Democratic Convention 2016

Bernie Sanders Delegates Protest for Jill Stein at the DNC

Protesters at the Wells Fargo center chanted "this is what democracy looks like."


Ed Krayewski

About a half dozen Bernie Sanders delegates began protesting in the halls of the Walls Fargo Center during Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, while others shouted from the stands.

Throughout the day, various Bernie Sanders said they were planning to walk out of the Democratic National Convention, and many more wore fluorescent-colored "Enough is Enough" Sanders t-shirts. They also said their seats were being replaced by Clinton supporters as they walked out.

The protesters who began a march in the halls of the Wells Fargo Center were from the California delegation and held up a California flag as well as smaller American flags and signs in support of presumptive Green party presidential nominee Jill Stein.

"They have stolen the election," Bernie Sanders delegate Carlos Marroquin told onlookers. "Hillary Clinton and the DNC stole the election."

Marroquin said "millions of people" had lost their vote "because of the corruption that happened at the DNC," referring to the perceived collusion between the party and Clinton.

More Sanders delegates and supporters with credentials joined the protest, which soon turned into a media scrum.

"It's so easy to preach this idea of unity, of getting over it," California delegate Martha Meccano said. "We talked to Clinton delegates, all they said was grow up." Meccano said Clinton supporters argued Sanders supporters should vote for her to stop Trump, but Meccano rejected the argument. "We're not going to vote out of fear," she said.

Asked what the protest would accomplish by one reporter, she said it would change "the way we approach things."

"What matters now is Sanders has changed the way we do politics," Meccano said, pointing to Sanders' grasssroots network of supporters and donors.

Other protesters hit the same theme. Asked by another reporter why Sanders' endorsement of Clinton did not appear to matter, Oregon delegate Kevin Hunt, one of the delegates who joined the initial California protesters, said the convention didn't end the Sanders-inspired movement, it began it.

"Regardless of what Bernie Sanders said," Hunt explained, "he said to continue the political revolution and we are continuing the political revolution."

"We are very grateful for Bernie Sanders," Hunt said. Hunt attempted to prevent police officers from removing him from the arena while they ushered protesters outside, telling them as a delegate he had a right to be there, but his credentials were taken away and he walked outside, where the protest continued.

Despite the feeling that the Democrats unfairly dismissed them, some delegates were optimistic.

"I am very hopeful that a lot of the people that are on the other side of the fence understand that we are inside in solidarity with them," said California delegate Lorraine Salas, referring to protesters outside the secured DNC area. "We're ready to go outside and meet with them… together, as a movement."

Watch a short portion of the protest here.