In the hours before Pearl Jam's Sunday performance at the Adam's Center, Sen. Jon Tester took to the Oval at the University of Montana to promote his campaign alongside bassist Jeff Ament. The rally drew a sizable crowd of college kids, Pearl Jam fans and well-known politicos, most toting campaign signs supporting Tester's 2012 re-election bid. Tester's staff handed out tickets to the show, and Ament even signed some autographs.
One rally attendee had a less-than-stellar afternoon, however. A Republican tracker—the same man who's been following Tester around with a video camera for months—was knocked to the ground as Tester and Ament approached the stage outside Main Hall. Video later posted by Buzzfeed shows the tracker firing questions at Tester about the estate tax and holding his camera mere inches from Ament's face. He tells someone, apparently Ament, to "please don't touch me," to which Ament replies, "You're touching me. We're trying to walk this way." The tracker then falls to the ground, muttering "What the hell?" A man helps him up, then leans into the camera and says, "Don't cry." You can see the video below.
In a comment on Buzzfeed, John Richter, the "Don't cry" guy, elaborated on what he witnessed, calling the tracker an "aggressive, uncouth, and disrespectful young man with a video camera" who was "clearly being rude and obnoxious to Senator Tester and his party."
I saw a squabble, a small crowd, Jon Tester trying to make his way towards us. This young man being confrontational, walking pretty much backwards right into me: He's the one who literally walked into MY personal space! The fact that I did not jump out of the way, but stood where I was and made so as to put a little space between Tester's entourage and him was immediately spinned into a fake soccer fall. Honestly, I just sorta peeled him away from his raunchy in-your-face Paparazzi stance — I used to work with acutely disturbed teens and children — so I just used my training in non-violent intervention to de-escalate the situation. ha ha! Though it's true, I'm a Large Mammal - I did not use violent force in the slightest - I just got in front of him and he bounced off of me like a cartoon: Honestly you can see it in the video, this "poor" tracker isn't even a good enough actor to be in the World Wrestling Federation - he was THAT bad. I laughed and pulled him off the ground, not thinking anything of it.
After Tester and Ament exited the stage, the tracker attempted to get close to the duo again. Several Tester staffers, as well as Montana Democratic Party executive director Ted Dick, physically blocked the tracker's path, and even held up their iPhones to record his conduct. Rally attendees gradually followed the example, surrounding the tracker on all sides and training iPhone cameras on him. Suffice it to say, the tracker didn't get close to Tester or Ament again.