Society

Sanders Delegates Stage Walkout, Pledge To Leave Party

| by Nik Bonopartis
Supporters of Bernie Sanders stage a walk-out during the Democratic National Convention.Supporters of Bernie Sanders stage a walk-out during the Democratic National Convention.

Despite Sen. Bernie Sanders' call for his supporters to back nominee Hillary Clinton, hundreds of them walked out of the Democratic National Convention in dramatic fashion to protest Clinton's nomination.

Chanting "This is what democracy looks like," according to NPR, and vowing not to be silenced, the protesters walked out of Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Arena on July 26, after Clinton became the first female presidential nominee from a major political party.

The departed delegates left hundreds of seats on the convention floor empty, according to NBC News. Their walkout was carefully timed to be maximally disruptive, coming as Sanders himself was moving to nominate Clinton.

From there, the protesters occupied the press tent, making sure the media noticed their act of dissent.

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New York Times opinion columnist Emma Roller tweeted a photo of a flier handed out to Sanders supporters at the convention, featuring the words "WALK OUT" in bold black letters above a raised fist. Despite that, reports said the walkout was organized mostly by word of mouth and via text messages so as not to tip off convention organizers.

"We had to set up the element of surprise," Ohio delegate Mike Grom told NBC.

Some of the protesters vowed to leave the Democratic Pparty, holding signs printed with phrases like "The revolution continues," and "#DemExit," a reference to the U.K.'s "Brexit" decision to leave the European Union earlier in July.

One woman wore a piece of red tape over her mouth and red, white and blue sunglasses as she held a sign reading, "I am a silenced delegate."

Others eventually had to be removed from the media tent by Philadelphia police after refusing to leave, NBC reported.

From there, smaller groups broke off, with some heading to Philadelphia city hall to protest, while others stayed near the convention center, eventually holding a candlelight vigil after sundown.

Sources: NBC News, CBS News, NPR / Photo credit: John Nichols/Twitter

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