The DNC Protests You Didn't See on TV: Sanders Delegates Chant and Walk Out on Clinton Speech

July 29, 2016

Protests continued on the floor of the convention, as chants of "No more war" could be heard throughout the evening. Some delegates walked off the floor of the DNC in protest. Democracy Now! was on the floor when protests began as retired four-star Marine General John Allen took the stage.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Protests continued on the floor of the convention as chants of "No more war" could be heard throughout the evening. Some delegates walked off the floor of the DNC in protest. Democracy Now! was on the floor when protests began as retired four-star Marine General John Allen took the stage.

REP. TED LIEU: Please welcome to the stage the four-star general who knows more about ISIS than anyone, the president’s former special envoy to the global coalition against ISIS, retired General John Allen.

DELEGATES: No more wars! No more wars! No more wars!

NORMAN SOLOMON: I’m Norman Solomon. I’m a Bernie Sanders delegate here. I’m with the California delegation. And General John Allen, one of the top generals of the U.S. so-called war on terror, is giving a stem-winder, boilerplate militaristic speech, and many Bernie delegates in the California delegation and elsewhere around this arena are responding by saying we just don’t want any more wars. And all of this pseudo-patriotic rhetoric coming out is lethal, it’s deadly, and we’re sick and tired of it. We’re not going to give Hillary Clinton a nanosecond of political honeymoon, and that time starts right now.

JOHN ALLEN: I tell you, without hesitation or reservation, that Hillary Clinton will be exactly, exactly the kind of commander-in-chief America needs. I know this.

SHIMEKO FRANKLIN: My name is Shimeko Franklin, and I’m from Oakland. What I’m doing right now is an opposition to the attack on people of color around this globe.

DELEGATES: Peace, not war! Peace, not war! Peace, not war!

HENRY HUERTA: My name is Henry Huerta. I’m from Whittier, California. We’re holding the signs that say "No More Wars." We believe that Hillary, if elected, is going to lead us into a war. We may lose a lot of it—a lot of people of color, particularly Latino and black, that are going to be promoted in this war. You could see that this is being promoted by "U.S.A." This is the chant to lead us to war. People will be killed. Innocent people will be bombed on.

DELEGATES: No more wars! No more wars! No more wars! No more wars!

CHELSEA CLINTON: Ladies and gentlemen, my mother, my hero and our next president, Hillary Clinton.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re standing next to the Colorado delegation. Many of the delegates are wearing fluorescent "Enough is Enough" signs. Hillary Clinton has just walked out on the stage, is hugging her daughter Chelsea. She was just introduced. And the big sign across the stage, "Stronger Together," it says.

S. SMITH: My name is S. Smith. My sign says "Superpredators #BringMe2Heel." This is what Hillary said in the '90s about African-American and black communities, and it pisses me off. She is a liar, and that's why I’m holding these signs. Every time a black person has confronted her about it, she has tossed them out and not confronted them, not addressed these issues, not addressed the injustices in the black community, as sending—taking away people’s fathers and mothers from their families for drug-related offenses. The crime bill has destroyed the black community.

BRENDA POLLARD: My name is Brenda Pollard. I’m from Durham, North Carolina. And I am just over the moon, this is in my lifetime. I’m a Hillary delegate. I’ve lost my voice. This is something that children can strive to be, of all sexes. It is America, and we’re so proud this very moment. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: What is it about Hillary Clinton that—what are the issues that you feel are most important?

BRENDA POLLARD: Well, she’s just focused on all that’s important to Americans—the economy, healthcare for all. She wants children protected. She is so concerned with the military. It’s those urgent matters that she really says, and she does have the experience, the most anyone has ever had.

AMY GOODMAN: You’re holding two signs. Tell me what they say, what your name is, your state and how you’re feeling right now.

ANN HUGGINS: North Carolina.

AMY GOODMAN: Your name?

ANN HUGGINS: Ann Huggins, yes, and I am—I am happy about the nominee. She’s well qualified. I think she is the best candidate for the United States. Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: What is it about Hillary that you feel makes her most qualified?

ANN HUGGINS: Well, she has been right at the forefront, when she was first lady and then when she was secretary. So, she already knows some of the issues. And being the first lady, she had a firsthand knowledge of what presidents go through.

MARSHALL BENNETT: My name’s Marshall Bennett. I’m from North Carolina, and I’m a Bernie delegate. But I’m really excited right now. It’s awesome seeing the first woman to be the nominee of a major party. You know, I’m so happy about all that Bernie’s done, and I think that Hillary is going to run with a lot of those ideas. And I’m really excited about what she’s going to do in the next few months. And I really hope we can all come together and elect her in November.

AMY GOODMAN: What are you showing us? "Nothing against the flag, but this feels more and more like the RNC." One of the delegates has just shown me a picture of—that was just tweeted. Tell me what it says.

DELEGATE: This actually feels scary to me. It feels like—I don’t know, like 1933 Germany or something, all this nationalism and jingoism. It’s beginning to feel very scary.

AMY GOODMAN: What does your sign say?

VICTORIA BARD: We need to ban fracking. And I am, as of this moment, leaving the Democratic Party, and I’m going to join with Jill Stein.

AMY GOODMAN: What is your name?

VICTORIA BARD: My name is Victoria Bard, delegate for Colorado.

AMY GOODMAN: What does your sign—your pin say?

VICTORIA BARD: It says, "Jill Stein, not Hill."

AMY GOODMAN: Looks like staff here is giving out signs, many signs to surround this delegation of Bernie supporters from Colorado. They may not know what they’re about to do, but they’re telling everyone to put up their signs.

CINDY HAYWARD: Put them up. Put them up. Put them up. Let me see them up..

