Democratic Party personnel at the national convention are ejecting any Bernie Sanders delegates, who hold up hand-made signs or signs not officially produced by the party. There are whips walking aisles of the arena or sitting in seats engaged in monitoring the actions of delegates they believe will act out independently and stray from approved party messaging.
Bryce Hill, a twenty-five year-old delegate from California, watched a number of Secret Service agents eject a delegate after he argued with them about whether the sign he made was dangerous to the convention.
“They’ve told us not to make any signs,” Hill explained. “They will just warn us if we hold any hand-made or outside signs. We have ‘Ban Fracking’ signs that were brought in and ‘No TPP’ signs. And they say they won’t take them. They’ll just ask us to leave if we hold them up.”
Democratic National Convention personnel have informed delegates they will receive one warning and then their credentials will be revoked.
However, according to Hill, he has observed the Democratic Party handing out what appear to be hand-made signs to Hillary Clinton delegates. The signs are carefully made to look like they were made with the same enthusiasm as the signs the Sanders delegates are prohibited from displaying.
Jody Feldman, a sixty-one year-old California delegate, said the Democratic Party has brought in seat-fillers to make it seem like only a small number of delegates have abandoned the convention.
She said the performances at the convention feel like “pandering to everybody, worse than the Republicans did.”
DNC personnel are filling seats like a producer might fill the studio for “The Price Is Right,” Feldman suggested. “People go around and talk to the seat-fillers and say now it’s time to hold your sign up, now it’s time to applaud.”
According to Hill, the whips go up and down the aisles and use hand signals that mean sit in your chair, hold up your sign, or stand up. Clinton delegates know when to do it.
Hill is a social media person for McDonald’s. He understands exactly what the DNC is doing. “It’s marketing.”
“This is all a big commercial,” Hill added. “It’s all planned optics. They know what the visuals are. They know the stories they want. They have the signs that have little keywords from the speech that’s about to come up. They have them all out so they hold them all up when they say those words.”
Both Feldman and Hill described how the DNC has had delegates stand up and hold signs to block Sanders delegates when they start chanting. It also makes it difficult for cameras to capture delegates holding up their signs.
“They were blocking us to the point where nobody could see us. Nobody could see our signs. But then I decided to co-opt one of their seat-fillers, and I said, hey, if I give you a sign will you hold it up. And he said, yeah, I’ll hold it up,” Feldman shared.
Hill challenged a DNC person and showed her the DNC rulebook, which does not indicate outside signs are banned. She eventually produced a Post-It note that said no outside signs to prove her case that this was an actual rule that had to be followed.
The DNC personnel confiscated fifteen or twenty yellow signs from the California delegation, which read, “I support Palestinian human rights.” Hill asked if there were any DNC-approved signs for Palestinian human rights. A DNC person said they don’t have any signs for Palestinian human rights.
The signs in support of Palestinian human rights were ripped up so that no delegate could go to the trash can, pull them out, and wave them in the air again.
In Hill’s view, the DNC has personnel targeting specific delegates based on what they are posting on social media.
“We had a delegate who was pushed around and posted a video that got a lot of attention,” Hill said. “Then, suddenly she was getting elbowed today and was surrounded by Hillary seat-fillers and delegates.”
The Secret Service had to come escort her out of the arena because they believed her safety was endangered.
The tactics of suppression by DNC personnel have continued to intensify in spite of the fact that Sanders chose to suspend the rules and speed up the process for making Clinton the nominee on July 26. Sanders also advised delegates not to engage in walkouts or other acts of protest while on the convention floor.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that Sanders has tried to unify with the Clinton campaign, the Clinton campaign and the DNC still feel threatened by Sanders delegates.
During former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s speech, Sanders delegates from the Oregon delegation chanted, “No more wars!” The DNC responded by turning out the lights on them.
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) July 28, 2016