Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Party Dies, But Democracy Lives On

By Natalie Higley

(reprinted with permission of the author)

Just in case you missed it, after Bernie stood for the Vermont delegation, suspended the rules and forced the entire convention to do a voice vote (which we have fought against DEEPLY for months now) almost the entire Bernie delegation stood up and left the convention, together we all marched down the halls, chanting "this is what democracy looks like", and out into the media tent where we sat in silent protest with tape over our mouths. Written on the tape was, "no voice", "dnc stole my voice", "silenced by the dnc" and so on. We sat in solidarity holding hands. The media was unable to ignore us and that is why the media tent was the chosen destination.

 Cops then lined the doors and locked us in. Snipers were visible on the roof tops "monitoring" the media tent and the protest, police poured in from every direction, far more than I could count. We were hearing that we would all be arrested and removed if we didn't leave and yet they did not allow us to leave. Many of us, myself included, were very scared. We stood at the large glass walls at the front of the media building. I was crying and deeply upset, hundreds of Bernie delegates were locked outside the media building and standing in solidarity with us. I didn't know what to do, my phone was dead, i knew that my friends and family had been watching our live stream and that when my battery died I'm sure that they were panicking.

 I knew that if I got arrested so many things in my life would fall apart, and I started bawling uncontrollably, we were at the human limit of stress and exhaustion and emotionally overwhelmed after the slew of hardships and up and downs of this week. Being so overwhelmed I put my hands flat on the glass walls and just stared out the window crying, not knowing what to do. Within seconds, I had dozens of Bernie delegates outside, rushing the window and placing their hands over mine. Mouthing to me that we would be ok, that it will never be over, that we will continue, that they loved me, that they saw me, that we were together, that they would help me, that there was no need to be afraid because they were fighting to get us out, and they stood with me for an hour while the protestors outside were negotiating with officers for our release.

 I don't know what they said and I don't know what they negotiated, but after an hour and a half (felt like an eternity but in protesting world that's very fast) the doors were allowed to open. No one left me, and everyone wanted the opportunity to come "talk" to me. They stood with me and refused to leave until we were released. Once they opened the doors we had a flood of people coming to hug us and tell us how much they loved us and how proud they were to stand with us. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life, and most likely nothing will ever top that.

 Afterwards, we spoke to a million and one press members. I interviewed with everyone from the young Turks to BBC. Then there was a march led by Nina Turner and the black lives matter movement, out of the convention center. If the dnc has not yet recognized how large the exodus from this party is becoming, they are even more self absorbed and tone deaf than I ever could have imagined.

 Yesterday began the death of the Democratic Party. They have brought this on themselves and deserve everything they get. Hillary loses to trump by double digits in the polls and the numbers are only getting worse. To ignore that is to ignore fact and truth, they are ushering in the age of trump with open arms and i won't take the blame come November. I've done everything possible to attempt to ensure a win for Bernie, the only candidate who consistently beats trump in the polls, and has for months. I can leave this Friday knowing that I've done my absolute best, along with the hundreds of delegates I've met this week. I am proud of every step we have taken here and of those to come in the next two days. I will never forget a single one of them, and I have never met a more amazing group of people.‪#‎TheRevolutionContinues‬ ‪#‎JillNotHill‬ ‪#‎DontBlameMeIVotedForBernie‬‪#‎DemExit‬ ‪#‎DncDeathBySuicide‬ ‪#‎DemConvention‬ ‪#‎NeverHillary‬‪#‎NeverTrump‬ ‪#‎ThisISWhatDemocracyLooksLike‬ ‪#‎TheDayThePartyDied‬‪#‎July26th‬
Natalie Higley, 23, is a Bernie Sanders delegate from Lakeport, California.  

Here she is, posing with Sanders at a campaign rally in Stockton held in May.

And here's full video of Tuesday's walkout, largely uncovered by the corporate media:

Dave Lindorff has more details and commentary here.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Adams said...

I am so glad Ms. Higley wrote down her experience and shared it with us. There will be many amazing accounts coming out of this bizarre show of corporate faux Democracy. They just won't make it into the corporate media.