Democratic National Convention Day One
This is the first in a series of articles about our few days at the Democratic National Convention.
Most people were just arriving to Philadelphia, an encampment was set up and FDR Park became the occupied zone - stages were set up, medical tents, and places for water.
From the beginning, it was crystal clear the police & city workers were prepared for anything. On Monday, as we walked down the closed Broad St. Our investigation of the city began, and we saw they had planned out their tactics with much thought & preparation. I would if I was the police & the city (having an influx of an estimated 30-50,000 protestors), but nonetheless it is clear their version of ‘things getting out of control’ means we need police in militarized gear standing around ready to throw people in the patty wagon.
As we were walking down the street, we noticed a dude sitting in an idling garbage truck and he had an expression of boredom. His truck, which was parked in a line of similar idling garbage trucks taking up the entire block, was an unsettling fleet. It was an eerie situation, so we asked him what he was doing, and he shrugged eerily. Apparently, he was ordered to show up to work for the day and be prepared for anything.
The ‘main’ event of the evening started off outside with the March for our lives from city hall to FDR Park. At the end, immortal technique performed for a few hundred of us a private concert. He then introduced the green party presidential candidate Jill Stein who spoke for a few minutes before a torrential downpour started. Because of this, we missed Chris hedges speaking - a real bummer because he has written quite a few focused, emotional, angry, and optimistic articles of news calling for the end to the American Empire. It was unfortunate we did not get to hear his perspective on the current situation at hand. As it started pouring and the lightning illuminated the night sky, the police said we needed to leave because they were worried about lightning striking us, apparently. Looking back, I’m not sure if everyone listened, but we had a cat to attend to in our van anyways, so mother nature gave me a nice shower that brought back memories of Hawaii, washing off the humidity with some rain. We left FDR park and drove across town to Clintonville (a remake of the 1930s shanty towns that were set up during the Great Depression,and a satire on the Clintons’) where the camp by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign was set up and a few from the rainbow family had set up a community kitchen. However, the unexpected downpour had left the camp in a state of disrepair.