Pittsburgh City Paper's Democratic National Committee Live Blog: Day 3 | Blogh

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Democratic National Committee Live Blog: Day 3

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 11:39 PM

11:30 p.m.:

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10:02 p.m.:
CP's Rebecca Addison and Ashley Murray are on the floor at the Democratic National Convention this evening. Here's a roundup of their best tweets:

8:18 p.m.

While speakers and celebrities walk on and off the DNC stage, CP's News Editor Rebecca Addison found this endorsement in the concourse of the Wells Fargo Arena.

7:33 p.m.
From Multimedia Editor Ashley Murray

Earlier this evening, former Obama campaign manager and senior adviser David Plouffe — and now volunteer with the Clinton campaign — addressed about 15 Eastern U.S. regional reporters on a number of issues, including what President Obama's remarks at the Democratic National Convention will include tonight.

"I just think he feels passionately about her," Plouffe says. "And I think that's what you're going to hear tonight, that she is the right person at this time."

He said that much like former President Bill Clinton's speech last night and First Lady Michelle Obama's speech Monday night, Obama's will focus on details people often don't hear about Hillary Clinton.

"[He's] going to talk about her and remind America and in some cases inform America about her life story and her strengths," says Plouff.

But the moment isn't lost on him: "Tonight's going to be a really interesting night for those who've been on the journey. To have Barack Obama giving one the more important speeches of his presidency to make sure Hillary Clinton succeeds him, given all the history [past them]. "

ICY(somehow)MI, the race between Obama and Clinton got, as heated political races do, pretty ugly in 2008.

But Plouffe says a Clinton follow-up to the Obama presidency would be historic. "If you can have 16 years of Obama and Clinton, in my personal view, that's a very important era for the American people."

President Obama is scheduled to speak tonight at 10 p.m.

6:40 p.m.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
click to enlarge Pa. Delegates and Pittsburgh residents Austin Davis and Kevin Carter - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
Photo by Rebecca Addison
Pa. Delegates and Pittsburgh residents Austin Davis and Kevin Carter
Pennsylvania delegates Kevin Carter, a Pittsburgh Public Schools director, and Austin Davis, a legislative aide for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, got into a h eated argument last year in the Abu Dhabi airport.

The two were on their way to the One Young World Summit when they started talking about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who were then the two front runners for the Democratic nomination for president. Carter was for Sanders and Davis was for Hillary.

At the DNC today, the two friends still support different candidates, but Carter says after the official nomination of Clinton last night, he's ready to throw his support behind her.

"Bernie ran a great campaign but he lost," says Carter. "Hillary is our nominee now and one day soon I'll wear a pin with her face on it like the one Austin is wearing."

This was the two Pittsburghers' first convention. And both agreed their favorite part was First Lady Michelle Obama's speech two nights ago.

"Michelle lit a fire under the party," Carter says.

"The convention has been overwhelming in a good way," says Davis. "It really gives you a sense of what we're fighting for."

6:28 p.m.:
From Multimedia Editor Ashley Murray
Protesters gathered all afternoon on the plaza between the Philadelphia Municipal Building and City Hall to air their grievances, both serious and whacky. While the majority were “Black Men for Bernie” demonstrators, across the way were Westboro Baptist Church members — or wackos as they’ve become known in pretty much every corner of the country, or people who were inspired by them. Then, on a concrete planter in robes, swishing his sandy blonde hair and waving a staff in one hand and a peace sign in the other, stood a man who would only identify himself as "Philly Jesus." We couldn't help but ask a couple questions. 
click to enlarge Philly Jesus gets his sermon on with Paper-Mask Bernie Sanders - PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
Photo by Ashley Murray
Philly Jesus gets his sermon on with Paper-Mask Bernie Sanders

What exactly are you doing?
I'm imitating Jesus.

To get people to think about it. The same way people bring Jesus to the movies or to a play, I bring it to the street.

I have to ask. Are you a serious Christian?
I'm sincere, but I like to have fun with it.

Are you with those guys [the Westboro people screaming not very far from him]?
No. They're speaking truth, but they're not doing it with love. They're doing it too blunt. They're too aggressive. They're supposed to be more gentle.

I saw you shake hands with the guy in the Bernie mask.
Yea, I'm friends with sinners. God bless you.

6:20 p.m.:
From News Editor Rebecca Addison

It's not Coachella or Woodstock, but PoliticalFest in the Pennsylvania Convention Center today provided a respite from the high temps and heated discourse outside of the DNC in
click to enlarge South Carolina delegate Jeff Mars - hall tries on a robe from Rocky - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
Photo by Rebecca Addison
South Carolina delegate Jeff Marshall tries on a robe from Rocky
 Philadelphia. The nonpartisan festival with locations around the city celebrates the history of politics and government.

