The organizers allegedly turned off the lights on Bernie Sanders delegates attending the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on the night of Wednesday, July 27, as they chanted “No More War” during the speech by the former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
The DNC allegedly attempted to shut them up at the convention by turning off the lights as they chanted anti-war slogans during Panetta’s speech, U.S. Uncut reports.
The Sanders delegates switched on their iPhone lights after the lights were turned off.
But on Thursday, July 28, many of the delegates, determined to make themselves visible and their presence felt, appeared at the Well Fargo Center venue of the convention wearing $11 union-made green glow-in-the-dark neon shirts, designed by the Colorado delegation, according to Time.
DNC shuts off lights over Bernie protestors chanting "no more war" during former defence secretary Panetta's speech. pic.twitter.com/hHRHMGDYdX
— Dan Roberts (@RobertsDan) July 28, 2016
— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) July 28, 2016
The neon shirts, intended to make the delegates visible on TV during major speeches, featured the dove peace sign and the words “Enough is Enough.”
The delegates were also ready to switch on their cell phone lights if — as alleged — the organizers turned off the lights on them.
The appearance of many Sanders delegates at the convention venue on Thursday night, carrying protest signs and wearing glow-in-the-dark T-shirts, had raised concerns that they were bent on disrupting the acceptance speech by the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The delegates reportedly decided to abandon a plan to stage a walkout at the Wells Fargo Center venue of the convention during Clinton’s acceptance speech.
Time reports that the California delegation had decided in a vote held on Thursday not to stage a walkout. Sanders’ campaign had also reportedly sent a text message to the delegates before Clinton’s speech, urging them to be “respectful” and to refrain from protest.
Thus, instead of a walkout protest, many Sanders delegates stood up during Clinton’s acceptance speech, raised and waved protest signs and chanted slogans, such as “No More War,” “No TPP,” and “Walk the Walk.”
“We didn’t want to disrupt her. We just wanted to chant ‘Get it done!'”
Bernie delegates' shirts glow in the dark. Should be quite a visual effect during the main program. pic.twitter.com/rlZB9bKiJB
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) July 28, 2016
Much of the chanting came from the California and Oregon delegations, known to be the most vocal and enthusiastic of the state delegates.
They sent them to save spots scattered through the delegation so we wouldn't be united in an action. They know CA is the most active.
— Zenaida Huerta (@zxnaida) July 28, 2016
DNC Whip is threatening to eject me from the arena because I won't give up my seat for a non-delegate who isn't even here. #DemsInPhilly
— Mr. Charles Lenchner (@clenchner) July 28, 2016
The day-glo shirts with the sign “Enough is Enough” were seen clearly on TV as intended. Hundreds of Bernie delegates were shown wearing the T-shirts at the DNC venue during the main program.
However, U.S. Uncut reports that some delegates denied that they wore the shirts as a response to the blackout imposed the day before. According to California delegate Carol Dorshkind, the idea was conceived weeks before as a way of making “one last statement.”
New York delegate Javier Anderson said the neon shirts were only intended as an “expression of solidarity.”
— CO Veterans 4 Bernie (@COVets4Bernie) July 28, 2016
“It was something suggested online in a national delegates forum,” Dorschkind said. “I thought it would be cool to see a whole sea of Bernie supporters.”
“We wanted to have an appreciation for Bernie Sanders in a way that was visible, but respectful of Hillary Clinton,” Anderson said.
— JonathanDanielBrown (@JonathanDBrown) July 28, 2016
Pennsylvania delegate Greg Schaffer said Sanders delegates decided to stay in the hall following a decision to “be respectful of what this week means to certain people, especially women.”
“This [the neon shirts] is not against her at all,” Anderson said. “This is just saying ‘We’re here, we have a common cause, and we’re ready to win in November,'” he said. “We want her to hopefully understand that we’re doing it for him as much as we are doing it for her.”
Pre-existing tensions between Sanders supporters and the DNC flared up after Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks released a tranche of DNC emails from the primaries that revealed party officials had tried to influence the primaries in Clinton’s favor.
The revelation sparked angry protests by Sanders supporters.
[Photo By Bill Clark/Getty]