As Senator Bernie Sanders prepares to address the Democratic National Convention tonight we end today’s show with the voices of some of the hundreds of Sanders supporters who rallied at City Hall Plaza on Sunday. Despite a blistering heat wave, they gathered for hours to denounce the Democratic National Committee bias against Sanders, which was revealed by WikiLeaks on Friday, and to demand the party adopt a more progressive agenda.
AMY GOODMAN: As Senator Sanders prepares to address the Democratic National Convention tonight, we were out on the streets yesterday, when hundreds of Sanders supporters rallied near City Hall Plaza.
JESSA LEWIS: My name is Jessa Lewis. I’m representing Seattle, Washington, as a pledged delegate for Bernie Sanders. We are still pledged. We’re committed. The campaign has not conceded yet. We’re fighting for every single inch we can get at the DNC.
AMY GOODMAN: What are you hoping to accomplish?
JESSA LEWIS: We want to move the party back to the left and have it represent the needs of the people.
AMY GOODMAN: What are the most important issues to you?
JESSA LEWIS: Single-payer healthcare, student debt relief and real action on climate change. We need that to change now. And no TPP.
AMY GOODMAN: And what do you think of the choice of Tim Kaine for Hillary’s running mate?
JESSA LEWIS: It’s underwhelming, and it’s a signal that they’re not really concerned about the progressive wing of the party. They’re more interested in attracting moderates and Republicans.
AMY GOODMAN: So, what are your plans for the opening of the convention?
JESSA LEWIS: At this point, a lot is in flux. We’re just going to show up and see what the tone is, and we’re going to see what he says when we meet with him at 2:00.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re looking at a bus right now that says "Black Men for Bernie," and on top, people are—have just stood up a coffin that says DNC on it. Can you explain it to me?
JESSA LEWIS: To me—to me, it’s a warning that if the party does not represent the will and needs of the people, that the party’s going to fracture. We have a record-high 42 percent of people identify as independent. That tells me something. And when we’ve lost so many progressive seats in races across the country in the last eight years, that tells me that the voter turnout is not high enough. When the voter turnout is high, progressives win. And we need to win, and we need to start moving the country back to the left.
JOHN MACK: First name in John, last name is Mack. And the reason I’m here is, I do support Bernie, but I also support Hillary. And I support their policies. And I support that we do need a revolution in this country, a political revolution, but a peaceful revolution. Things has to acquiesce, or we’ll go back to the days of the early 1900s and Jim Crow. So things has to change. And it has to start today.
KANTI DEVI: My name is Kanti Devi. I’m from Seattle, Washington. I’ve been here for two days. I’m a member of Bernie’s Peacekeeper organization. We’re here to uphold the peace.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell me a little more about who the Bernie Peacekeepers are?
KANTI DEVI: Bernie Peacekeepers is a group of volunteers from all over the place, all different ages, all different ethnic groups. We’re here as volunteers to keep the peace and to send the message for Bernie coming out in a peaceful revolution.
JAMES PARIS: My name is James Paris. I’m from Los Angeles, California. I’m a filmmaker. And I’m one of these guys.
AMY GOODMAN: And these guys are?
JAMES PARIS: Are—we’re out here showing solidarity with Senator Bernie Sanders.
AMY GOODMAN: Is this your bus?
JAMES PARIS: No, actually, this isn’t my bus, but it pulled up. And I said, "Oh, wow! I’m a black man. I’m for Bernie. I think I should be here."
ALEX BOWMAN: Hi. My name is Alex Bowman. I’m 18 years old. I’m from Minneapolis, And my sign says, "I can’t believe we still have to protest this [bleep]."
AMY GOODMAN: Why?
ALEX BOWMAN: Because we’ve been doing this since the '20s, in like the labor union marches, women's right movement; 1960s, we had civil rights. And we’re still at it again, and we just don’t change. And yet, we come out here, and we protest, and they give us a little, and then they pull it right back, and we’ve got to do this again.
AMY GOODMAN: How do you know this as an 18-year-old? Will it be your first time voting?
ALEX BOWMAN: This will be my first time voting, yes.
IAN O’MALLEY: Hi, my name’s Ian O’Malley from Media, Pennsylvania. I’m here mostly because of the DNC WikiLeaks. They showed us that Hillary was given an unfair advantage from the get-go, and Bernie was given a disadvantage. I’ve also, like many of us here, have donated money to the cause, and my time, and if they’re going to show us that it wasn’t a fair election, then we absolutely should be given our money back for our cause.
AMY GOODMAN: And why don’t you read me what your quilt says.
IAN O’MALLEY: "When will the madness end?" "When will the madness end?" That’s—this one is, above all, how I’m feeling right now. I don’t think there’s a bottom to this pit. Next week, what are we going to learn? Every week, we learn something else. And it’s—I don’t think there’s a bottom to this Hillary Clinton pit. I don’t think it’s a good way to [inaudible] a presidency, either. I don’t think the Republicans are going to leave this alone, ever.
AMY GOODMAN: What most disturbed you about those emails within the DNC?
IAN O’MALLEY: Well, what disturbed me was that we knew this all along for the last year, and we’ve been trying to say it. And we all feel a little crazy in the backs of our heads, thinking, yeah, well, we know it’s all corrupt to begin with, but now to have it spelled out for you in 20,000 emails, I don’t think it gets any clearer. And I don’t think it gets any more disturbing than that.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Bernie Sanders supporters rallying at Philadelphia’s City Hall Plaza. That does it for today’s show.