PHILADELPHIA—Chants of “Bernie! Bernie!” erupted from crowds gathered with pickets, signs and stickers near the Wells Fargo Center, the site of 2016Democratic National Convention.
Inside, supporters of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sported memorabilia, including buttons, shirts and hats. At least one person wore a Martin O’Malley shirt, supporting the former candidate and governor of Maryland, while another wore a dress made of fabric with images of the Obama family printed all over it.
However, supporters of Bernie Sanders, former presidential candidate and Vermont Senator, were the most identifiable, with some delegates wearing green Peter Pan hats.
Michelle Mahon, an at-large Sanders delegate from Ohio, said this was her first time attending a party nominating convention. As a nurse, she became involved with the campaign early on through National Nurses United and added that her organization endorsed Sanders in the early stages of his campaign.
Sanders supported the Financial Transaction Tax, which nurses have been fighting for for years, according to Mahon. She said that the tax would generate revenue for important progressive measures, such as free college.
The FTT is also known as the “Robin Hood Tax.”
“I intend to stand up and be counted and not be okay with a rigged economy and rigged elections,” Mahon said.
Mahon and another Sanders Ohio delegate, Mary Findley, are part of the organizing efforts in northeastern Ohio and the Cleveland area.
“To be completely honest, I’m pretty disappointed … it’s been hard seeing the neoliberal direction the party has been taking the past couple decades,” Findley said.
Ohio delegate Parker Smith said that he finds it odd that he gets dirty looks by wearing a button in support of Clinton.
“It’s disheartening, because it feels like there’s such a huge chasm on these things that the Democratic Party has supposedly been standing for since its inception,” Mahon said.
During the opening invocation, Rev. Cynthia Hale was drowned out by chants of “Bernie!” when she mentioned nominating Clinton. Most uses of Clinton’s name earned both cheers and boos, especially when the speaker referred to her imminent nomination.