The long-rumored protest by disgruntled Bernie Sanders delegates has appeared to have materialized on Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia.
Following the DNC's official nomination of Hillary Clinton for president, the jam-packed crowd in Wells Fargo Arena started to filter out. One could have reasonably assumed they wanted to avoid hearing a dull, rote speech by long-time Clinton surrogate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but among the many convention attendees filtering out to use the restroom or wait in interminable lines for greasy sports arena food were several hundred Sanders delegates intent on making their anger known.
Those Bernie of Bust delegates headed out of the arena and toward the media tent staged outside. About a hundred of them made it into the media center, while another two hundred held court outside the tent, arguing with Hillary Clinton supporters, talking to reporters, and holding up protest signs in support of Black Lives Matter, in opposition to the TPP, and in anger with the DNC. Some hugged and cried, others gave angry speeches for the media's benefit, others argued with each other over the wisdom of defying the endorsement of their preferred candidate.
One delegate told Reason the walkout had been discussed "since the early hours of the morning," while another insisted it was a spontaneous action.
Iowa delegate Chris Larson pressed an American flag against a window at the media tent and told Reason he was "sick and tired of participating in a corrupt political party in a corrupt system." Larson says "this whole thing is a four-day Hillary Clinton commercial. We're not debating platforms, we're not debating rules, we're supposed to sit on our chairs and we don't want to do it anymore." Larson says he has no plans to return to the convention floor, but will continue to protest on the grounds of the DNC, which as a delegate he has a right to be on.
An Oregon delegate claimed "we were bullied, we were suppressed" during yesterday's "absurd" proceedings, which culminated in Bernie Sanders' pleading with his supporters to vote for Clinton in the general election. This delegate claimed that he and other Sanders supporters were told their homemade Bernie Sanders signs were forbidden from the convention floor, but that Hillary Clinton delegates from Oregon had been handed out homemade signs from DNC volunteers.
John Geremiah of Nevada told Reason he's been a Democrat for 45 years and has "never seen such a corrupt election." He added that he wouldn't vote for Clinton any more than he'd vote for Donald Trump, it was simply out of the question, but that he'd consider voting for Jill Stein who he said "would embarrass both of them."
The occupation of the media tent lasted about an hour and a substantial crowd remains outside in the walkway between the arena and the media tent at the time this post was published.
More photos after the jump.