South Carolina delegates Jeff and Jennifer Marshall, a husband and wife duo, checked out the gift shop where Jeff tried on an American flag robe evoking Philadelphia-based boxing film Rocky.

"[The DNC has] been amazing," Jeff said with matching stars-and-stripes boxing gloves covering his hands. "I'm learning a lot about the delegate process and enjoy working with delegates from other states."

Also at PoliticalFest was Philly native Nakia Happli who traveled back to her hometown from California to visit family. She brought her two children to the festival today.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to be a part of the Democratic National Convention," Happli said as her son and daughter took turns playing red white and blue cornhole. "This summer I'm trying to teach them about history and politics."

The exhibit also featured word art by Dan Duffy who was creating a picture of Philadelphia made up of words visitors submitted to answer the question "What is liberty to you?" So far, the most popular words submitted have been freedom, equality and destiny.

"Some kid came in yesterday and wrote Pokemon," said Mark Berman who was helping facilitate the artwork. "We've also had a few people say cheesesteaks."

5:16 p.m.

4:40 p.m.
Reporter Ryan Deto is driving back from Philly but filed this story first comparing the protests at the to those at the RNC:

click to enlarge Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters march down Broad Street in Philadelphia. - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
Photo by Ryan Deto
Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters march down Broad Street in Philadelphia.

On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters and Green Party backers filled the busiest street in Downtown Philadelphia and marched miles down Broad Street from city hall to the DNC site in South Philadelphia. Dozens of police officers followed along, some on bikes, some in squad cars, but some just stood on the corners, watching and chatting with passersby.

This march wasn't an isolated event. Hundreds of marchers paraded from Camden, N.J. to Center City the Sunday before the convention kicked off; and on Tuesday, Black Lives Matters protesters marched more than six miles from the rougher neighborhoods of North Philadelphia to the convention site. All the while, the police have been amiable.

During the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, in contrast, protesters were constantly surrounded by police, many donned in full riot gear. City Paper followed a march of a dozen protesters from the ultra-conservative Westboro Baptist Church, and they were fully surrounded by officers on bikes for the entirety of the march. Police even barred CP from speaking to the marchers.

Some demonstrators said the constant presence of officers, many of whom seemed on edge, created a “police-state” like environment at the RNC. As CP wrote this week, the protests at the RNC were far more timid than most expected and Cleveland, outside of the square-mile of the convention site, was a ghost town with many locals electing to take vacations during the week of the GOP shaos.

But the DNC has been different. Protesters have consistently praised the police for their behavior and the city is slightly busier than usual, since the streets are filled with the normal Philly locals, Democratic delegates, and protesters.
“It has been very peaceful, the police have been great,” said Lynn Dady, a protester from Florida who 
click to enlarge Lynn Dady (second from right) and her friends have been demonstrating in FDR Park all week for the DNC. - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
Photo by Ryan Deto
Lynn Dady (second from right) and her friends have been demonstrating in FDR Park all week for the DNC.
has been camping out in the convention-adjacent FDR park since Sunday. “Totally different from what I saw at the RNC, this has been awesome.”

But, just because police in Philadelphia have been friendlier to protesters doesn't mean everyone has. DNC delegates seem to be giving them the cold shoulder.

Dady said on Monday, the first day of the convention, delegates walked right past the protesters demonstrating in FDR Park. But the next day, delegates entered the Wells Fargo arena site hundreds of yards from the gates, often with their view obstructed by buses.

“Apparently they did not like being harassed, and by harassed I mean listing to other people's opinions,” said Dady. “If they are going to put blinders on when they are here, that is not fair.”

In Cleveland, while the protest area in front of conventions entrance was very small small and police formed human barriers for delegates, the RNC participants were forced to walk directly past protesters on their way in.
click to enlarge Police observing the lead up to a Green Party march, some officers are on their cell phones. - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
Photo by Ryan Deto
Police observing the lead up to a Green Party march, some officers are on their cell phones.
4:30 p.m.
From Editor Charlie Deitch
click to enlarge Members of "First Lady Bill, a pro-Hillary Clinton LGBT and gender equality campaign - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
Photo by Rebecca Addison
Members of "First Lady Bill, a pro-Hillary Clinton LGBT and gender equality campaign
Earlier we posted a tweet from what we thought was an anti-Hillary Clinton group that featured a caricature of former President Bill Clinton in a dress. The group is called "First Lady Bill" and it's not anti-Hillary, in fact it's the exact opposite.

According to their website, www.firstladybill.com, it's an LGBT and gender equality campaign "to put a woman in the White House." 

