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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Dem Disunity: Bernie Supporters EXIT Party
PHILADELPHIA – Despite the Democratic Party’s robust efforts this week to put forward a show of unity at their Philadelphia convention – including bringing Hillary Clinton onstage Wednesday night for a handoff hug from President Obama – a rowdy swath of disaffected voters is making clear the theatrics haven’t healed the fractured base.
Anti-Clinton and other demonstrators are moving forward Thursday with at least one protest, and holding events encouraging voters to “de-register” from the party.
They’re operating in part under the Twitter hashtag #DemExit, one that Green Party candidate Jill Stein has deftly been using as she openly appeals to Sanders supporters to join her team outside the Philly convention arena.
“DNC wants your support for lying, undermining, and insulting you. They'll lock you out if you don't comply. #DemExit,” Stein tweeted.
Stein has proven to be a chief agitator, as Bernie Sanders himself rejoins the fold and urges Democrats to get behind Clinton’s campaign. Even the celebrities are split, with liberal Hollywood stalwarts like Susan Sarandon standing with the Sanders crowd this week.
Clinton is set to deliver her nomination acceptance speech Thursday night. Before she does, a group called Black Men for Bernie is hosting a de-registration event outside City Hall. From there, another #DemExit de-registration event is slated for mid-afternoon outside the Wells Fargo Arena, the convention site.
The efforts hang over the final day of a raucous convention, where Sanders supporters from the start have protested how their candidate was treated by the party brass, particularly after leaked DNC emails pointed to a pro-Clinton bias inside headquarters. Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the leak, but that didn’t stop protests inside and outside the convention hall.
Stein, meanwhile, has maintained a presence on the sidelines of the Philadelphia chaos and she tries to keep the flame of the Sanders movement burning, even marching with protesters Tuesday after Clinton was nominated.
"Those who are in tears, whose hearts have been broken, I’m going [to rallies] to really reassure them that their work has not been in vain," Stein told FoxNews.com on Wednesday.
For many in the Sanders crowd, Stein is a far more natural fit than Donald Trump, the Republican nominee also making a play for disaffected Sanders voters.
Amanda Sullivan of Weston, Fla., sweated it out on a blistering 97-degree day to hold her “Bern or Jill but never Hill!” sign as she joined the 1,000-deep group of demonstrators at City Hall earlier this week.
Sullivan told FoxNews.com that she’s frustrated by the Democratic Party’s exclusion of some in the party and says she cannot vote for Clinton in a November matchup.
Leonardo Watson of Georgia told FoxNews.com that while not every aspect of the Green Party syncs with his own views, it’s a better match than Clinton.
“Look, Clinton’s not an option. It’s not about party unity. It’s about standing up for yourself and what you believe in -- and right now, with Bernie out, that’s Jill Stein.”
FoxNews.com’s Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.