We Asked Bernie Die-Hards Inside Their Philly Tent City: “What Now?”

“This movement is the future, and we are the future—and we’re coming in hot.”

 

Tents were being disassembled. Buttons and signs, stacked and packed away. A protester strummed a final, whimsical song. Several dozen bleary-eyed Bernie Sanders die-hards were preparing to head home on Thursday afternoon. Many had been camping out for days in Philadelphia’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, not far from the Wells Fargo Center, where delegates met this week to nominate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential candidate.

Anger over party politics and Clinton’s nomination lingered. But Sanders’ supporters also vowed to fight on, to carry the revolution back to their hometowns, and to continue to campaign for third-party candidates. Many said they were switching their support to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.

“This movement is the future, and we are the future—and we’re coming in hot,” said Chelsea Piner, a 29-year-old brewer in Detroit. “We’re not lacking enthusiasm, and I think the whole world can see that.”

All the campers I spoke to agreed that Clinton and Donald Trump were essentially equally bad. Philadelphia local Jesse Ilnicki, 35, who described himself as “just another weird dude who gives a fuck,” put it this way: “We’re up against two oligarchic demons fornicating with each other, and then expecting us to pick one over the other when they’re both fucking prostitutes.”

Wearing a T-shirt that read, “Over the Hill Hippies for Bernie,” 63-year-old Arja Moy agreed: “Hillary is even more dangerous.”

 

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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