Earlier this month, Claudia Vargas of the Inquirer reported that Sanders’ campaign plans on having a rally the day before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
While attending a Clinton victory party, Philadelphia Mayor, Jim Kenney, told PoliticsPA this isn’t a problem as “First Amendment rights are sacrosanct in this country.”
He went on to explain that the city was working with the ACLU in making sure First Amendment rights are protected by having things like a permanent site for people to protest and express their opinions.
Although Dan McQuade of Philly Magazine reports that left-wing groups have demands for Jim Kenney that go beyond what has already been planned.
On Tuesday, the Philly Coalition for REAL (Racial, Economic and Legal) Justice, in coordination with other local progressive groups, held a press event outside of the city building at 1515 Arch Street where a group of speakers announced that they will be demonstrating and protesting the DNC next month regardless of whether or not they have a permit.
Erica Mines, who disrupted Bill Clinton at a campaign rally in Northwest Philadelphia before the April primaries, led Tuesday’s press event.
“We cannot allow this political moment to be whitewashed like the Occupy movement,” Mines said. “We, as black and brown people, we must unify again in solidarity with one another. We must capitalize off of this moment with one goal in mind, and that is to resist the racist and capitalist power structure that allow white supremacy and capitalist oppression to flourish.”
The demonstrators want protests allowed in front of the convention site at the Wells Fargo Center, not just in the “permanent sites” the city has planned. They also want rush hour protests allowed during the DNC, and don’t want protestors jailed during the convention. Finally, they asked that the money being raised for the DNC, which totals about $64 million, go to Philadelphia public schools instead.
Another speaker at the press conference, Scott Williams, of the the Workers World party wants to hold a “Shut Down the DNC” march that would run from Broad and Diamond to City Hall, and then to the Wells Fargo Center on the second day of the DNC. They also have not received a permit but are planning on demonstrating regardless.
“The Democratic Party,” Williams said. “This is the party of slavery, of Jim Crow, of genocide of Native Americans. This is the party of Japanese internment, of dropping a nuclear bomb, of the Vietnam War, cuts to welfare, and also the party that’s run this city into the ground and destroyed the lives of millions of black and Latino people. We are here to expose them.”
Also in attendance was Asa Khalif, the cousin of Brandon Tate Brown – who was killed by Philadelphia police in December of 2014 – and Delphine Matthews, mother of Frank McQueen – who was killed by Chester police in June of 2014.
They warned Philadelphia police and other DNC organizers that they should not expect the DNC to run smoothly next month.
“You can no longer control black and brown bodies—we are done with it,” said Shani Akilah of the Black and Brown Workers Collective. “Hillary Clinton is a mass murderer. People wanted to know why, as black people, how could we not support Hillary Clinton? Hillary Clinton is a fascist…Clinton came to Haiti and made sure that the same regime that was killing our people stayed in power.”
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They want chaos and if I had my way, they would get it: Warning, tear gas, warning shots, fire for effect. They don’t want to protest. They want to run things, and they don’t.
Party of slavery and Jim Crow? These are conservative talking points from people who don’t actually know history beyond a cursory and self-serving skimming and want to have a smug but specious attack. I’d encourage Mr. Williams to read up on Southern Strategy.
Montco PA Dem is pretty spot on – these are fringe nutjobs, not progressives. They sound like the kind of people who thought Lenin wasn’t radical enough.
So Steven, as a DNC delegate, you support those who would “Shut Down the DNC”? You believe that the Democratic party “is the party of Japanese internment, of dropping a nuclear bomb, of the Vietnam War, cuts to welfare, and also the party that’s run this city into the ground and destroyed the lives of millions of black and Latino people”?
Why not just cast your vote for Trump and be done with it? You’re certainly doing everything you can to empower him.
Bravo to these courageous local liberals, progressives and socialist. And to all who make the pilgrimage to show #Solidarity in Philly.
You are far more important than those of us who you elected to put inside those hallowed walls.
I thank and salute you all, and will be outside with you at every chance.
I tell people that outside in #Solidarity is where all the cool kids will be.
~ Steve Todd
Democratic Delegate for Bernie Sanders, PA Congressional District 15
Dauphin County Democratic Committee, Derry Twp, Precinct 12
I guess if they think the Democrats are the party of slavery and Jim Crow and want to expose that then they will be voting for Trump? Good luck with that. I want to see equality and fairness. I want cops to stop shooting unarmed black people and I want to see an end to mass incarceration. So do most other Democrats. If you think declaring the party most likely to help you your enemy is a good strategy you are out of your mind. You aren’t looking for solutions. You are looking for your 15 minutes of fame and I hope if you get it that it is followed by 15 hours or 15 days in a jail cell.
Let’s not get confused between anarchist and far left fringe groups like those represented above and progressive Democrats. They are not even close to the same thing, regardless of this writer trying to paint these nutjobs as “local progressive groups.”