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.
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.
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.