Hillary Clinton may be the presumptive Democratic nominee, but Bernie Sanders‘ supporters are taking their revolution all the way to the Democratic National Convention, which is set to take place in Philadelphia in late July. In fact, some of his supporters are so serious about this that they practiced getting arrested in a basement in Chicago this past weekend.
According to BuzzFeed, the People’s Summit took place in the basement of the Midwest city’s Lakeside Center. Sanders supporters practiced “direct action” in order to get Sanders’ views into the Democratic Party platform. This included actually protesting the DNC and then how to deal with possibly getting arrested while doing so, as described below:
Several dozen of them attended a training on how to march, how to follow a chant, how to defy police orders to disperse by sitting and locking arms in what’s called a “human chain,” and how to conduct themselves when the police stepped in and physically removed them.
Supporters stressed however, that they’re trying not to get arrested, per se. As one support put it: “We’re not going to be violent, we don’t really have a reason to get arrested but it’s going to happen. So we want to prepare ourselves.” It seems like, then, that these supporters want to avoid what happened in Las Vegas, where Sanders’ supporters threw chairs at the Nevada Democratic Party Convention after their delegates were invalidated. Some Sanders fans also sent threats to the Nevada Democratic Party chairwoman.
After Sanders supporters were violent at a Donald Trump rally, Bernie stepped in himself, saying that they absolutely condemned such behavior.
BuzzFeed also quoted a Sanders supporter who said that Philadelphia made it “illegal to do protests.” As a result, a spokesperson for Mayor James Kenney contacted BuzzFeed to refute this claim, saying, “In fact, we recently decriminalized several demonstration-related infractions, including refusal to disperse.” Instead, police will give out $100 fines for protest-related infractions in order to avoid the mass arrests that occurred when the city hosted the Republican National Convention in 2000.