By BROOKLYN DIPPO and JENNIFER GIVENS
PHILADELPHIA (Talk Media News) – While delegates and politicians were preparing to kick off the Democratic National Convention Monday, about a thousand of Bernie Sanders’ supporters marched through Philadelphia set on continuing the revolution promised by the Vermont Senator’s unsuccessful campaign.
“I couldn’t not be here,” said Gallen Bratton, 36 of North Carolina. “My wife begged me not to come. I have a 16-year-old daughter and she said, ‘Please don’t go.’ I said, ‘I can’t not go. It’s too big.’”
Bratton drove from North Carolina to attend the march for Sanders from City Hall to the Wells Fargo Center, the site of the convention.
Dozens of young men joined Bratton, including 27-year-old Jeffrey Jones, held a giant inflatable joint that read “End the racist war on drugs.”
“I actually don’t smoke marijuana, but I definitely support legalization because that will bring a lot of money into the economy,” Jones said. “And also it’s a racist policy that they actually implemented because of Nixon back in the day. He wanted to make sure that his political opponents would be in jail.”
Sanders endorsed Clinton two weeks ago, but his die-hard supporters have refused to give up. The Wikileaks email scandal involving DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz allegedly plotting to damage the Senator’s campaign also appears to have re-engerized Sanders base’s claim that the system was rigged against their candidate.
Clinton supporter and former Democratic delegate Laurel Dragnon, 71, watched from the sidewalk in fascination as the Bernie Sanders supporters marched.
“I think the young people and whoever they are out there, they deserve to be out there and should be listened to.”
Dragnon, who said this marks her 12th convention said she was disappointed by the email scandal but said it will blow over in the next few days.
“It may have a short term effect today and the next few days, long term it will not. I don’t think we’re as a party the type that should be sending those kinds of messages be it email or vocally. You know we speak about being inclusive and diverse and everything and to turn on somebody because of their beliefs, be it religious or whatever, that should not have happened.”
Sanders is scheduled to speak tonight at the DNC and it is unclear whether the march or recent email scandal will affect the party’s goal of projecting unity.