Protesters Take To The Streets At DNC
PHILADELPHIA — The heat and high humidity didn’t stop thousands of protesters from taking to the streets of Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention.
“Hell no DNC … we won’t vote Hillary,” the protesters shouted as they marched with their police escort.
The demonstrators marched several miles along Broad Street from Philadelphia City Hall to the Wells Fargo Arena where the Democratic National Convention is being held.
The frustration over the recent DNC email scandal and Hillary Clinton’s campaign platform was evident in the protesters message.
“I hope Bernie has it after this week,” Bruce Erichbaur of Nashville said. He said he was frustrated with the constant scandals surrounding Clinton and thinks her weaknesses will assure Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s victory this November.
“I think Trump cleans this thing up if Bernie doesn’t get in,” Erichbaur said.
Inside the convention center things got off to a rocky start with Sanders supporters continuing to chant his name during speeches. Things started to settle down Monday when comedian Sarah Silverman, a Sanders supporter who is voting for Clinton, told the Bernie people, “you’re being ridiculous.”
Back on the street, the protesters were still feeling the “Bern.”
“Feel the Bern! I’m hoping he pulls a big surprise and changes the balance of power in our political system,” said Cory Podesta, who traveled from the Flint, Michigan area to protest.
John Phelps said he doesn’t regret traveling from Connecticut to protest in the streets of Philadelphia in Monday’s heat.
“I’m marching for a number of reasons,” Phelps said. “I think it would be a very good thing for the Democratic Party to be split open.”
Steve Strouse from Baltimore was marching for similar reasons on behalf of the Freedom Socialist Party. He said wanted to get Democrats to break away and create an independent party.
“Politics in this country is a myth,” he said, mentioning that the general population is unable to educate themselves about alternative candidates. “We are here to tell the people that there is a choice,” Strouse said.
The marches along Broad Street consisted of those upset at the DNC and Clinton, in addition to those fighting for a higher minimum wage, legalization of marijuana, and affordable education.
Philadelphia police said the protest didn’t cause many problems, but heat was a big concern as protesters walked several miles to the convention center.
“It is going well so far,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters from WUSA-TV. “Police are out there doing their jobs and even getting accolades from some of the protesters.”
Mixed in the various political demonstrators were Black Lives Matter protesters and those who want reform but support the police.
“Thank you for all you do,” several protesters yelled to police officers on bikes. “Keep cool, keep safe.”
Tom Sofield and Erich Martin are reporting from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia for LevittownNow.com, a Pennsylvania news site.