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25 February 2016

Black Lives Matter protesters interrupt Clinton at private event

US Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been heckled by two Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists during a fundraising event in South Carolina.

The interruption happened in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night when two activists, one of whom named Ashley Williams, challenged Clinton on her past quotes regarding race.

"She called our boys ‘super-predators’ in '96, then she race-baited when running against Obama in '08, now she’s a lifelong civil rights activist. I just want to know which Hillary is running for President, the one from '96, '08, or the new Hillary?” she said.

As Clinton was speaking, Williams stood next to her holding a sign that read "We have to bring them to heel", quoting a statement Clinton made in 1996 about at-risk youth.

She then asked Clinton to apologize to black people for mass incarceration, adding that she's not a "super predator."

Williams and a colleague, whom she did not identify, reportedly contributed $500 to attend the Clinton event, which was held at a private residence and was attended by around 100 guests.

Williams was then thrown out of the event by the Secret Service.

According to Williams, speaking with The Huffington Post after the protest, "I wanted to bring her to confront her own words," adding, "We did this because we wanted to make sure that black people are paying attention to her record, and we want to know what Hillary we are getting."

She also said in a statement, "Hillary Clinton has a pattern of throwing the Black community under the bus when it serves her politically."

This isn't the first time Clinton has met opposition by activist groups during her campaign. In October 2015, protesters interrupted Clinton in Atlanta while she tried to roll out a plan for criminal justice reform.

The BLM movement was initiated in the aftermath of a range of US police killings of unarmed African Americans, raising nationwide debates about police violence and racial profiling.