"Hillary's campaign is all about breaking barriers," the website says. "Barriers that keep women stuck being paid less than men - for the exact same work. Barriers that have transgender people being targeted for discrimination in bathrooms across the country (this pisses us off). Barriers to equality that make it still legal in most states to fire people simply for being LGBT. Now, more than ever, we need a president who can break down gender discrimination barriers that hold back equality for all Americans. That's why we're with her!

"Sexist, homophobic and transphobic gender "rules" are a drag. And what better way to highlight the "herstoric" importance of putting a woman in the White House than having fun with her husband in drag as "First Lady"? We're all about making voters grin and putting a little more "party" in our political party. “Bill for First Lady” is a can’t-help-but-smile way to say “Hillary for president!" 

We're hoping to have more from the group in the day's ahead.

4:11 p.m.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
click to enlarge Idaho Delegate Marcy Phillips - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
Photo by Rebecca Addison
Idaho Delegate Marcy Phillips

Idaho delegate Marcy Phillips has traveled a lot of miles to give a gift to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. 

When the Iranian-American came to the United States 40 years ago, she bought a notebook to write her life story in. Now that notebook is filled with signatures and notes from people from 50 states and she hopes to give it to Clinton.

In Philadelphia today she collected a few more entries from women wishing the country's first female presidential nominee luck.

"It's a present from me to her," Phillips says. "I'm proud to be an American."

3:41 p.m.:
From Rebecca Addison
For the past two weeks, protesters on both sides of the aisle have complained that the Democratic Primary system was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. The recent emails released by Wikilinks that cost the head of the Democratic National Committee her job has only bolstered those claims. However, the leaders of Emerge America are here to remind the country of one simple fact — the deck has long been stacked against women running for office.
click to enlarge Ayanna Presley shakes hands with a fellow female delegate - PHOTO COURTESY OF EMERGE AMERICA
Photo courtesy of Emerge America
Ayanna Presley shakes hands with a fellow female delegate
"Certainly in the women's community we are out of our minds with excitement about Hillary Clinton's nomination. And to have that overshadowed is disappointing," says Andrea Dew Steele, president and founder of Emerge. "I absolutely think that should be the main story. We're here in Philadelphia where women were not even a part of the founding documents."

Emerge is a training program for Democratic women aimed at increasing the number of like-minded females in public office. At the DNC they stressed the importance of their mission despite the negativity surrounding the presidential election.

"Many might be inclined to say the system is broken," says Ayanna Pressley, a member of the Boston City Council who was the first woman of color to be elected to the council in its 106-year history. "But we believe in the progress government can actualize...and we know the key to getting there is getting more women elected. The barriers that stand in our way are real, they are formidable, and we have earned our seat at the table."

3:07 p.m.:
From Rebecca Addison
click to enlarge Woman screams at pro-life activist - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
Photo by Rebecca Addison
Woman screams at pro-life activist
Prior to the start or the We the People Restoration Rally, Texas native Keith Moore stood off to the side as people with varying signs and t-shirts milled around. His shirt, supporting the music group Anti-Flag was very anti-Trump.

"I've been anti-Trump for a very long time, but I live in a very conservative part of Texas," says Moore, who would only talk with Pittsburgh City Paper after checking out our Website to verify our street-cred. "For the most part people back home just look away when I wear my shirt, but I've had a couple good conversations, only a few confrontations."
click to enlarge Joel Bradshaw - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
Photo by Rebecca Addison
Joel Bradshaw

An hour later, a confrontation erupted at the rally when a pro-life protester holding one of those gory pictures pro-life protesters are so fond of, tried to steal focus away from the speakers. Many in the crowd, who were there to protest Hillary Clinton's nomination, quickly attempted to block the man's sign and another tried to destroy it.

Unlike at the Republican National Convention last week, where the police presence was so thick officers sometimes outnumbered protestors, the confrontation didn't draw a mob of police officers into the fray. Instead the man and his opponents were allowed to have a frank discussion (albeit screaming at the top of their lungs).
click to enlarge Keith Moore - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
Photo by Rebecca Addison
Keith Moore

Today's rally served as a space for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders to mourn last night's nomination of Hillary Clinton. Many Democratic delegates pledged to leave the party as a result and continued the "Bernie or Bust" refrain.

"The election was rigged for the coronation of Hillary Clinton," says Joel Bradshaw from Schenectady, New York whose hatred for the Democratic nominee mirrored sentiments spewed at the RNC last week. "There's going to be a mass Dem exit. If we have to bring the guillotine down on Queen Killary, we will because this is a democracy, not an oligarchy."

