Breast Cancer Patient Punched in Chest by Anti-Mask Protester
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Anti-Mask Protester Punches Masked Cancer Patient in Front of Medical Clinic (VIDEO)

Kate Burns being punched by Shiva Bagheri

An anti-mask protester in California is under fire for more than just her unorthodox medical beliefs after she was caught on video striking a masked woman who identified herself as a breast cancer patient by hitting her in the chest during a heated demonstration outside of a treatment center.

Anti-mask demonstrators appear to have been gathered outside of the Cedars-Sinai Breast Health Services building in West Hollywood Thursday to protest the facility’s rule that all persons who enter building wear a mask, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Prior to the physical altercation, a self-identified breast cancer patient — subsequently named as one Kate Burns — who said she receives her treatments at the clinic had a testy exchange with some of the protesters.

Various videos posted on social media portray the following scene of events.

“I’m a cancer patient. I get treated here. Get the fuck away,” Burns says to a group of protesters holding anti-vaccination signs on the sidewalk in front of the clinic.

A male protester then asked Burns why she is so angry.

“Because I’ve just gone through fucking breast cancer and you motherfuckers are here,” Burns shot back.

Burns also had a quick response for another male protester who said the demonstration had “nothing to do” with Burns.

“You are protesting a breast cancer fucking center. It has everything to do with me and my community,” an incensed Burns said in the recording. “Do you know anything about chemotherapy? Do you know what happens to the immune system?”

Various recordings from the scene suggest that tension between the protesters and the counter-protesters continued to escalate, culminating with a female protester punching Burns at least once in the chest.

According to one of the videos, the female anti-mask protester was holding a megaphone up to Burns’s face and speaking into it when a counter-protester standing near Burns reached over and shoved the megaphone out of the anti-mask protester’s hands. The anti-mask protester then appeared to try and go after the counter-protester who touched the megaphone — but Burns blocked the way, leaned in slightly, and bounced the anti-mask protester back with her shoulder.

The female anti-mask protester then punched Burns in the chest and attempted to strike her a few more times while ripping the cancer patient’s mask off and discarding it on the ground.  It’s unclear from the chaos in the video whether the attempted additional blows made contact with Burns, but Burns said on Twitter that she was “hit twice.”

Burns posted video of the altercation to Twitter with the caption, “Just another day in the bad place.”

Burns also said that the protester’s blow to her chest struck her directly where she has scars from cancer treatment surgeries.

Several Twitter users identified the female anti-mask protester as Shiva Bagheri. Bagheri apparently began organizing Beverly Hills Freedom Rallies to protest pandemic restrictions last year; she has previously been recorded using a megaphone to pronounce anti-mask conspiracy theories.

Bagheri appeared to confirm her role in the altercation in a series of Twitter exchanges with users criticizing the conduct attributed to her.

“If she didn’t hit me first I wouldn’t have done that,” Bagheri wrote. “I told her not to touch me and then she slammed her shoulder against me.  I could actually arrest her for assault.  I’m nice enough not to do that. If she does it again I will.”

Some of Bagheri’s tweets defending her conduct are below:

Bagheri also accused Burns of being a “crisis actor.”

“Ask her why she was out there counter protesting us and getting in our faces?” Bagheri wondered aloud.  “If she’s so worried about her cancer what is she doing there? She being so aggressive? I wonder how much money she got paid to do this. Crisis actor.”

She later suggested that Burns “doesn’t have cancer.”

Burns, whose social media profiles are decidedly left of center, has been posting about her medical status since at least last year.

Various other videos posted to Twitter alleged to show “bear mace” being used during another incident at the scene.

Other videos show the police breaking up the scene.  It’s unclear if any arrests were made.

The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center did not respond to Vice when that website requested a comment about the incident and inquired whether any subsequent security protocols would be forthcoming.

[image via Twitter screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.