A group of “Bernie or Bust” protesters at Franklin Delano Roosevelt park near the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia continue to remain camped out during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Last night, as Hillary Clinton won the party’s nomination for president, protesters reacted strongly against what they perceived to be a fraudulent primary election, hurling blame at the machinations of the Democratic Party for allegedly rigging the nomination in Clinton’s favor from the very beginning.
A firsthand glimpse of the protests can be viewed from the live stream recorded below, followed by some observations and commentary on the part of the author:
In attendance at the protest was comedian and activist Lee Camp, the host of RT’s Redacted Tonight. Camp, who has built a devoted following documenting what he believes to be a rigged primary against Bernie Sanders, took the stage to say this:
‘We’re in the middle of something very serious. This is evil versus good. This is Mel Gibson now versus 1993 Mel Gibson. This is a drop-down, drag-out, bloody fucking war for the soul of our culture, for cultural hegemony. This is something very serious, but a lot of our country is too dumb, medicated, or blissfully uneducated to realize it. They’ve anesthetized us with shiny shit, zombified us with televised votes on reality TV bullshit—the truth is we’re like fish in a fishbowl, if you just give us a little bit of food and a little plastic treasure chest, or a chest of plastic treasures, then we will never even question that all of our thoughts and all of our soul are blazing inside of a two-foot bowl. We are bigger than this.’
Giulianna Di Lauro, a former national Latino outreach coordinator for the Sanders campaign, was also in attendance at the protest. Bipartisan Report contributor Dylan Kelly had a live stream discussion with her, which can be viewed below:
“I dealt with the DNC on a daily basis,” said Di Lauro. “I dealt with their hostility first hand.” Referring to the recent DNC email leaks proving that several top Democratic officials were less impartial in the primary than they originally led on, Di Lauro stated, “The DNC colluded with the media to plant negative stories about Bernie Sanders. If you don’t think manipulating public perception when you are the organization that is carrying out an election, when you are supposed to be the independent brokers in this system, if you think that it’s okay to go out of your way to plant negative stories, then you’re crazy.”
Like most of those who attended the protest, Di Lauro was adamant that she will not be voting for Hillary Clinton in November, despite Bernie Sanders’ recent endorsement of her.
Many have disparaged the Bernie or Bust movement as “childish” and “ridiculous,” including many prominent Sanders supporters themselves. Few however, seem to be willing to address their concerns in a substantial way, treating them as incomprehensible lunatics rather than serious activists with genuine concerns about the integrity of our election system.
Though there’s certainly ample room to disagree with the Bernie or Bust faction on many points, as many Bernie supporters themselves certainly do, it’s imperative that the Democratic party acknowledge that, as Vice President Joe Biden stated yesterday, there’s a process to party unity wherein party leaders must acknowledge that feelings of anger and betrayal are normal in heated primary contests, particularly this one.
Featured image via Getty.