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Filmmaker Josh Fox Says Sanders Supporters Feel Like They’re Being Pushed Out by DNC

Environmental activist and documentary filmmaker Josh Fox in Philadelphia said he feels disappointed, like the Democratic Party is pushing out Sanders supporters and activists who attended the Democratic National Convention.

During the drafting process in June, Hillary Clinton campaign appointees to the Democratic Party platform drafting committee blocked an effort to include a call for a ban on fracking.

When asked for his thoughts on the convention and whether the party gave fracking the attention it deserved, Fox responded, “The problem is we’re talking too much about Donald Trump and not enough about our core values as the Democratic Party. There’s an exclusion of the agenda, not just the people.”

Fox was asked if he had any reason to believe the Democrats were serious about the commitments made in the party’s platform. He responded, “Obviously we’re not going to win everything. You know, we’re not going to have every part of that in the Democratic Party campaign or the platform. But there is a feeling of disappointment, of being pushed out, and that’s part of what you’re seeing here today.”

“I think that the voters feel that on [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], they’re not being represented,” Fox said. “They think that on fracking and on Gaza, they’re not being represented. They think that there are very serious questions about the election,” he continued. “[Californians] still feel that millions of their votes were not counted.”

“People want the shenanigans and all the things that happened during the primary to be addressed and to be reformed,” Fox added.

Fox has publicly stated his belief that third parties can spoil elections. When asked how he tells Sanders supporters to vote for someone who has advocated fracking around the world, he acknowledged the difficulty and replied, “I think that’s why I haven’t endorsed Hillary Clinton.”

“In other countries, when you have a vote that’s so split like this and you have a parliamentary system, those two parties—if they don’t get a majority, which is what happened here—have to work together,” Fox explained. “It’s not that one side excludes the other. That’s what we’d like to see going forward.”

“I think there’s very real things that could happen right now that could be about coalition building,” Fox said. “We have these signs everywhere that say, ‘stronger together.’ We should also say, ‘working together.’ Because we have to work on this. It’s not something that happens because you say ‘unity.'”

Pressed on whether this was enough, Fox said this platform was the best platform on fracking the party had ever had in any election cycle.

“It’s non-binding, but it is a statement. It is a strong statement that we can organize around,” Fox argued. “The platform says we don’t want to see fracked gas power plants in the future. That’s not a fracking ban right now, but that’s a fracking ban in the future. That’s huge. People don’t recognize the magnitude of that. I wrote that provision of the platform.”

When asked for his thoughts on the apparent surge in support for Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, Fox said, “My agenda right now is to work from within the Democratic Party. We wrote that platform, we’re proud of that platform, we’re gonna fight for that platform.”

“But I will say that I am very nervous and fearful of losing if the Sanders voters don’t feel compelled to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Actor Susan Sarandon speaks at a rally for Bernie Sanders in Chico, California on June 2.
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Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek is an associate editor at the Electronic Intifada and co-host of the weekly podcast Unauthorized Disclosure. Her work has appeared at Al Jazeera, The Nation, Salon, Truthout, FAIR, Vice, AlterNet, and more.