Bernie Sanders supporters walk out of convention

Bernie Sanders supporters walk out of convention

By TMN Interns   
Sanders supporters after they left the convention enter the press tent. Photo by Doug Christian


PHILADELPHIA (Talk Media News) – Shortly after Sen. Bernie Sanders called Tuesday for the suspension of the procedural rules and moved that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party, hundreds of his supporters walked out of the convention floor in protest.

The Vermont senator quickly left the arena with security. Sanders delegates marched through the halls of the arena hosting the chanting “Show me what democracy looks like, This is what democracy looks like!” and “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! The DNC has got to go!”

A group of reporters swarmed around Green Party candidate Jill Stein but quickly turned their cameras as the protestors organized. The chanting and marching continued around the Wells Fargo Center ending as they walked out.

Arizona delegate Channel Powe stood by the door in tears while hugging other delegates and begging them not to walk out of the arena.

Bernie Protest_7
Sanders supporters outside of City Hall express their frustration with the DNC. Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News

“We keep talking about how love trumps hate and we’ve got to love through this situation that’s happening right now,” Powe said. “It’s almost as if it’s a family disagreement or family argument that is pouring outside into the public and it just really makes me sad because I understand, but I also understand it is a numbers game. And I also understand that in November we have to vote blue.”

Despite her efforts, Sanders delegates swarmed outside and into the mainstream media tents. Those who got inside staged a sit-in before dozens of police officers could secure the doors. The remaining protestors stood outside the tent, surrounded by rows of officers on either side and in the view of snipers on the roof.

Some protestors had their mouths covered to represent being silenced by the DNC while others called for the end of the super delegate system that helped put Clinton over the top to clinch the nomination. Others stood with peace signs held high and a blank face. After a few minutes they started singing “This land is your land” in unison.

“We’re out here as a statement saying what happened during the process was so unfair,” said Lisa Stiller, a Sanders delegate from Oregon. “They need to undo what happened. They need to take away those super delegates and they need to open elections.”

The sentiment that the process was rigged seemed to be unanimous amongst Sander supporters. Joshua Brown, a millennial and an alternate delegate from North Carolina, remained upset with the delegate and super delegate system.

“It’s one thing to lose, but I want to lose honestly,” Brown said.

Some delegates who walked out were ready to move forward with Clinton including Ken Roos, a Sanders delegate from New Hampshire.

Sanders supporters and delegates stage a sit-in inside the media tents at the DNC.
Sanders supporters and delegates stage a sit-in inside the media tents at the DNC. Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News

“We’ve cast our votes today for Bernie Sanders but in the end when it was obvious that Hillary Clinton was the nominee. Bernie did a gracious thing of asking for the vote to be considered unanimous,” Roos said. “And now that she’s the nominee we need to do whatever possible to prevent Donald Trump from getting into the White House.”

Other delegates remain undecided on who they will vote for in November but confident that their revolution will continue to hold Hillary Clinton accountable.

“We won a lot of the party platform, there’s more we wanted,” Stiller said. “We are going to make sure that Hillary sticks to that platform and we will be in the streets if she doesn’t.”


About a thousand Sanders supporters marched from City Hall to the perimeter of the DNC on Monday, forcing officers to put up extra metal fencing and several protestors were detained. The protests continued around the city on Tuesday, mostly amongst “Bernie or bust” supporters.

In Thomas Paine Plaza, Sanders supporters gathered to call for a revolution making Sanders or another third-party candidate the president of the United States.

Brian Papineau, 52, was adamant that he will not be voting for Clinton in November.

“I would follow Bernie anywhere except to vote for Hillary,” Papineau said.

Vermont Sanders supporter Randy Leavitt is passionate about his hero at Board Game Art Park in Philadelphia. Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News

Amber Arrington, a millennial who travelled to Philadelphia from Ohio said, “It hurts to hear it coming out of his mouth. He’s doing what he has to do to keep us going, but we know deep in his heart he does not mean it.”

Lou Korngut was in the City Hall Courtyard across the street from the protest. Though not a Bernie supporter, he is a member of Moms Demand Action, which shares the same position on gun reform as the Democratic Party.

“I’m not an anti-Bernie guy whatsoever, I believe in a lot of his positions and I think he got a lot of what he was asking for,” Korngut said. “But I think now it’s time to look at the alternative, it’s either Hillary or Donald Trump.”

A lot of the protestors started chanting for Jill Stein, but Justin Fitzsimmons, 21, said that choosing a third-party candidate in this election would just be too risky.

“I’m all for Bernie or Bust, but a third party vote, or a write in Bernie vote will just elect Donald Trump to President,” Fitzsimmons said.

The Philadelphia native is disappointed by his primary options on the ballot in November and insisted that he still really wants to see Bernie Sanders as President of the United States.

“Right now I don’t want to vote for Hillary, but I sure as hell don’t want to vote for Trump,” Fitzsimmons said. “It’s not fair we have to pick between the lesser of the two evils, but when it comes down to it unfortunately we’re going to have to pick between the lesser of two evils.”

Sanders supporters marching at Board Game Art Park rally against Hillary Clinton - ever. Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News
Sanders supporters marching at Board Game Art Park rally against Hillary Clinton. Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News

Sanders’ cooperation at the DNC and efforts toward party unity have not gone unnoticed by Clinton’s delegates. Teresa Winston, a Clinton delegate from Minnesota, hopes that his supporters move forward with Sanders.

“Let me just say that I think that Bernie is fantastic he is a wonderful class act,” Winston said. “I really respect everything he has done. I am a little disappointed by the walk out I really hoping that eventually we can get passed this and all come together.”

The co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, Micah White, stood outside watching the Sanders delegates protest. He said it reminded him the Occupy movement, which had a similar goal of fighting social and economic inequality.

Sanders supporters marching at Board Game Art Park rally say they will never vote for Hillary Clinton - ever. Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News
Sanders supporters marching at Board Game Art Park rally say they will never vote for Hillary Clinton. Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News

“What we’re witnessing is the last gasp of the movement,” White said. “These people who have been funneled into Bernie Sanders and then Bernie Sanders gets up and funnels them into Hillary Clinton and some of them don’t want to swallow that pill. But ultimately they’re going to swallow that pill. I’ve been saying this for a long time, is that we are wasting our time with the Bernie Sanders stuff, it’s really sad.”

He looked around at protestors with money taped across their mouths, a statement that was made iconic by the OWS movement five years ago. White has since written a book titled “The End of Protests,” describing a broken form of fighting for justice.

“We are living through a time where protest as we know it is broken. Like we’re seeing right now this isn’t going to matter. The only thing that matters is a social movement that can win elections in multiple countries on a unified agenda,” he said.

TMN interns Flora Khoo, Ayah Galal, Emilee Larkin, Anya Predich, Carrington Novo, Jenny Roberts and Brittney Welch contributed to this report.

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