Videos of Black Lives Matter protesters screaming at people as they dine outside in the nation’s capital have gone viral this week, as protests picked up steam nationwide following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday.
Frederick Kunkle, a Washington Post staff writer, posted a video Tuesday on Twitter that showed a crowd of protesters gathering closely around a woman, identified as Lauren Victor, as she sat outside on a sidewalk. The group demanded she raise her fist in solidarity as they chanted at her, “White silence is violence,” and, “No justice, no peace!”
One woman asked her, demandingly, “Are you a Christian?”
Other diners appeared to raise their fists, but Victor did not. She appeared to try reasoning with the crowd, raising her arms in seeming disbelief. Kunkle reported that after the confrontation, a citizen journalist named Chuck Modiano asked her, “What was in you, you couldn’t do this?”
Victor responded that she felt she was under attack.
“In the moment, it didn’t feel right,” Kunkle reported that Victor said, adding that she felt like there was something wrong about being forced to raise her fist. “I’m very much with them. I’ve been marching with them for weeks and weeks and weeks.”
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Modiano tweeted Tuesday that he wasn’t part of the group screaming at Victor, and that he had a cordial 20-minute conversation with her after the crowd dispersed. However, Kunkle reported that Modiano was yelling at Victor.
Many people on social media noted that the protesters visible in the video confronting Victor were almost all White. Kunkle posted a follow-up video that showed a young Black woman asking White protesters to lead the way confronting Victor.
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Another video that went viral Monday showed a man and a woman sitting outside a restaurant when a crowd of protesters confronted them.
WARNING: VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS PROFANITY
Other diners nearby all complied with the protesters’ demands to raise their fists, but the man and woman kept their hands on the table. The protesters screamed expletives at the couple as they demanded they raise their fists. One protester appeared to yell at the man, “Pasty piece of sh–.”
Protests restarted nationwide Sunday after police shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., reportedly paralyzing him from the waist down.
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Video of the incident showed police trying to apprehend Blake when he walked around his car and opened the driver’s side door. An officer was then seen firing multiple shots at Blake from close range.
Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday that his son was paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors were unsure if he’ll recover from his injuries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.