AMY GOODMAN: May I ask what you’re doing?

CINDY HAYWARD: This is Hillary’s moment, and we want to hear her. The party is stronger together. And we want to send that message. We don’t want anyone at this time hindering what she’s trying to do, so we’re bringing—we’re standing together. We’re all Democrats in here, so this is time for us to unite, if we want to beat Trump. So, right now, we know that there’s a protest about to go on, but we’re here for Hillary, and we’re going to stand for her. We’re stronger together.

AMY GOODMAN: What’s your name?

CINDY HAYWARD: My name is Cindy Hayward, and we’re stronger together.

AMY GOODMAN: And where are you from?

CINDY HAYWARD: I’m from, well, New Jersey, but I work here in Philadelphia.

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Coons, hi, I’m Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! I wanted to ask what you think about the protest while Hillary Clinton is speaking.

SEN. CHRIS COONS: I’m focusing on the speech. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. I just went up to ask what he thought of the protest right in front of him, with a part of the Colorado delegation holding up signs that say "Liar," a ban sign around the TPP, "Ban Fracking" and "No More War."

THOMAS HAMRICK: I’m Thomas Hamrick, and I’m holding this sign for "Ban Fracking," because Hillary Clinton has spread fracking around the world. And that needs to end, because our planet’s dying, and we really don’t have much time for my generation.

AMY GOODMAN: And what is your name, and what sign are you holding?

CAITLIN GLIDEWELL: My name is Caitlin Glidewell, and I’m holding a "No Oligarchy" sign, because we need to end corporate involvement making this a government of the 1 percent and not a government of the people.

SEN. CHRIS COONS: I just watched you spend almost an hour focusing on four protesters.

AMY GOODMAN: We’ve been here for—

SEN. CHRIS COONS: You’re not talking to any of the 20,000 people who are excited to hear this speech. I was struck at just how narrowly you focused on just a few people, rather than the overwhelming majority of folks who were listening to what Senator Sanders said, and encouraging us to focus on her message tonight. I just had a question about why you did that.

AMY GOODMAN: No, well, I came to you and asked you also.

SEN. CHRIS COONS: And I am trying to focus on her speech, but you’ve literally been blocking my view for most of the last hour. So, I just wish you’d let us focus on her. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: As you hear Hillary Clinton say she believes that Wall Street shouldn’t wreck Main Street, and you’re holding up a "Ban TPP" sign, does that satisfy you? What’s your name?

MARK LASSER: My name is Mark Lasser. No, she’s ridiculous. It was her husband’s administration, with Robert Rubin, who first removed Glass-Steagall with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and she’s going to go the same way. I mean, she has no interest whatsoever in regulating derivatives, in regulating black pool trading, in regulating high-frequency trading. But they’re setting up the exact same thing from 2007 all over again, and she is absolutely in bed with those guys.

AMY GOODMAN: What about because of pressure from people like you, the Bernie forces, she’s come out against TPP?

MARK LASSER: Well, I—it’s insincere. I mean, someone could make up a souvenir coin to—coin for this convention that’s got a Hillary Clinton symbol, and it says "yes/no" on it. You could just flip it to figure out how you believe. You know, she’s going to flip. We already know that Tim Kaine is in favor of TPP. She’s called it the gold standard of trade. She published a chapter in her book about it. And then, when it was politically expeditious, she removed the entire chapter from the soft cover. I mean, there’s just no sincerity there whatsoever. Like, there are things she could say to make us believe that she actually does not support TPP, but so far, she seems to only object to it because Bernie pushed her into the corner.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, that’s politics. If she does it for that reason, wouldn’t that make you happy?

MARK LASSER: Well, if it’s—if it’s real, you know. But like with Hillary Clinton, the issue is it’s never real. She turns around and changes her mind when it becomes politically expeditious to be on the other side of the coin. You know, anything she’s described in terms of her commitment to stopping TPP has been thin, at best, and her record, her years of experience have shown us that it usually is insincere.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, she said she believes in science, as well.

MARK LASSER: Right, she believes in science—the science of oil extraction and fracking. I mean, you know, what—you know, they hire scientists to frack and pull oil out of the ground, as well. That doesn’t mean it’s a science that we support. But science says these things are the reasons for a lot of global climate change, and she’s gone around the world promoting bad energy policy.

AMY GOODMAN: Sir, you were upset when you saw these protesters. Can you say your name, what state you’re from, and tell me why you’re—

GERMAN DE CASTRO: Yes. My name is German, German De Castro. I’m an immigrant from Colombia, South America. I’m a citizen, by choice, of this country.

AMY GOODMAN: What state?

GERMAN DE CASTRO: I am from Charlotte, North Carolina, OK? And I believe that, number one, you should be educated. You should be—you know, you should give everybody their—this is our convention. Most of these people have never belonged to the Democratic Party, including Mr. Bernie Sanders. He was a socialist independent that came to the Democratic Party because it was the only party that would take him. He couldn’t go to the Republicans. They would not take him. OK? So these people have to understand that if you want to change something, you have to get in and work from the inside. You cannot paint your dining room in your house from the outside, OK? If you want to win the fight, you have to step into the ring. So that’s what they have to do. If they really want to help, if they really have all that energy to give, they should go into the respective towns and cities and counties, get—sign for the party, and if they want to change it, change it from the inside.

AMY GOODMAN: Voices from the floor of the Democratic National Convention. I was standing between the North Carolina delegation and the Colorado delegation. Some of those Colorado delegates did walk off, as did some from California. We’ll be back in a minute with more on the historic nomination of Hillary Clinton. Special thanks to John Hamilton.

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