Disgruntled Bernie Sanders Supporters Planning "Fart-In" at Democratic National Convention
The spirit of Saul Alinsky may be heard (and smelled) in Philadelphia.
Bernie Sanders may have ended his revolution yesterday when he formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president and urged his supporters to vote for the former secretary of state in November. But some of his most hardcore backers do not intend go quietly.
In fact, Steven Nelson reports at U.S. News and World Report that certain Sanderistas intend to stage a "fart-in" to protest Clinton's nomination at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, which will host the Democratic National Convention in late July.
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign has reportedly been collecting a wide variety of donated canned and dried beans in its Philadelphia office, with the intention of feeding the flatulence-inducing vegetables to willing Bernie Sanders supporters before they enter the convention hall. Organizers of the "fart-in" won't provide the names of those delegates who have pledged to participate, but they have indicated that at least "a bunch" are inclined to make their gaseous protest heard.
U.S News reports:
Dr. Walter Tsou, a leader with the Philadelphia branch of Physicians for Social Responsibility and a former Philadelphia health commissioner who strongly supports single-payer health insurance, is helping promote the cause.
"The fart-in is to raise attention about things that really stink in our society and one of them is our health care financing system," he says. "People are making a lot of platitudes about how great the Affordable Care Act is, but there are a lot of gaps."
Tsou, a former president of the American Public Health Association, also is helping promote protests on the first day of the DNC and says he will eat beans in solidarity with "fart-in" participants, though he says he won't be entering the convention hall.
The act of social justice flatulence protest appears to be inspired by the late Saul Alinsky, a leftist community organizer, boogeyman to the right-wing, and author of Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. In a 1972 interview with Playboy, Alinksy talked about his never-realized plan to stage a "flatulent blitzkrieg on [Rochester's] sacred symphony orchestra":
Another idea I had that almost came to fruition was directed at the Rochester Philharmonic, which was the establishment's — and Kodak's — cultural jewel. I suggested we pick a night when the music would be relatively quiet and buy 100 seats. The 100 blacks scheduled to attend the concert would then be treated to a preshow banquet in the community consisting of nothing but huge portions of baked beans. Can you imagine the inevitable consequences within the symphony hall? The concert would be over before the first movement — another Freudian slip — and Rochester would be immortalized as the site of the world's first fart-in.
In that interview, Alinsky dismissed the interviewers question that a "fart-in" could be perceived as "juvenile and frivolous." Alinsky asked, "What oppressed person doesn't want, literally or figuratively, to shit on his oppressors?"
Reason will be on-hand at the DNC, and will be sure to report on any noxious demonstrations against the Clinton nomination.