Green Party’s Jill Stein courting ‘Bernie or Bust’ idealists
By Evan Lips | July 27, 2016, 20:38 EST
PHILADELPHIA — A slew of Bernie Sanders supporters spent another day holding court outside of City Hall, continuing to make public ‘Never Hillary’ vows and railing against a political party they claim denied them a fair shake.
The question remains, however: does their anger translate to the broader voting public, and will it affect the outcome of November’s presidential election?
For Wes Schnitker of St. Louis, Missouri, a staunch Sanders supporter and activist who was arrested in March after protesting at a Donald Trump rally in his hometown, the answer as to whether he and other like-minded hardcore Sanders supporters will cast ballots for Hillary Clinton is clear: no way.
“They’ve colluded with the media,” Schnitker said about the DNC. “They’ve colluded with local Democratic groups to suppress votes. Some of the exact same things we’re supposed to be afraid of about Trump — and the reason we’re being told to vote for Hillary — are actually happening within the Democratic party.”
Schnitker was among hundreds of fellow Sanders supporters at Wednesday’s rally. Joining them were several Sanders delegates who said they had no plans on going back inside the Wells Fargo Center to attend more DNC events. The delegates addressed a throng of supporters from the foot of the “Government of the People” sculpture located outside the city’s municipal services center.
David Weeda, a Sanders delegate from Bucksport, Maine, recalled how his state went 2:1 in favor of Sanders during primary season.
“And yet, because of a ridiculously archaic and disgusting superdelegate process, four of our five superdelegates went with Hillary,” Weeda said. “I walked out of the convention yesterday afternoon and it was one of the proudest marches I’ve ever done in my life.
Weeda also questioned why Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned Sunday afternoon as chairman of the Democratic National Committee in light of the WikiLeaks email scandal, immediately took a post with the Clinton campaign.
Anna Cordero, a Sanders delegate from New York City, said the Democratic Party treated her and other Sanders backers “really really badly” and “like stepchildren.”
“We need to keep going forward with this movement — we need to start our own party,” Cordero said. “We can’t be part of the Democratic Party anymore.”
Lisa Masters, an alternate Sanders delegate from Georgia, said her time spent inside the Wells Fargo Center over the previous two days made her feel “so dirty.”
“They don’t want us there,” she added. “I walked out in protest along with everyone else.”
What was missing from remarks of all speakers, however, was any mention of Trump. Bruce Carter, founder of Black Men for Bernie, never mentioned Trump during any of his turns at the microphone. He did, however, have choice words for Clinton.
“Now, I’m going to say this — because I mean this — I will never support Hillary Clinton,” Carter said to thunderous applause. “I think I’ve had something like 43 white men who have been president.
“I’ve survived them all, but I know I can’t survive with the people I love under a Hillary Clinton ‘all-for-all, one-for-all,’ regime, so you need to understand, do not give in to fear — regardless — because what they’ve said is this: ‘screw Bernie Sanders and his followers because they’ll just fall in line.’”
“I’ve never been a fall-in-line guy,” Carter thundered.
The rally wrapped up with an appearance by Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, of Lexington, Massachusetts, who has made several appearances before the pro-Sanders crowd this week. Stein has previously said the fears she sees in a Trump presidency are already apparent in Clinton and on Wednesday she said nothing to indicate that she would be backing away from that stance.
“We say no to that lesser evil,” Stein said during her remarks, referencing Clinton. “Because the lesser evil has actually paved the way toward the greater evil.
“That’s because people stopped coming out to vote for politicians who are throwing them under the bus — even if someone else could do it even worse, people don’t come out to support lesser evil politicians.”