DNC Day Three (Continued)

DNC Day Three (Continued)

Giant Joint

Marijuana activists carried a giant fifty-one foot inflatable marijuana joint from City Hall to the Wells Fargo Center and handed out educational materials about getting weed legalized federally. According to the ACLU,

Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.

Fart-In Protest

Flatulence may be a source of embarrassment or comedy in some cultures, but for protestors participating in a fart-in protest at the DNC, election rigging and election fraud are no laughing matter. “There’s a lot that stinks about the undemocratic primary,” said Cheri Honkala, anti-poverty advocate and fart-in protest organizer. Nearby, beans were served to anyone ready to (literally) express their discontent.

The Foundation Network Interview

Connie, Rachel, and I were interviewed by independent media, The Foundation Network (foundationnetwork.org). I’ll post a link once it becomes available on their website. With the advent of the Internet, there has been a surge of independent media sources, as well as citizen’s journalism, and with the ridiculously shallow, incomplete, and biased coverage of this year’s elections, many people are turning to alternative news sources instead of mainstream media, hence the hashtag #WeAreTheMedia. Rachel said:

I see this as a battle between the establishment and the people, and this is the chance… with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, they are both very disliked by their parties… Donald Trumps vote will be split with Gary Johnson… This is the time for a third party move. We need to tell these two parties we are not going to choose the lesser of two evils any more. We want something better.

Here’s some of what Connie said:

If we have a third party candidate or two third party candidates take 25% of the vote away from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, that leaves 75% of the vote. You have to have 50 plus percent of electoral college votes… if you don’t, it goes back to Congress. The Senate and the House of Representatives elect the President and the Vice President. The way to tell these politicians that they have to answer to us is to show them they will not get 50% of the electoral college vote. You will not win the presidential election by the citizens vote. The popular vote will not give you the White House — it will have to be other politicians, because we are sick of the two party system.

Greg Palast

I had a brief run-in with Greg Palest, a New York Times best selling author and freelance journalist for the BBC and the British newspaper The Guardian. On the other side of the DNC fence, he and a photographer were walking along, and paused to take a photo of my ELECTION FRAUD sign. When I recognized Palest, I asked him if I could take his picture. He posed, holding the bars of the fence, and jokingly said, “I’m in jail.” This turned out to not be such a joke after all, according to accounts from delegates about some of them being detained against their will. You’ll also read more about Palast’s work a few paragraphs down.

Sane Progressive and Delegates Speak

Sane Progressive (Debbie Lusignan) addressed the crowd of protestors gathered at FDR park:

We have not experienced an election; we have experienced a coup… Hillary Clinton didn’t win this election. It’s a not real… They want to pretend it’s real. We know what happened…

She tried to continue over chants of “Election fraud! Election fraud!” But the crowd erupted insistently: Fraud! Fraud! Fraud!

After everyone settles down, she continued:

What we are asking you, it is going to take an enormous amount of courage, just to stand up and walk out [during Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech] and to meet us on the other side of the fence. We’ll all come together…

A few delegates took turns talking. Their reports were very disturbing. I tried conveying what they said in play-by-play type Facebook posts and got some pushback from people who were following the convention on television. But I will post my videos of their accounts on this website, along with links to videos they took within the convention to document their stories, which likely were not part of the televised coverage.

One of the delegates suggested, “Our absence is power,” i.e., the Democratic party needs the votes of Bernie Sanders supporters. Listening to this delegates, Debbie was visibly disturbed. Thankfully, someone handed her the mic before her head exploded:

This is imperative that everyone understand. Your votes don’t count any more. We just had this election stolen. I don’t know how many more times I can say it. It was a coup. Go to electionfraud2016.wordpress.com. I have every bit of evidence documented from state to state to state. They cheated, okay? …The reason that Hillary Clinton can go like this [middle finger] to you and choose Tim Kaine as VP and say, “Hey, you know what? Debbie Wasserman Schultz helped me cheat. I’m going to install her,” you know why she can do that? Because she doesn’t need your votes! I beg of you, after working on this for four months, they stole it! This is not real! We have to take our election system back. We have to tell every single candidate, I beg of you, every single one, you will not vote for them, you will not give them money, you will not work for them unless they address the issue of election fraud.

I’m sure that election fraud will be as big of a problem in the general as it was in the primary, because in the primary, the party has a lot of control with oversite, counting, and so on, whereas in the general, the Republicans will be looking over the shoulders of the Democratic establishment, and calling out any shenanigans they see. In the primary, Sanders supporters tried to do this, but the media painted them as conspiracy theorists, and our outrage was largely dismissed as temper tantrums from poor losers. Wikileaks helped validate our complaints, but too late. In the general election, complaints of election fraud will likely be taken more seriously. I guess we will see how it goes.

Here’s the kicker, the point that Debbie so passionately conveyed: if the machines are rigged as we suspect they are, then the only way to demonstrate there is a problem is to compare UNADJUSTED exit polls with actual election results and find discrepancies.

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Protestors in FDR park were treated to a special preview of a documentary film by Greg Palast called The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, which exposes the theft of elections and the billionaires who benefit from it. The film offers some thoroughly investigated insight into why many of our elected officials seem to make decisions that are not in the best interest of and that lack the approval of their constituents, why corporations pour billions of dollars into political candidates, and how devastating the consequences of a corporatized bipartisan political system are to our economy, our ecosystem, and our civil liberties.

