Conservative commentator and activist, Laura Loomer, handcuffed herself to the front door of Twitter’s headquarters in New York City on Thursday, after she was banned from the platform for hate speech.
But the protest ended just over two hours later, when Ms. Loomer asked NYPD officers to free her from the cuffs.
The free speech protest was live-streamed for several hours and supporters rallied around the conservative Jewish reporter. Police officers also turned away a pizza delivery, which someone had apparently ordered for Ms. Loomer, according to NBC News.
The 25-year-old reporter was permanently banned from the social media platform on November 21st after she posted a tweet on Ilhan Omar, an incoming congresswoman who is Muslim and holds vehemently anti-Israel positions and is in favor of instituting Sharia law.
In her tweet, Ms Loomer pointed out that the newly elected Democratic congresswoman is “anti Jewish”. Twitter claimed that this tweet violated the company’s rules against “hateful conduct.”
Soon thereafter, Facebook followed Twitter’s lead and also banned the investigative reporter.
Responding to the ban from the social media giants, Ms. Loomer wore a sweater during her protest in New York which had #STOPTHEBIAS written on the back.
Ms. Loomer also yelled into a megaphone “I want my Twitter,” and compared being banned from Twitter to the silencing of Jews during the Holocaust.
She said that she had been “silenced” for being a “Jewish conservative journalist” and that Twitter was “upholding sharia law” through the act of banning her.
According to the Independent of the UK, Ms. Loomer wore a yellow star; representative of those that the Jewish people in Europe were forced to wear in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust years of World War II.
“I am not going to stand by as people like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg try to silence the voices of millions of conservatives,” Loomer said.
She asserted that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey banned her as a “Jewish conservative journalist,” a phrase she yelled repeatedly while chained to the building.
Ms. Loomer said that she would continue her protest for “as long as it took” to be given her account back, adding that she threw away the keys for her handcuffs.
During the Thursday afternoon protest, Ms Loomer told Twitter employees that they worked for an evil company. She had attached herself to only of the entrance doors and employees were not obstructed from entering and exiting te building.
In a statement released to the media during the protest, a spokesperson for Twitter said, “We have notified the relevant authorities who are responding. The account holder was suspended for violating our policies. We apply the Twitter Rules impartially and not based on ideology.”
Recently, Twitter also banned from its platform such other notable conservative reporters as Alex Jones for allegedly “violating” its terms of service.
Ms. Loomer’s freedom of speech protest topped off a increasing backlash from conservative groups which have claimed that Twitter holds a strong preference for liberal views and tries to silence conservatives and other voices that oppose liberal based policies.
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