Report: Nathan Phillips Stopped by Security From Disrupting Catholic Mass With Drum Protest Saturday Night

Native American activist Nathan Phillips was blocked by church security from entering the Catholic Church’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Saturday night as he and fellow activists tried to hold a drum protest during mass, according to a report by the Catholic News Agency.

The protesters had a list of demands of the Vatican that included a demand that Covington students be punished, and also demanded seniors be punished by the universites that have accepted them.

Photo shows Basilica in background as Nathan Phillips speaks.

Photo via Michelle Brass Facebook:

Below is video of Phillips reading his demands at the Basilica.

Excerpt from CNA report:

The group of 20 demonstrators was stopped by shrine security as it tried to enter the church during its 5:15 pm Vigil Mass, according to a shrine security guard on duty during the Mass.

“It was really upsetting,” the guard told CNA.

“There were about twenty people trying to get in, we had to lock the doors and everything.”

…A source close to the shrine’s leadership corroborated the security guard’s account, telling CNA that during the Mass, Phillips and the group tried to enter the church while playing drums and chanting, and were prohibited from entering the building by security personnel, who locked the main basilica doors with the congregation still inside.

The shrine’s spokeswoman would not confirm or deny that the group attempted to enter the Mass. She told CNA that “a group did assemble on Saturday evening outside the the shrine” and that they “left without incident.”

…The security guard told CNA that the incident was especially distressing given that Mass was underway.

“It’s a house of worship, a place of prayer where people come to celebrate. All this anger is so against what we are all about here.”

He told CNA that he’d never witnessed anything like it during his whole time of employment at the basilica.

“I don’t know the details of what happened on Friday [after the March for Life], I wish I did. All I know is it’s a shame, and it’s got nothing to do with why people were here.”

“And this all happened on our biggest event of the year. I hope we never see it again.”

End excerpt. Please read complete report at CNA at this link.

The Canadian Broadcast Company reported on the protest outside the Basilica as a Canadian woman participated.


An Indigenous woman from Saskatchewan participated in a rally in support of Nathan Phillips, the Indigenous elder and veteran who was harassed (sic) by a group of teenagers sporting ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.

Former Afternoon Edition host Michelle Brass was in Washington D.C. to participate in Indigenous Climate Action meetings.

…She was part of about 60 people who gathered in support of Phillips on Saturday outside of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C.

…”The action that happened at the church was peaceful, the songs that were sung were prayer songs, they’re songs that convey a fierce love and determination for our people—and all people,” Brass said.

“This act of hatred was not retaliated in a similar way. It was responded to with love and dignity.”

She said Phillips set the example of being a kind and loving individual that translated to the group of supporters that gathered outside of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

End excerpt. Please read complete report at CBC.

Brass posted video clips of the protest outside the Basilica.

More photos from the Basilica protest.

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