The Death of Democracy

The Death of Democracy candlelight vigil, an event we and many others missed the first evening due to the weather, happened again on the evening of day three. Protestors carried a coffin painted red, white, and blue, with the letters DNC on top and upside-down donkeys on the sides and a candlelight procession followed. I was told they threw the coffin over the DNC fence. Chatter among the people seemed to indicate that protestors implicated themselves along with the DNC for the death of democracy, because we have been putting too much faith in the integrity of the election system and haven’t insisted on holding our elections officials and processes accountable.


I’m still going through footage and images, but pretty soon, I’ll begin uploading and unpacking some eye candy here on WhatGodDoes.

  • Mary Vanderplas August 7, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Sounds like the protesters found some creative ways to make clear their disaffection.

    For all of the corruption that characterized the election process thus far and that typically characterizes the political process in our country, not everyone is convinced that voting for a no-name third-party candidate in this election is the way to go. With the Republicans controlling both houses, taking votes away from Clinton and Trump with the goal that Congress must decide the outcome of the election is hardly a smart move if one shudders at the thought of a Trump presidency. Moreover, not everyone imagines that joining a populist movement to protest the threats to representative democracy posed by our current system will accomplish much of anything to rewrite the rules of American politics. As Bernie Sanders recognizes, accepting what is and working within the system to move the country in a more progressive direction is more likely to achieve the goal of bringing significant change to the system over time. Also, not everyone agrees that a Clinton presidency would be bad for the country; not everyone who plans to vote for her sees her as the lesser evil. Some of us see her as possessing the qualities necessary to be a capable President and to lead the country toward greater economic equality – among other good goals – and thus toward a greater realization of our democratic ideals.

    If the recent DNC hack is any indication, there may be more to worry about in the general election than fraudulent action on the part of the establishment – such as Russia/the Kremlin(?) influencing the outcome. But I agree that there needs to be greater accountability in the election process in order to prevent fraud and the threat to democracy it poses.

    That there has always been a gap between the ideal expressed by “We the People” and the reality of American politics makes it hard to pronounce democracy in this country dead. But I agree that the gap between our governing ideal and political reality has become vastly larger and that efforts need to be made to close it.

  • Alice Spicer August 16, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    The operative words in your second paragraph are “over time.” In my opinion, that is where we inevitably disagree in both religion and politics. Although I see the value in working within a broken system to fix what’s broken, I also am more prone to calling a broken system beyond repair and recommending it be discarded earlier than you might (if you might at all?). That’s how I feel about the two party system (which can be “destroyed,” i.e. made into something new, by adding a third party) and how I feel about institutional church / organized religion. They both crossed the line in my mind. You and I draw our lines with significant distance between. I’m beginning to feel suspicious about institutional / organized anything, for that matter. Look at just about any system – prison systems, educational systems, health care systems, etc., and it seems like the bigger it gets, the more prone to corruption and disfunction it is. If there is a way to restore such systems, then we should hang in there, I suppose. But sometimes the negative consequences of waiting for the slow change outweigh the negative consequences of disregarding the system altogether. Take, for example, the dire situation in Syria. Electing Clinton will be throwing fuel on the fire. When people are dying horrible violent deaths this, to me, outweighs any “good” reason to continue going along with the idea of electing whoever the two-party system demands we elect. We are responsible for the bloodshed our military interventions bring around the globe. We could say our government is responsible, but we are the government. And if we are not the government, then we are not a democracy.

    So we agree, as you said, on “the gap between our governing ideal and political reality has become vastly larger and that efforts need to be made to close it,” but we disagree as to how to close that gap. You want the slow, methodical, reasonable way that accepts what is. I want the way that says “I do not accept what is,” and results in the least amount of carnage.

    Of course, you know I am inclined to see things more black and white than you. So please feel free to tell me how unfair my response is and what gray areas I might not be considering.

    • Mary Vanderplas August 17, 2016 at 6:58 am

      For me the issue is one of reasonable expectations given political reality. In a perfect world, there would be no greed or corruption, no entrenched interests, no destructive partisanship. People would come together for the common good, and government would get things done. But alas, this isn’t reality. Dreams of people working together for the common good, absent wrangling, absent moneyed interests, absent other forces that limit the potential of government, are just that: utopian dreams. Bernie Sanders knows this – which is why he did what he did in staying in the Democratic Party and voicing his unqualified support for Clinton. Surely, President Obama knows this after holding office for eight years – much of which time has been characterized by political compromise. Do I like the system as it is? No. Do I agree with and approve of everything about Hillary Clinton? No. But I think that given political reality, the best hope there is of anything changing for the better – of the system becoming more just – is in voting for Clinton and the platform that the Democratic Party adopted.

      Do I like Jill Stein? Yes, I do. But, again, I appeal to political reality in defending why I won’t be voting for her. Even if the majority of Americans was liberal, she likely wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in the fundamentalist version of hell of being elected. Why? Because her left-liberal positions on the issues and her (exclusive) focus on grievances aren’t shared by the majority – not to mention the fact that she’s unknown.

      I wish I could believe that overthrowing the system and starting over is the answer. As long as there are imperfect people involved, I doubt that there will ever be a political system that is free from the ills that beset the current system. The best we can hope for, in my view, continues to be moving the country toward greater economic equality so that ordinary citizens have more power to decide political outcomes.

      Take a poll of the people you know who are currently receiving assistance from the government. How many will be voting for Clinton? My guess is that many, if not most, will be, even if it means holding their noses while doing it. Why? Because they want what Clinton and the Democratic Party stand for in terms of addressing economic inequality, and they know that, given political reality, voting for Clinton is the best (and only viable) option for getting what they want for themselves and others.

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