Bernie delegates shout down CA secretary of state at DNC breakfast

They chanted ‘count the votes,’ and ‘do your job’


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PHILADELPHIA — On a day themed “United Together,” the Democratic National Convention kicked off with a rocky start at the California Delegation breakfast, with delegates and supporters for Bernie Sanders openly protesting against breakfast speakers.

The Bernie coalition broke out chanting “count the votes” and “do your job” during speeches by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

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Photo by Matt Tinoco

Ignited by Friday’s DNC email leak, Bernie supporters were livid, decked in full Bernie apparel and signs, ready to crash any demonstrations of support for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Actress Shailene Woodley attended the breakfast, hosted at the downtown Marriott, as a sign of solidarity with the Sanders coalition.

“Our main objective is to keep Trump out of office, and the candidate who is most likely to keep Trump out of office is Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton,” Woodley told The Tab.

“I don’t have a Bernie plan, but I know that the people plan is to continue to show up. That’s what Bernie is about; it’s by and for the people. If we want Bernie Sanders in office, then we have to continue to show up.”

And show up they did. In the wake of the email leaks and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation yesterday, Bernie delegates doubled down on the long-standing assertion that the system is in fact rigged.

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Photo by Matt Tinoco

“We’ve pretty much known this all along even before these emails were leaked that there’s been suppression against Bernie,” said Eric Reynolds, a pledged delegate for Sanders.

“I feel like there was a lot of truth that was suppressed. I don’t think it was Comey’s decision or responsibility to assess whether a prosecutor would take on the case or not. She obviously broke the law or several laws, and she should face consequences because of it.”

Although the emails did confirm that the DNC worked in favor of the Clinton camp, Sanders supporters echoed the fact that they successfully infiltrated the system in reverse, evidenced by the undoubtedly progressive party platform.

“They were saying that this is our most progressive platform ever. Pelosi just named off every single thing that Bernie Sanders was fighting for, and guess what? At the rules committees, not one Hillary person proposed any rules. It was just Bernie Sanders supporters, and Hillary people showed up with their little packets of what they were supposed to say,” said delegate Jonathan Schnitzer.

Despite this victory, Schnitzer lambasted Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine as a running mate as a “giant middle finger” to the Sanders coalition.

“Tim Kaine is the Mike Pence of the Democratic Party,” Joan Mao interjected. Mao, who came to Philadelphia from California simply as a Sanders supporter, sat with fellow Bernie delegates, leading chants with the disenchanted Democrats.

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Photo by Matt Tinoco

Schnitzer explained the Sanders-supporter-exasperation, telling The Tab: “I talk to Hillary supporters who claim to be so passionate, and I ask, ‘Did you do any phone banking for her?’ No. ‘Did you do any canvassing for her?’ No. ‘Did you give her any money?’ No. Because only 15 percent of her supporters actually gave her money. The rest comes from for-profit prisons, fracking the drug companies.”

Prior to Sanders’ campaign, Schnitzer was not a Democrat. Given the corruption exposed over the last few days, Schitzer said that he has very little impetus to be a Democrat after the Sanders campaign officially ends.

“He marched with Martin Luther King Jr., and she was a Barry Goldwater girl,” Schnitzer said. “For three years, she’s been for gay marriage. Prior to that she repeatedly said that marriage is between a man and a woman. She would use the word ‘sanctity,’ as in the ‘sanctity of marriage.’ That’s a lot of nerve, coming from her to talk about the sanctity of marriage. A lot of nerve.”

The Sanders coalition effectively has 36 hours before Clinton officially secures the Democratic nomination. While the statistical odds of Sanders winning are effectively zero, his supporters remain confident that they have started a movement which will transcend election cycles and perhaps even party lines.

“When I was going door-to-door in Nevada, Trump supporters, as long as they weren’t racist, we’re really easy to flip. And it’s only because they’re angry, they’re scared, they’re workers upset with the TPP and these trade positions. When I started talking about Bernie Sanders, they would go, ‘Yeah, that makes more sense.’ It was amazing to watch not only how quickly they would see what Bernie’s all about, but some would be at the volunteer office the next day,” Schnitzer said.

“Bernie woke up so many young people, older people, complacent people. I’ve never traveled to do something for a candidate. I’ve never worked this hard to be a part of a political movement before. Everyone who’s for Bernie give their time, gives their money, gives their hearts. That’s not something that can be lost so easily.”