2 p.m.:

From Charlie Deitch

News Editor Rebecca Addison has been covering the "We the People Restoration Rally" in Philadelphia where she's seen altercations and no love for the Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

12:44 p.m.:
From News Editor Rebecca Addison

If you want to attend Black Men for Bernie's "How Our Revolution Continues Social" tomorrow night, it will cost you anywhere between $2.70 and $270,000

For those earning "a living wage" the admission price on a sliding scale is $27. Tickets are $270 for "working families." But if you're really serious about the revolution, why not pay the "it's up to us" ticket price of $2,700 or the "not me us" price of $27,000?

"We're basically saying everyone can come," says Bruce Carter, founder of Black Men for Bernie, a Dallas-based group supporting former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Too often people are excluded from events. Right now, the events at the DNC, people are excluded from them."

Carter's organization has been hosting events in Philadelphia all week and today they're hosting "A Day for Bernie at the DNC" at the plaza at 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd.

"The message we deliver at every event is about people," Carter says. "There's a war between the classes right now. Everyone's focusing on race but it's really about class. It's starting to really frustrate people."

12:19 p.m.:

12:11 p.m.:

9 a.m.
By Ryan Deto
Bernie Sanders Supporters decry trade deals, but buy Central American-made t-shirts

click to enlarge Political Storm t-shirt sold for $2 and made in Nicaragua - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
Photo by Ryan Deto
Political Storm t-shirt sold for $2 and made in Nicaragua

In 2007, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sponsored a bill to ban U.S. companies from purchasing products made with sweatshop labor. He has also been a staunch advocate throughout his presidential campaign for bringing jobs back to America that have been shipped overseas. Many of his supporters in crowds during speeches and at rallies hold signs up saying "no TPP" (Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which critics say would cost many Americans their jobs).

So why then, are many of his supporters buying Sanders-related t-shirts that are made in Caribbean and Central American countries, which are notorious for manufacturing shirts in sweatshop-like conditions?

Many t-shirt hawkers and unofficial vendors have set up booths and roam FDR Park, the site of a demonstration camp against the Democratic National Convention. They are selling shirts with “Feel the Bern” emblazoned on the front for about $20. One booth selling tie-dyed Sanders shirts has sold more than 50 since setting up shop yesterday. Another salesperson on foot said he has sold two dozen shirts in about an hour. The shirts were made in Honduras and Haiti, respectively.

Canada-based clothing giant Gildan was listed on the tag of many of the shirts. Workers at a Gildan factory in Haiti have said they earn about $12 per day, and the company has been accused of many poor labor practices, according to the Washington Post.

Two young salesmen hauling around a suitcase full of shirts are trying to mix selling the shirts with spreading their message. Political Storm is a citizen-journalist website where everyday people can have their "voice heard and engage in respectful but passionate dialogue." The shirts costs $2 each and about five people bought Nicaraguan-made shirts in the vicinity of City Paper
click to enlarge Harvey Dosik, one of the few unofficial vendors selling American-made shirts - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
Photo by Ryan Deto
Harvey Dosik, one of the few unofficial vendors selling American-made shirts
 at FDR Park. One woman commented how inexpensive the shirts were.

Paige Sheena, a Sanders supporter from South Carolina, bought two shirts. She said she supported Sanders for his focus on the woman's rights, racial injustice and for his criticism of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. She was not initially aware the shirts were made in Nicaragua, but said the “shirt is about the message, and she would have bought if the message was on a piece of paper.”

The shirts sold inside the Wells Fargo Arena, where the speeches take place, are all American made. But, the majority of shirts sold to the die-hard Sanders supporters outside were made on foreign soil. However, one vendor was selling U.S. made shirts.

“This shirt support American workers,” said Harvey Dosik from Santa Cruz, Calif. “American workers are pissed off, and that is why they support Sanders.”

Dosik is selling his shirts for $20 each, and while a protester did purchase one of his shirts, Dosik might have trouble competing with a $2 price tag regardless of where it's made.

click to enlarge Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesday evening - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
Photo by Ryan Deto
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesday evening
7:48 p.m.:
By Charlie Deitch

While he wasn't the keynote speaker on Tuesday night, Pittsburgh Police Chief Cam McLay made an impact at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Fortune Magazine points out that unlike the hard-line law-and-order, blue-lives-matter approach of the GOP and their nominee, Donald Trump, the Dems are trying to find a more balanced approach

McLay acknowledged the tough job facing officers while at the same time, recognizing racial inequities in policing.

"As a police officer that has served for more than 30 years, let me say this: We can respect and support our police officers while also pushing for important reforms. We can and must do both," McLay said. "... We must each fight our natural tendency to hide inside our narrow world view, and instead seek common ground with the objective of creating an America that truly provides liberty and justice for all. " 

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