Sanders Supporters Walk Out, Stage Protest in Media Tent

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters gather outside the media center at Wells Fargo Center to protest the Democratic presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee by a major party on Tuesday night. Photo by Pankaj Khadka/BUNS
Written by Michelle Johnson

BU News Service

Shortly after a roll call vote to nominate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party’s nominee in Philadelphia on Tuesday, reporters working in a press area outside of the Wells Fargo Arena were startled to see a horde of Bernie Sanders delegates marching through the doors chanting “This is what democracy looks like!”

A large group walked out of the arena and streamed into the press-only area before state troopers blocked the march from proceeding further. Another large crowd amassed outside holding up signs against the window and chanting.

As some of the Sanders supporters staged a silent sit-in in an open area of the media center, a line of troopers blocked the entrances to the building.

Reporters quickly grabbed cameras and notebooks to interview the protesters. Initially many declined to speak. Their faces were covered with tape carrying hand-written messages such as “No Voice” as well as “Black Lives Matter.”

A protestor with her lips tape in protest of the nomination of Hillary Clinton isnide the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Photo by Pankaj Khadka

A protestor with her lips tape in protest of the nomination of Hillary Clinton isnide the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Photo by Pankaj Khadka

As a few started to speak, they expressed their disappointment with the outcome of the nomination process and complained that they had been silenced on the floor of the convention.

Kimberly Tucker, 50, a delegate from Virginia, said that she didn’t agree with protesters who plan to leave the party, but she expressed strong support for the message that the walk-out intended to convey. She said rather than leaving the party, she preferred to stay and continue to make change from within. “The Democratic party needs to acknowledge that this election was flawed and that our electoral system is vulnerable. We as a Democratic Party need to do better,” Tucker said.

With no firm plan in place beyond the takeover, the protest eventually fizzled out as protesters peacefully filed out of the building.

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