Philadelphia—Cheri Honkala, the leader of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, announced that her group was organizing the world’s largest “fart-in” to be held on July 28 at the Wells Fargo Center during Hillary Clinton’s anticipated acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination.
“We will be holding a massive bean supper for Bernie Sanders delegates on American Street in my Kensington neighborhood on the afternoon of July 28,” she said. “We are setting up a Clintonville there, modeled on the Hoovervilles of the 1930s where the poor and unemployed built shanty towns. The Sanders delegates, their bellies full of beans, will be able to return to the Wells Fargo Center and greet the rhetorical flatulence of Hillary Clinton with the real thing.”
Honkala said she would issue an invitation to Sanders to join the bean supper, which she is calling Beans for Hillary. She has asked donors to send cans of beans to 1301-W Porter Street, Philadelphia, Pa., 19148.
“Any remaining beans will be served to the homeless, although we will, of course, be urging Sanders delegates to eat as much as possible,” Honkala said.
Chris Hedges, an author and activist who is an ordained Presbyterian minister, will open the Beans for Hillary meal with a nondenominational prayer.
“I am happy to bless a meal that will be put to such effective political use,” Hedges said.
“The Democratic primary process, as Sanders supporters now realize, was rigged from the start,” said Hedges, a Pulitzer-prize winning former New York Times foreign correspondent. “The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton machine used a variety of mechanisms to game the elections including the appointing of superdelgates, the banning of independent voters from numerous primaries, purging voters from voting lists and using millions in dark money and from Super PACs to fund the Clinton campaign. Caucuses, as we saw in Nevada, were shamelessly manipulated on behalf of Clinton. Sanders never had a chance.”
“We need to build a third party and populist movements, freed from Democratic Party control, to defy corporate power,” Hedges said. “This will take more than one election cycle to accomplish. If Sanders will not join us, we will have to do it without him.”
Honkala, who was the Green Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012, said the poor and working men and women could not endure more assaults from the forces of neoliberalism and the two corporate political parties.
“The Clintons have done enough damage,” she said. “They decimated the working class with the North American Free Trade Agreement. They exploded the prison population under the 1994 Omnibus Crime bill and draconian drug laws that mandated life sentences. They destroyed the welfare system, and under the old system 70 percent of the recipients were children. They turned the airwaves over to a half dozen corporations by deregulating the FCC. They ripped down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks that precipitated the global meltdown. There is not a war they don’t support. And their record on civil liberties is appalling. We cannot afford more of the same. We are either going to build third party movements or an American Spring.”
Honkala is planning a march on the opening day of the convention, although the city has denied her a permit. It will begin on the south side of Philadelphia’s City Hall at 3 p.m. on July 25. She said the Beans for Hillary event would cap three days of protests during the convention to highlight the plight of the poor and the working poor.
“We get political mutations like Trump because the system does not work on our behalf,” she said. “Putting the Clintons back in power may remove Trump from the scene, but it guarantees that a political figure even more frightening will rise to take his place. Until we wrest back control from corporate power things will only get worse.”