Photo Essay A Lens on the Democratic Convention, Day 3: Neoliberals vs. Progressives

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 2 and Day 4, or look at his coverage of the GOP convention, if you missed it.


PHILADELPHIA—The Clinton coronation continued at the the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, while social media obeisance from the Clinton Kool-Aid drinkers spilled out like a red carpet. Outside the Wells Fargo Center, the protests were still amping up.

Arrests. Flag burning. Revolt against a rigged, two-party system. “Looks like unity to me,” read one tweet. Ask the estimated 800 delegates who walked out of the convention Tuesday night. Ask the hundreds of protesters who continue to organize. “Bernie did his job and pulled the Democratic Party to the left, so stop bitching,” said another post.

The fact that the Democratic Party even needs to be pulled from the deep right and yanked back to the left is an issue for some who are protesting. The need to continue building a progressive movement without giving in to the theoretical democracy touted by Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, etc., is the far more muscular fight.

For the remainder of this presidential circus, it’s a tug of war between the neoliberal, pseudo-progressive class and the left. Sanders let go of the rope. Elizabeth Warren, too. And yet the “I’m With Her” crowd cannot believe that anyone on the left is not voting for Clinton.

Note the “new” Democratic Party platform: It backs fracking, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Israel’s occupation. It shuns universal health care and shrugs the Party’s suited shoulders to a carbon tax, among other half-oxygenated reforms that we’re expected to jump up and down about. Not good enough.

Most disturbing to those who rallied around Sanders’ and Warren’s message is that the Democratic establishment was, in many respects, as much their target as the Republicans.

And could there be a bigger disparity between Clinton’s “cut-it-out” financial reform and what Sanders and Warren have championed over the years? Though Clinton has repositioned her pro-banker stance, in language only, the chasm between the two is still, well, a chasm.

It’s as big as the disparity that’s happening on the convention floor and the streets.

Watch Michael Nigro’s  and check out video from Day 3 here:

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