Sanders Supporters Obstinately Unmoved by Plea to Support Clinton

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Bernie Sanders supporters gather at City Hall on the second day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Bernie Sanders supporters gather at City Hall on the second day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Credit: AFP
Sanders supportersCredit: AP

Undeterred by Sen. Bernie Sanders' plea for party unity behind Hillary Clinton, Sanders supporters chanting "Bernie or bust!" took to the streets under the hot sun Tuesday for more demonstrations on Day 2 of the Democratic convention.

Several hundred gathered around noon in a rally at City Hall with plans to join up in the afternoon with groups decrying police brutality and economic injustice. Together they planned to march the 4 miles down Broad Street to the convention site.

Speakers at the rally charged that Clinton cheated her way to the nomination with the complicity of the "corporate media."

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."

Susanne Dunn of California noted that "he was coerced into doing it, I was disappointed but I don’t think he has a choice. I was involved in voter registration. There were ballots shredded exit polls cancelled so they couldn’t trace the votes. So we do not feel that is was fair, Bernie won California and was robbed."

"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."

Kevin Medvec, meanwhile, said that "I still love Bernie, nothing gonna change that, but he kind of gave up. I'm not surprised he endorsed Hillary, his whole platform has been about bringing people together. But I can't vote for her, I just feel that she is very corrupt, she is a warmonger, a hawk, and I don’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth."

"If I don’t like what happens, I'm changing my voting preference," said Salvador Benavides, an actor from Los Angeles. "We strongly believed that things were not on the up and up from the election in Iowa, where vote was called before all the votes were in. Folks trained for the polls were wrongly trained, and then finding out that New York had the same issues. It's not right. My greatest fear is that more of this will come out, but only when all is said and done." 

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!"

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