeRay Mckesson, Brittany Packnett, Johnetta Elzie and Samuel Sinyangwe, all of whom are affiliated with Campaign Zero and We the Protesters

“In the end, I felt heard,” Mckesson told HuffPost of the meeting. “It was a tough conversation, and we didn’t agree about every approach or everything. But she was willing to be pushed, and it was a candid conversation, and that’s important.”

The same man who accused Hillary of engaging in a "cookie-cutter black conversation" said that while he trusted Clinton's meetings with the Campaign Zero activists, he doesn't think the candidate appeals to the concerns of the broader black community. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Samantha Lachman contributed reporting.

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