PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Unmoved by Bernie Sanders’ plea for party unity behind Hillary Clinton, several hundred Sanders supporters chanting “Bernie or bust!” took to the streets under the hot sun Tuesday for another round of protests on Day 2 of the Democratic convention.
They held a midday rally at City Hall with plans to link up later in the afternoon with groups decrying police brutality and economic injustice. They all planned to make their way down Broad Street to the convention site 4 miles from City Hall.
Speakers at the rally charged that Sanders was cheated out of the nomination by Clinton.
Demonstrators said they weren’t swayed by Sanders’ speech at the convention Monday night, in which he said: “Based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.”
“He persuaded no one to vote for Hillary,” said Greg Gregg, a retired 69-year-old nurse from Salem, Oregon. He said he intends to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, quoting the turn-of-the-last-century socialist labor leader Eugene Debs as saying, “I’d rather vote for what I want and lose than what I don’t want and win.”
On Monday evening, police cited 54 people for disorderly conduct for trying to climb the barriers outside the convention center during a pro-Sanders protest that reflected the tensions inside the hall between the Vermont senator’s supporters and Clinton’s.
The Sanders camp was angered when a trove of hacked emails released over the weekend showed that officials at the supposedly neutral Democratic National Committee played favorites during the primaries and worked to undermine Sanders’ campaign.
Black Men for Bernie founder Bruce Carter said Monday’s speeches from Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren did not persuade him to support Clinton.
“They really agitate people more every time they stand up and do the Hillary Clinton, hoo-rah hoo-rah,” he said. Carter, a Dallas resident, said he doesn’t fear a Donald Trump presidency: “I’ve lived under nine white presidents in my lifetime.”
With temperatures climbing again toward the mid-90s, Chris Scully, a 28-year-old an engineer from Troy, New York, held a “Jill Before Hill” outside City Hall and said he opposes Clinton because of her war record as secretary of state.
As Scully spoke, a passer-by called out: “That’s a vote for Trump!”
A separate protest, this one against police brutality, took shape in north Philadelphia near the Temple University campus, where about 500 people began marching down Broad Street toward City Hall.
Protest leader Erica Mines told the crowd it was an “anti-police rally” and a “black and brown resistance march” and instructed all white people to move to the back. The crowd chanted: “Power to the people! No power to these pigs!”
Police estimated 5,500 people took part in Monday’s opening-day protests. Many of the marchers chanted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the DNC has got to go!” and carried signs reading “Never Hillary,” ”Just Go to Jail Hillary” and “You Lost Me at Hillary.”