A Look Inside The Protests Around The Democratic Convention

Jul 26, 2016
Originally published on July 26, 2016 7:06 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Inside the arena of the Democratic National Convention last night, the party pulled out all the stops to unite delegates behind Hillary Clinton. Outside of the arena, NPR's Jeff Brady reports, there were plenty of pro-Bernie Sanders protesters and police.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Officers could be seen on foot, bicycle, horseback and overhead. Across the street from the arena is a park. That's where protesters pressed up against a metal fence with Bernie for president signs. As each busload of delegates arrived, the chanting started.

UNIDENTIFIED SANDERS SUPPORTERS: (Chanting) Hell no, DNC, we won't vote for Hillary. Hell no, DNC, we won't vote for Hillary. Hell no...

BRADY: Linde Casper flew here from Boise, Idaho.

LINDE CASPER: The delegates are coming in on buses and then they're walking across here. So we're hollering at them (laughter).

BRADY: Can they hear you from here? It's a...

CASPER: Well, yeah because they walk right there. They walk right across the road there.

BRADY: Casper says now that Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton, she'll vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Casper lives in Idaho, a reliably Republican state, so she says her left-leaning vote wouldn't make a difference anyway.

CASPER: 'Cause our state is going to go to Trump, I'm sure. If we were a battleground state, then I'd been torn because I'm - Trump scares me a lot.

BRADY: Large crowds of protesters stayed throughout the day, suffering a heat index that local officials say reached 109 degrees. The city set up misting stations and handed out free water. But then, in the evening, a lightning storm moved in and released a drenching rain. That's when a lot of protesters called it quits. Just a few were left when Bernie Sanders delivered his speech. They watched huddled around a smartphone.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERNIE SANDERS: Forty-seven million men, women and children today live in poverty.

BRADY: Margaret Alexander of Massachusetts was among about a dozen protesters still around as buses started taking delegates back to their hotels.

MARGARET ALEXANDER: Oh, when the bus go by, I had to get my Bernie sign out as fast as possible so that they could see that we're still here for Bernie Sanders.

BRADY: She also pulled out a small bullhorn and led three people in a chant.

UNIDENTIFIED SANDERS SUPPORTERS: (Chanting) Bernie, Bernie - we won't vote for Hillary.

BRADY: The rain may have dampened protests last night, but more rallies and marches are scheduled for today. Jeff Brady, NPR News, Philadelphia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.