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Unrest at the Democratic National Convention

Former Mayor Chris Krohn talks to Sanders-supporting Santa Cruz Delegates at an unwieldy Philadelphia breakfast

A thunder and lightning storm brewed over Philadelphia around midday on Monday, July 25, and inside the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the weather forecast also looks intense. That storm started at California’s delegation breakfast inside the downtown Marriott hotel over eggs, oatmeal, coffee and juice. Alex Padilla, the California Secretary of State who’s in charge of voting, took to the podium in front of the state’s Clinton-Sanders delegates, and the chanting began: “Count our votes, count our votes!”

Sanders delegates rose to their feet during the meeting and broke into chants of “Bernie, Bernie.” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Berkeley) asked delegates to join her in voting for Clinton and the chants of “Bernie, Bernie” rained down upon her. The same happened to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Rep. Mike Honda (D- San Jose)—all Clinton-supporting superdelegates.

I sat between two Santa Cruz Sanders delegates, Shawn Orgel-Olson, who ran Sanders’ Santa Cruz campaign, and former County Supervisor Gary Patton. Both looked stunned, at first, before joining in the chanting.

“What burns the butts of these Bernie people is that [the DNC leaders] want to pretend Clinton is the nominee, but it’s not official,” Patton shouted over the chanting, noting that the nominating process was scheduled to be finished the following day.

“We are still his delegates and we’re glad to be out here supporting him,” Orgel-Olson added.

This is my third DNC, and I’ve never seen this kind of raw, angry energy. It poured out onto the street, where more than 5,000 protesters came ready for a battle. At the Florida delegation earlier that morning, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), the recently disgraced DNC chair, got booed off the stage.

Toward the end of California’s two-hour breakfast, Clinton supporters finally caught on and chanted, “Hill-a-ry, Hill-a-ry.” But it was too late. The “Bernie” voices ruled the day. 

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