Some Sanders delegates walk out after Clinton nominated
By State House News Service | July 27, 2016, 6:06 EDT
PHILADELPHIA — After state party officials cheerfully reported their delegates to the Democratic National Convention, insurgent delegates who had backed Bernie Sanders staged a walkout and about 100 or more occupied a press tent for a little more than an hour.
Sanders has repeatedly endorsed Hillary Clinton, the winner of the Democratic party’s nominating contest, but has so far failed to move the most ardent supporters of his candidacy to support the former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state.
“The political revolution is about us, all of us. It’s not about Bernie. It’s about all of us,” North Dakota delegate Michael Lopez said. He said, “This is to say that we believe the process has been flawed and has been tainted.”
Lopez claimed a convention staffer wearing a yellow vest told them not to display signs for Sanders after Clinton won the convention’s vote.
“They threatened to arrest us if we displayed Bernie signs inside,” Lopez told the News Service.
Kate Moran, a delegate for Sanders from Washington, told reporters the walkout occurred after Sanders moved to send his votes to Clinton.
The walkout was not apparent from video of the proceedings posted by the party. Convention Chairwoman Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge said that “in the spirit of unity” Sanders moved that Clinton be nominated by acclimation.
Sanders supporters point to evidence, including emails released late last week by Wikileaks, that the party apparatus favored Clinton. Clinton supporters and others have publicly suspected Russia of hacking the party’s emails.
In mid-June the Washington Post reported a security breach at the Democratic National Committee that allowed intruders to read all email and chat traffic, and said the security firm CrowdStrike had identified hacker groups working for Russia, though the country denied involvement.
On Sunday, before the official start of the Philadelphia convention, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as chair.
In an email late Monday afternoon, Sanders warned his delegates not to walk out of the convention hall, warning public displays of disunity would benefit Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“Our credibility as a movement will be damaged by booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays. That’s what the corporate media wants. That’s what Donald Trump wants. But that’s not what will expand the progressive movement in this country,” the Sanders email said. “I know everyone is frustrated, especially by the recent DNC email disclosures. But, as a result of this disclosure Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign. This is a very positive sign.”
The protestors entered the press tents, surprising the news media working there, a little after 7 p.m. and then left after a little more than an hour.
Asked why the group went into the news media tent, Lopez said, “The media’s our last hope.”
— Written by Andy Metzger
Copyright State House News Service