Bernie Supporters Brave Sweltering Heat for Anti-DNC Protest
Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters brave a 106 heat index at protest through downtown Philadelphia to start the Democratic National Convention.
The 2016 Democratic National Convention is well under way in Philadelphia and it’s hot as hell in Center City. But the brutal heat yesterday didn’t deter hundreds of supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders from taking to the streets to oppose the presumptive Democratic nominee, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic National Committee.
Sanders supporters, rumored to be in Philly in the hundreds of thousands, were already prepared for a contested convention. They now have a new grievance—election rigging. Convention Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ousted Sunday night by the DNC after emails made publicly visible by Wikileaks presented hard evidence that she influenced Democratic primaries.
These folks want Bernie and they have the trump card (no pun intended). The DNC will ultimately need support from them if they expect to beat Republican candidate Donald Trump in November.
Julian Alexander from Philadelphia, who canvassed for Senator Sanders at home and in South Carolina during the primaries, told me, “Bernie Sanders is my candidate and I came out to support him and his progressive agenda.” Bernie Bros, as Sanders’ supporters are oftentimes pejoratively called, came with tons of passion, but “not in anger like many media outlets, especially Hillary-centric outlets, would have you to believe.” Alexander spent face-to-face quality time with Senator Sanders in South Carolina where the Senator gave around 50 young “Bernie-crats” the charge to “run for positions in local, state and the Federal government.”
The protest march went from City Hall, down South Broad St. to the Wells Fargo Center. The chants were generally anti-Hillary Clinton, anti-Super PAC and anti-DNC. Creative banners, costumes and props focused prominently, but not exclusively, on issues like universal healthcare, #blacklivesmatter, political collusion, clean energy and the legalization of marijuana. One protester displayed a sign that read , “Bernie: Because f*ck this sh*it.” Another: “Enough is enough.”
It’ll be interesting, to say the least, to see how the rest of the week pans out, but for now, lots of folks are #feelingthebern in Philly.