Anti-war Sanders supporters got into heated debates with Clinton supporters during|Frank Burgos1/3
Anti-war Sanders supporters got into heated debates with Clinton supporters during|Frank Burgos
Sanders supporters were outside the DNC on Thursday planning to protest alleged ha|Alexis Sachdev2/3
Sanders supporters were outside the DNC on Thursday planning to protest alleged ha|Alexis Sachdev
Volunteers hand out US flags before Clinton's appearance.3/3
Volunteers hand out US flags before Clinton's appearance.
Several dozen delegates backing Bernie Sanders convened Thursday afternoon outside the Democratic National Convention arena area to organize action.
Alleging violation of constitutional rights and harassment by Hillary Clinton supporters and members of the Secret Service, these delegates have let their coordinating neon green T-shirts speak for them: "Enough is enough."
"You guys have started a revolution and that is the most important thing in the world," Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, told the impromptu crowd of delegates and members of the media. "Elections come and go, but a revolution is something that's real, something that brings real change."
After Uygur's remarks, delegates hurriedly wrote signs that said "#NoVoice #NoUnity" and described the treatment they'd received from party members and the Secret Service.
Sanders supporters said on Thursday night they are planning to protest during Clinton’s acceptance speech, even going so far as walking out of the auditorium at the Wells Fargo Center.
Amanda Kennedy, a delegate from Greenbriar, Arkansas, said "all week long" she's experienced "harassment, disrespect and discrimination" by Hillary Clinton supporters at the convention.
"I sat in a chair on the floor and I was going to watch [Barack] Obama speak … and I sat in that chair for five hours because if I got up, they would give my seat to somebody else, probably somebody's kid or a family member, not a delegate," Kennedy said.
"They stood up in front of us and held up signs in order to block the people behind us, so we weren't able to see," she said, adding that a fellow Arkansas delegate had his credentials revoked by the Secret Service.
"He held up a sign that had 'TPP' [Trans-Pacific Partnership] with a slash through it. We were asked to not hold up any signs that weren't approved by the campaign or the DNC, so he held up a sign anyway," Kennedy recalled, adding that delegates in other states were holding similar signs.
She said that delegates were told Thursday morning that if they held that sign, they would be stripped of their credentials.
"No freedom of speech for us," Kennedy said.
Two of her follow delegates agreed to the stipulation, but one, Frank Klein, said he wouldn't be silenced. His credentials were taken.
"Obviously we're being discriminated against, so it's either blend in and conform to Hillary and not wear any Bernie buttons proudly, or wear buttons and be treated really bad by a lot of people.
"We had people shushing us and the whole peer pressure as we sit in our New York delegation," said Diane Flynn-Taylor, a New York state delegate.
She said four delegates from New York had their credentials pulled Wednesday; only one has been replaced so far.
She said "unfair" treatment of Sanders and his supporters has been ongoing, blaming the Democratic National Committee and the mainstream media.
After an email leak last week that revealed 19,000 emails from party staffers, Flynn-Taylor said she hoped the party would react differently and issue an apology.
Pointing to the unofficial neon uniform of delegates, she said "these shirts were born out of just anger and frustration.
"Bernie left this part of the revolution to support Hillary, and we recognize that he really had to do that [but] we’re not going anywhere. We’re going to be right where we were … we will continue with the issues."
"We want Hillary and the DNC going forward to hear our voice and to acknowledge the issues that we followed Bernie for are still very real,” Flynn-Taylor said. "[Clinton] will need to earn our vote."
Later in the day, Sanders delegates were hardly participatory in the Wells Fargo arena. As speakers took the podium to endorse Clinton and praised the candidate's work, Sanders supporters sat in their chairs, clustered together, not cheering or holding signs.