Photo Essay A Lens on the Democratic Convention, Day 2: Legitimate Anger in Philadelphia

Editor’s note: Photojournalist Michael Nigro is in Philadelphia to provide Truthdig with photos and videos of noteworthy moments from outside the 2016 Democratic convention, where protesters and activists gathered to express their views. Check out coverage of Day 1Day 3 and Day 4, or look at his coverage of the GOP convention, if you missed it.


PHILADELPHIA—If the organizers of the Democratic National Convention were hoping that their four days in Philly were going to construct a glorious bridge that connects everything to everything—an image they love to metaphorically invoke—they better find better building materials. The protests in Philadelphia are far more organized, populated and energized than anything we saw in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.

Philadelphia’s City Hall is one of the main places where thousands have been convening. Their anger is real. Their anger is focused. Their anger, as it happens, is coiled tighter.

On Saturday, two days prior to the convention’s Monday kickoff, when Hillary Clinton named Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate, pundits began throwing around the term “smart politics” like a Frisbee. He’s from a battleground state, they said. Blue collar and Harvard educated. El habla español. He will appeal to white men.

The anti-Clinton crowd simply watched the Frisbee of smart politics veer lazily away from them and land in the neoliberal rough. It’s doubtful Clinton’s pick swayed many Berners, progressives or on-the-fence-for-fear-of-Trump constituents. And judging from what’s being said in the streets, protesters regarded Clinton’s pro-Wall Street, pro-TTP, absolute-establishment-politician VP pick as a big F.U. to them.

Turned out to be a double-barreled F.U., too, because on the same day that she announced Kaine, WikiLeaks released a trove of 20,000 damning, but not at all surprising, emails that revealed how Democratic National Committee officials privately connived to undermine the Sanders campaign. That night in Philly, thousands marched in the streets.

This WikiLeaks hack was the moment the “Bernie or Bust” movement was looking for, right? This, they hoped, was Sanders’ chance to make his final revolutionary push. But no. Sanders did not take the stage at the Democratic convention to have his very own Ted “Vote Your Conscience” Cruz moment. And Tuesday night, he voted for Hillary Clinton to be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party.

The disdain and rage against Clinton and establishment politics, however, is still very real. And though it is markedly different from the disgusting and misogynistic blather commonly heard trumpeting out of many Trumpsters in Cleveland, the Clinton apostles have lost their patience, resorting to dismissing legitimate anger with “get over it, your candidate lost” replies.

Watch Michael Nigro’s  and check out video from Day 2 here:

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.