A man, seen at top center, threw snowballs at and verbally harassed a group of Alaska Native women at a rally near the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Courtesy photo / Jamiann Hasselquist)

A man, seen at top center, threw snowballs at and verbally harassed a group of Alaska Native women at a rally near the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Courtesy photo / Jamiann Hasselquist)

Man disrupts event focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women

Yelling, throw snowing caught on video by organizers.

An unidentified man briefly interrupted a climate rally held by 350Juneau, a climate action advocacy group, on Friday, with yelling and a thrown snowball.

The event, primarily virtual, with speakers presenting from near the Alaska State Capitol, was focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“An act like that, and words that are shared that way, it’s really reinforcing patriarchy through terror and fear: physically throwing something and yelling something,” said Jamiann Hasselquist, vice president of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp Two: Juneau and a singer at the event, in a phone interview. “It’s like taking a pebble and throwing it into a pond. It resonated with me.”

The man came upon the event, before looking and throwing a snowball, visible in the video of the livestream. While the man’s voice is indistinct in the video posted on social media, Hasselquist said he was making derogatory remarks, including an obscenity, about the Alaska Native women present and their culture.

“He came up, he looked up at our group of Native women, most of us wearing red for MMIW. He spotted our camera guy, and he threw it at him, and said the words he said,” Hasselquist said. “We didn’t respond violently. We didn’t yell back. We showed true Tlingit grace. We recognized it and held each other up. Even though we were out in the community.”

John Garcia, one of the men with the rally went to dissuade the man, Hasselquist said, but he had rapidly moved down the street.

“The guy was walking off saying ‘patriarchy is our culture,’” Hasselquist said. “I think a lot of the experiences I have had are not so in-our-face and having things thrown in our direction. But it has happened.”

The normalcy of having these aggressions leveled at them is a depressing sign of what people have gotten used to, Hasselquist said.

“All of us, when the incident happened, were like, ‘Whoa, what happened.?’ It took me time to process it. It just kept sitting with me all day,” Hasselquist said. “We can do better in Juneau.”

While the group did not contact the Juneau Police Department about the incident, Hasselquist said she’d received messages from others about a man of a similar description similarly harassing other movements, including the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

“We might not be getting stuff chucked at us every day. But these little messages are in addition and in continuation of the ripples,” Hasselquist said. “We’re so used to us that we’re not even surprised. That for us is a pretty big red flag for the community. There’s something wrong with that.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

This photo shows the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table at a pop up vaccinations site the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center, in the Staten Island borough of New York. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo / Mary Altaffer)
CDC freeze on Johnson and Johnson vaccine sets clinics scrambling

The odds of being affected are vanishingly rare, but CDC says better safe than sorry.

This photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident. On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state of Ohio that tried to get the U.S. Census Bureau to provide data used for drawing congressional and legislative districts ahead of its planned release. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)
Alaska joins 15 other states in backing Alabama’s challenge to Census privacy tool

The case could go directly to the Supreme Court if appealed.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Tuesday, April 13, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

After over 30 years at 3100 Channel Drive, the Juneau Empire offices are on the move. (Ben Hohenstatt /Juneau Empire File)
The Juneau Empire is on the move

Advertising and editorial staff are moving to Jordan Creek Center.

This photo shows the National Archives in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle that has about a million boxes of generally unique, original source documents and public records. In an announcement made Thursday, April 8, 2021, the Biden administration has halted the sale of the federal archives building in Seattle, following months of opposition from people across the Pacific Northwest and a lawsuit by the Washington Attorney General's Office. Among the records at the center are tribal, military, land, court, tax and census documents. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)
Biden halts sale of National Archives center in Seattle

Tribes and members of Congress pushed for the halt.

This photo shows Unangax̂ Gravesite at Funter Bay, the site where Aleut villagers forcibly relocated to the area during World War II are buried. A bill recently passed by the Alaska House of Representatives would make the area part of a neighboring state park. (Courtesy photo / Niko Sanguinetti, Juneau-Douglas City Museum) 
DO NOT REUSE THIS PHOTO WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM JUNEAU DOUGLAS CITY MUSEUM. -BEN HOHENSTATT
Bill to preserve Unangax̂ Gravesite passes House

Bill now heads to the state Senate.

The state announced this week that studded tires will be allowed for longer than usual. In Southeast Alaska, studded tires will be allowed until May 1 instead of April 15. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
State extends studded tire deadline

Prolonged wintry weather triggers the change.

COVID at a glance for Monday, April 12

The most recent state and local numbers.

Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Sunday, April 11, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read