I was sitting in the bagel shop having a sausage, egg, & cheese on cinnamon raisin, when my friend Vikki asked me if I planned to be at the Democratic National Committee convention this week. I had, kinda. I mean, at the time I was having a bagel I wasn't really in any hurry. She said she was writing a story and saw some cool photos online. I guess that was pretty persuasive because I was on the next Amtrak to Philly.
By 2pm I was on the scene. The 'scene' being a massive pro-Bernie/anti-Hillary/anti-DNC rally taking place at City Hall. It was a pretty diverse crowd- from twenty-something's to middle-aged folks, ethnic backgrounds, etc. What the had in common was being royally pissed about recent Wikileaks email revelations that the DNC, under chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz, conspired against the Bernie Sanders campaign.
I can't believe i've gone this long without mentioning the heat. it was, to put it mildly, a bit much. you know when you watch a movie and the director says the setting was a character? well the heat was a main character this day. so much so I came armed with a backup t-shirt for when I INEVITABLY sweat through my first. in fact, after i got some good photos i took a lunch break at reading terminal and snuck into a marriott bathroom to change.
it was nice to be dry again. when I returned to city hall the march had begun, southbound on broad street to fdr park. across from the gated off wells fargo center where the convention was taking place. I took the subway (BSL Line) to the Oregon st station, ahead of the march.
fun fact: only those with credentials could take 'public' subway to the at&t station. everyone else, including those with disabilities had to get out and hike.
the march was large, maybe 1500-2000 people? i'm not the best estimator of these things, see videos below.
Pro-Bernie protesters march from Philadelphia City Hall to FDR park.
Part 2 of 2.
iPhone 6s Plus, 4K.
the whole thing had kind of an art festival vibe to it. which i've become accustomed to from past nyc bernie rallies. it is a gathering of very like-minded progressive people so i guess drama would be minimal. plus, there was a fire hydrant!
even the few pro-trump/republican/right-wingers were pretty fun and chill...and young!
UNFORTUNATELY the fdr park rally they were marching toward was not to be. expecting to start 7:30 expected to speak were green party candidate jil stein as well as rumored rosario dawson and susan surandon. however by 6:45 with thunder and dark clouds overhead the ORGANIZERS conceded to the INEVITABLE.
So the park cleared out. people were directed away from the stage and i assume many went home. underdeterred, a commited few remained by the gates to chant and boo convention buses as the drove by. the storm came and went, lasting about 45 minutes. people huddled under trees which provided weak shelter as i soaked not only my 'clean' shirt, but my shorts, shoes and socks too.
as things got quiet i snuck away, hopping back on the amtak home. feet squishing the ENTIRE way.
Full Gallery here
Vikki's Story for Medium Here