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Kamala Harris said protests should continue, not riots

October 8, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris encouraged the rioters that are destroying American cities to keep going, saying, “they’re not gonna stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after Election Day, and they should not.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. Harris was talking about protesters, not rioters, during a June interview with CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert. The conversation focused on marching and protests, with no mention of riots.

FALSE: A June quote from California Sen. Kamala Harris about protest movements has surfaced anew in a social media post that uses it to misleadingly paint the vice presidential candidate as a cheerleader of rioting and destruction.


The quote is from a virtual interview with Colbert in June, in which Harris discussed protests for racial justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death. She also talked about her history of participating in marches since childhood, and about how such shows of activism can spark legislative change.

“This is a movement, I’m telling you,” Harris said in the interview. “They’re not going to stop. And everyone beware, because they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not going to stop after Election Day. And that should be — everyone should take note of that, on both levels, that they’re not going to let up, and they should not, and we should not.”

A Facebook post viewed more than 90,000 times this week superimposed part of that quote on a picture of burning cars, making it look like Harris was referencing riots and violence, rather than peaceful protests.

“Kamala Harris encourages the rioters that are destroying American cities,” the post’s caption read. “In these same riots, innocent citizens are dying and having their livelihoods destroyed. She will continue to fail law enforcement and the American people.”

The post lacked the full context of the interview. Harris and Colbert spoke about protest movements but never mentioned riots in the six-minute clip.

After the August police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Harris reiterated her support for peaceful protests and condemned violent agitators during an address in Washington. 


“We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including the shooter who was arrested for murder, she said. “Make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice.”


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: