Following her campaign event in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton met with five Black Lives Matter activists who were denied access into her forum.
The activists, who were affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organizations in the Boston area, said they met with Clinton for about 15 minutes to get insight on her family’s role in mass incarceration and drug policy.
“We did have a couple of particular questions that we wanted to ask her, and we were able to do so, and she was able to respond,” Daunasia Yancey, founder of Black Lives Matter in Boston, told a group of reporters. “We asked the secretary about her and her family’s history with the war on drugs both at home and abroad and how she felt about her involvement in that violence that has been perpetuated, especially against communities of color and against black folks.”
According to CNN, the protesters showed up slightly before Clinton’s public forum on mass incarceration and were denied access because the room had reached capacity and been shut down by the Secret Service. Members of the Black Lives Matter movement and others from the public were escorted into an overflow room where they watched Clinton’s event. Afterwards, Clinton went to the room of about 20 people to meet and take pictures with them.
Julius Jones, head of Black Lives Matter in Worcester, Massachusetts, said he believes both parties benefited from the meeting.
“She got something out of the meeting. That much is certain,” he said. “I felt like what we got out of the meeting was to actually press her in a very real way–probably in a way that she hasn’t been pressed in a long time about not only her role as a presidential candidate, but her role as first lady, senator, and secretary of state.”
This isn’t the first time that protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement have attended a presidential candidate’s event with the intention to get them to talk openly about their stance on issues dealing with racism, criminal justice, and social reform. Last month, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were interrupted at their rallies at Netroots Nation in Phoenix by Black Lives Matter activists. Since then, both presidential candidates have put forth efforts to address racial issues with O’Malley putting out a criminal justice reform package and Sanders adding a “racial justice” tab to his campaign page.