Watch: Meleé Erupts At Minneapolis Dems' Nominating Convention

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 15, 2023 - 10:20 PM

A convention of Democrat city council candidates devolved into utter chaos on Saturday, prompting a police and ambulance response and the session to be shut down without finishing its business. 

The convention was being held by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, which -- in something of an historical quirk -- is the official name of Minnesota's affiliate of the national Democratic Party.

The trouble began when incumbent Council Member Aisha Chughtai took the stage to deliver her 10-minute candidate presentation. To provide an impressive backdrop, the Chughtai campaign asked supporters to take the stage and stand behind her as she spoke. 

That triggered backers backers of Chughtai's challenger, Nasri Warsame -- despite the fact that Warsame was randomly picked to speak second, and could have ventured to match Chughtai's visuals by inviting a similar display. 

Instead, supporters of Somalia-born Warsame surrendered to violent impulses, and reportedly initiated physical violence that included shoving, punches and the hurling of objects. Many of them took to the stage themselves, yelling, waving "Nasri" signs and pounding on tables. 

Recounting her feelings as she looked from the stage onto the melee before her, Chughtai supporter Bridget Siljander told Associated Press"I was scared some of us might die."

Briana Rose Lee, a fluorescent pink-haired theater arts grad and chair of the Minneapolis chapter of the party, tweeted that "several DFL volunteers were assaulted, including four members of the State Executive Committee...I don't know the next steps yet. But there will be repurcussions."  

As the unrest continued, indignant convention chair Sam Doten shouted condemnation through the PA system: "This is embarrassing!" Quickly concluding there was little hope of restoring order, Doten yelled, "We are shutting this down! This is no longer safe!" before hammering a table with his gavel. 

Police cars and ambulances raced to the convention. At least one person was taken to a hospital and another was treated at the scene. Fittingly for an eruption of Democrat-initiated violence, no arrests were made

Democrats' beloved multicultural diversity factored into the fracas, particularly in regard to Somali supporters of Warsame. One of his backers told the Minneapolis StarTribune that Warsame supporters were already agitated over what they perceived to be poor translations and unfair handling of the proceedings.

Some may have misconstrued the mass gathering on stage as a premature declaration of victory for  Chughtai, a daughter of Pakistani immigrants and a self-avowed socialist. Chughtai was elected at the age of 24, making her the city's youngest-ever member of city council, and its first Muslim. 

In the aftermath, both candidates exchanged accusations via social media. Hilariously looking to maximize intersectionality-victimhood credits, Chughtai said Warsame supporters "punched multiple women of color" and "shoved and harassed LGBTQIA2S+ delegates and supporters." 

Warsame accused DFL staff of "resort[ing] to corrupt practices in an attempt to cheat the democratic process. This included the involvement of Ilhan Omar's staff and Keith Ellison's son, adding to the turmoil and conflict...It is our hope that the DFL staff will take responsibility for their actions and work towards rectifying the damage caused by their misconduct." 

State party chairman Ken Martin, however, firmly pinned the blame on the Warsame camp: 

"It is clear that the conflict was instigated by supporters of city council candidate Nasri Warsame. Harassment and violence are unacceptable, and we expect candidates and their campaign teams to work hard to curb such behavior when it comes from their supporters, staffers, or volunteers. 

Warsame and his team took the opposite approach at today’s convention by escalating the situation and encouraging conflict. Reprehensible behavior like this from any DFL Party candidate and campaign will not be tolerated.”

Separately, Martin said he will convene an emergency meeting this week to consider banning from the party people who were at fault on Saturday.   

In a Sunday statement, Warsame reiterated his accusations of DFL mismanagement and said accusations by DFL and Chughtai that Warsame's campaign promoted the violence "are defamatory, slander and libel."

At the same time, Warsame apologized and condemned the violence, saying "the purpose of my entire platform is supporting public safety and ensuring that the constituents in Ward 10 are safe from the violence of rampant car thefts and assaults in our community."